Honoring the Printmaker

A current exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum pays tribute to master printers. It is their skills, talents and ability to problem solve that help to create fine art prints. It is the artist, not the printmaker, who gets credit for the work, even though many fine art prints are true collaborations and many printmakers are artists themselves.

Iconic printers, like Kenneth Tyler and Ron Adams, revived the art of lithography in America. They taught many artists how to work with a lithography stone and also collaborated on design and composition.

Ron Adams (1934-2020) was a talented artist and printmaker. He attended the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Manual Arts Adult Night School, Los Angeles City College, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, the University of Mexico.

Adams worked at Ken Tyler’s illustrious Gemini G.E.L. printing workshop in Los Angeles and at Editions Press in San Francisco. He left California in 1974 to found Hand Graphics Ltd. in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ron Adams worked with Jasper Johns,  Ellsworth Kelly and other artists. He was one of the printers who helped Robert Rauschenberg with his Stoned Moon Series. The works were printed at Gemini G.E.L. after Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to witness the first moon landing. Adams sold Hand Graphics, in 1987, to focus on his own artwork.

Bill Lagattuta took over Hand Graphics and worked with Jim Dine and other artists to help them create fine lithographs. Lagattuta and Dine worked together for more than fourteen years.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations focuses on six master printers. Each printer is also a fine artist and empathetic collaborator. A video of their works and perspectives accompanies the exhibit.

Master printers have had a profound effect on the works of many artists. Kenneth Tyler began working with artists in the 1960s. His expertise had a great impact on American artists and the rise of printmaking. He established some of the finest print workshops on both the East and West coasts of the U.S.

His most famous, and longest, collaboration was with Frank Stella. The pair worked together for more than forty years, until Tyler’s retirement in 2000. Tyler also worked with Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations will be on view at the Albuquerque Museum through May 15, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.


References:
The History Makers. Ron Adams Biography. July 13, 2010.
Nancy Zastudil. Shining a Light on the Art of the Printmaker. Hyperallergic. April 4, 2022.
Museum of Texas Tech University. Crisscross: Bill Lagattuta and Collaborative Printmaking (Series 2 of 3). January 2022.
Princeton University Art Museum. Printing without Limits: Frank Stella, Ken Tyler, and the Making of Juam. 2002.
Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club

Draw, Print, Repeat: Double Images and Repeated Patterns

In 1998, a year after Roy Lichtenstein died, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established. Headed by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, the Foundation has given its support to many outreach and research projects.

This year the Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to help fund the research catalogue for the upcoming exhibition: The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900.

The exhibit examines how and why artists use double forms or motifs in their works. The NGA website says that the exhibit has several themes: “artists in the exhibition explore questions of identity and difference—the difference between the original work and a copy, the identity of the art with the artist, and especially self-identity as defined by our own unconscious, by society, as well as by race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of differentiation.”

Included in the exhibit are works by Andy Warhol, Jasper JohnsRobert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.

Warhol knew the impact that multiple images have on a viewer. In a work like Portrait of the Artists, the viewer’s eye is forced across the composition to compare each artists’ face with its ten repeated images and with the image of the nine others. His use of the double image is a bit more subtle in Tidal Basin, where he uses a mirror image of the Washington Monument as well as two rectangular backgrounds to draw the eye across the work.

In Frank Stella’s work Black Stack, Stella uses repeated triangles to draw the viewer’s eye down the length on the lithograph, and back up again.

Repeated patterns can be comforting, making order out of chaos. In the 1980s, Donald Sultan created a series of paintings, The Disaster Series, based on newspaper images of the destruction of man-made objects, like train cars and industrial buildings. In 2017 twelve large paintings from the series traveled to major venues around the country, including the Smithsonian.

Sultan’s style went from chaos to order by using linoleum squares, covered with tar, and ordered into series of repeated patterns of dominoes, lantern flowers and poppies. His repeated designs are like comfort food, giving a feeling of serenity, like Big Poppies, Cor-Ten Poppies, even with the use of industrial materials.

One of the modern masters of the repeated image is Julian Opie, whose multiple images move across his work, letting the viewer compare and contrast the individual forms he creates.

The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900 will be on exhibit at the National Gallery from May 15 to September 5, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

Works of Modern Masters

End of the Art World, made in 1971, is a 16-mm film that documents the works of the most avant-garde artists of the 1960s. Now available on DVD, the movie ends with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the city of New York blowing up.

The film looks kitsch today, but the stories that brought the artists to New York, their influence on each other and on the art world are an important part of our art history.

Jasper Johns, who is still alive and working today, was just one of the many artists who moved to New York to work, study and pursue their careers as artists.

Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were two of the first artists who moved to Coenties Slip, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan along the East River. The old industrial buildings, where sails had been manufactured, gave the artists inexpensive spaces in which to live and work.

Artists on the roof of 3-5 Coenties Slip (left to right: Delphine Seyrig, Duncan Youngerman, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Youngerman, and Agnes Martin, 1958.

They encouraged each other to push back against the traditional art that had gone before, and use everyday objects and popular cultural imagery in their work.

Ellsworth Kelly, who was influenced by James Audubon’s drawings and his own experiences observing birds, created work that used bold, but minimal, colors and shapes.

Kelly inspired Robert Indiana, another Coenties Slip artist, to give up figurative painting and concentrate on geometric, hard-edge design.

James Rosenquist rented a studio in Coenties Slip in 1960 and went from billboard painter to pop artist.

Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol in Warhol’s loft, 1964

Although they didn’t live in Coenties Slip, both Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were part of the pop culture in New York that moved art in America through Minimalism and beyond, so that artists had, and have now, the ability to explore and invent their individual styles. Many were also great printmakers, which is why we value their work so highly at VFA.

Works of Modern Masters at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the featured works available at VFA.


References:
Kelly Richman-Abdou. Discover the Eclectic Influences That Shaped Ellsworth Kelly’s Avant-Garde Art. My Modern Met. July 12, 2020.
Retrospective on Artist Jasper Johns. The Garden City News. July 23, 2020.
Christie’s. LOVE story: the many sides of Robert Indiana. February 13, 2020.
Blanton Museum of Art. Kelly & The Coenties Slip. April, 2018.

Jasper Johns Prints: In it for the Long Run

The Long Run at MoMA

Jasper Johns is one of the artists featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit called Long Run.  Each work, made after 1970, was done by an artist who was at least 45, although many were older. Included in the exhibit are works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Melvin Edwards, Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella, and many others. Many artists, like Jasper Johns, were young and hungry and eager to shake up the art world when they produced their seminal works.”>Jasper Johns is one of the artists featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit called Long Run. 

Each work, made after 1970, was done by an artist who was at least 45, although many were older. Included in the exhibit are works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Melvin Edwards, Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella, and many others.

Many artists, like Jasper Johns, were young and hungry and eager to shake up the art world when they produced their seminal works.

Johns painted Flag, his best known work, in 1954, when he was just 24 years old. His early works bridged the gap between abstract expressionism and the movements that followed like Pop, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. The early works also set auction records for prices paid for work done by a living artist.At age 87, Johns is still working and continues to perfect his techniques.

Jasper Johns as Printmaker

Johns began making prints in 1960 and has continued to produce prints throughout his career, often repeating objects, numbers and symbols that that give his work an iconic familiarity.

He didn’t just make prints of his paintings, but also make paintings from his prints. Johns’ experiments with lithography have allowed him to reinvent his existing images.

His process of using several colors on the many etched plates required for each of his works allows for a variety of textures and colors in each print.The National Gallery of Art is home to nearly 2,000 of Jasper Johns’ proofs.

Jasper John Prints at VFA

Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were together for six years in the 1950s. During that time they each produced some of their greatest works.

Johns was devastated when they broke up, and used imagery based on The Bridge, a poem written by Hart Crane in the 1930s:

What whisperings of far watches on the main
Relapsing into silence, while time clears
Our lenses, lifts a focus, resurrects
A periscope to glimpse what joys or pain
Our eyes can share or answer – then deflects
Us, shunting to a labyrinth submersed
Where each sees only his dim past reversed…

Crane, who had a history of depression, heavy alcohol use and confusion about his sexuality, committed suicide in 1932, at the age of 32, by jumping from the deck of a steamship sailing back to New York from Mexico. Johns and Rauschenberg put aside their differences, but there was always a sense of rivalry between them. The image of the outstretched hand and periscope recur in many of Johns’ works, like Periscope l, for sale at VFA.

Also available at VFA is Untitled, a work from the Geldzahler Portfolio, which was commissioned in 1998 by the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS as a fundraising initiative, organized by Henry Geldzahler, the first curator of 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum and New York City’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, and an Untitled color intaglio done in 2012, when Johns was 82.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Jasper Johns, or any of the other fine art available at VFA.

See More Jasper Johns Artwork for Sale

Jasper Johns Fools Housens

Jasper Johns: Creating a Legacy

Creating a Legacy

Jasper Johns turned 87 years old this year. He is thinking about his legacy. Besides his fascinating paintings, prints and sculptures, Johns has a 170-acre property in Sharon, Connecticut, which he plans to turn into an artists’ retreat after his death.

Johns has owned and lived on the property, on Low Road, since 1994. The property is on a hill with a mountain view, alongside a lake. On the site are six houses, an apple orchard and a large studio in a barn.

The plan, which Johns proposed to the town of Sharon’s zoning and planning commissions, includes operating and maintaining the property through an endowment funded by Johns’ estate and the Low Road Foundation, which Johns founded to support contemporary art.

The idea is for the property to operate as retreat where visual artists, writers, musicians and dancers can develop their art. Chosen artists will be allowed to use the property for three months. The number of artists working at one time would be limited to two dozen.

At the Royal Academy in London

The current exhibit of Jasper Johns’ works at the Royal Academy in London is the most extensive show of the artist’s work to be held in the UK in 40 years.

The show, called Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth, includes many of the paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that Johns has created over the past sixty years. Many of the works have been borrowed from major public and private collections in the United States and Europe and have rarely been seen outside of those venues.

Johns worked with the Royal Academy curators in choosing and obtaining pieces for the exhibit, which includes Johns’ recent work. The show runs through December 10 and will travel to the Broad Museum in Los Angeles in February, 2018.

Jasper Johns at VFA

We are fortunate to have Jasper Johns work in our inventory, created in varying media, which showcase his diversity and talent during his long, and continuing, career.

Please contact us for more information about Periscope l or any of the other fine works available in our gallery.

See More Jasper Johns Artwork for Sale

Jasper Johns in Fact and Fiction

Jasper Johns in Fiction

One of Jasper Johns’ biggest fans, and friend, was author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain). Crichton was an avid art collector and had Johns’ notable painting Flag hanging in his bedroom for many years. When Crichton’s collection was auctioned at Christie’s after Crichton’s death in 2008, Flag sold for nearly $29 million, way above estimates and another record for Johns’ work, at that time. Crichton was asked to write a catalog for a Jasper Johns retrospective at the Whitney in 1976. The catalog, titled Jasper Johns, became a beautiful coffee table book and a revised edition was published in 1994.

“He [Jasper Johns] does very beautiful work” Crichton wrote. “He’s an extremely interesting person to be around and his work I find challenging on many levels—it’s intellectually challenging, it’s visually challenging, and it rewards continued looking. You can have a piece of his work up for years and look at it and keep seeing new things and having new feelings about it. Not all artists are like that—in terms of their work.”

Crichton even used Johns’ painting Numbers in his novel Terminal Man to demonstrate the mental state of the book’s antagonist. In the novel, psychiatrist Janet Ross owns Numbers and her patient, an unstable computer scientist who believes that machines are trying to take over the world, sees the painting and is very disturbed by it, believing that an artist choosing to paint numbers instead of something from nature, reaffirmed his ideas about man and machine.

Jasper Johns: Facts

The Royal Academy of Arts in London is staging a major retrospective of Jasper Johns’ work, which will run in the Academy’s main galleries September 23 through December 10, 2017 and will include Johns’ paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings.

The Whitney and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are still preparing for their collaborative retrospective, which is scheduled to open in 2020. Because of the large body of work, spanning over sixty years, each venue is planning a show that will stand on its own, but will be complemented by the other. Both museums hope that visitors will want to attend both exhibits to get a complete picture of the breadth and scope of Johns’ work.

Johns, who turns 86 this year, said, “To the degree that I have been influenced or moved by other people’s work, I probably have an idea that someone might have that kind of use for my pictures.”

The work of Jasper Johns, in our gallery, represents a variety of media, techniques, styles and ideas. Please stop by or contact us for more information about the works of Jasper Johns available at VFA.

See More Jasper Johns Artwork for Sale

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Jasper Johns Prints for Sale

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Vertu is proud to have Jasper Johns prints for sale at our art gallery. The contemporary artist is considered one of the major pioneers in movements such as Minimalism, Abstract Expression, Conceptual Art and Pop Art. Johns has enjoyed a successful and prolific career and were eager to see what the artist still has to offer.

More About Jasper Johns

The American painter, printmaker and sculptor Jasper Johns created unique works from even the earliest stages of his career. Using various techniques, such as encaustic painting and by implementing materials such scraps of newspaper and other objects he found, the artist creates collages on his canvases before applying paint. By doing this he was able to give an incredibly rich fullness to many of his most famous works like Flag, Three Flags and Maps.

But Johns adventurous style isn’t limited to his paintings. The artist has been very prolific in the creation of innovative prints. Some of Johns prints were created by implementing techniques that weren’t commonly used in the production artistic prints before he made use of these methods, such as intaglio printing and offset lithography.

My primary concern is visual form. The visual meaning may be discovered afterwards – by those who look for it.”
—Jasper Johns

The artist’s style is unique to his own interpretation. Instead of creating works after styles such as Abstract Expressionism, Johns has taken a different approach to the creation of his artwork. His work often shows objects or symbols the viewer is already familiar with, but detaches these symbols and objects from their original meanings in order to instigate a narrative within the viewer’s mind as to what the interpretation of a particular print, painting or sculpture should really be. While Johns’ style is typically considered Conceptual Art, the artist regularly features idea from other styles in his paintings and he’s influenced Minimal and Pop art as well.

Johns Contribution to the American Art World

When Johns isn’t creating art, he is helping to promote it. In 1963 Johns founded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts together with composer John Cage. Initially intended to be an initiative to help performing artists, the funds were raised by donated artworks that were auctioned. The first benefit exhibition was received really well. Renowned artists like Marcel Duchamp, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg donated artworks in support of the foundation. The foundation has awarded more than 500 grants to artist since its founding.

Because of the contribution Johns has made to further arts and culture through this initiative and his own work, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of freedom by president Barack Obama in 2011. Very few painters or sculptors have been have been granted this honor. Before Johns received the award, it was last awarded to a visual artist in 1977 when Alexander Calder was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously by president Gerald Ford.

Visit Our Gallery

If you’re interested in acquiring prints by Jasper Johns for your personal collection, feel free to contact us or visit our gallery. We have a large collection of beautiful, eclectic prints with almost all the modern art movements represented. At Vertu we’re passionate about helping collectors find the right works to suit their collections, personalities and décor. Our customers love modern art, and we feel delighted to meet people who share our passion for the objects and people who make our world a more beautiful place.

 

Fine Art Prints: Jasper Johns, Periscope 1, 1979

Jasper Johns Prints for Sale

He’s painted a flag so you don’t have to think of it as a flag but only as a painting”
—Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns has claimed that the medium is more important to him than the message. “My primary concern is visual form.” he said. “The visual meaning may be discovered afterwards – by those who look for it. Two meanings have been ascribed to these American Flag paintings of mine. One position is: ‘He’s painted a flag so you don’t have to think of it as a flag but only as a painting’. The other is: ‘You are enabled by the way he has painted it to see it as a flag and not as a painting.’ Actually both positions are implicit in the paintings, so you don’t have to choose.”

Although Johns focuses on technique when discussing his work, much of what he has produced has deep meaning.

In 1960, Johns began to experiment with printing techniques, in the same way that he experimented with varying painting techniques, transforming the surface textures of his prints.

The 1979 lithograph, Periscope l, is an homage to the poet Hart Crane, who struggled with depression, alcoholism and his sexuality. Crane killed himself, at age 32, by jumping off a steamship into the Gulf of Mexico en route to New York. In his poem, Cape Hatteras, Crane wrote:

…while time clears
Our lenses, lifts a focus, resurrects
A periscope to glimpse what joys or pains
Our eyes can share or answer–

Johns began the Periscope l series after his breakup with Robert Rauschenberg. The first painting was done in shades of grey, with the colors spelled out in stenciled lettering.

Periscope l is for sale in our gallery, as is an untitled etching that was made by Johns to commemorate the death, in 1994, of Henry Geldzahler. Geldzahler was the curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a powerful advocate for contemporary artists. In 1969, he convinced the historically conservative Met to let him curate a show that included over 400 works by more than forty artists, including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.

In honor of Geldzahler, ten artists, including Jasper Johns, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstien, donated work that was published as The Geldzahler Portfolio in an edition of 75, to help raise money for the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. The Met, MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art were among the buyers of the portfolio.

Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it”
—Jasper Johns

Johns’ quip, “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it,” belies the underlying emotion that comes through in his work. Johns’ printmaking was influenced by his respect for print work of Picasso. In 1973, after the death of Picasso, Johns created Cups 2 Picasso, which depicts a chalice created by the facing silhouettes of Picasso.

Johns uses similar chalices in an untitled intaglio, done in 2012, also available at Vertu.

Please stop by or contact us for more information about Jasper Johns Prints and other fine art prints by our favorite artists for sale in our gallery.

 

 

Fine Art PRints: Robert Indiana

Politics and Patriotism in Fine Art Prints

American fine print artists have created some of the most powerful political and patriotic works in history. Shepard Fairey just jumped into the political fray with a new campaign poster.

Fairey’s work is tame in comparison to the print that Andy Warhol made when the Democratic party asked him for a contribution to George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon. Instead of a portrait of McGovern, Warhol chose to create a diabolic portrait of Nixon underscored with the hand-written message, Vote McGovern. Nixon won, but Warhol’s work, for sale at Vertu, is still one of the most powerful campaign posters in political history.

We tend to think about Pop artists as rebels in their day, and they were. But many of those same artists served in the Armed Forces during World War ll and the Korean War. That experience shaped their experience as artists and, in some cases, allowed them to continue their art education through the G.I. Bill.

Roy Lichtenstein was in the army from 1943 through 1946. He was worked as a draftsman and artist for the army. Lichtenstein was stationed in Europe, where he was exposed to great European art and artists. He was one of the artists who went to school under G.I. Bill and received a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University.

Lichtenstein did pilot training during his stint in the Army. His screenprint, Salute to Aviation, won a Purchase Award at the Brooklyn Museum’s 17th National Print Exhibition in 1970. It’s available for sale in our gallery at this time.

American artist Robert Earl Clark chose to call himself Robert Indiana, a tribute to the state in which he was born and raised. After a stint in the Air Force during the late 1940s, Indiana attended the Art Institute of Chicago under the G.I. Bill. His 2008 HOPE silkscreen was reproduced on T-shirts and other merchandise and netted more than $1million for the Obama campaign.

Indiana, at age 87, secludes himself, and his chihuahua, in his home in the coastal town of Vinalhaven, Maine. He he’s stayed out of politics since the 2008 election. When asked about the recent presidential campaigns by a Guardian interviewer, Indiana said, “I have, right in front of me as I sit talking to you, a Mexican friend of mine. He’s a chihuahua. And he’s very disturbed and very depressed watching TV. He’s sure that Trump guy is going to do away with chihuahuas.”

Jasper Johns, one of the greatest American painters and printmakers served in the army during the Korean War. Johns’ American Flags and maps are iconic images. Johns was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

We have several of Jasper Johns prints for sale at Vertu. One of our favorites is Periscope, which showcases his extraordinary use of color and design and his skill as a printmaker.

It’s not easy to imagine Robert Rauschenberg, a rebel in the art world, taking orders from anyone, but Rauschenberg was drafted and served in the Navy toward the end of World War ll.

His work includes images of and homages to iconic American people, places and events.

Rauschenberg created his Stoned Moon Series in 1969, the year of America’s first successful moon landing.  He was invited to Cape Canaveral, by NASA, to witness the launch of Apollo 11. The prints and writings he did in Stoned Moon Series indicate how profoundly affected he was by the event.

The Rauschenberg prints for sale at Vertu are distinctly American and attest to Rauschenberg’s skill as both a fine artist and printmaker. Artists have influenced the way we look at the world and the world has influenced the art they produce.

 

Rauschenberg Monogram

Rauschenberg’s Monogram (Will Never Make it to the Vatican)

Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram opened the door for his contemporaries, like Andy Warhol, to do more than place paint on canvas, ink on paper or a chisel to stone.

Rauschenberg was a young artist in New York, in 1955, when he saw a stuffed angora goat in the window of a used office furniture store. The store owner was asking $35 for the goat. Rauschenberg only had $15 in his pocket. Rauschenberg took the goat, and promised to return with the rest.

He took the goat home, wrapped a tire around it and worked on the piece for the next four years.
When it was completed, it was exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery. Nothing quite like it had been seen before, and it was the subject of much controversy.

The goat and the tire are entwined, like the two letters of a monogram.The goat’s face is covered in paint and the goat itself is trapped within the tire. Both the goat and the tire are discarded items. “I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world,” Rauschenberg said.

When he went back to the office furniture store, to pay the owner the twenty dollars he still owed for the goat, he found the store closed and out of business.

A private collector offered to purchase Monogram for MoMA, but Alfred H. Barr, MoMA’s director (and someone who was usually on the cutting edge of the art scene) declined the offer. It was purchased by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and, over the years, has traveled throughout the world to be displayed in major galleries and museums.

I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world”
—Robert Rauschenberg

The base of Monogram, on which the goat stands, is one of the Combine paintings that Rauschenberg worked on during the late ‘50s, combining materials, techniques and subjects.

While abstract expressionism was still shown in galleries at the time, Rauschenberg’s Monogram and Combines allowed the mixed media work of Jasper Johns, and others, to gain greater acceptance.

In 1962, Rauschenberg visited Andy Warhol’s studio and was impressed by Warhol’s silkscreened paintings. Rauschenberg went back to his studio and began to produce silkscreens, like Statue of Liberty, which is in our gallery at this time.

We also have fine examples of Rauschenberg’s mixed media work, which he continued to produce until his death, in 2008, at age 83.

Rauschenberg was the first American to be awarded the Venice Biennial Grand Prize in 1964. Art Critic, Jorg von Uthmann, said, “The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano deplored the event as ‘the total and general defeat of culture.”

If you take a look at Monogram from the rear, it’s possible that the goat…but more probable that Rauschenberg…had the last laugh.

Damien Hirst, ELLIPTICINE

Artwork For Sale at Vertu

These works, by some of our favorite artists, are as unique and fascinating as the artists who created them.

Damien Hirst

Hirst is often called the “bad boy” of contemporary art because of his flamboyant installations and bold attitude. What is often overlooked, is Hirst’s background as a student at Goldsmiths College in London, where he focused on the use of color. Very early in his career Hirst became fascinated with the colors of the medications in a book of pharmaceuticals and began to paint his Spots series.

Ellipticine is a beautifully crafted etching, a continuation of the Spot series that allows Hirst to continue to play with color.

David Hockney

Not intentional, but there seems to be a theme here…David Hockney is another “bad boy” of the art world…refusing Queen Elizabeth’s request to paint her portrait and refusing a knighthood, saying, “Prizes of any sort are suspect.” At age 78, Hockney still lives and works in L.A.

Two of his most fascinating works, for sale in our gallery, were done after Hockney took a hiatus from painting and concentrated on photography. His focus, at that time was on the perspective he could achieve using multiple photos of a single subject.

The Tyler Dining Room is part of Hockney’s Moving Focus Series, in which he used Cubist technique and began taking figures out of his work and placing the viewer just outside the scene.

A trip to Mexico, in 1985, inspired View of Hotel Well lll, a continuation of his experiments with perspective. Last year, Hockney had an exhibit, at the San Francisco Museum of his iPad paintings.

Jasper Johns

President Obama gave Jasper Johns the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. One of America’s most creative and influential artists, we appreciate Johns for his skills as a printmaker.
The Critic Sees is a recurring theme of Johns’, in which looks at the way in which a work of art is perceived…not just by the public, but the artist, as well.

Roy Lichtenstein

Against Apartheid is one of more than a dozen works that were done, by a group of internationally known artists, for an exhibit in Paris commemorating the observance of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Other artists included in the exhibit were Robert Rauschenberg, Antonio Tapies, Wilfredo Lam and Julio La Parc.

Against Apartheid was also included in a pamphlet produced in cooperation with the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid.

This lithograph is not just a wonderful example of Lichtenstein’s work, but also a piece of history.

Ed Ruscha

The fun doesn’t stop for 77-year-old Ed Ruscha…or for us.

Although music is often a theme in his work, the lithograph Music, has none of Ruscha’s usual wordplay – just a play on the musical staff.

The flat bite etching technique that that Ruscha used in Real Deal is a testament to his talent as a print artist. His use of flat bite technique makes it apparent that Ruscha is still one of the most creative artists of our time.

Zoot Soot, which is handmade from newspaper and cotton thread, pays homage to Richard Duano, the Mexican-American print artist who was co-founder of the Centro de Arte Públicoarts collective in L.A. that supported and encouraged young Latino artists. Duano died in November of 2014 at age 62.

Zoot Soot is a tribute from one great American artist to another.

Please contact us if you would like more information about these works, or the many others we have in our gallery.

Robert Motherwell, Capriccio, 1961

Abstract Expressionism: Part II – Featured at VFA

Our collection of works from Abstract Expressionist artists is ever-changing in our Boca Raton Contemporary Art gallery. In addition to limited edition prints from masters of Abstract Expressionism such as Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns and Helen Frankenthaler, we also carry inspired works from an array of world class Pop Art and Optical Art masters who have been strongly influenced by the AE movement.


Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns, one America’s most famous Abstract Expressionists, is also well known for his role as a founder of the Pop Art movement, along with the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and others. Johns is one of the few Abstract Expressionists living today who participated in the heyday of the Abstract Expressionism movement in the 1950s and sixties. In recent years, Jasper Johns lithographs have become among those most highly valued and coveted by collectors. The artist is universally respected for his commitment to the art form of printmaking, as a parallel medium to his impressive large scale paintings.

To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.”
– Jasper Johns

Revered for his minimalist style and use of “simplistic” symbols, collectors of Johns enjoy speculation about the artist’s potentially deeper motivations, or lack thereof. Periscope 1, a Jasper Johns lithograph available for sale at VFA, has a number of familiar Johns’ symbols, including an imprint of the artist’s hand, which has appeared in various forms in Jasper Johns works over the years.


Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning’s contributions to Abstract Expressionism are well known. Components of the artist’s works deviate from various aspects of the human form and experience. Jaw lines, noses, eyes and necks — paired with elements derived from species of birds, fish and other animal life help create de Kooning’s unique style.

A series of Willem de Kooning lithographs from Quatre Lithographies are among the latest limited edition prints at Vertu Fine Art gallery. The works are exemplary of de Kooning’s gestural style, familiar shapes and colors, which demonstrate the artist’s Matisse and Picasso influences.


Helen Frankenthaler

The work of Helen Frankenthaler, one of the few women credited with furthering the success of Abstract Expressionism in America, are among some of the more heavily sought after pieces at VFA. One such work, produced to commemorate the Cleveland Orchestra’s 60th Anniversary Season in 1978, is simply entitled, “Untitled.” It’s a beautiful representation of Frankenthaler’s Color Field style, for which the artist is highly regarded. Helen Frankenthaler studied under another rather important figure, Hans Hofmann, whose teachings have often been celebrated for fueling the Abstract Expressionism movement in America.

You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once.”
– Helen Frankenthaler


Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell’s Capriccio is one a of a handful of limited edition signed works from the artist that are currently for sale at the Vertu Fine Art. Capriccio is an excellent representation of the contrast, colors and abstract form for which Motherwell is best known. Robert Motherwell, who obtained philosophy degrees from Stanford and Harvard prior to becoming a New York artist in 1941, was well-versed to become a leading figure in Abstract Expressionism by the time the movement took hold.


Claes Oldenburg

Another artist who contributed to the Abstract Expressionist movement and is favored at the VFA Boca Raton gallery is Claes Oldenburg. The artist is perhaps best known for his dramatic public art installations, bringing to life fantastic Pop Art icons. Nonetheless, Oldenburg’s earlier works, including his captivating lithographs, clearly embody the interpretive attributes that speak volumes within the context of the Abstract Expressionist style.

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something more than sit on its ass in a museum.”
― Claes Oldenburg


At Vertu Fine Art, collecting Abstract Expressionist works is ourpassion. Visit our gallery to see the latest from the masters who defined the movement. If you’re seeking specific works, please contact us for assistance.

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork - Roy Lichtenstein, 1985

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork at Vertu Fine Art

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The works of American Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein never fail to draw us in. Whether it’s the familiarity of iconic comic book style, the quirkiness of his subjects or the emotional coolness of his works, Lichtenstein always makes us feel something. Perhaps it’s the artist’s reputation, his powerful contribution to launching Pop Art into the public mainstream that makes Roy Lichtenstein artwork work feel larger than life. As with other works by American Pop Art masters that hang on the walls of our Boca Raton gallery – those by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns or Robert Rauschenberg – Lichtenstein’s work spurs interesting conversations about the artist’s style, techniques and intentions.


The Student (Cat. #176), 1980

One of the newer Roy Lichtenstein prints for sale at Vertu is The Student, 1980 (Woodcut with embossing, 38.25 x 34 inches, signed and numbered in pencil). The student is a valuable low edition Lichtenstein print (edition of 50) that conveys the influence of cubist master Pablo Picasso. While elements of the work pay homage to the cubist style, the piece nonetheless contains many of the signature Roy Lichtenstein elements, such as the artist’s use of thick black lines and primary colors. The style of the window and curtain in The Student also tie in the Pop Artist’s signature comic book influence, while providing a bit of depth and whimsy.

For those of us over forty, Lichtenstein’s works are emblematic of the pop art of the 1960’s. The same could be said for other Pop Art masters, but Roy Lichtenstein certainly secured his own style within that mix. Pop Art collectors who equate Warhol with Babe Ruth will most certainly agree that Roy Lichtenstein is Lou Gehrig, or vice versa.


Study Of Hands, 1981

Much of the same cool modern style is true of Lichtenstein’s Study Of Hands, 1981 (Lithograph and Screenprint, 31.25 X 32.75 in., Edition of 100). Study of Hands is a fun piece, no two ways about it. Comic book style in the truest sense. Yet, four very distinct styles, as though they would each belong to a separate series within the same genre. Once again, the colors, lines and personality belonging to this work are all unmistakably Roy Lichtenstein.


Still Life with Red Jar (C.291: G.1621), 1994

Lichtenstein collectors who enjoy such representations are also drawn to another Roy Lichtenstein work for sale at Vertu − Still Life with Red Jar, 1994 (Screenprint, 21.5 X 19.25 in., Edition of 250). The simple and traditional subject of this work seem to accentuate that by 1994, one could argue that Roy Lichtenstein’s style is the subject. The lines, colors and depth all work so lovely that the longer one views it, the more complex the piece begins to appear. The objects appear lifeless one moment and full of expression the next. Once again, the viewer is forced to resolve the artist’s motive. Lichtenstein often said that he was as interested in the abstract qualities of images as their subject matter.


Repeated Design, 1969

Repeated Design – 1969 Cat. #90 (Lithograph, 16.75 in. X 40.75 in., Edition of 100) is yet another Lichtenstein work that viewers are immediately attracted to, often questioning which wall of the home or place of business would be most deserving of such a work. For many of us, this piece will also take us back to a place in time when it seemed like such contemporary pieces signified something futuristic. Interesting that we now see these works retrospectively! Once again, Roy Lichtenstein presents a work that is fraught with duplicity − simplistic and complex − flat, yet with great depth – lifeless one moment, emotive the next. This print includes a healthy dose of artist’s signature use of Ben-Day dots and most certainly alludes to a central lesson of Pop art; that all forms of communication are filtered through code.

If you’re a Roy Lichtenstein collector in search of a particular work, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

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  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
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