Art on Paper at The Armory Show; Alex Katz’s Upcoming Retrospective

In 1911, a few young American artists got together to try to figure out a way of presenting modern art to American audiences.

They called themselves The Association of American Painters and Sculptors. It took them two years to come up with a plan: They raised money and rented the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. Without any public funding, they publicized and organized the The International Exhibition of Modern Art, which became know as The Armory Show

Most of the paintings at that first show were done by American artists. It was the European artists whose works caused the most outrage. Art collectors and critics, who were used to seeing classical paintings, were shocked by Matisse’s whimsical Blue Nude. One critic said that Marcel Duchamp’s cubist Nude Descending a Staircase looked like “an explosion in a shingle factory.”

One hundred and nine years later, The Armory Show is still one of the most alluring art shows in the world.  The main event is  held at the Javits Center in Manhattan, from September 9 through September 11th, with off-site exhibits around the city.

Large sculptures will be on display at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, to coincide with The Armory Show and the U.S. Open.

Art on Paper, always one of the most interesting exhibits, will once again be held at Pier 36, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

This year, we opted to exhibit at Art Market Hampton’s, at Nova’s Art Project and Sculpture Garden, at Hampton’s East End, bringing with us new works by Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Julian Opie and other artists who are masters at creating fine art prints.

Coming up next month is Alex Katz: Gathering, a retrospective at The Guggenheim of Katz’s nearly eighty-year career.

Alex Katz has always been one of our favorite artists. His silkscreen, Late Summer Flowers, graces the cover of our ebook, How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints. 

Katz has been an inspiration to many artists, including Jonas Wood, who set up a printing press in his Culver City studio not long ago and named Katz as one of his most important influences.

Alex Katz celebrated his 95th birthday in July. He works out every day and still paints enormous works in the SoHo studio where he has lived since 1968.

His paintings and prints look deceptively simple. Katz reduces figures and landscapes to what appear to be basic forms and limited colors. On closer examination, however, the figures and landscapes are elegant in their design, the colors, especially in his prints, are layers of complex shades.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz or any of the other fine art available at VFA and feel free to download a copy of our ebook, How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints.


References:
Amanda Fortini. Alex Katz Is Still Perfecting His Craft. The New York Times Style Magazine. August 18, 2022.
Tom Vitale. ‘Armory Show’ That Shocked America In 1913, Celebrates 100. NPR/Art & Design. February 17, 2013.

Julian Opie’s ‘People’ in SoHo, Ugo Rondinone Curates in Long Island, Javier Calleja Collaborates

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Julian Opie

The lobby of a new office building, in New York’s SoHo district, has installed an artwork by Julian Opie to amplify the minimal design of its architecture. People 13, 2014, is an 11-inch by 144-inch LED, wall mounted work, of digitalized people walking.

The building’s offices, at 2 Crosby Street, are leased by such notable tenants as  French fashion designer Rick Owens and jewelry  designer Maria Tash.

Opie’s exhibit at this year’s Venice Biennale is a bit unusual. The Venice government would not allow the use of LED screen technology, so four of Opie’s aluminium sculptures are on show outside of the St. Regis, the newest luxury hotel in Venice.

Julian Opie’s work is also currently on exhibit at venues in Lausanne, Rome, and Shanghai. His work, in a variety of medium, are available at VFA.

Ugo Rondinone, Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer

Swiss-born artist, Ugo Rondinone, currently has work on exhibit at the Venice Biennalle, and has also curated an exhibit at the Landcraft Garden in North Fork, Long Island.

The exhibit at the Landcraft Garden includes his own sculptures and those of Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer, Martinez’s wife.

Martinez is is best known for his abstract figurative and still life paintings. He began creating sculptures in 2013, using found objects that he collects on the beaches around North Fork and on the streets around his Brooklyn studio.

The works of all three artists are very different in form, style and materials. Martinez’s work is  abstract and appears almost unrestrained. Rondinone’s has a more classical feel and Moyer’s work has an architectural quality.

The exhibit at Landcraft Garden will be on view from June 4 to October 29, 2022.

Javier Calleja

Spanish artist Javier Calleja said he was heavily influenced by the comics, cartoons and toys that he read and played with while growing up in Malaga in the 1970s and 1980s.

His stylized large-headed and large-eyed characters have made him an international sensation, with solo museum and gallery  exhibits in Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, Tokyo, Spain, Rome and London.

Calleja’s work has been garnering prices above estimate. At a Phillips 2020 auction, his 2019 painting, No More Stories, sold for HK$4 million (about $509561 USD), well over the 300-500k estimate.

He has collaborated with clothing companies, most recently with VANS, with his artwork on sneakers, tees and even planters.

Calleja’s work is currently on exhibit at Art Basel, Hong Kong, with upcoming shows in Paris, Athens, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dusseldorf.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julian Opie, Ugo Rondinone, Eddie Martinez, Javier Calleja or any of the other fine art work available at VFA.


References:
KPG Funds And Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation Explore Digitalized Artwork With The Opening Of Artist Julian Opie’s “People 13, 2014”. PR Newswire. March 21, 2022.
Joanne Shurvell. Venice Biennale 2022: Highlights From The Olympics Of The Art World. Forbes. April 26, 2022.
Lee Meyer. Landcraft Garden Foundation kicks off Sculptures in the Garden 2022 on June 4. The Northforker. May 12, 2022.
Felicia Lalomia. One Minute on the North Fork: An afternoon at Landcraft Garden Foundation. The Northforker. May 30, 2021.
Design Boom. Ugo Rondinone brings human clouds, a gilded sun and colorful, burnt out candles to Venice. May 7, 2022.
Jascmeen Bush. VANS Collaborates with Javier Calleja for Footwear Capsule. Hypebea. February 3, 2022.

The Inspirations of Julian Opie, Derrick Adams and Kenny Scharf

Julian Opie 1958 –

The Newlandhouse Gallery in Petworth, England has put together an exhibit of Julian Opie’s work alongside his private collection of contemporary and ancient art. The show gives viewers an opportunity to see how Opie’s interests as a collector  inspire his art.

“Spookily often, when I am stuck for decisions,” Opie said, “I get up and look at some other art and find a solution right there. The work of others pushes me beyond what I know and assume, it suggests new logics and approaches and makes me feel not so alone in this strange endeavour.”

Julian Opie: Collected Works/Works Collected is currently open and will be on exhibit at the Newlandhouse Gallery through March 6, 2022.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams finds much of his inspiration walking through the streets of Brooklyn, and taking photos, around the Bed-Stuy neighborhood where he has a studio.

Adams’ work is currently on exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle. Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas is a multi-media exhibit that displays the works of Adams and Thomas in a dialogue about Black culture and representation.

“It’s never really about just making a good painting or making a good sculpture,” Adams said in a recent interview, “it’s about connecting with the audience. So I’m always picking subjects that are activated by my interest in drawing in the viewer.”

Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas is currently on display and will run through May 1, 2022.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

In a 2020 interview in Curator, Kenny Scharf was asked what inspires him. His answer: “I am waking up every day excited to continue to learn and explore. This is what I find exciting, not knowing where I’m going and being open to “mistakes” which almost always lead to new discoveries. I listen to a lot of music when I paint. Lately, I’ve been vibing on Anderson Paak’s new album Ventura—it’s really up-lifting.”

Scharf has also been an inspiration to many, and recently to Dior. The collaboration began in 2020 and continues into 2022, with Scharf’s designs for the Dior Chinese New Year Collection.

Kenny Scharf’s playful designs reflect his upbeat attitude. ” I think, for a long time people were like ashamed. You can’t enjoy stuff because it’s not serious if you really enjoy it. I think that’s a problem that’s still going on. Like, if it’s enjoyable, it’s not really serious and it’s not very important.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Julian Opie, Derrick Adams, Kenny Scharf or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Mark Westall. A Rare Exhibition Showcasing Julian Opie’s Personal Collection of Contemporary Ancient Art, Accompanied by a Selection of Original Works. FAD Magazine. November 8, 2021.
Maximilíano Durón. Derrick Adams Create Scenes of Black Joy Through Formalism. ARTnews. December 10, 2021.
Dan Golden. Hangin’ With Kenny. Curator. 2020.
Farhan Shah. Dior teams up with Kenny Scharf for a capsule Chinese New Year collection. asiaone. December 10, 2021.

Vertu Fine Art at Miami Art Fair 2021

We are pleased to announce that Vertu Fine Art will be exhibiting at the 31st Edition of Art Miami at the downtown Herald Plaza. The Miami Art Fair runs from November 30th through December 5th, 2021.

Many of the works on exhibit in our gallery are recent acquisitions by contemporary artists like Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams, Ethan Cook and Harland Miller.

View the show portfolio here and a preview of some of the works that we will have on display below:

Alex Katz
White Impatiens, 2015
Screenprint
70h x 53w
70
Available at VFA

Alex Katz will be having a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York, scheduled to run from October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019 Etching with Relief printing 58.60h x 35.30w in 74/75 HM003

Recent acquisitions by London-based artist, Harland Miller will be at our Fair gallery. Miller is best known for his tongue-in-cheek book cover works that he was inspired to paint when he was a lonely, young artist living in Paris. It was there that he began to buy and read Penguin books for comfort and later began to use the covers as a basis for his artwork.

George Condo untitled, 1985
Oil on Canvas
13h x 9.50w in Framed: 18.50h x 14.50w in
Signed on Verso
Available at VFA

George Condo has been a powerful influence on art, literature and music since the 1980s. Working in New York and Paris between 1985 and 1995, his Artificial Realism drawings and paintings influenced and inspired great writers like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg and Salman Rushdie. Condo still lives and works in New York.

Ethan Cook
Cut outs, 2021
Acrylic on aluminum and ash wood
22h x 22w x 4d in
Unique
Signed and numbered on the Verso
Available at VFA

Brooklyn-based artist, Ethan Cook, is best known for weaving blocks of color, on a hand loom, that form his canvasses. He also does sculptural work using everyday materials, like the aluminum and ash wood he used for the works available at VFA.

Derrick Adams
Mirroring Idealism, 2021
Wall relief of UV curable pigment on Mirror Dibond 23.25h x 53.50w x 3d in
22/40
Signed and numbered
Available at VFA

Derrick Adams’ work focuses on leisure and culture in the African-American community. He is so committed to encourage leisure as therapy for Black artists, that he has opened The Last Resort in his hometown of Baltimore, for invitees to create or just relax.

Kenny Scharf
Hedz, 2016
Oil on linen with powder coated frame
48.75h x 34.75w in
Framed: 50h x 36w in
Signed on the verso
Available at VFA

It’s always fun to see what Los Angeles-based artist, Kenny Scharf is up to. We’ve recently acquired oil paintings, prints with diamond dust and sculptures from the artist who has been making the world a better place since he began showing his work in New York in the 1980s.

The works of many more exciting artists, like Julian Opie, KAWS, Susumu Kamijo, Timothy Curtis, Eddie Martinez and others, will be on display at our Art Miami booth. Please contact us if you would like more information about the Miami Art Fair 2021 or about the works available at VFA.

Julian Opie, Alex Katz and more at VFA

Julian Opie – 1958

In a recent interview, Julian Opie talked about his personal art collection and how he was influenced by the portraits of Austrian Expressionist artist, Egon Schiele, and by the fluid lines found in Japanese woodcuts, many of which are part of his personal collection.

Those clear, dark lines of the woodcuts of Kitagawa Utamaro (c. 1753-1806) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) inspired Opie’s style. “I’ve always drawn using a line,” Opie said, in an interview with The Art Newspaper, “from the time that I was a teenager—it always seemed to me a very obvious, sensible and satisfying process to have my hand on a piece of paper holding a pencil or felt-tip pen and to look at the world, and to just allow that process to flow. It’s something that I can do and seems to come naturally to me. I can move my hand and look at your face and when I look down on the piece of paper, you’ll pretty much be there. That’s always a good party trick when you’re a teenager to impress people.”

Opie was born in London in 1958. He graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1982 and became associated with the New British Sculpture movement.

Julian Opie’s own works are being shown alongside works from his personal collection at the Newlands House Gallery in Petworth, England.  His collection includes everything from Roman sculpture to classical 17th-century portraits to work from contemporary artists. He also buys ambient music to use for his installations.

When asked what work he wished he had bought when he had the chance, Opie said, “One of Alex Katz’s small paintings. There were a set of these in the next door booth at an art fair many years ago and I didn’t have the courage.”

Alex Katz 1927-

This year’s Art Basel, the first live event since June 2019, recorded high attendance and brisk sales. A work by Alex Katz sold for around $2 million, a Keith Haring work sold for more than $5m and a Robert Rauschenberg painting garnered $4.5 million.

Although he was born in Brooklyn an has lived and worked in New York all of his life, Katz has a large following in Europe and Asia, as evidenced by his recent and upcoming shows in Paris, Belgium, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, China and Korea.

The upcoming retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, set to open next October, is a well-deserved tribute to an American artist who has always worked in his own style, even when he was overlooked or disparaged by art critics.

In a Wall Street Journal interview in 2019, Katz said, ” I had no idea I was going to be this good.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julian Opie, Alex Katz or any of the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.


References:
The Art Newspaper. A Brush with…Julian Opie. Interview with Ben Luke. June 23, 2021.
Naomi Rea. What I Buy and Why: Artist Julian Opie on How Collecting Inspires His Own Practice and the Teensy Carl Andre Work He’s Afraid of Misplacing. September 6, 2021.
Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz. The Brooklyn Rail: Art Books. September 2021.
Catherine Hickley and Tom Seymour. ‘The Europeans are back and buying’: sales flow steadily at first Art Basel since the pandemic. The Art Newspaper. September 22, 2021.
Lane Florsheim. Alex Katz Had No Idea He Was Going to be This Good. The Wall Street Journal/Magazine. November 19, 2019.
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.

The Surprising Inspirations of Julian Opie and Andy Warhol

Every work of art begins with a spark of inspiration. That spark often appears in unexpected forms.

Discovering what has inspired our favorite artists is often surprising and can offer insight and better understanding of how and why an artist works in a particular style.

Julian Opie 1958 –

The influence of Michael Craig-Martin, one of Julian Opie’s instructors at London’s Goldsmiths School of Art, is apparent. Craig-Martin’s style, like Opie’s is minimal, but other influences are not so apparent.

In a recent interview in The Art Newspaper, Opie said that he is influenced by Japanese woodcuts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the works of twentieth century Austrian painter, Egon Schiele. He also listens to some pretty esoteric music and uses it to enhance some of his artwork.

His passion for Raymond Carver’s short stories, and the influence they have on him, is a bit of a surprise, but make sense when he explains how they affect him. “They feel like memories,” he said, “like a moment where he’s left a hotel room and notices someone in the hall. That would be the entire short story. But somehow through the way he tells it, he evokes this sense of reality and presence. And it’s that kind of feeling that I want to get to, rather than any sense of inventing a character and bringing that person to life. I have no ability to do that whatsoever, I can only really draw what I see.”

Julian Opie’s work is currently on display at the Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery in London, the Plaza del Colegio del Patriarca in Valencia, Spain and an upcoming exhibition at the Cristea Roberts Gallery in London from September 17 through October 23, 2021.

Andy Warhol 1928 – 1987

Andy Warhol found inspiration at the New York Public Library. He was notably inspired by fame…famous people, famous products…and his religious beliefs…and also found great ideas in the library’s Picture Collection.

The Picture Collection, which has been around since 1915, consists of more than a million loose photos and printed images, placed in alphabetized folders. Anyone with a library card can check them out, the same way they can check out a book.

Many famous artists used the Collection, including Diego Rivera, Dorothea Lange and Joseph Cornell, but Andy Warhol was probably the most famous and most frequent visitor.

Photographer Arnold Hinton, who worked in the library in the mid fifties and sixties, organizing the Photo Collection, told The New Yorker that he remembers Andy Warhol going through the collection, taking photos and not returning them.

Warhol liked to take his own photos, and many of his Polaroid pictures are historic records of the New York art scene of the mid twentieth century, but his best-known work was done from the photos taken by others…some probably “borrowed” from the New York Public Library.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julian Opie or Andy Warhol available at VFA.


References:
Ben Luke. A brush with…Julian Opie. The Art Newspaper. June 23, 2021.
Sarah Larson. A Thousand Words, a Million Times Over. The New Yorker. July 26, 2021.

David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Julian Opie and Derrick Adams at VFA

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David Hockney

As part of a £7 million Let’s Do London campaign,  the mayor of London commissioned David Hockney to create a sign for the Picadilly Circus tube station. Hockney reimagined the original red, white and blue sign with a whimsical, typical Hockney-eske iPad purple and yellow design.

Social Media users went wild, making fun of the iPad drawing…and saying that they could do better.

They can’t.

David Hockney, at age 83, has been painting every day at his Normandy, France farmhouse, enjoying every day and teaching the world to be grateful for the world around them.

A video of sunrises, titled Remember You Cannot Look At The Sun Or Death For Very Long, that Hockney created on his iPad, is being displayed on a large screen at Picadilly Lights every evening this month, and will also appear on screens in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo.

“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty.” Hockney said, “That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”

In all his work, Hockney is able to let us see the joy and wonder of the world around him.

Early Morning and My Shirt and Trousers, available at VFA, are examples of the little things that Hockney is asking us to pay attention to… and enjoy.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s public persona was that of a creative, wild man who created remarkable art works at The Factory by day and partied at Studio 54 at night. Another side of Andy Warhol, his religious side, is being examined in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh. He family members were devout Byzantine Catholics, who attended church regularly. As an adult, he often attended mass, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1980. The Roman Catholic Church even funded a Warhol film project that was commissioned by the de Menil family, but was never completed.

Toward the end of his life, Warhol painted over 100 versions of The Last Supper. Andy Warhol: Revelation will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2021 through June 19, 2022.

The taxidermied, mounted moose head that Warhol was often photographed sitting under, will be auctioned off next week, with the proceeds will go to the ASPCA.

An exhibit of Warhol’s silkscreens, including many of his early work, will be on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York. Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop | Works from the Bank of America Collection looks at his paintings and his innovations in silkscreen technique. The museum is using the exhibit as a learning tool for the many school children who will attend, to familiarize a new generation with the importance of an artist who changed the way that the world views art.

The exhibit will be on display through November 7, 2021.

Several of our recent acquisitions, like Grace Kelly,  San Francisco Silverspot and Campbell’s Soup/Pepper Pot (and Green Pea) are fine examples of the exceptional fine art prints that Warhol created.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie has been working in his London studio this year, sleeping in his studio at times and jogging along the Thames. He’s not alone in his studio; Opie works with seven technicians and three managers…to create works that appear uncomplicated but take incredible technical skill to produce.

Opie’s recent  Running People sculptures, composed of anodised aluminum figures mounted on Corlan bases, are available at VFA, as are his acrylic relief Small Bird paintings.

This year Opie’s work will be on display at solo exhibits in London, Seoul, Norway, Belgium and Japan.

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ work has been setting auction records. One of his figurative paintings sold at Christie’s March Post-War to Present auction for twice the expected estimate.

Adams’ work focuses on the leisure activities of African Americans. His work is playful and very relatable. Paintings from his Floater Series also set records. Self Portrait on Float, a woodblock with gold leaf and college, from the Floater Series is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Andy Warhol, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams or any other the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Cascone. Andy Warhol’s Life Revolved Around Sex, Drugs—and Catholicism? A New Museum Show Says Faith Played a Key Role in His Work. artnet news. May 6, 2021.
Dana Schulz. ‘Urban Gems’ auction to sell Keith Haring’s refrigerator door, Andy Warhol’s moose head. 6sqft. Mat 7, 2021.
The Island Now. Andy Warhol: A Life in Pop. May 6, 2021.
Grace Glueck. The de Menil Family/The Medici of Modern Art. The New York Times. May 18, 1986.
Apollo International Art Magazine. In the studio with…Julian Opie. May 10, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. Auction Records: Paintings Derrick Adams and Jammie Holmes Establish New Benchmarks at Christie’s, Works by Titus Kaphar and Henry Taylor Also Sold. Culture Type. March 12, 2021.
Jacob Thorburn. ‘Looks like a seven-year-old won a competition’: Twitter users MOCK David Hockney’s Piccadilly Circus art fronting £7m ‘Let’s do London’ tourism campaign… and prove THEY can do better. Daily Mail. May 12, 2021.

Featured Artists and Recent Acquisitions at VFA

At VFA we have recently acquired works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, KAWS, Julian OpieUgo Rondinone and Kenny Scharf.

Here’s a look at just a few of the new works now available at VFA.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol moved from Pittsburgh to New York in 1949, armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in pictorial design and an abundance of talent. His initial success was as a commercial illustrator…and the rest is history.

In 1959 Warhol self-published a tongue-in-cheek cookbook called Wild Raspberries, named after the Ingmar Berman film Wild Strawberries.

The book was a spoof of the 1950s cookbooks that were done to inspire American cooks to recreate French dishes. Warhol invented dishes like Seared Roebuck, Gefilte of Fighting Fish and Omelet Greta Garbo, which, he wrote, should “always to be eaten alone in a candlelit room.”

Warhol self-published just 34 copies of the cookbook, and most of those were given as gifts to family and friends.

A rare copy of Wild Raspberries, signed by the artist, will be auctioned at Bonhams later this month.

Our recent Warhol acquisitions include Pepper Pot Soup, Green Pea Soup, Grace Kelly and San Francisco Silverspot.

Warhol’s beautiful representation of the San Francisco Silverspot Butterfly, done in 1983, is very timely. The Silverspot is currently on the endangered species list.

KAWS 1974 – present

Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, is being honored with a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, which was the first New York museum to acquire his artworks.

The show, KAWS: What Party, features more than 100 pieces, including early bus stop ads to which KAWS added his signature style in the 1990s.

The exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum will be on exhibit through September 5, 2021.

At VFA we have works by KAWS in a variety of media, and have recently acquired a limited edition wooden Pinocchio sculpture.

Julian Opie 1958 – present

This year British-born Julian Opie has solo exhibits in Seoul, Knokke, Oslo, Tokyo and London. His large public sculptures are recognizable around the world. We have recently acquired sculptures that are a more manageable size than his public statues, as well as Small Birds, a series of acrylic relief works.

Please contact us for more information about our recent acquisitions or any of the other fine works available at VFA.


References:
Tessa Solomon. Andy Warhol’s Cheeky Cookbook Heads to Auction at Bonhams. ARTnews. March 9, 2021.
Emilia Ong. Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Emilia Ong on Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. The Guardian. March 14, 2021.
Nadja Sayej. Kaws: behind the pop culture artist’s Brooklyn retrospective. The Guardian. March 15, 2021.
Ben Davis. Why KAWS’s Global Success May Well Be a Symptom of a Depressed Culture, Adrift in Nostalgia and Retail Therapy. artnet news. March 3, 2021.

Eddie Martinez in Hong Kong / Other Featured Artists

Eddie Martinez

It’s hard to imagine going to an in-person art fair these days, but about 8,000 people showed up to view the works at the Asia of Art Basel art fair in Hong Kong at the end on November.

Among the highlights of the fair was a 26-foot long, untitled painting by Eddie Martinez that sold to a collector from Taiwan for $1 million.

Eddie Martinez was also one of the top selling artists at Phillip’s London auction on December 15th.

Timothy Curtis

The works of Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Timothy Curtis are on exhibit called Universes 3 at the WOAW gallery in Hong Kong this month. The show looks at the way various international artists view their ‘alternate realities’.

Curtis is a self-taught artist, born in Philadelphia, where he began to paint graffiti at the age of nine. He spent seven years in prison, where he studied art and art history. His skill at drawing faces made him one of the most popular inmates in prison. His talent has led to an outstanding career, with international recognition of his work.

Susumu Kamijo

Susumu Kamijo has been inspired by the clients of his dog groomer girlfriend. His sweet, funny and empathetic works have become more sought after than ever.

His work Candy set a new auction record for Kamijo at Phillip’s New York Auction on December 8th, garnering more than twice the estimate.

Kenny Scharf

Phillip’s December 8th auction also saw high demand for the works of Kenny Scharf. Scharf’s career began in the 1980s in New York and continued, quietly and steadily, through the decades. In 2017 his work was featured in a show at MoMa and a show at the Whitney, and his career took off.

His latest project is a collaboration with Dior for the 2021 menswear fashion collection. Designer Kim Jones has used Scharf’s fabric designs for shirts, jackets, shoes and bags.

Julian Opie

More that twenty double-sided LED screens, the work of British artist, Julian Opie, have been placed along St Kilda Road in the City of Melbourne. The Australian Bird designs were inspired by his father’s stories of growing up in Australia. The  public art works were commissioned by the City of Melbourne for the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial. Two additional works will be unveiled in 2023 and 2026.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art work for sale at VFA.

References:
Oliver Giles. What Sold At Hong Kong Spotlight By Art Basel. Hong Kong Tattler. December 3, 2020.
Benjamin Sutton. Why Painter Eddie Martinez Is Having His Biggest Market Year Yet. Artsy/Art Market. August 6, 2020.
Joey Garfield. Timothy Curtis: Never One Day Not Having Fun. Juxtapoz. February 27, 2017.
“Universes 3” Group Exhibit at WOAW Gallery in Hong Kong. Street Art News. December 2, 2020.
Phillips Achieves Highest Total in Company History for 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales, At $162.4 Million. ArtfixDaily/Artwire. New York. December 9, 2020.

The Work of Derrick Adams and other Featured Artists

Don’t Touch My Derrick Adams

In one of the episodes of the TV series Empire, Cookie, the tough family matriarch, tells two men who are moving a painting, “Don’t you touch my Derrick Adams.”

Adams, the Brooklyn-based, Baltimore born artist was commissioned to create a portrait, that features prominently, for the show.

A still from Beyoncé’s film Black is King, 2020.

Adams’ work looks at personal and political aspects of Black culture in America. His work now appears in Beyoncé’s latest film, Black is King.

Derrick Adams
Style Variation 10, 2019
Featured in Beyoncé’s film Black is King.

Available at VFA is Adams’ Self Portrait on Float, part of his Floaters series that depicts joyful scenes of African Americans at play. “Sometimes a normal social gathering can represent a radical space.” Adams said. “I’m often inspired by the people around me at parties, and how they are making important changes to society. You can go to a social event and still get things accomplished.”

Works from the Floaters series are part of an exhibit called Derrick Adams: Buoyant, currently on display at the Hudson River Museum. The show will run through October 18, 2020.

Also featured in Beyoncé’s film is work by New York-based, Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone.

The works of Derrick Adams and Ugo Rondinone are both featured at VFA.

Sculpture Milwaukee Features Work by Alex Katz, Julian Opie and more of our Featured Artists

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual event that can be viewed safely…both in person and virtually…now and into the winter months.

Workers in Milwaukee installing Jim Dine’s 2019 sculpture, Jim’s Head with Branches.

The downtown exhibit includes works by some of our favorite artists, including Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Julian Opie and Carlos Rolón.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of featured artists for sale at VFA.


References:
Alex Greenberger. The Art of ‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s New Visual Album Involves Today’s Best Artists and Curators. ARTnews. August 3, 2020.
artnetnews. Art Industry News: A Guide to the Many Art-Historical References in Beyoncé’s New Album ‘Black Is King’ + Other Stories. August 3, 2020.
Maleke Glee. Here are the Black Artists in Beyonce’s Black is King. Sugarcane Magazine. August 1, 2020.

Julian Opie: Walking in Melbourne

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The simplicity and clean lines of Julian Opie’s works gives them a universal appeal. His paintings and sculptures can be found in major museums and public venues around the world. His work looks just at home in London, where he was born, as it does in Indianapolis, where a campaign is going on to save one of his sculptures.

Keeping Ann Dancing in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail was design more than ten years ago as an urban trail…not a trail to escape the city, but a trail that encourages people to explore the city. When the trail opened in 2008, Julian Opie’s Ann Dancing sculpture was the first piece of art to be installed on the trail. It sits at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Alabama Street and Vermont Street.

Ann Dancing was supposed to be a temporary installation, but its popularity was so great that the city kept it.

The sculpture itself is made up of four panels. Each panel contains an Led-light display of a woman dancing. Each panel is over six feet tall and three feet wide. The entire sculpture rests on a red brick base, which houses the computer and components that make Ann dance.

The computer and wiring have been given temporary fixes over the years, but it needs more than that to keep Ann Dancing. “We’ve done our best to keep her dancing,” Indianapolis Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley said. “There’s a lot of electrical tape, there’s a lot of wires. There’s a lot of work that has gone into keeping her dancing for as long as we have.”

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has begun a campaign to raise $262,800 by June 29. The money will go toward purchasing new display units designed for 24-hour use and for long-term maintenance.

Breaking it Down

Julian Opie has the unique ability to break things down into their most basic elements. He has been greatly influenced by 17th and 18th-century English and Dutch portraits, and 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints.

Because his style is so primal, it is relatable to people everywhere. His work is currently on exhibit at such diverse venues as the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Wuzhen Contemporary Art Museum in China, the Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery in Oslo, Norway, the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, the Elena Project in Seoul, South Korea, the Lisson Gallery in New York, the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK and the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai, China.

Walking in Melbourne Series at VFA

Opie starts with photographs and digitally reduces them to their basic forms. Walking in Melbourne, available at VFA, is a series that Opie did after photographing people walking through the streets of Melbourne, Australia, although they could be people walking almost anywhere on the planet.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Walking in Melbourne series or any of the other works by Julian Opie available at VFA.

See More Julian Opie Artwork for Sale

References:
Stuart Jeffries. Julian Opie: ‘I’m not sure what art is’ The Guardian. June 12, 2011.
Susan Irvine. Julian Opie: sounds original. The Telegraph.  October 4, 2008.
Domenica Bongiovanni. ‘Ann Dancing’ on Mass Ave.: Nonprofit raises money to fix sculpture. IndyStar. May 31, 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.

Take Part in Art During the Quarantine

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The quarantine has been a springboard for many of us to learn new skills, study things we never had time for in the past and find gratitude for many of the things that we used to take for granted. The viewing of fine art through virtual museum and gallery tours has greatly increased. Auction houses are reporting that younger, first time art buyers from countries around the world are showing an increased interest in fine art.

There are a lot of DYI sites on line and some great ideas, kooky ideas and terrible (but still interesting) ideas out there. Here are a few of the highlights:

Build a Gallery

Nine-month-old brothers Pandoro and Tiramisù survey London’s newest art institution, The Gerbil Museum (photo courtesy museum trustees Filippo and Marianna)

On a quiet Sunday, a couple of art lovers, quarantined in London, decided to create an art gallery for their gerbils, Pandora and Tiramisu.

Although the original art is very classic, and classy, the gerbils seemed to enjoy the furniture more than the art. They completely ignored the prominently posted Do Not Chew sign.

Do The Toosie Slide

Drake, the Canadian Rapper, posted a video that went viral, when he danced The Tootsie Slide through his 50,000 square foot home outside of Toronto.

What caught our attention was what showed up at the :45 second mark: the Andy Warhol screenprint of Chairman Mao on the wall of Drake’s home, just like one that we have, for sale, on our wall at VFA.

Learn to Screenprint

You probably don’t have photo emulsion at home, but you can still learn the screenprint process by watching the How to Print Like Warhol  video from the Tate Modern.

Artists like Andy Warhol and Alex Katz make screen printing look simple. Knowing the amount of thought and work that goes into a deceptively simple appearing work like Katz’s After Degas or Coca Cola Girl 3, which is a 20-color screenprint, lends a new level of appreciation to the work.

Draw a Picture

Paul Klee wrote, “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

If you’ve got a pencil and paper, there are some great drawing tutorials on line, like the videos done by middle school teacher, Jessica Hopper, who uses ketchup, coffee and other household items in the ‘Quarantine Edition’ of her YouTube art tutorials.

A screenshot from one of Jessica Hopper’s recent “Art Club: Quarantine Edition” videos

Drawing is not as simple for all of us as it was for Paul Klee (or as it is for Julian Opie), but it may be worth a try.

Contact us at VFA

Please phone or connect with us online if you have any questions about the works in the VFA gallery.
We hope you, your friends and family stay safe and well.

References:
Hrag Vartanian. A Couple Made a Mini-Museum for Their Gerbils to Visit During Quarantine. April 6, 2020.
Michael Saponara.  7 Things You Might Have Missed Inside Drake’s House in ‘Toosie Slide’ Video. Billboard. April 3, 2020.

Julian Opie: Inspired by Boredom

I don’t invent or imagine things, just notice and record them. The choices about scale, style, language, materials and reference are my tools. I choose normal things because I must know them intimately and feel they are common currency so they can be turned into symbols. I don’t draw parrots or flamingoes, I like the boring as it’s only when you are bored that you can see. – Julian Opie

Julian Opie: Walking in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria

When Julian Opie was asked to do a show in Melbourne, Australia, he got in touch with a local photographer and asked him to set up cameras in various locations around the city to photograph passers-by. The photographer sent Opie hundreds of photos, which became the basis for Opie’s Walking in Melbourne series, available at VFA.

“Some 60 drawings later,” Opie said, “I have a palette of characters and have been using them in a range of paintings and statues. Each one throws up surprises and opportunities that I could not invent – a tattoo or a tasselled dress, a goatee or the logo on a T-shirt. I have one group from the middle of the city and one from the beach. By making groups of six walkers I get a street crowd, and a list, and a kind of fashion parade.”

The Julian Opie exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria  includes portraits, landscapes and urban themes, all in Opie’s simple, pop style. The exhibit, currently on display, will run until February 17, 2019.

The Universal Appeal of Julian Opie

Since the 1980s, when Julian Opie emerged as an  influential figure on the British art scene, his work has garnered universal appeal. Opie’s works are in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Essl Collection in Vienna, the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Takamatsu City Museum of Art in Japan.

His work has recently been included in a home by Seoul-based designer, Teo Yang. The house itself is a hanok, a traditional Korean house, first designed and built in the 14th century, many of which have been disappearing to make way for modern developments.

The hanok was traditionally built to fit naturally into its surroundings, complimenting the land and fitting in with the seasonal changes that nature brings. Every detail is carefully thought out, and with that in mind, Teo Yang chose Julian Opie’s work for the home’s living room. Opie’s work is equally at home in Seoul as it is in London, Miami or Melbourne.

Walking in Melbourne Series at VFA

Walking in Melbourne, 1 through six in the series , is available at VFA. Each 25 x 62 inch relief print is framed in white, as specified by Julian Opie.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Walking in Melbourne or any of the other fine works available at VFA.

See More Julian Opie Work for Sale

References:
Stephanie Bunbury. Fish in the water wall and model crows: Julian Opie’s ‘groovy’ art comes to NGV. The Sydney Morning Herald. November 17, 2018.
Ellie Stathaki. Traditional South Korean architecture meets innovation in a renovated hanok house.Wallpaper*. December 26, 2018.
https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/julian-opie/
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