Derrick Adams $1.25 Million Award; Susumu Kamijo and Jonas Wood at VFA

Derrick Adams 1970 –

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has just awarded Derrick Adams $1.25 million to develop the Black Baltimore Digital Database. Conceived by Adams, the database will archive important contributions by Black Baltimore artists, entrepreneurs, writers, scientists and athletes.

“The Black American experience has strong roots in Baltimore—I am both honored and eager to share this project with the city,” Adams said. “It will live as a modernized historical society, whose dedication is equally important and inclusive.”

“Our goal,” he said, “is to provide a distinct entry point for a wider network of initiatives. This will not only support our archival endeavors, but also local community building—social engagement through events, workshops, and conversation.”

Adams’ work often focuses on Black Americans at leisure. He has created the Last Resort Artist Retreat in his hometown of Baltimore, where artists, by invitation, can relax and work…or just relax.

Adams was listed (along with Susumu Kamijo) as one of the Most in Demand Artists on Artsy, the online art brokerage service, in September 2021.

He currently has solo exhibits at the Cleveland Museum and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.

Derrick Adams lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Brooklyn College.

Susumu Kamijo 1975 –

Demand for the work of Susumu Kamijo has increased dramatically in the past year. According to Artsy, Kamijo’s work sold for more than six times its high estimate last May. A month later, at Phillip’s, another work set an auction record for the artist.

Kamijo was born in Nagano, Japan. He came to the U.S. when he was 16. He earned his BFA at the University of Oregon and his MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle, along with classmate, Jonas Wood.

Kamijo became fascinated with poodles when he accompanied his girlfriend, Marta, to dog shows and has made them the focus of his drawings, paintings and silkscreens.

He has had solo exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, London, Tokyo, the UK, Taiwan, Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg.

Kamijo lives and works in Brooklyn.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

For the past two years Jonas Wood has been honing his already masterful skills. His soft ground etching, Pattern couch interior with Mars Vista View, makes the observer feel as if they are sitting at home with the artist. And though Wood’s work is done in his Culver City studio, a space that he shares with his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka, much of it is inspired by family and magazine photos.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Susumu Kamijo and Jonas Wood, available at VFA.


References:
Artnet News. Artist Derrick Adams Wins $1.25 Million From the Mellon Foundation to Start a Database Documenting the Black Culture of Baltimore. April 11, 2022.
Benjamin Sutton. The Most In-Demand Artists on Artsy in September. Artsy.October 5, 2021.
Ryma Chikhoune. Jonas Wood on ‘Plants and Animals,’ the Artist’s First L.A. Show in Four Years. Women’s Wear Daily. January 28, 2022.

VIPs at LA Frieze and more…

VIPs at LA Frieze

This year’s LA Frieze art fair opened with a special V.I.P Day, attended by such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden, Will Ferrell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan.

Highlights of the fair were works by Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz and Jonas Wood, some of our favorite artists at VFA.

Michael Craig-Martin 1941 –

The Blavatnik School of Government, at the  University of Oxford, commissioned Michael Craig-Martin to create a sculpture to enhance the space outside of the building.

Craig-Martin designed a bold, magenta, 16-foot high fountain pen, that balances on its nib, outside the building’s main entrance.

“The image I proposed for Oxford was that of a fountain pen.” Craig-Martin said, “The image can be seen as a reference to serious study and learning, particularly to the signing of important documents, an age-old formality that connects, like Oxford itself, the past and the present, and which is recognised globally.”

Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, in 1941 and has lived and worked in Britain since 1966. As a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London, he influenced a generation of great British artists.

He his known for his minimal style and vivid colors, in both his paintings, prints and sculptures, like Thonet Chair and Sportsballs, available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring moved from Pennsylvania to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By 1982, he was one of the most visible, and well-known artists in the city.

He had a wide group of friends, including videographer Nelson Sullivan, who recorded the Manhattan art and club scene. Sullivan  recorded a New Years Eve party that Haring held at a gallery, to ring in 1984. That was the same year he collaborated with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the textile for the skirt Madonna wore in her music video Borderline.

Works like Chocolate Buddha and those of the Pop Shop series, available at VFA, are so unique and instantly recognizable as Haring’s. It is hard to imagine the artists who inspired him, but there were a few, like Belgian artist, Pierre Alechinsky.

Haring’s work is being shown alongside those of Alechinsky at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Alechinsky, whose style had a profound influence on Haring, is 94 and lives and works  just outside of Paris.

Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will run from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol,  Jonas Wood, Alex Katz, Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Haring or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Cassandra Grey. Cassandra Grey’s 5 Favourite Works on Frieze Viewing Room. Frieze Los Angeles, News February 17, 2022.
Ingrid Schmidt. The Weeknd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden in the Market for Art at Frieze Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2022.
University of Oxford. Michael Craig-Martin: Fountain Pen, 2019.
Editors. Rare footage offers a peek inside the private party Keith Haring threw for his friends in 1984. Queerty. February 16, 2022.

Jonas Wood at Frieze LA and more…

Many galleries at this year’s Frieze LA require masking and proof of vaccine, but according to Los Angeles Times art critic, Christopher Knight, it’s worth the trip.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

One of the highlights of the show are works by Jonas Wood, particularly the Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View. “Think Matisse on acid in Nice,” Knight writes.

In an interview in January, Wood said that he sometimes finds it difficult to part with a painting. “I always keep a painting or two from every show.” he said, “I really wanted to keep that pattern couch painting [“Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View”]. I lived with that painting for two years, and it was a really joyful experience to live with it in my studio”.

A soft ground etching of Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View is available at VFA.

David Hockney 1947 –

The Roosevelt Hotel is one of Los Angeles’ most popular destinations, especially for Frieze LA, complete with a pool that was decorated by David Hockney in 1988. According to the hotel’s website, ” Mr. Hockney came to The Hollywood Roosevelt one beautiful morning in 1988 with a can of blue paint and a 6″ paint brush tied to a broom handle. Over the span of about four hours working at the bottom of the empty pool, he covered it with his signature circular brush strokes.”

The pool has gone through a restoration and designated an Historic-Cultural Monuments by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, which recognizes and protects the city’s most cherished and significant historical resources.

Eddie Martinez 1977

The bold colors, distinct lines and brushstrokes of Eddie Martinez have made his works internationally appreciated and highly sought after.

He’s had several shows in Hong Kong and a recent solo exhibit in Shanghai.

Martinez’s large scale paintings are also on display during Frieze LA, where the Brooklyn-based artist continues to use his unique style to create works that combine figurative and expressionist style.

Alex Katz 1927 – present

In 2015, the Guggenheim Bilboa presented a survey of landscapes by Alex Katz that went back to works from the 1980s. Over the course of his long career, the 94-year-old artist has had many, many exhibits around the world, but a retrospective is long overdue.

It is fitting that a retrospective for Katz, a consummate New Yorker, will be presented at the Guggenheim New York. The exhibit will open in October 2022 and run through February 2023.

One of our favorite artists at VFA, in part for his masterful fine art prints, a variety of his works, both print and sculpture, are available in our gallery.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jonas Wood, David Hockney, Eddie Martinez, Alex Katz or the work any of the other fine artists at VFA.


References:
Ryma Chikhoune. Jonas Wood on ‘Plants and Animals,’ the Artist’s First L.A. Show in Four Years. Women’s Wear Daily. January 28, 2022.
Jonathan Griffin. How Many Jonas Woods Can You See in a Jonas Wood? Cultured Magazine. January 22, 2022.
Christopher Knight. Review: L.A. gallery-going during Omicron isn’t optimal but offers excellent art along the way. The Los Angeles Times. February 3, 2022.
Kristen Chuba/Degen Peter. The Ultimate Guide to Frieze Week Los Angeles: Fairs, Openings and Parties. The Hollywood Reporter. February 13, 2022.
Fang Block. David Hockney Remains the Top Living Artist With $132 Million in Auction Sales in 2020. Barrons/Penta. November 29, 2021.
Catherine Wagley. Frieze Week LA unites a city that refuses to be centralised. The Financial Times. February 11, 2022.
The Dong-A Ilbo. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s history of art collection. February 9, 2022.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. The Auction Market Of Artist Derrick Adams Is On The Rise. Forbes. November 7, 2021.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Eddie Martinez Debuts Mainland China Solo Exhibition at Perrotin. Hype Art. December 2, 2021.
Monica Majjoli and Simone Krug. Monica Majoli On Rethinking the ‘Lifetimes’ of Andy Warhol in Aspen. Monica Majoli On Rethinking the ‘Lifetimes’ of Andy Warhol in Aspen. LA Frieze/Collaborations/Interviews. January 20, 2022.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
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.

Art in Person and Personal: Donald Sultan, Jonas Wood and Derrick Adams

One of the difficult things about the pandemic has been the closing of museums and galleries. Our technology is great, and online art sales have found new audiences, but there’s nothing like seeing a work of art in person to be able to appreciate its full grandeur.

Donald Sultan 1951 –

Donald Sultan spent much of the lockdown in Sag Harbor…not a bad place to have to spend some time…but he bemoaned the fact that the colors and texture of his works can’t be appreciated on a computer screen.

Sultan has always worked with tactile, industrial materials; like tar, masonite and vinyl tiles. His father owned a tire company in Asheville, North Carolina, and Sultan was raised to feel very comfortable using industrial tools and supplies.

New York Times art critic, Michael Brenson said, “His images are fresh and direct in part because he approaches industrial materials as if they were tubes of paint, feeling free to use anything as long as he uses it directly, in the form in which he finds it.”

Even Sultan’s silkscreens are textural, with over-printed flocking on rising 4-ply museum board and the nuanced surface quality that he creates is difficult to see on a computer screen.

His sculptures are done in Corten steel, a product was originally designed in the 1930s to help build railroad coal wagons. Its strength and durability made it a useful material to use for outdoor building and sculptures.

Sultan’s use of industrial materials to create fine art prints and sculptures of delicate flowers has made him one of the most unique contemporary artists working today.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

The work of Jonas Wood is very personal and resonates with art lovers around the world. He draws, paints, etches and prints his surroundings and is able to imbue his works with the feeling that he is sharing a part of his private life with the viewer.

His softground etching, Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View, available at VFA, feels like one could be sitting alongside Wood as he draws.

Many of his works are glimpses of his Culver City home and studio and include the sculptures of his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams’ work is also very personal. He grew up in a loving, close-knit family in Baltimore, Maryland and bases much of his work on the wonderful experiences that he enjoyed surrounded by family and friends and on the daily lives of the people in his neighborhood.

Adams has been living and working in Brooklyn and teaching and Brooklyn College and has recently opened an ‘invitation only’ retreat for Black artists in Baltimore.

His work is included in Men of Change, an exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, that looks at the historic and profound influence that Black men have had in politics, science, entertainment, sports, business, religion, and other disciplines.

Men of Change will be on display through January 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Donald Sultan, Jonas Wood and Derrick Adams work available at VFA.


References:
Michael Brenson. 57th Street: Jimy Ernst and others. The New York Times. May 4, 2014.
Maureen Feighan. ’Men of Change’ exhibit at Charles Wright museum challenges narrative of Black Men. The Detroit News. October 11, 2021.

Hockney at Basel, Wood Connecting Dots

David Hockney 1937 –

One of the highlights of this year’s Art Basel in Basel was the Unlimited exhibit, that displayed works that are too large to be shown in an average size gallery. The works are, instead, shown in the massive Hall 1.

David Hockney’s Pictures at an Exhibition, 50 feet long by nearly 16 feet high, was one of the works featured in Hall 1.

In a recent article in The Art Newspaper, titled Abstraction in art has run its course, Hockney looks at the importance of understanding the history of art and how it is created. His 2006 book, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters explored the way in which Caravaggio, Vermeer, da Vinci, and other hyperrealists actually used optics and lenses to create their masterpieces.

Hockney himself has used photography as a basis to create some of his finest works, like Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later, from; The Moving Focus Series, 1985, available at VFA.

Hockney has been living on a farm in Normandy for the past few years, saying that it’s the only place where he can find a restaurant where he can smoke a cigarette after a meal. He’s been doing iPad drawings of the world around him, like My Shirt and Trousers, 2010, available at VFA.

Artists, like David Hockney, show us the world through their eyes. In his Art Newspaper article, Hockney writes, “What does the world really look like? I know it doesn’t look like photographs. The camera sees geometrically, and we must see psychologically. So what does it really look like? I think you have to draw it. The world is very beautiful, but human beings are quite mad. I have always thought the world of humans mad, and there is little likelihood of this changing, no matter how much we try.”

Jonas Wood 1977 –

The work of Jonas Wood was described in the New Yorker as “(connecting) the dots from Henri Matisse to Stuart Davis to David Hockney”.

Like David Hockney, Wood draws and paints what’s in front of him and those things that feel very close and personal. His drawings are technically brilliant and esthetically engaging, like Pattern couch Interior with Mar Vista View.

Like Hockney’s work, Wood’s bold colors and playful compositions are in great demand in the art market. Last May, one of his paintings, Two Tables with Floral Pattern, sold for $6.5 million…way above its $2-4million estimate.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of David Hockney and Jonas Wood, available at Vertu Fine Art.


References:
David Hockney. David Hockney: ‘Abstraction in art has run its course’. The Art Newspaper. September 30, 2021.
Jan Dalley. Unlimited ambition at Art Basel’s section for outsized work. Financial Times. September 17, 2021.
Hollander Cotter. Stuart Davis: A Little Matisse, a Lot of Jazz, All American. The New York Times. June 9, 2016.
Artspace Editors. Jonas Wood breaks auction record at Christie’s. Artspace Editors. May 13, 2021.
Christie’s. From the High Line to MOCA: Jonas Wood’s ‘visual diary. Post-War & Contemporary Art.July 2, 2020.
Katherine Bernhardt Vogue Italia Cover

Recent Acquisitions: Katherine Bernhardt & Jonas Wood

Here’s a look at some of our recent acquisitions of works by Katherine Bernhardt and Jonas Wood, two of our favorite artists.

Katherine Bernhardt – 1975

Our most recent acquisition by Katherine Bernhardt is a sweet homage that she did for the city where she studied, worked and played before returning to her home town.

Bernhardt was born in Clayton, Missouri. After getting her BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago, she moved to New York, where she received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and set up a studio in Brooklyn. Her career took off. Not only has Bernhardt’s work been exhibited internationally, but her work is often auctioned for higher than estimated.

The whimsical, colorful works that Bernhardt creates have not only gotten her many international exhibitions, but also collaborations with fashion houses. This year she created the cover for Vogue Italia, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Chanel No.5.

In 2019, Bernhardt moved back to St. Louis. She said that she wanted to help her parents (she moved back into her childhood bedroom) and create a studio for herself and a showcase for local artists. She bought three buildings in midtown St. Louis. She uses one (which had formerly been an auto body shop) as a studio and gallery, one for storing artworks and the third is being renovated.

Our recent acquisition I Love NY, is a lithograph that Bernhardt created this year. It is a tribute to the city that she called home for more than twenty years.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

Jonas Wood’s works have continued to break auction records. In May, his Two Tables with Floral Pattern painting broke its $2-4 million estimate when it sold for $6.5million at Christie’s.

Our recent acquisitions of his works exemplify the basis of his process, which consists of drawing and painting the world around him. “You could call [my work] a visual diary or even a personal history.” he said. “I’m not going to paint something that doesn’t have anything to do with me. Of all of the possible things I could paint, the thing that interests me is something that I can get close enough to in order to paint it honestly.”

Much of his subject matter can be found in the home and studio that he shares with his wife, sculptor Shio Kusaka, and their children, in Culver City, California.

Wood works magic with his flat style and bold colors. His style also achieves masterful results in black and white, as seen in the etching Pattern couch Interior with Mar Vista View, available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt and Jonas Wood available at VFA.


References:
Mark Westall. David Zwirner Now Represents Katherine Bernhardt. FAD Magazine. July 6, 2021.
Megan Mertz. National artist Katherine Bernhardt’s Midtown studio was once an auto shop. St. Louis Magazine. May 6, 2021.
Eli Hill. Katherine Bernhardt: Houses. The Brooklyn Rail. July-August 2018.
Artspace. Jonas Wood breaks auction record at Christie’s. May 13, 2021.
Priscilla Frank. Jonas Wood Invites You Into His Colorful, Warped Painted Interiors. Huffpost. September 30, 2013.

New Work: Jonas Wood, Jean-Michel Basquiat and KAWS

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Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood has become an international contemporary art superstar. His mixed media painting, Two Tables with Floral Pattern, was estimated to sell for $2 – $3 million at last Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale last week. The painting sold for $6.5 million, a record for the artist’s work. It was also unusual in that many of Wood’s works are sold to buyers in Hong Kong, but Two Tables with Floral Pattern was sold to a buyer in the U.S.

Part of the universal appeal of Wood’s paintings, drawings and prints is the uplifting and colorful patterns he creates, many of which include images of the sculptures of his wife, Shio Kusaka.

The couple shares a studio in Los Angeles. In 2019, the Hammer Museum put together a video of the artist in his studio, for one of the many exhibits that Wood has been given at the museum.

Wood’s careful designs and fine art prints are what make him a favorite at VFA. “Printmaking is a big part of my process,” he said in a recent interview, “drawing is a big part of my process, and tracing and getting the basic shapes of things before I make the painting is a big part of my process.”

Besides lithographs and screenprints, one of our recent acquisitions is a soft ground etching, Pattern couch Interior with Mar Vista View, that Wood did in 2020.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

At the same Christie’s Contemporary auction that saw Jonas Wood’s work set a new record, works by Jean-Michel Basquiat did the same.

In This Case From, a large painting done in 1983, sold for $93 million. Works by other Black artists also did exceptionally well at the auction.

Fine art prints by Jean-Michel Basquiat are available at VFA. A recent acquisition, Ligaments of the Elbow, was produced in a grey and black palette and printed before Basquiat made the color values black and white and created the iconic series of 18 plates that make up The Anatomy Series.

KAWS

KAWS: What Party, a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, will be on exhibit through September 5, 2021. His instantly recognizable works have made Brian Donnelly (aka KAWS) a superstar around the world.

His latest project is The KAWS:HOLIDAY Hot-Air Balloon World Tour, that will officially take off at the end of the year. A 138-foot inflatable Companion has been turned into a hot air balloon and will be going on a world tour that will begin in Bristol, England.

KAWS’ sculptures and fine art prints are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Jonas Wood, Jean-Michel Basquiat and KAWS for sale at VFA.


References:
Artspace Editors. Jonas Wood breaks auction record at Christie’s. Artspace. May 13, 2021.
Colin Gleadell. $93 M. Basquiat Leads Christie’s 21st C. Evening Sale, $17 M. Cryptopunks Among Trending Talent. Artnews. May 12, 2021.
Zachary Small and Robin Pogrebin. Basquiat and Other Artists of Color Lead a Swell of Auction Sales. The New York Times. May 14, 2021.
Mark Westall. Take a KAWS Companion Hot Air Balloon Ride This Year in the UK.. FAD Magazine. May 17, 2021.
Paul Laster. From Graffiti to Augmented Reality: KAWS at the Brooklyn Museum. Art&Object Magazine. April 26, 2021.
Jake Silbert. KAWS is Taking a Hot Air Balloon Holiday.

Up Close and Personal: The Works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood and David Hockney

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams is having a stellar year. He currently has a show at the Salon 94 Gallery in New York; his artist’s retreat in his home town of Baltimore should be up and running next year and he’s on a tenure track at Brooklyn College. His current exhibit, Style Variations, is composed of a group of portraits inspired by the beauty and barber shops he walks by in his Brooklyn neighborhood. The styles he saw, asked about and created in his paintings, define the culture and trends of the neighborhood. Works from Style Variations are available at VFA.

In this month’s edition of British Vogue magazine, Adams was described as, “the hardest-working leisure lover on earth.” His works from the Pool Float and We Came to Party and Plan series, are available at VFA.

“People couldn’t exist if they lived in constant grief.” he said in the Vogue interview. “My work is focused on the idea of how crucial it is for Black people to think of leisure as a radical act.”

Even the large house in Baltimore, that Adams is restoring for his invitation-only artists’ retreat, is going to emphasize leisure. It has a pool, a screening room, a greenhouse and studio spaces. Called The Last Resort, he plans to host, not just Black visual artists, but also writers, musicians, chefs and other creative people. “You can come and not do anything,” he says.

Derrick Adams’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum Of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts and the Birmingham Museum Of Art.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood says that he was inspired by the works of Alex Katz and David Hockney. It’s easy to see the influence of Katz’s colors and Hockney’s intimate visions in Wood’s interiors, but his style is all his own.

The comfort of Wood’s interior works, comes from his ability to show his relationship with and enjoyment of his surroundings.

Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View is a recent acquisition at VFA that exemplifies Wood’s talent and the reason that his works have been highly coveted at auction.

David Hockney

Since March of 2019, David Hockney has been living in a farmhouse in Normandy.

When he first chose the location, he said that it was because Normandy is one of the few places left on earth where he could smoke a cigarette at a cafe.

The paintings and iPad drawings that he has produced while staying at the farmhouse during the past two years are bright and beautiful and reflect the artist’s joy of life. Always able to see the wonder and awe of his surroundings, the work that he did in Mexico in the 1980s has the same sense of delight as the works he does today.

He currently has exhibits at LA Louver, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, Salts Mill in Saltaire, West Yorkshire and an upcoming exhibit scheduled at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in September.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood, David Hockney or any of the other fine art work for sale at VFA.


References:
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Poppy Malby. Derrick Adams on the empowerment of black femininity. GQ Dagazine.uk. February 8, 2020.
Sophie Bew. Lose Yourself in David Hockney’s Work From 1966 to 1978. AnOther Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Tom Teicholz. A Pleasing Pandemic In Normandy: David Hockney’s Creative French Country Prints. Forbes. March 31, 2021.
Lawrence, Vanessa. “Bored at Home? David Hockney Has A Lesson for You.” Elle Décor. 17 March 2021.

Recent Works by Jonas Wood and Kenny Scharf at VFA

Jonas Wood 1977 – present

Jonas Wood is one of America’s finest contemporary artists. His use of stylized shapes and bold color make his works instantly recognizable.

Wood has been living and working (and quarantining) in the Los Angeles studio that he shares with his wife, sculptor Shio Kusaka and their two daughters.

Bromeliad, a recent acquisition at VFA, is a screenprint that combines the shapes and colors that define Woods’ work. Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View is more unusual. Done as a soft ground etching, a technique that was invented in the mid-18th century and became less popular as modern lithography techniques were enhanced. Wood has softened his lines and omitted his signature colors to create a stunning combination interior, landscape and still life.

Jonas Wood’s work is included in the permanent collections of many institutions, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fundación Jumex in Mexico City, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kenny Scharf 1958 – present

The work of Kenny Scharf, like the artist himself, is quirky and fun.

Scharf first came onto the art scene during the 1980s in New York, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His wild colors and patterns have been part of his style, so the recently acquired Flores Black sculpture is unique to Scharf’s oeuvre.

A documentary about the artist, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, is scheduled to be released in theaters and on digital platforms across the country next month. The documentary was directed by his daughter, Malia Scharf and co-director Max Basch. It was filmed over a period of eleven years.

“I felt inspired by a fantasy and nostalgia of a time and place I’d only ever heard about yet somehow had been surrounded by my entire life.” Malia said, “I dreamt of meeting a community of artists whom I would deeply connect with and find myself the way that Kenny and his friends had. This, as well as my fathers incredibly special and obsessive need to live and breathe his art in every way. Nothing remained untouched from our toaster to our TV.”

Kenny Scharf was born and raised in LA. He moved to Manhattan, earning a B.F.A. in painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1980. Scharf moved between the east and west coast for years, but has been spending more time in LA in recent years.

Scharf’s works are in the permanent collection of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey, Mexico, the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Sogetsu Museum inTokyo, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam,  and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Jonas Wood, Kenny Scharf or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Katya Kazakina. Basketball, Poker Propel Painter to Pinnacle of the Art World. Bloomberg. March 21, 2019.
Madison Nagle. The Meteoric Rise of Jonas Wood, Presented by T1. OceanDrive. April 29, 2019.
Alina Cohen. How Jonas Wood Got His Start as an Artist. Artsy. June 28, 2019.
Neha Aziz. Explore the Life of Kenny Scharf – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus. SXSW Online. February 17, 2020.
Dray Ramos. Greenwich Entertainment Acquires SXSW Docu ‘Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide’. Deadline. February 23, 2021.
Fred Lambert. Tesla Model X with over 400,000 miles gets turned into a piece of art by Kenny Scharf. Electrek. March 18, 2021.

The Healing Art of Takashi Murakami and Others

So much of Takashi Murakami‘s work is joyful and uplifting, that it’s easy to imagine why he would be asked to create a work to put a smile on the faces of children who need something to smile about.

Murakami is the latest artist to be commissioned by RxArt, a nonprofit that works with contemporary artists to transform “sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor, and comfort.”

During the past twenty years, more than sixty great artists have completed projects in 36 hospitals in the U.S. Derrick Adams, Jonas Woods and Kenny Scharf, whose works are available at VFA, are among the artists chosen because of their ability to create fun and uplifting art to soothe young patients.

The works are an inspiration to everyone who views them, but are done specifically to decrease fear and anxiety in children and adolescents.

Kenny Scharf has created works for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s children’s wing in Los Angeles and the waiting room of Brooklyn Children’s Hospital.

In 2013, he was asked to create a mural in a stairwell of the Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatric Units in Kings County Hospital, which is used by young patients every day. “I hope to brighten their day.” Scarf said in a 2016 interview, “I hope to inspire. And I hope it helps them to know that people care about them.”

Other artists who have taken part in RxArt projects include Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, Donald Sultan and Katherine Bernhardt, all artists whose works are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Takashi Murakami and the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.

References:
Katheryn Romeyn. See How Takashi Murakami Totally Transformed Part of Children’s National Hospital. Architectural Digest. October 29, 2020.
Grace Ebert. Takashi Murakami’s Iconic Flowers Engulf a CT Suite at a Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital. Colossal. November 4, 2020.
Paul Laster. Healing Through Art: Kenny Scharf’s Gleeful Mural for RxArt. Whitehot Magazine. August 2016.

The Works of Alex Katz, Jonas Woods and Robert Motherwell at VFA

The New York Guggenheim is set to reopen in a few weeks, with many of the same requirements that MoMA, the Met and others have instituted, like reserved tickets and social distancing.

Alex Katz

In spite of being closed, the Guggenheim staff has been preparing for a retrospective of the works of Alex Katz in 2022.

If you can’t wait that long, a monograph of Katz’s works will be released next month. The book was written by art critic Carter Ratcliff and edited by Katz’s son, poet Vincent Katz, who chose sketches, works on paper, and archival material that help to create a rich picture of the painter and his life. The monograph contains more than 250 paintings, making it the most comprehensive collection available in a single publication.

Alex Katz’s works will be on exhibit at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin in Paris, from February 19, 2021 through March 19, 2021.

Jonas Wood

Last year Jonas Wood created a limited edition bag for Louis Vuitton and, more recently, he has collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a series of limited edition shawls.

Wood’s clean style and bold use of color has created a global demand for his works. A wonderful figurative artist, Wood has recently focused on interiors, working from photos and from the works of his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka.

Like Alex Katz, Wood’s works are very personal. His subjects are friends and family and his landscapes and interior studies are about the places he’s inhabited.

Robert Motherwell

With all the recent talk about the US Post Office, we came across a great story about a Robert Motherwell stamp that caused a stir at a post office in Manhattan.

In 2010 the USPS issued a series of stamps honoring Abstract Expressionists. The Robert Motherwell stamp depicts one of the paintings from his Elegy to the Spanish Republic series. Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34, 1953-1954, features black bars and ovals and vertical white stripes that partly obscure colors that refer to the flag of the Spanish Republic.

When one of the employees at Hyperallergic magazine went to the post office to mail a letter with the Motherwell stamp on it, the postal worker behind the counter accused her of drawing on the stamp with a black marker and told her that the post office wouldn’t accept it.

The employee tried to explain Robert Motherwell and the Abstract Expressionist stamps, but the postal worker wouldn’t budge. The employee had to buy a new stamp … without the marks of Robert Motherwell.

The Works of Alex Katz, Jonas Wood and Robert Motherwell at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz, Jonas Wood, Robert Motherwell or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

References:
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. ARTnews. January 17, 2020.
Allison Schaller and Danielle Walsh. 11 of Fall’s Best Coffee-Table Books to Fill the Art-Shaped Hole in Your Heart. September 3, 2020.
Cathleen McGuigan. Alex Katz Is Cooler Than Ever. Smithsonian Magazine. August 2009.
Pac Pobric. ‘I Was So Afraid for Way Too Long’: Painter Jonas Wood on How Going It Alone Helped Him Survive His Immense Market Success. artnetnews. March 28, 2019.
Par Arnaud Klein. Inside the making of the Louis Vuitton bag designed by the artist Jonas Wood. Vogue Paris. June 24, 2019.Jillian Steinhauer. Post-Office Worker Befuddled by Abstract Expressionism. Hyperallergic. September 14, 2012.

Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Here’s a quick look at some of the recent additions we’ve added to the VFA gallery:

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Ligaments of the Elbow

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1960-88

Jean-Michel Basquiat was 27-years-old when he died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988 in studio on Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood.

Many of Basquiat’s most powerful works were done just before his untimely death, including a 6 x 11 foot painting title Victor 25448, which is expected to garner over $10 million at Phillips Contemporary auction this month.

Ligaments of the Elbow, available at VFA, is part of the Anatomy Series that Basquiat began to work on after  his first solo show in New York, when gallery owner Annina Nosei gave him a studio in the basement of the gallery. It was there that Basquiat began to produce drawings of the anatomical forms that recur in his works.

Basquiat’s fascination with the human form began when he was seven and his mother gave him a copy of Grey’s Anatomy while he was recovering after being hit by a car.

His interest in social justice and Black history, as well as anatomy, can be seen in all of his work, like Wolf Sausage, King Brand, Dog Leg Study and Undiscovered Genius and Boxer Rebellionlimited edition screenprints, available at VFA.

Deborah Kass – OY/YO

Deborah KassOY/YO work continues to resonate with the public. BK Reader editor, C. Zawadi Morris, described the work’s appeal: “The art’s universality has the unique ability to speak across generations, cultures and ethnicities,” she wrote, “holding very simple yet profound meanings within Spanish-speaking, Jewish and Black American communities. It is a call to action, an expression and an acknowledgement of self.”

In addition to two Oy/Yo sculptures in our gallery, we can now offer a limited edition silkscreen with flocking of Oy/Yo.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka.
Photo: University of Washington, School of Art

Many of the paintings of Jonas Wood are enormous and have exceeded the $1 million mark at recent auctions. For those of us who are more interested in fine art prints, Wood not only works with master printmakers, but has a print shop in his Culver City studio because, he says, that he’s “…pretty heavy into printmaking.”

In addition to his recent works, we also have a complete set of four lithographs done in 2014.

Richard Anuszkiewicz – Etchings

Richard Anuszkiewicz, May 23, 1930 – May 19, 2020.

Op Art pioneer, Richard Anuszkiewicz, died in his home in Englewood, New Jersey on May 19, 2020. He was 89.

His focus was on the interactions between  form and and color. “I’m interested in making something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry,” he said.

The etchings he did in 1979, now available at VFA, are wonderful examples of his work that has remained timeless.

More Recent Acquisitions….

We’ve also added works by David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Beverly Fishman, Yoshito Nara, and Red Grooms.

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of the work available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Osei. One of Basquiat’s Largest Works Expected to Fetch $10 Million at Auction. Highsnobiety. June 26, 2020.
C. Zawadi Morris. Yo! Brooklyn Artist Deborah Kass Has Something to Say! BK Reader. October 15, 2018.
Jessie Carbutt. Yoshitomo Nara: Beyond the Big-Headed Girls. Metropolis. June 23, 2020.
Loney Abrams. Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print. Artspace. November 21, 2019.
Jillian Steinhauer. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Whose Op Art Caught Eyes in the ’60s, Dies at 89. The New York Times. May 25, 2020.

The Nike Panther and Other Wild and Wonderful Works at VFA

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Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt has been stranded in Guatemala since March. When she’s not at her studio, a converted auto-repair shop in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Bernhardt buys and sells rugs, whose patterns she has used in her wild and colorful paintings and prints.

The 45-year-old artist was born in Clayton, Missouri. Bernhardt received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Dubbed the female bad-boy of contemporary art, Bernhardt’s works are not just fun, they have also been garnering way higher than estimated prices at Sotheby’s and other auction houses.

We are pleased to offer two of Bernhardt’s Pink Panther lithographs, Nike Panther and African Violet, both created in 2019.

Michael Craig-Martin

Dublin-born artist, Michael Craig-Martin (Sir Michael since 2016)  is one of the most beloved artists in Britain. He’s created a poster to thank National Health Service workers in the U.K. for their service.

Craig-Martin is encouraging fellow citizens to co-create the artwork by downloading it, colouring it in, and then collaborating by displaying it in their windows.

His minimal style translates well into steel sculptures that have an ethereal quality. Recent acquisitions, available at VFA, are sculptures of classic chairs, simple and elegant.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood uses clean, fine lines and crisp color to create contemporary Matisse-like works that lend themselves to lithography and screenprint. “Printmaking is a big part of my process,” he said in a 2019 interview, “drawing is a big part of my process, and tracing and getting the basic shapes of things before I make the painting is a big part of my process.”

Wood shares his L.A. studio with his potter wife, Shio Kusaka, whose work often appears in his paintings and lithographs.

His work is part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim, the Hammer and other major museums and galleries.

We are happy to be able to offer several recent lithographs done in Jonas Wood’s joyful style.

Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf’s works have the playfulness that has been his trademark since the 1980s. He lived with Haring and partied with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and the crowd at Club 57. Fortunately for Scharf, he survived the rock and roll lifestyle of the ’80s, while many others did not, and his work reflects the joy for life that he embraces.

His most recent works are vibrant silkscreens, available at VFA.

The Nike Panther and Other Wild and Wonderful Works at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Nike Panther or any of the other fine art prints for sale at VFA.


References:
Shannon Lee. Why Katherine Bernhardt’s Freewheeling Paintings Attract Collectors of All Kinds. Artsy. May 18, 2020.
Scott Indrisek. Paint It Loud. Meet Katherine Bernhardt, the so-called “female bad-boy” of contemporary art. GQ Magazine/Culture. August 29, 2019.
Emily Kasriel. What plague art tells us about today. BBC/Culture. May 18, 2020.
Loney Abrams. Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print. Artspace. November 21, 2019.
Janelle Zara. An Artist on Finding Balance, and His Giant Basketball Sculpture. The New York Times Style Magazine. March 22, 2019.

Recent Acquisitions at VFA: Jonas Wood, Julian Opie and KAWS

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Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood shares a studio with his artist wife, Shio Kusaka, whose pottery forms he uses in his paintings and prints. His flat, colorful images, of the things that surround him, are a combination of Modern, Pop and a unique vision that is recognizable Jonas Wood.

He calls his images, “inherently positive.” New York Times art critic Roberta Smith calls them “…an uneasy truce among the abstract, the representational, the photographic and the just plain weird.”

The 43-year-old artist was born in Boston. Wood has a B.A. in psychology and an MFA from the University of Washington. He lives and works in L.A.

Jonas Wood’s art can found found in the permanent collections of the Met, the Guggenheim, MoMA, the Whitney, the Hammer Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and many other fine venues.

KAWS

In 2005, Cory Kennedy-Levin was a 15-year-old ninth grader who went to a concert at the El Rey Theater in L.A., had her photo taken and posted on a hipster-party photo website and became an Internet It Girl with a global fan base.

Two years later, the fashion mag, Jalouse, hired KAWS to do a cover, using Kennedy as a model. The request was somewhat ironic because, in the late ’90s, KAWS would take Jalouse posters out of bus stands, and put them back, after painting them with his usual flair. For the 2007 cover, he was asked by Jalouse to collaborate with photographer, Jean Baptiste Mondino. The result is a nearly six-foot high iconic poster of the cover collaboration.

Brian Donnelly was born in Jersey City in 1974. He began to use the tag KAWS in his early graffiti work because he liked the way the letters fit together. KAWS received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, worked as a Disney animator and has a global following thanks to the recognizable and relatable images in his work.

His works can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Brooklyn Museum and other major venues. His ‘toys’ have become highly collectible, especially in the  U.S. and Hong Kong marketplace.

Other KAWS recent acquisitions are an alloy and ceramic Seeing sculpture with LED lights, acrylic paintings from the Kimpsons series, screenprints and silkscreen sets.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie’s work has taken on a new meaning in the last few months, almost a nostalgia for images that were so commonplace before the pandemic.

A couple walking on a New York street, pedestrians waiting for the light to change or a bus to come along…those are the images that Opie captures so well…and that we have not seen in our everyday lives in quite some time, especially not in New York. Recent events have made both Opie’s New York Couples and People Standing series especially relevant today.

Opie was born in London in 1958, attended Goldsmiths, University of London, and captured the attention of a broad audience with his minimalist style.

He has many commissioned sculptures on display in major cities around the world. His works are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, MoMA, and many other major museums.

Recent Acquisitions at VFA

We are grateful to be able to offer a wide range of recent acquisitions from Jonas Wood, KAWS and Julian Opie, three of our favorite artists.

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

References:
Roberta Smith. Paintings by Jonas Wood. The New York Times. March 17, 2011.
Linda Yablonsky. The Insider/Jonas Wood. T Magazine/CultureThe New York TImes. March
 20, 2012
Jennifer Samet. Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Jonas Wood. Hyperallergic. September 12, 2015.
Shawn Hubler. The secret life of Cory Kennedy. The Los Angeles Times. February 25, 2007.
Michelle Persad. Cory Kennedy, Cobra Snake “It” Girl, And Her Life After Rehab. Huffpost. April 9, 2013.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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Learn More