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.

Recently Acquired works by Eddie Martinez, Timothy Curtis and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

We are pleased to announce the recent acquisition of unique and intimate works by Eddie Martinez, whose creations have been highly sought after in recent years, with a large painting going for $2 million at Christies at the end of 2019.

A largely self-taught graffiti artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn, Martinez usually works large, using spray paint and mixed media in his huge, often figurative, works that combine Pop, Neo-Expressionism into his distinctive and boldly colored paintings.

Our recent acquisitions, each Untitled, are small, personal, hand-drawn works that were created with a variety of media from crayon to oil pastel, acrylic ink, marker and even white out.

In the past few years, Eddie Martinez’ audience has expanded from collectors in the U.S. to collectors around the world, with shows in as diverse venues as the Bronx Museum and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai.

Timothy Curtis 1982 –

Timothy Curtis has had an incredible career as a graffiti artist, who began studying art in earnest when he was incarcerated in 2008. He studied art history and honed his drawing skills (and earned some extra cash) by doing portraits of fellow inmates to send to their friends and families.

Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, acted as a mentor and gave Curtis his first solo show in Japan.

Curtis’ works are playful, uninhibited and masterfully drawn. Recent acquisitions at VFA, Caught in the Twist and Death Won’t Do Us Apart are from the artist’s Ghost Bike series. The Ghost Bike series was first shown at the 2020 Armory Show in New York.

Curtis has an upcoming solo show at Albertz Benda Gallery in New York this fall and an exhibit at the K11 Museum in Hong Kong in 2022.

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Before 1961, Roy Lichtenstein was an educator (he taught art at Rutgers University) and an artist who was trying to find his way in the changing world of modern art.

He displayed his work, complete with Benday Dots, in 1961, at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. In 1962, he was given a solo show at Castelli and it was sold out before it opened.

Looking back at the work that Lichtenstein did before 1961 reveals the influence that European modernism, American historical paintings and traditional Chinese art had on his style.

An exhibit of the works that he did from 1948 to 1960 has been put together by a collaboration between the Colby College Museum of Art and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making 1948-1960 will be traveling from the Colby College Museum to the
Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, Long Island, New York from August 1 – October 24, 2021, then on to the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio from March 4 to June 5, 2022 and will make a final stop at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina from August 25, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

The Nasher Museum made a video of History in the Making that shows many of Lichtenstein’s early works and the surprised reactions from young artists who have never known Lichtenstein’s story.

Brushstrokes became a theme in many of Lichtenstein’s works; a nod to Abstract Expressionists, an ironic nod to the lack of brushstrokes in the mechanical-appearing works that made him famous.  Lichtenstein did several Brushstroke sculptures before creating a series  of lithographs that not only feature brushstrokes, but are done in hands-on woodcut and waxtype.

We have recently acquired Green Face from the Brushstroke Figures, done in 1989, a fine example of Lichtenstein’s skill as artist and printmaker.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Eddie Martinez, Timothy Curtis or Roy Lichtenstein available at VFA.


References:
Christie’s. Collecting guide: 2021’s hot artists at cool prices. July 7, 2021.
Barbara A. MacAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021.
John Chiaverina. 12 Galleries That Aren’t in New York or Even Los Angeles. The New York Times Style Magazine. June 16/June 25, 2021.

The Fine Lines of Austin Lee and Timothy Curtis at VFA

Many ultra-contemporary artists, meaning those born after 1974, use fine line drawings to create their figurative, landscape, abstract and realistic works.

Some fine line artists, like Timothy Curtis, began their careers as graffiti artists. Others, like Austin Lee who has an MFA from Yale, have been classically trained.

Austin Lee 1983 – present

The works of Austin Lee begin as computer drawings. He even uses a Virtual Reality headset to get three-dimensional effects that appear in his paintings, prints and sculptures.

Austin Lee, 2019

For Lee, it’s not just the form that he’s interested in, it’s also the vibrant colors that define his work.

“On the computer, the color’s really luminous because of the light, versus a painting’s subtractive color,” he says. “On the computer that’s really easy to make, but then to make that with paint is a little trickier. So for me, I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s really cool — how do I paint that?’ If I just made a painting physically first, I might not arrive at that. On the computer, it’s endless drawings. I could just draw forever and there’s no risk and I can try everything.”

Timothy Curtis 1982 – present

Graffiti artists have as many different motives for placing their ‘tags’ in public places as they have in the styles they use for their work.

Timothy Curtis, 2017

For Timothy Curtis, who grew up in West Philadelphia, graffiti was a way of life, a way to have fun. The fun he had on the streets of Philadelphia cost him seven years of jail time.

The jail time was well spent. Curtis studied art history and honed his skills, especially the skill he has of drawing faces.

Smiley faces, embellished with a bow tie or a dollar sign, were often used by graffiti artists when Curtis was beginning to get into graffiti.

In prison, where inmates would receive letters and family photos, he drew portraits of his fellow inmates to send to their families in lieu of photos.

In his work, Curtis continues to use faces as expressions of storytelling. “They are portraits or masks that come from the line I developed through all the things I’ve learned through the years: tagging, calligraphy, art history, fighting, climbing, running, taking, giving, even other artists I’ve learned from and admire. It’s all muscle memory and it’s all included in these lines. They are the result of my history and I hope to learn how to use them properly to tell the story I want to tell. It’s really intense to capture so many emotions on one canvas. I’m trying to get them to be more human and relatable to an actual person, as opposed to being too cartoony or candy looking.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Austin Lee, Timothy Curtis or any of the other fine art for sale at VFA.


References:
Keith Estiler. Austin Lee Crafts Whimsical New Artworks for “Aah” Exhibition. Hypebeast. September 16, 2020.
Jessica Stewart. 8 Different Types of Drawing Styles You Can Try Right Now. My Modern Met. August 21, 2019.
Kristen Tauer. Austin Lee Mounts Solo Exhibition ‘Feels Good’ at Jeffrey Deitch. WWD. March 6, 2019.
Joey Garfield. Timothy Curtis: Never One Day Not Having Fun. Juxtapoz. April 2017.

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.
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