claes oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg Remembered

Claes Oldenburg: January 28, 1929 – July 18, 2022

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

Claes Oldenburg, known for his giant sculptures of everyday objects, died in his SoHo home and studio on Monday, July 18th, 2022. The cause of death was complications after a fall. Oldenburg was 93.

Oldenburg was born in Stockholm in 1929. His mother was a concert singer, his father a Swedish consular officer. The family moved to Chicago in 1936. He graduated from Yale in 1950, where he studied literature and art history. After graduating, he worked as a reporter in Chicago, then an illustrator in San Francisco. He became a United States citizen in 1953 and moved to New York in 1956, where he began his long and successful sixty-year career as an artist.

During his early years, Oldenburg staged performances and “Happenings’ with fellow artists like Jim Dine and Donald Judd. His first exhibition, at the Judson Gallery in May 1959, included drawings, collages and objects made of papier-mâché. He made large sculptures of everyday objects, that viewers could interact with on a tactile level. “My intention is to make an everyday object that eludes definition,” he said. “At the bottom of everything I have done, the most radical effects, is the desire to touch and be touched. Each thing is an instrument of sensuous communication.”

In 1977, Oldenburg  married Dutch-born American sculptor, art historian and critic Coosje van Bruggen. They collaborated on many of his large, public sculptures, like the 45-foot Cor-Ten Steel Clothespin, commissioned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in 1976, the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence.  Clothespin faces City Hall in downtown Philadelphia and has become an iconic landmark. The steel spring on the Clothespin appears as the number 76.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen were married for 32 years, until her death in 2009.

His younger brother, Richard, who died in 2018, spent 22 years as director of the Museum of Modern Art and later was chairman of Sotheby’s America.

Claes Oldenburg was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. His works had a profound influence on Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst, artists who both use humor and irony in their work. Claes Oldenburg’s works are part of the permanent collections of most major modern art museums in the United States and Europe.

“The only thing that really saves the human experience is humor.” Oldenberg said. “I think without humor it wouldn’t be much fun.”

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


References:
Martha Schwendener. Claes Oldenburg Dies at 93; Pop Artist Made the Everyday Monumental. The New York Times. July 18, 2022.
Ellen Wexler. Claes Oldenburg, Who Transformed Everyday Objects Into Towering Sculptures, Dies at 93. Smithsonian Magazine. July 19, 2022.
Deborah Solomon. Claes Oldenburg Captured a Carefree (and Consumerist) America. The New York Times. July 19, 2022.

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.
Wayne Thiebaud Art

The Influence and Legacy of Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud 1920 – 2021

Wayne Thiebaud, one of America’s most beloved artists, best knows for his luscious paintings of cakes and pies, died at his home in Sacramento on Saturday, December 25th. He was 101 years old.

Thiebaud was not just a painter and printmaker; he was also a mentor and teacher. He taught at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) for more than thirty years, where he was given a lifetime Professor Emeritus title.

He continued painting, and playing tennis, into his 1ooth year.

In 1962, Thiebeaud’s work was shown alongside the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Edward Ruscha and others, in the groundbreaking show New Painting of Common Objects, at the Pasadena Art Museum. The show introduced Pop Art to the America and the rest of the world.

His use of colors and subject matter had a profound influence on Jonas Wood, whose works were included in the 2020 show Wayne Thiebaud Influencer a New Generation at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis, to celebrate the artist’s 100th birthday.

Wood was able to arrange a meeting with Thiebaud in 2018. “Experiencing Wayne’s world for an afternoon was excellent,” Wood wrote on his Instagram account.

In 1967, Sports Illustrated commissioned Thiebaud to go to Wimbledon to paint his impressions of the tennis tournament. The result was of Thiebaud’s trip was a spread in the June 24, 1968 issue of Sports Illustrated of four paintings of Wimbledon by the artist.

As an homage to Wayne Thiebaud, Jonas Wood had one of his tennis drawings featured on the cover of Racquet magazine in 2018.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jonas Wood, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol Jim Dine, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Wayne Thiebaud Influencer a New Generation. Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. March 2019.
Julia Halperin. The American Painter Wayne Thiebaud, Who Transformed Cakes Into Symbols of Joy and Longing, Has Died at 101. Artnet News. December 27, 2021.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Jonas Wood Unveils New Gagosian Exhibition in Hong Kong. Hypebeast/HypeArt. November 24, 2021.
Louis Menand. Before Roy Lichtenstein Went Pop. The New Yorker. July 21, 2021.
Karen Rosenberg. For Andy Warhol, Faith and Sexuality Intertwined. The New York Times. December 2, 2021.
Philip Kennicott. Wayne Thiebaud’s artistic eye was so much keener than pop art confections. The Washington Post. December 27, 2021.
Michael Kimmelman. Wayne Thiebaud, Playful Painter of the Everyday, Dies at 101. The New York Times. December 26, 2021.

Jim Dine: Prints of Hearts

Most of the people I see daily are printers. To be a painter is rather lonely, but I like the friendships I’ve made from printing. I don’t print with people who are assholes. – Jim Dine

Jim Dine is 83 and is still painting, printing, sculpting and writing poetry. He spends much of his time in his Paris studio and some of the time in his studio in New York, but wherever his is, he is working, still fascinated by the process of creating works of art.

Dine’s work, in every medium he uses, is very physical; it has texture, form and a flow of energy that it difficult to achieve, especially with prints. “I like what you get” Dine said. “I like cutting wood. I like drawing with acid on copper. I like drawing with the grease crayon on litho stones, so there is a sensuous physical pleasure from it.”

It has been printmakers who have helped Dine find techniques that he has used for decades. When Dine wanted to find a way of making etchings that look like charcoal drawings, he asked Austrian printmaker, Kurt Zein, if such a thing was even possible. It took Zein a few months, but he actually came up with a solution. Collaborations with master printers has been a large part of Dine’s work.

 For 60 years, this has been a constant source of camaraderie. “Working with those people – some dead, some living, some still printing for me – has enhanced my life, not just my printing life but my existence as a human being. It’s been a pleasure.” Dine said.

Jim Dine’s Prints of Hearts

In 1962, Jim Dine’s work was included in the ground-breaking New Painting of Common Objects exhibit at the Norton Simon Museum. Dine’s work, shown alongside works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and others, was one of the first Pop Art exhibits in America and changed the course of modern art.

The exhibit brought attention to Dine’s artwork and the Happenings he performed in, but not in a way that felt good to Dine. “It was a party I was not really invited to.” Dine said,  “It was not some place I felt comfortable and I stood back against the wall – after the performances I made. The performances were not pop art. They were the painters’ theatre.”

Rather than focus on objects derived from popular culture, Dine used, and still uses, objects that are very personal and have emotional impact for him.

When poet Ilka Skobie asked Dine what makes hearts so intriguing to him and how many works he has done with hearts, Dine said, “Millions. . . . I have no idea but it’s mine and I use it as a template for all my emotions. It’s a landscape for everything. It’s like Indian classical music — based on something very simple but building to a complicated structure. Within that you can do anything in the world. And that’s how I feel about my hearts.”

Jim Dine: Prints of Hearts at VFA

We have a variety of works, in different mediums, by Jim Dine at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information.

See More Jim Dine Work for Sale

References:
Lisa Marder. The Heartfelt Art of Jim Dine. ThoughtCo. February 08, 2019.
Ilka Skobie. LONE WOLF. An interview with Jim Dine. artnet Magazine. June 28, 2010.
Stephanie Bunbury. Artist Jim Dine, printmaking pioneer and hater of Trump, gives 249 works to NGV. The Sidney Morning Herald. July 5, 2017.
Martin Gayford. Jim Dine’s six-decade experiment. Apollo Magazine. April 15, 2017.

Jim Dine: Very Generous, but Won’t Cross the Equator

At age 82, Jim Dine says that he just wants to keep working and growing. “That’s all I want to do.” he said, “There is a sense of desperation when you’re in the red zone.” Dine has been thinking about his legacy, and has gifted many of his works works to museums around the world, including the Boston Museum and British Museums.

Jim Dine’s Gifts to Australia

It was British Museum curator, Stephen Coppel, an Australian, who convinced Dine to gift some of his work to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne. The NGV is the oldest, largest and most visited art museum in Australia. Built in 1861, it is home to works by great masters like Rembrandt,  El Greco, Correggio, Rothko, Cezanne, Degas and, now, Jim Dine.

Dine gave the NGV about 250 works, works that span nearly half a century, making it the only significant collection of Jim Dine artworks in the southern hemisphere, according to NGV Director, Tony Ellwood. The NGV is currently displaying a large part of the collection in an exhibit called Jim Dine: A Life in Print.

Variations of Dine’s familiar objects, like the bathrobe, are prominent, including “Two Florida Bathrobes” 1986, “The Kindergarten Robes” 1983, “Blue Robe” 2007 and “Cream and Red Robe on Stone” 2010. Although his works will be there, Dine will not. He was invited to the opening, but said, “It’s too goddamn far. I’ve got work to do, I can’t spend a whole year on jet lag.” The exhibit runs through October 15th.

“I interfere almost continually, between pulls, with my hand. I enjoy keeping my hand in and f___ing with it.”

Moving Right Along

He won’t go to Australia, but Jim Dine has been traveling. He has been working in a studio in Paris, and has had recent shows in Vienna, Rome and Chicago. “Some young painters I know have inspired me to think in another way about what’s possible with color.” Dine said.

“It wasn’t until I was 75 years old that I left it all behind to become a so-called abstract painter.” he said, “So for two years I made paintings about painting; I wouldn’t call them abstract. They are concrete paintings of paint. But the imagery, the human image has crept back in.” Dine is still as fascinated with the printmaking process as he’s ever been. “I interfere almost continually, between pulls, with my hand.” he said, “I enjoy keeping my hand in and f___ing with it.”

Jim Dine Works For Sale at VFA

Please contact us for more information about The Yellow Belt or any of the other works of Jim Dine for sale at VFA.

See More Jim Dine Artwork for Sale

Jim Dine

Jim Dine’s Hearts: Available at VFA

American artist Jim Dine is well known for his contributions to American Pop Art and Neo-Dadaism − and equally well for his rejection of such categorizations. Regardless, his works continue influence others with regard to the use of iconic objects that carry weight within the realm of popular culture. Of the thematic paintings, prints and sculptures for which Jim Dine is appreciated, his hearts never fail to impress. The artist has transformed this common object to encapsulate a wide range of concepts. Mr. Dine’s hearts represent everything under the sun, including at times, the romantic notion that is forever attached to this universal symbol.

At our Boca Raton Contemporary Art Gallery, we cherish our current collection of Jim Dine Hearts and encourage that you visit with us to see them personally as they’re intended.

Two Hearts at Sunset is a favorite Jim Dine lithograph, with its rich layering providing depth of field and color alike. How intriguing that the yellow sun fights for its existence, challenging the black night that is predisposed to dominate the landscape. Such seemingly simple execution that draws the viewer in for more cerebral investigation speaks well to the power of the artist’s style. There’s the lovely complexity of the hearts that likely implies two individuals witnessing this time of day. Like the sunset behind them, the hearts appear serene, yet full of conflict and emotion as they too consist of dark and light elements.

Arguably the most sought after Jim Dime heart print currently available at VFA is Picabia II (Forgot), a dramatic lithograph that’s part of a three piece series done in tribute to painter Francis Picabia. Just as the artist Picabia was heralded for his contributions to Dadaism, this collage series is comprised in a style that could be considered Neo-Dada or Pop Art. Picabia II lends the viewer an array of symbolic forms to contemplate, as if driving down the Las Vegas strip at high speed and sorting out a variety of figures and words that enter the mind simultaneously. Seeing these juxtaposed symbols placed together suggests a popular culture snapshot that too requires assemblage within the mind.

A dramatic Jim Dine heart print for sale is Sunflower, a limited edition lithograph comprised of ten colors. Working within the eloquent confines of the artist’s singular favorite symbol flourishes the perception of yellow sunflower fields. Like all of Mr. Dine’s hearts, this print has depth – from the heart presented in the foreground to the edges of the design that give the appearance of a beveled frame. This work features a romanticism that has become more prevalent in modern Jim Dine works.

Another striking Jim Dine heart hanging in our Boca Raton Art Gallery is The Blue Heart. If you are in the vicinity, do come visit and take in this fun vibrant lithograph. This is one Jim Dine heart that’s most definitely beating, with bright yellow, pink, red, blue and lime green figures coursing through its veins. This signed edition is guaranteed to set a cheerful tone that resonates through any room fortunate enough to own it.
If you are a collector of Jim Dine, please contact us if you’d like to set an appointment or require assistance in locating a particular work. Of course, we also welcome walk in visits at our gallery located in The Shops at Boca Center, Boca Raton, FL.

Click here to view all of Jim Dine’s work available in our gallery.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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