Keith Haring: Off the Wall; Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf On the Walls

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was both an artist and activist. He paved the way, in the 1980s, for street artists to gain acceptance in fine art galleries and museums.

The world was Haring’s canvas. He drew and painted on subway stations, billboards and walls…walls of homes, offices, schools. Haring’s goal was to make art accessible. And that he did.

In 1981, Haring was invited to speak at Bard College about the ethics of graffiti. He had a Magic Marker, of course, and drew five of his instantly recognizable Radiant Baby images on one of the walls of the college.

An art history professor at Bard cut the drawing out of the wall and kept it in his office. It remained in the professor’s office for more than forty years. The professor is about to retire and, thanks to a grant from the Keith Haring Foundation, the drawing is going to be permanently installed in the Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.

Another Radiant Baby drawing, found in Haring’s childhood home in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, was recently auctioned at Rago/Wright’s auction house in New Jersey.

Haring drew the Radiant Baby, with a gold marker, above a light switch in his bedroom. Art historian, Christine Isabelle Oaklander, helped the home’s current owners get the drawing to auction. She said that Haring probably drew the work on one of the many visits he made to see his family before his death in 1990.

The drawing was estimated to go for $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $143,750.

Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf Paint the Walls of  Midtown St. Louis

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation commissioned twenty artists to create large murals on the walls of a neighborhood is Midtown St. Louis. The Foundation hopes that the art will lighten the mood of the neighborhood and encourage more visitors to the area.

Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams, Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón and Los Angeles-based artist Kenny Scharf and  as well as local artists, created brightly colored  murals that are just the beginning of the project.

The Foundation hopes to cover a four-block stretch of the area, in an effort to increase foot traffic.  The area is home to several cultural organizations and the Kranzberg’s High Low gallery and coffee shop.

The initial part of the project is complete and the murals are fabulous.

Thanks to Keith Haring for making Street Art a welcomed and accepted art form around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf available at VFA.


References:
Alex Greenberger. Bard College to Reinstall Keith Haring Wall Work That Sat for Years in Professor’s Office. ArtNews. September 21, 2022.
Angelica Villa. Keith Haring ‘Radiant Baby’ Wall Drawing to Be Auctioned. ArtNews. August 23, 2022.
Jeremy D. Goodwin. Kranzberg has 20 artists transform Washington Avenue with murals. NPR/St. Louis Public Radio. September 20, 2022.

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.

Vert Fine Art at Art Market Hamptons 2022

VFA at Art Market Hamptons 2022

New prints by Alex Katz and Kenny Scharf are among the works that we will be exhibiting at the twelfth edition of Art Market Hamptons.

Eighty-five prominent galleries will be showing modern and contemporary artworks at Nova’s Art Project and Sculpture Garden, the fairs’ new location at Hampton’s East End.

The Hamptons have always been considered a great getaway spot, especially for artists. In 2020, many New Yorkers took refuge in The Hamptons to escape the restrictions of the pandemic. During the past two years, local art scene in The Hamptons has thrived, with galleries and auction houses, like Christie’s and Phillips, setting up shop.

The Art Market will run from August 11 through August 14, 2022.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Alex Katz was born and raised in Brooklyn. He has lived and worked in New York for all of his 95 years. So, it’s very fitting that an eight-decade retrospective of his works will open at the Guggenheim in New York in October.

Katz has been collaborating with the museum to assemble over 200 paintings, prints, oil sketches, collages, drawings, and sculptures. The show will open with drawings that Katz did in the 1940s, while he rode the subway on his way to school at Cooper Union, and finish with the large landscapes he has been doing in the last few years.

Alex Katz: Gathering will be on display from October 21, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

Kenny Scharf calls his work Surreal Pop Art. He went from his hometown of Los Angeles to study art in New York, where he befriended Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

He’s been back in LA for a long time now, in order to be closer to his grandchildren. His own child-like quality, and the influence of both coasts, is still present in his artwork.

“In the early days, I got slighted and ridiculed for my use of bright plasticky colorful cartoony visions.” Scharf told Interview Magazine recently, “Hailing from L.A. wasn’t something that people admired, it was considered a place where people were airheads. I wasn’t taken seriously because L.A. wasn’t, either. When I returned to L.A., I was considered a New York interloper, and was slightly ostracized for making my name in New York. I’ve been living and painting in here for 23 years now, and finally people don’t ask me when I’m going back to New York. I feel I brought my L.A. aesthetic to New York, and brought my New York energy back to L.A.!”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Alex Katz and Kenny Scharf available at VFA. More information about Art Market Hamptons is available here: https://artmarkethamptons.com


References:
Eileen Kinsella. In 2020, Blue-Chip Art Businesses Flocked to the Hamptons. Are They in It for the Long Haul? Artnet News. August 3, 2022.
Guggenheim Museum Presents “Alex Katz: Gathering” Opening October 21. The City Life.Org. July 31, 2022.
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Kenny Scharf Talks to Trees. Interview Magazine. April 22, 2022.

Kenny Scharf Paints the Earth, Jeff Koons Aims for the Moon

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Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf was born in Los Angeles in 1958. “And then, of course,” he said, in an interview with the Brooklyn Rail, “I grew up in LA and the plastic world and all the cars and the gas stations and the restaurants and every single piece of architecture was like “outer space!” Those future-y, fantasy things were my first visuals. That in combination with all the messages that were being sent out to me. That’s kind of my whole thing with the Jetsons. I identified with Elroy, that was me, I was a space boy of the future. Space, it’s so spiritual to me.”

Scharf moved to New York and earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1980. He shared a studio with Keith Haring and was part of the East Village art scene.

He moved back to LA more than twenty years ago, to be closer to his grandchildren. Like other grandparents and parents, he’s concerned about the future of the planet. His most recent show, WOODZ ‘N THINGZ, focuses on the earth’s ecosystem.

Some of his recent works are painted on old flat screen televisions. “I pour on the gesso,” he says, “create the surface. And I also love that you get this stuff from the garbage. It’s already framed. They’re ready to hang.”

Kenny Scharf sprayed graffiti in the ’80s. These days he does commissioned murals and works in a variety of media. We have painting, sculptures and fine art prints by Kenny Scharf in the VFA Gallery.

WOODZ ‘N THINGZ will be on display at the Totah Gallery in New York through June 25, 2022.

Jeff Koons

I believe that art has been a vehicle for me that’s been about enlightenment and expanding my own parameters, to give me the courage to exercise the freedom that I have in life.
– Jeff Koons

Just when it seems like Jeff Koons couldn’t think any farther outside of the box, he does. He’s now thinking outside of the stratosphere.

Koons is sending his art to the moon.

A collection of work, which has not yet been revealed, is set to be installed on the moon’s surface later this year, launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

Jeff Koons: Moon Phases is a collaboration between NFMoon, 4Space, and Pace Gallery. Each physical sculpture and its corresponding, one-of-a-kind NFT is set to land on the Moon’s surface on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander in a fully autonomous mission. The intended destination for the sculptures is in an area called Oceanus Procellarum, one of the flat, dark plains on the lower elevation of the Moon’s surface. The works will be placed in a specially designed enclosed art cube.

“I’ve always enjoyed the idea of creating a global art, art that really is about every human beings’ aspiration to have a more fulfilling life. To be able to touch on meaning, what it means to be a human being,” Koons explained in a video announcing the project.

Here on earth, at VFA, we have some of Jeff Koons’ finest works for sale.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf and Jeff Koons available at VFA.


References:
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Kenny Scharf Talks to Trees. Interview Magazine. April 22, 2022.
Eric James Beyer. Moon Phases: An Inside Look At The NFT Project That Will Land on the Moon. NFT Now. May 23, 2022.
Jeff Koons’ New Project Will Land on the Moon. Cool Hunting. Link/Tech.

Kenny Scharf Honored by National Academy; Basquiat Honored by Family

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

Kenny Scharf was honored at the TriBeCa Ball at the New York Academy of Art on April 19th.

The annual event raises funds for the Academy’s programming and also gives Academy students a chance to showcase and sell their own artwork.

Scharf painted a mural at the Academy the day before the event. “My connection to the school goes way back to the ’70s, and it’s actually why I moved to New York,” Scharf said, in an interview in  Vogue magazine. “[Eileen Guggenheim (current head of the Academy)] was a visiting teacher of mine at the University of California Santa Barbara. She was a visiting teacher from New York, and it was a very big lecture hall, maybe 500 kids in there, but she was teaching 20th-century art and we were all wrapped listening to her great story-telling, but basically when she got to the factory-ing and Warhol and all the excitement about the life of an artist, basically I sold my car and moved to New York, 1977.”

Scharf was joined at the Ball by Brian Donnelly (KAWS), Brooke Shields, who is on the Academy’s Board and other celebrities and major players in the art world.

Kenny Scharf came of age as an artist in the 1980s East Village art scene, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives and works there now, close to his grandchildren.

He lost some of his closest friends during the 1980s, from drug overdoses and AIDS. In spite of the difficulty of the times, Scharf’s work has always focused on joy, hope and optimism. He was one earliest artists to bridge the gap between illegal graffiti and street art.

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960-1988

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s was a blessing and curse. He was one of the most talented artists of his day and, sadly, died from a heroin overdose at the age of 27.

He was prolific, a true and unique artist, who painted when and where he could. He painted on canvas and board in his studio even left his mark on the walls and appliances in friends’ apartments. Basquiat worked hard and lived hard.

Basquiat’s sisters, Lisanne Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, his stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick, and other extended family members, have curated an exhibit that they hope shows the true character of the artist as opposed to the Pop icon that he has become.

They have even recreated rooms, with original furniture, from Basquiat’s family home. “Not only did he sketch and paint and draw—he was a poet,” Jeanine Heriveaux said, in a Brooklyn Magazine interview. “He was an actor, he was a producer. He auditioned to be a member of a noise band. He walked the runway for Commes des Garcons in Paris.”

The show includes more than 200 never-before  or rarely seen artworks by Basquiat. King Pleasure, is the title of the exhibit and the title of a painting created by Basquiat in 1987. King Pleasure is the name of a bebop-loving bartender turned jazz vocalist whose first hit, in 1952, “Moody’s Mood For Love,” catapulted him to fame. A soundtrack of some of Basquiat’s favorite music accompanies the exhibit. Listen Like Basquiat can be accessed on the Spotify website.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure is currently on exhibit at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat available at VFA.


References:
John Ortved. The Artist Kenny Scharf Honored at TriBeCa Ball. The New York Times. April 22, 2022.
Kristen Tauer. Inside NYAA’s Tribeca Ball Honoring Kenny Scharf. Women’s Wear Daily. April 20, 2022.
Zachary Weiss. Brooke Shields, Naomi Watts, and More Honor Kenny Scharf at this Year’s Tribeca Ball. Vogue. April 21, 2022.
Vittoria Benzine. ‘Badassery in Action.’: New Basquiat exhibit shows the man behind the mythology. Brooklyn Magazine. April 13, 2022.
Tessa Solomon. Listen to Basquiat’s Favorite Music With Spotify Playlists Curated for a New Immersive Exhibition. ArtNews. April 14, 2022.
Carl Swanson. A Basquiat Family Reunion The artist’s sisters have put on an exhibition of his work to remind the world where he came from — and have a party. New York Magazine/Curbed. April 11, 2022.

Alex Katz Mural in Texas, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide

Alex Katz 1927 –

A 35,000 square-foot, hand-painted mural by Alex Katz, was unveiled in Woodlands, Texas, a planned community just north of Houston. The mural was commissioned by the Howard Hughes Corporation to enhance the public plaza at the Woodlands Town Center.

A retrospective of Katz’s work, which will celebrate the artist’s more than seven-decade career, is scheduled to be held at the Guggenheim, New York from October 2022 through  February 2023. Katz currently has a solo exhibition in Brussels, and upcoming exhibits in London, Trento, Madrid, Austria, the Netherlands, Chicago and Maine.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

In the summer of 2021, director Maria Scharf, released her film Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide. The documentary is a warm and loving look at the career of the father Kenny, one of America’s most unique artists.

Kenny Scharf was born and raised in Los Angeles. He was heavily influenced by the cartoons, Pop culture and the Cold War anxiety of the 1960s.

He moved to New York and obtained a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in 1980. Scharf’s roommate was Keith Haring. Joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat and other young graffiti artists, they had a group show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983 that was panned by critics. New York Times art critic, Grace Glueck, called the show, “unsettling.” “Apart from its illegality,” she wrote, “the very idea of enshrining graffiti – an art of the streets impulsive and spontaneous by nature – in the traditional, time-honored medium of canvas, is ridiculous.”

The artists persisted, and Scharf pushed back. He encouraged his fellow artists to study art history and get a sense of how to thrive in the world of museums and galleries.

Scharf went on to have successful gallery shows during the 1980s and, in 1985, his work was selected for the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. He received raved reviews, with one critic saying that his work, “leaves you with hope, joy, play and optimism, and a sense of love….”

The optimism of his works was offset by the loss of Keith Haring to AIDS and Jean-Michel Basquiat to a drug overdose.

He traveled and worked in both New York and LA for a while, and finally settled in California. He lives in Culver City, close to his grandchildren and to his friend, artist Ed Ruscha, who took part in the film.

Scharf’s works are as optimistic and as much fun as they have ever been. He has collaborated with Dior and other fashion houses and even created signature masks during the pandemic.

An exhibit of the works of Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat is current on display at the Opera Gallery in Hong Kong.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artwork available at VFA.


References:
Jennifer Bruse. Community celebrates new Art Mural by Artist Alex Katz in The Woodlands Waterway Square. Hello Woodlands. April 11, 2002.
Lorrie Parise. Community Invited To Free Celebration of New Mural, Flowers, By Renowned Contemporary Artist, Alex Katz. Woodlands Online. March 31, 2022.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
Time Out Magazine. Basquiat, Haring, Scharf at Opera Gallery Hong Kong. April 8, 2022.
Robert Abele. Review: ‘Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide’ reveals the triumph of a committed artist. The Los Angeles Times. June 24, 2021.

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.

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.
Mel Bochner Blah, Blah, Blah, 2014

Added Dimensions: Fine Art Prints and more at VFA

It’s been wonderful to get back to seeing artworks up close and in person again. The ability to view fine art prints on line has been a valuable tool for galleries and art lovers, but there is nothing like seeing  a work in person to be able to appreciate its texture and richness.

Many of the artists whose works are in our gallery use what appear to be simple screenprint and lithography techniques. Artists, like Alex Katz, enhance their prints with lush layers of color.

An exhibit of Alex Katz‘s flower paintings are currently on view at the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery in Seoul and will run through February 5, 2022.

Although he has always done large paintings in oil, Katz also works in other medium, like porcelain enamel on aluminum and powder coated sculptural works.

Other artists who are best known for their paintings and prints, also expand their oeuvre by using innovative and creative materials:

Donald Sultan is known for using industrial materials like tar and linoleum in his large paintings, and  flocking and diamond dust in many of his floral prints. Sultan also creates sculptures in floral motifs.

Kenny Scharf, who often uses traditional oil paint on linen for his less-than-traditional motifs, also uses some unusual combination of materials in his two and three-dimensional works. He uses diamond dust in many of his fine art prints and flocking on some of his sculptural works.

One of America’s most interesting painters and printmakers, Ed Ruscha, worked with master printmakers to create many innovate textural prints. He worked closely with master printmaker, Richard Duardo, founder of Modern Multiples, an L.A. institution for more than forty years. Zoot Soot, available at VFA, is Ruscha’s homage to Richard Duardo. Zoot Soot is a wonderful example of Ruscha’s innovate printmaking.

Like Ed Ruscha, Mel Bochner uses words and a variety of materials in his paintings and prints. “The materiality of a drawing is central to its meaning” Bochner said. “Every medium reveals something but hides something else. A change of mediums can reveal what was hidden, permitting new thoughts to emerge.” An inspired version of Blah, Blah, Blah, a recurring theme in Bochner’s works, is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Alex Katz, Donald Sultan, Kenny Scharf, Ed Ruscha, Mel Bochner or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Jonathan Goodman. Alex Katz/ArtSeen. The Brooklyn Rail. December 2021-January 2022 Issue.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Alex Katz’s Verdant Paintings Fill the Halls of Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul. Hype Art. December 13, 2021.

Festive, Fun and Fabulous: Fine Art Prints …and more…

The uniqueness of each fine art print is always intriguing and surprising. Each artist’s vision, technique and medium lends itself to the creation of  an extraordinary work of art.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Seeing the fine art prints of an artist like Alex Katz, a master of the use of color, gives us an even greater appreciation of the art form.

His White Impatiens screenprint, has a simplicity of design that makes it hard to believe that he used 26 colors in its clean composition.

A fine art print like Marissa, a woodcut/linocut further underscores Katz’s talent.

Alex Katz will be having a 95th Birthday Exhibit at the Albertina Museum in Vienna on May 17, 2022 through August 21, 2022 and a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York on October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

The works of Kenny Scharf are mind-bending and smile producing. He was born in Los Angles, where he currently lives and works, but spent the 1980s in New York. Scharf attended the School of Visual Arts and became part of the New York art scene with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artist friends, some of whom, sadly, died during that era.

Scharf calls his work Pop Surrealism, a sensibility that has global appeal.

The Scharf Schack, a newspaper kiosk that he turned into a shop in Manhattan in the ’90s, has been recreated in the Baik Art Gallery in Seoul. The exhibit of Scharf’s works also includes a recreation of his L.A. studio. The exhibit will run through Christmas.

Like Keith Haring, Scharf has always wanted his art to be accessible. He said that art is something, “that can’t be confined to just a painting for a museum or gallery, but that has to explode off the wall into your life.”

At VFA we have a selection of Kenny Scharf’s paintings, prints and sculptures.

Yoshitomo Nara 1959 –

Yoshitomo Nara was a latchkey kid who grew up in northern Japan. One of his major influences was the rock-and-roll music broadcast from a nearby American army base. He didn’t understand the lyrics, but he got then message, and began collecting vinyl records, not just for the music, but also for the cover art.

Nara’s work is currently being shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, along with many of his album covers adorning the installation entrance.

Although best known for his depictions of wide-eyed, mischievous children, Nara also creates mixed media sculptures.

Available at VFA is  Yoshitomo Nara’s Doggy Radio, complete with a nose-turner dial, that is a tribute to the medium that started it all.

Andy Warhol 1928 – 1987

More fun to art lovers than a box of Legos, is Andy Warhol’s Portrait of the Artists from Ten from Leo Castelli. The work consists of 100 polystyrene boxes, each just 2-inches square. On each square is a screenprint of one of the artists whose works were shown at the Castelli Gallery.

The artists portrayed are Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Poons, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist; Donald Judd, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol himself.

Warhol made 200 copies of the boxed set, one of which is in the collection of MoMA another of which is available at VFA.

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


References:
Korea JoongAng Daily/In association with The New York Times. Exhibitions Across Seoul are attracting MZ generation. December 7, 2021.
Park Han-sol. US pop art legend’s funky ‘Scharf Schak’ from the ’90s reborn in Seoul. The Korea Times. December 8, 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.

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.

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.

Keith Haring’s Collaborations, Celebration of 80 Years at the Norton Museum

Keith Haring’s Collaborations

In the recently published book, Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire, author Ricardo Montez looks at the way that Keith Haring connected with those around him, and how race and gender influenced his works.

Haring was very social, very driven and very curious about the world around him. He filled journals with pages of drawings, calligraphy and poetry. He collected the works of artists whom he met and admired in New York.

His legacy, the Keith Haring Foundation, supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, prevention, and care related to AIDS. Works from Haring’s personal collection were auctioned off last September to benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Haring’s collection included works by Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and other incredible and influential artists, whose works are available at VFA.

In 1978, Haring was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He painted a mural for an exhibit in the student gallery at 260 West Broadway. The building, an 8,000 square foot triplex loft has been converted to a private residence, with the original mural intact. The asking price for the Tribeca loft is $8 million.

Alex Katz, Jeff Koons Featured at the Norton Museum’s 80th Anniversary Celebration

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opened its doors to the public on February 8, 1941 and has been an integral part of the community for the past eighty years.

Norton Museum of Art postcard, circa 1941 Courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.

The museum was renovated in 2019 with a new look and nearly 60,000 square feet of new or renovated space.

To mark the Norton’s 80th Anniversary, the museum held a virtual anniversary celebration and an art auction hosted by Sotheby’s.

Works by Alex Katz and Jeff Koons were featured in the auction.

One of the current exhibits at the Norton are prints and drawings from the collection of Esther M. and Sumner L. Feldberg. The collection includes work by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Sol Lewitt and other fine print artists. The exhibit runs through March 28, 2021.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Adriana Delgado. Norton celebrates 80th anniversary, virtual party and auction. Palm Beach Daily News. February 4, 2021.
Adam Rathe. Palm Beach’s Norton Museum Gets a Renovation by Norman Foster. Town&Country Magazine. February 5, 2019.
Dana Schulz. For $8M, this Tribeca loft comes with an original Keith Haring mural. 6sqft. February 9, 2021.
Danilo Machado. Keith Haring’s Lines of Desire. Hyperallergic. February 8, 2021.
Cassie Packard. Keith Haring’s Personal Collection Will Be Sold to Benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Hyperallergic. September 24, 2020.

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.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
  • Which artists most influenced the making of fine art prints
  • What questions to ask when buying prints
  • The fundamentals of print identification
  • Terms and techniques for identifying fine art prints
Learn More