Friday, December 16, 2016

Art Basel Miami Beach

Alexander Calder. U.S. "Mobile with Five White Dots and One Red Dot"
and print  "Red, Yellow, Blue Circles" by Alexander Calder.

Art / Basel / Miami is the greatest art fair in the world.  Almost 300 of the best international
art galleries from all over the world come to Miami with their very best artwork to sell.
All of these pieces come from private collections, so they have never been seen in public
before and may never appear again.  It is an incredible opportunity to view a vast
variety of the best art from 1900-2016 all in one place.  I enjoyed it very much.

Alexei Jawlensky.  Russian/German.  "Portrait of Woman."
German Expressionism.  1912

Jeff Koons.  U.S.  "Blue Diamond Ring"  $15 M.
Koons has made five each of these rings, of mirror-polished stainless steel, in blue,
pink, yellow, white, and purple.  Larry Gagosian bought this ring at Christie's auction
in London last December for $11.8 M.  It is shown by Gagosian Gallery.
It is seven feet high.

Jeff Koons.  "Blue Diamond."

Andy Warhol.   U.S.  "Dolly Parton" silk screen prints.  Warhol took a photo with a
polaroid camera, then made the print into an enlarged silk screen stencil.  He could then
print as many colors as he wanted.  Normally he required a client to purchase four prints 
for a total of $10,000.  These two now are priced at $100,000.

Georgia O'Keeffe.  "Abstracton."  bronze
Georgia O'Keeffe came from a small town in Wisconsin and moved to
New York and then New Mexico.  She is most noted for her paintings.
This piece in bronze, although similar to some of her sinuous plant
forms, is a unique sculptural form. 

One corner of this gallery had "Rio Grande" by Helen Frankenthaler in Color Field Style.
In the center is English artist Anthony Caro's "Catalan Spur" and on the right side
is a small "Target" by Kenneth Noland of the Washington School of Ab. Expressionism.

Robert Henri.  U.S.  "Reclining Figure."  1919
Henri was leader of the School of Ashcan Painters in the U.S., artists who wanted to
portray the gritty city and real life with rough brush strokes, and not perfectly
 polished surfaces.  He influenced many young artists.

Marino Marini was an Italian artist who used the image of "Horse and Rider" in both
paintings and sculpture to represent the human spirit and soul.  The Second World War
wreaked havoc in Europe, and Marini's Horsemen frequently show the horror of the day.

Jean Dubuffet was a French artist who worked in abstraction and developed a style
from doodling with different colored ball point pens in drawing.  His paintings have the
strong outlines and crosshatching that you may see on your own phone pad as you wait.
He then translated those forms into 3d sculpture.  They were displayed superbly in a
rather dark space with strong spotlights at Landau Gallery.

"Reality" in art takes many forms.  Richard Estes, in his "Store with Pineapples," employs
super-realism or photo-realism to create a work that looks like a high definition photograph.
But it is really an oil on canvas painting.

"Reality" in sculpture could be seen in this piece by Duane Hanson entitled
"Cowboy and Bale of Hay."  The cowboy is made of polyester resin, but his clothes
are real and so is the bale of hay.   Sculpture no longer must be carved out of wood or
stone or cast in bronze.

Roy Lichtenstein's "Head of a Woman" is "real" = you can recognize it immediately and
it is definitely not a tree or a house.  But his "realism" was based on his love of comic
books and the type of reality comic artists created to make their stories work - strong
outlines, broad areas of flat color, hatching to represent shading.

David Bates.  "Bouquet of Flowers."  U.S.
Bates is a Black artist working in New Orleans.  He uses strong outlines, often
in black, and patterns of lines.

Ai Wei Wei is the most famous artist in China and a political dissident also.
In the center is his "Column,"  an example of Conceptual Art.

"Butterfly Heart" by Damien Hirst of Englad.  7 feet high.  Those are real butterflies
attached to a background, then covered with acrylic.  Hirst uses real butterflies in many of
his works. There are "butterfly farms" in several places around the world, and they raise
and sell exotic, beautifully colored butterflies to people for many reasons.

Fernand Leger of France painted "Still Life" using the new techniques of
Cubism and Abstraction to break down his subjects into geometric forms and
then rearrange them and flatten them out.

Another type of "realism" is seen in Colombian artist Fernando Botero's
"Seated Woman with Cat."  His swelling figures, whether of people, or fruit,
or animals, seem ready to burst.

Robert Motherwell.  U.S.  "Balkan Lute."  Collage.
Motherwell was interested in the relationship of art and music and created
many paintings about the juncture of the two.  This work is partially painted
and partially created by gluing pieces of construction paper to the canvas.
The "strings" of the lute have been painted on the paper.

Joel Shapiro.  U.S.  "Walking Figure"  wood
Joel Shapiro works in sizes from a few inches high to pieces 10 or 12 feet high;
they may be made of wood or bronze and placed outdoors.  They reduce a figure
to its simplest elements. 

Enrico Castellani. "Yellow."  Italian.  Shaped canvas.
Castellani places objects on his wooden frames, then stretches the canvas tightly
across them, making a work which is both painting and sculpture and making use of
light and shadow to create forms.

"El Gato" by the Oaxaca Cooperative.  Wool tapestry.  Mexico.
A lady in Oaxaca, Mexico, has organized a cooperative and taught the men
and women of Oaxaca how to weave tapestries in techniques similar to what 
their indigenous ancestors had done for centuries.  These tapestries
are now sold by a gallery in Los Angeles. 

Alma Thomas.  "Arrival of Spring."  U.S.
Ms Thomas was a Black school teacher in Washington, D.C. who developed
a style combining Pointillism and Byzantine mosaics to create paintings,
often based on nature, which expressed her feelings and often related to music.
Acrylic paint on canvas.

Fabian Marcaccio.  "Green Piece."  Argentina.
Marcaccio works with computers to create an image, and then uses
a 3D copier to actually produce the works.  This object was made by a
copier and then partially overpainted.

Bridget Riley.  "Two Tone Piece."  English.  Op Art
Some artists in the 20th century became interested in how our eyes react to lines and
colors. They created works based solely on lines and color and often meant to
convey movement.  This large piece, perhaps 12 feet long, undulates like
branches on a tree in a strong wind.

Gunther Gerszo.  "Ancient Walls."  Hungarian/Mexican.
We are fortunate in South Florida to have a strong Hispanic flavor to our
artistic life.  We have wonderful galleries specializing in Latin American art.
Mary-Anne Martin Gallery from New York is one of the very best
galleries to see Latin American art.

Leonora Carrington.  "Temple of the Word."  1937
Leonora Carrington was an Englsh born woman who took up residence in Mexico
and developed a style based on Surrealism, exploring the subconscious
and dreams.

Kenneth Noland.  "Pink Target." U.S.  6 ft x 6 ft.
Noland was one of the artists in Washington, D.C. who came to
soak and stain his canvases, rather than simply paint them,
and to create large simple figures that did not "mean" anything.
"What you see is what you see" was their famous motto.
no symbolism or deep meaning or subjective content.

Andy Warhol.  "Dollar Sign." U.S. silkscreen.
While other people were out "Making a buck," Andy took the advice
literally and made a dollar sign.  And he could make lots, because this was 
a silkscreen, where the stencil cold be used over and over.

The Fair provides a number of "green spaces" where visitors with tired feet can sit down and
rest.  The "hill" is made of plywood and astroturf, but provides a good place to sit and rest.

A visitor before Joan Mitchell's "La Grande Vallee XVIII."

Joan was from Chicago, moved to New York and then France, where she lived for many years.
She worked in Abstract Expressionism, often inspired by nature.  The price for this
diptych was $6.5 M.

Chrysanthemum Festival Part 3

The West Hall leads from the Main Conservatory to the Orchid House and other
greenhouses.  It was hung with orange Chinese paper lanterns, and Cinnamon Wattle,
a variety of acacia, hung from the ceiling, and fourteen pots of 7 spider mums each
lined the sides.

These are Kishinonishi Yellow Spider Mums.  They are about 9 inches in diameter.

Kishinonishi Yellow Spider Mums

There are hundreds of varieties of mums, and Longwood has tried to organize them into
manageable groups.  So they have designated thirteen major categories, and there was an urn
devoted to each of the varieties in the West Hall.  These are "George Couchman Irregular
Incurve Mums."  The colors are pure autumn.

"George Couchman Mum" - about eight inches across.

Another variety of mums is the thistle mum, small and with may petals.  This is
"Cisco Thistle Mum," a beautiful bright yellow.

Small Cisco Thistle Mums

This gorgeous beauty is "King's Delight Quill Mum" and it is about 10 inches in diameter.
It was a beautiful pale pink in color.

"King's Delight Quill Mums"

"Snowflake Anemone Mums" were small and prolific.

Snowflake Anemone Chrysanthemums

"Two-Toned Pink Single Chrysanthemums" were about 2 inches across.

A vase filled with "Two-Toned Pink Single Mums."

This is one of my favorite colors - "Indian Summer Show Mum."

"Indian Summer Show Mum"

"Indian Summer Show Mum."  Wouldn't you like to have a garden with a dozen bushes
like this?

These are huge "Apricot Alexis Chrysanthemums."  They have a wonderful, rich
apricot color and are about 8 inches in diameter.

"Apricot Alexis Chrysanthemum"

This is one of teh few varieties which I have seen here in the past; almost every flower
this year was different from what I have seen in the past.  This "Bill Holden Mum" - a beautiful
soft pink with slightly drooping petals.

A pot of pink "Bill Holden Mums."

"Bill Holden Mum"

These large football mums are "Nijin Bigo," in deep red and copper.

"Nijin Bigo Chrysanthemum" - about 8 inches in diameter.

This was a brand new variety they had for the first time - "Mocha."

Longwood has always had a collection of bonsai trees, some of them nearly 100 years old,
but they have now begun a project to develop a whole series of chrysanthemum bonsais.
The tree above is about 12 inches high; the flowers are quite small; and it is two years old.
They will now try to train these bonsai in unusual shapes and smaller.

A deep orange anemon bonsai mum.

A white chrysanthemum bonsai.

"Kelvin Tattoo Pompom Mum."  These are small and very prolific.

"Icicle White" crinkly spider mums.

"Icicle Mum"

"Exotic White Edo 28 Mum."  Edo Mums are irregularly shaped flowers, often with twisted
petals.  Breeders are not sure they will perpetuate themselves like this and so they have not 
been given specific names yet.

"Edo 28 Exotic White Mum"

"Orange Sherbet" mum

Red Pelee Mums.  Mums will only bloom if there is less than 12 hours of daylight
each day.  So, to get longer stems, you plant the cuttings early in the summer and they will
grow tall before setting buds.  If you want the stems very short, as on these flowers, you
don't plant the cuttings until after Sept. 1.

This is the Hibiscus Greenhouse, where a number of special Chinese Hibiscus flowers
are grown.  Along this side was a series of Chinese lanterns and yellow Marguerite daisies.
The lanterns were lighted at night for special showings.

Red and Yellow Chinese Paper Lanterns decorated the ceiling of the Hibiscus House.

"Candy Striper: Chinese Hibiscus

"Fifth Dimension" Chinese Hibiscus

"The Pearl" Chinese Hibiscus was an iridescent pearl white and 12 inches across,
a dinner-plate mum.

"Erin Rachel" was a lovely Chinese Hibiscus in orange, pink, and magenta.