Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler, Katherine Bernhardt at VFA

Helen Frankenthaler 1928-2011

In a recent New York Times interview, New York-based art adviser, Kim Heirston, noted that “it took more than 60 years for works by the admired Color Field painter Helen Frankenthaler to break through the $1 million barrier at auction. “Now it takes a nanosecond.”

Frankenthaler’s work had a profound influence on mid-twentieth century art. Her soak stain technique, pouring thinned oil paint on canvas, ushered in Color Field Painting and led to the Minimalist movement.

When acrylic paints were made for artists’ use in 1956, Frankenthaler experimented with acrylics. She found that they delivered bright colors and handled well.

Her work was well received and she began to exhibit at major American and international venues. Her paintings were shown at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and at the United States Pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal.

In the 1960s, Frankenthaler became interested in, and  proficient at, printmaking. Her woodcuts, like Snow Pines, available at VFA, are especially masterful. She continued to create woodcuts and lithographs, inspired by landscapes, through the last years of her life.

Helen Frankenthaler’s works are currently being shown at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida in Tampa, alongside those of LA-based Canadian artist, Heather Gwen Martin.

The Lyrical Moment: Modern and Contemporary Abstraction by Helen Frankenthaler and Heather Gwen Martin will run through July 30, 2022.

Katherine Bernhardt 1975 –

Work by Katherine Bernhardt sold above estimate at the recent Phillips London Summer 2022 Sale. She is one of the artists whose works will be on exhibit at the inaugural Frieze in Seoul, South Korea this September.

Bernhardt’s uniquely bold and colorful works have garnered her international attention.

She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Bernhardt  lived and worked in Brooklyn until 2019, when she returned to her hometown of St. Louis. She bought an auto shop in the downtown area and turned it into a studio and gallery, where she exhibits the works of local artists.

Bernhardt’s works are part of the permanent collection of the High Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Rubell Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and other major museums and galleries around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Helen Frankenthaler, Katherine Bernhardt or any of the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Max Lunn. The Biggest Lie About Abstract Expressionism. Hyperallergic. July 11, 2022.
Scott Reyburn. London Modern and Contemporary Auctions: A Market Minus the Froth. The New York Times/Art and Design. July 1, 2022.
Alina Cohen. Helen Frankenthaler in the Spotlight This Summer. Galerie Magazine. June 8 2017.
Artnet News. Hot Lots: 5 Artworks That Spectacularly Outperformed Expectations During London’s Summer 2022 Day Sales/Work by Katherine Bernhardt, Paul Thek, Caroline Walker, and other artists shattered their estimates this season. July 12, 2022.
Kabir Jhala. Perrotin and Pace galleries announce Seoul expansions—while other Western dealers test Korean waters via group show. The Art Newspaper. July 14, 2022.

Katherine Bernhardt Does Mushrooms, William Wegman Writes

Katherine Bernhardt 1975 –

Art Basel Hong Kong was short and sweet this year. The fair was postponed from March until May because of the sharp increase in Covid cases in Hong Kong. The gallery exhibits were set up to enhance social distancing.

In spite of the obstacles, the works on exhibit represented the best of the world’s contemporary artists.

One of the highlights of Art Basel Hong Kong was the work of Katherine Bernhardt. Her bright, free-spirited paintings and prints have made her one of today’s most popular artists.

After receiving her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Bernhardt set up a studio in Brooklyn. She worked there for more than twenty years, creating the giant paintings and prints of iconic cartoon characters, tacos and toilet paper with lots of color and tons of energy.

In 2019 Bernhardt moved back to her hometown of St. Louis. She bought three buildings in Midtown. She uses one building as her studio, one for storage and one as a gallery for local artists to display their work. Here’s a look at Bernhardt in the St. Louis studio.

She currently has an exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery in London. Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower? includes recent paintings using both her familiar images…like the Pink Panther…and new images like Crocs, Ditto from Pokémon and magic mushrooms.

Katherine Bernhardt’s works can be found in prominent public and museum collections, including the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo inTurin, Italy, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, the Rubell Museum in Miami and the San Antonio Museum of Art in  Texas.

William Wegman 1943 –

A current exhibit of William Wegman’s work includes not a single photograph of his Weimaraners. William Wegman: Writing by the Artist consists of texts,  drawings, photographs, and videos that Wegman has created during his fifty year career.

Before Wegman began photographing his lovable dogs, he received a B.F.A. in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Illinois in 1967. He went on to teach at the University of Wisconsin and then at California State College.

The photos of his dogs, with their deadpan expressions and human behaviors made them, and Wegman, international stars.

Not as widely exhibited are Wegman’s drawings and paintings, which are funny and masterful.

William Wegman: Writing by the Artist is on exhibit at the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York through July 29, 2022.

William Wegman lives in New York and Maine where he continues to paint, draw, make videos and take photographs with his dogs Flo and Topper.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, William Wegman or any of the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Valencia Tong. The Best Booths at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022, from Dazzling Large-Scale Installations to NFT Hype. Artnews. May 27, 2022.
Megan Mertz. National artist Katherine Bernhardt’s Midtown studio was once an auto shop. St. Louis Magazine. May 6, 2021.
Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower? David Zwirner London. Martin Cid Magazine. May 25, 2022.
Ann C. Collins. William Wegman: Writing by Artist. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Emily Watlington. Who Took the Dogs Out?: William Wegman at Sperone Westwater. Art in America. June 14, 2022.
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.

Derrick Adams and Katherine Bernhardt

Derrick Adams 1970 –

My work is focused on the idea of how crucial it is for Black people to think of leisure as a radical act. – Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ focus on leisure activities seems a little ironic, considering how many projects he seems to be working on: he teaches at Brooklyn College, he’s opening an invitation-only retreat for Black artists in his hometown of Baltimore; last year he helped to curate Harlem Renaissance artist, Jacob Lawrence’s American Struggle Series national tour, he designed swim shorts and totes for Vilebrequin, he was featured in Forbes and Vogue this year and he has shows coming up in the fall at the Cleveland Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Longlati Foundation in Shanghai.

Available at VFA are works from Adams’ Floater Series, We Came to Party and Plan Series and his recent Style Variations Series, which was inspired by the hair salons and barber shops in his Brooklyn neighborhood and the hairdressers and barbers he interviewed.

Katherine Bernhardt –  1975

The works of Katherine Bernhardt have garnered international attention for the last twenty years. This year she was asked to design the cover for Vogue Italia and was invited be part of the recent international Urban Break exhibit in Seoul, Korea.

After spending twenty years in New York, Bernhardt has returned to her home town of St. Louis. She bought three buildings and has revamped two of them; one for use as her studio and one as a gallery to exhibit her work, as well as the works of other artists.

Bernhardt said she moved back to St. Louis to help her parents, and that she and her son are living in her childhood home. “When I was little here in St. Louis,” she said, “one of the only things I liked, design-wise, was the Swatch watches at Dillard’s. So, I would go to Dillard’s to look at them, and I would collect Swatch watches. I was always collecting stuff. … One of the other things to do was look at magazines. Some of my early work is all supermodels from magazine pictures. Then I became obsessed with Moroccan rugs and started painting those.”

Her work is playful and colorful and is not just in venues like the Smithsonian, the Carnegie Museum and the Sandretto Foundation in Torino, Italy, but has also been selling way above estimates at Christie’s and other auction houses.

Nike Panther and African Violet, done in 2019, are available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Katherine Bernhardt or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Megan Mertz. National artist Katherine Bernhardt’s Midtown studio was once an auto shop. St. Louis Magazine. May 6, 2021.
Mark Westall. David Zwirner Now Represents Katherine Bernhardt. FAD Magazine. July 6, 2021.
Park Han-sol. Urban art fair for millennials, Gen Z to kick off next week. The Korea Times. July 19, 2021.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. With His Radical Depictions Of Black Joy, Derrick Adams Is An Artist To Watch. Forbes. July 8, 2021.
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Caroline Perrott. Derrick Adams X Vilebrequin Bring Miamians A Collab Perfect For The Days Ahead. OceanDrive Magazine. January 7, 2021.
Marcia G. Yerman. A Conversation With Derrick Adams. Huffpost. October 14, 2014.
Katherine Bernhardt Vogue Italia Cover

Featured Works by Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann and Retna at VFA

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Katherine Bernhardt 1975 – present

Katherine Bernhardt was asked to create a cover for the May edition of Vogue Italia to celebrate their 100th anniversary of Chanel No. 5. The cover reflects the bright colors and familiar objects that have made her works so well received around the world.

Bernhardt has been dividing her time between her studio in New York and the studio near her childhood home in St. Louis. Her works are currently being shown at the limited  (due to the pandemic) Art Basel venues in Hong Kong and Miami.

The Pink Panther is a recurring image in Bernhardt’s art. African Violet and Nike Panther, available at VFA, are lithographs that use the Pink Panther image and exemplify the playfulness of her art.

Her works are part of the permanent collections of The Smithsonian, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Rubell Collection in Miami, the Ghazaleh Foundation in Amman, Jordan and other fine museums and galleries.

Tom Wesselmann 1931 – 2004

Tom Wesselmann’s work is currently being shown at Almine Rech Paris at the Still Life exhibit, alongside modern works by Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and examples of Still Life that go back as far as the Renaissance and ancient Egypt.

One of his Bedroom Paintings is part of the Daydreams and Nightmares exhibition at the virtual Gagosian exhibit at Frieze and Documenta Foot Print is being shown at the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont as part of an exhibit called Deep Blue that examines the use of the deep blue color as an artist’s statement…a color that appears often as a background in Wesselman’s art.

Wesselmann earned a degree in psychology and became more interested in an art career than becoming a therapist, so he moved from his home town of Cincinnati to New York in 1956 to study at Cooper Union.

He created collages and used shaped canvasses at the start of his career, often focusing on the female form and later using laser cut metal. Mixed Bouquet with Leger and Maquette for Still Life with Johns and Matisse, available at VFA, are works that pay homage to the great artists who influenced his creations.

Retna 1979 – present

Marquis Lewis, the LA artist known as Retna, is one of the few graffiti artists whose works have gone from the street to worldwide exhibits at galleries and museums.

His distinctive calligraphy style is instantly recognizable. His work is currently on display at the West Chelsea Contemporary Gallery in Austin, Texas in an exhibit called Icons & Vandals.

An untitled work in acrylic, done in Retna’s inimitable style is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann, Retna or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Veronica Theodoro. Vogue Italia taps painter Katherine Bernhardt to create its latest cover. St. Louis Magazine/Design ST> May 7, 2021.
NANZUKA Goes Surreal At Art Basel Hong Kong 2021. Hypebeast. May 19, 2021.
Wallce Ludel .E.T. and Xanax: An Interview with Katherine Bernhardt. Cultured Magazine/Art.January 16, 2020.
Michael Barnes. Eye-popping art goes urban, edgy in ‘Icons & Vandals’ at Austin gallery. The Austin American-Statesman. May 27, 2021.
Gabrielle Pharms. 8 Texas art exhibitions worth a fall trip. The Austin-American Statesman. November 11, 2020.

Katherine Bernhardt’s Slime, Alex Katz in Shanghai

Katherine Bernhardt spent part of the quarantine stranded (happily) in Guatemala. She is back at the home and studio in Brooklyn, but stores some of her artwork in a building that she bought in her hometown of St. Louis.

Katherine Bernhardt’s building after being whitewashed by St. Louis Forestry workers.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Bernhardt.

Bernhardt painted a mural on the side of the building that was whitewashed by a city-affiliated graffiti removal program, even though the artist painted the work on her own property.

On a happier note, Bernhardt and her son were walking down Broadway last year and happened upon the building that is currently housing the Sloomoo Institute…a project that donates money to three mental health charities – NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Sad Girls Club, and Love is Louder.

The Sloomoo Institute is a place where people go to play with slime, a healing, stress-relieving activity. (The name Sloomoo comes from something that avid slimers do. They replace the vowels in their name with  “oo” to get their “slime name”.)

Bernhardt was asked to collaborate with the Institute and come up with a slime design that would be fun and could be sold in their shop.

What Bernhardt and the team came up with is a watermelon-scented slime with little black beads that look like seeds. A clay-slime watermelon slice on a stick gets squishy when it’s dipped into the slime, which is topped with an avocado, a banana and watermelon slices.

The work was released for purchase on July 20, 2020.

Alex Katz in Shanghai

Alex Katz’s cutout sculptures at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai

Alex Katz has always marched to a different drummer, creating his unique style that has become sleeker and even more refined during his long and flourishing career.

A view of part of the Alex Katz exhibit in Shanghai

His portraits and sculptures of family and friends, the landscapes done around his summer home in Maine,  have been the foundation of works for more than seventy years.

He has influenced many artists, but was never one to be influenced by current trends. His resolve didn’t make him popular in the 1950s and ’60s, but it has paid off and he has earned the status of one of America’s greatest artists.

The Alex Katz exhibit at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai will run through August 9, 2020.

Works by Katherine Bernhardt and Alex Katz at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, Alex Katz or any of the other featured artworks at VFA.


References:
Erin Heffernan. Artist’s Black Lives Matter mural is whitewashed by city contractor. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 21, 2020.
How Slime Became a Signature Motif for Katherine Bernhardt. Cultured Magazine. July 21, 2020.
Katy Hamer. Interview: Artist Katherine Bernhardt on her Slimy Collaboration with NYC’s Sloomoo Institute. Cool Hunting. July 21, 2020.
Murray Whyte. How the Maine coastline shaped the painter Alex Katz. The Boston Globe. June 26, 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.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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