Thursday, February 23, 2017

Art Palm Beach

This is a different fair from last week's "Palm Beach Contemporary and Modern."
This was held in the Convention Center and was a well organized presentation by
a number of galleries and also individual artists.
Opera Galleries, which have 12 branches worldwide, had a large presence.  This large
wooden "Head of Vivianne," was by Manolo Valdes of Spain.

Romero Britto, probably the most famous and successful artist in Miami, had a large booth
just of his works - paintings, prints, and sculptures, all in the Pop style.
This is "Paradise," in his style of strong black outlines and areas of flat color
with no shading.

All of these works are by Britto, including the Flamingo and the Apple.

"Big Smile" is by Romero Britto, a Brazilian/American artist.

Marc Sijan and Duane Hanson.  "The Gallery Guard" in polyester and fiberglass is
 by Hanson in his super-realistic style, and the "Noart Safe" on the wall is by Sijan.
 There are fake ingots of silver and mirrors inside.

The "Godfather of Op Art" was the Hungarian / French artist Victor Vasarely.
This is a perfectly flat piece of canvas, but painted in an illusionistic manner so that
the shapes seem to be bending and the canvas expanding.

Amelia Pelaez  of Cuba painted this "Still Life."  Her use of black lines and glowing
colors makes the painting look almost like a stained glass window. 

"Punching Bags" by Antuane Rodriguez, adorned with the faces of political leaders and
dictators.  Visitors were encouraged to work out their frustrations on the bags.

Damien Hirst.  "Psalm 121."  Butterflies, Acrylic, and Paint.  England
Mr. Hirst purchases exotic butterflies from dealers, arranges them in patterns on a
board and glues them, then paints around them, and finally seals the whole with a
layer of acrylic.  They make fascinating geometric patterns.

Close-up of above work by Damien Hirst.

Jeff Koons.  "Split Head Rocker Vase."  U.S.  Pop Art  Porcelain
I had seen other examples of this work before and did not care for it; but this gallery
took the time to explain it to me.  Mr. Koons was first married to an Italian actress and had
a son.  A bitter divorce took place, and the lady disappeared with the son for almost a year
before Jeff could find his son.  He was very distraught.  In happier days, his son had
especially enjoyed playing on a rocking horse with a horse's head.  When Jeff finally
found his son, he gave him another hobby horse, this is the form of a cow.  The sculpture
recalls the terrible split in his life and that of his son, and also the flowers of hope. 

Jeff Koons. "Yellow Balloon Dog Porcelain Plate Gilded."  U.S.
Jeff became famous for his 15 foot high Balloon Dogs made of mirror-polished
stainless steel.  This is a smaller version in gilded porcelain.

Mauro Peruchetti.  "Jelly Bean Family."  Italy.  Cast resin.

This fair had more glass art than I have ever seen before, and the best was in the Habatat
Gallery of Detroit.  Marlene Rose made these two pieces in sand-cast glass.  You make the
mold in sand, then pour in molten glass and let it cool.  The window in back looks like a
Japanese painting, and the Buddha head in front is from an old tradition.

Another glass artist, not with the gallery, was Steve Cox, who is from Wisconsin.
 He is currently working with these playful figures, part abstract and part biomorphic.

Bennett Bean.  "Gilded and Painted Earthenware."  U.S.
This is actually a three-piece work which can be taken apart and assembled in
various way.  The clay is formed, a slip is applied, and it is fired.  In several subsequent
firings, Mr. Bean paints, uses wax resist, and gilds the earthenware.

Alex Katz is one of the most prominent artists in the U.S.  This is a print
entitled "Pink and White Impatiens."  Katz has developed a style of
simplified forms and large flat areas of color.  This about 6x4 feet

Andy Warhol.  "San Francisco Butterfly."  Silkscreen
Warhol did a series of images of "Endangered Species."  This is a rare butterfly
which is found only in the San Francisco area.

Reza Baharvand.  "Yellow Alert No. 7."  Iranian
Reza has painted a number of exotic and colorful butterflies and
even added glitter to the surface.  But when you look closely,
you see that the body of each is a bomb or a missile.  The
contrast of the delicate beauty and deadly weapon is jolting.

Alex Katz.  "Ada in a Red Hat."  Print 5 ft high
Katz' wife Ada has long served as his model.

Veronique Guerrieri.  "Lapidou / Big Rabbit."  Bronze, painted white.  French
Veronique lives in Nice, France, and attended art schools at the Louvre and Ecole des
Beaux Arts in Paris.  Her sculpture combines humor, whimsy, and an aprpeciation
of childhood.  The "Rabbit" has become one of her major characters.

Kaith Haring.  "Barking Dog."  Print
Mr. Haring and his graffiti style are always well represented in art
exhibits these days.  Keith began by spray-painting walls and subway cars,
where you must work quickly to avoid arrest.  So his forms are simple,
direct, and strong - easily seen and recognized from a distance.

The most famous of the glass artists  at the show was Lino Tagliapietra, the great
Italian master.  His main studio is on the island of Murano in Venice, but he also works
several months of the year at the Museum of Glass in Seattle, where he is now.

Jaehyo Lee.  "Abstract."  Korea

Mr. Lee takes a piece of wood and burns and scorches the surface.
He then hammers nails into the surface and bends the nails, as you can see
in the detail below.  The nails and screws actually stand up a good inch above
the surface, which becomes an abstract pattern or an animal's pelt.

Jaehyo Lee.  Detail of above work.

Ilhwa Kim.  "Seed Universe."  Rolled Hanji Paper
Ms Kim in a Korean artist who uses the traditional craft of Hanji, paper folding and
rolling, to create larger works..

Ilhwa Kim.  "Seed Universe."  detail
Kim calls each of the elements above a "seed," and each is hand-made by rolling the
Hanji paper and then hand-dying each piece, and finally gluing them to the surface.
The works look like views from a space station.

Luis Jimenez.  "Seed"  Steel with Auto Enamel."  U.S.  Miami
One day Mr. Jimenez picked up an acacia seed which had fallen from the tree in his yard.
He was fascinated by it - the complexity and yet the unity.  The seed inspired him to create
a series of steel sculptures, abstract, yet organic.

Jacques LeBescond.  "Middle Heart."  Bronze    France
These beautiful forms, in large size or small, are meant to be outdoor scultures.
Notice the heart of negative space between the two heads.

Donald Sultan.  "Black Poppies."  Steel with Auto Enamel.
Mr. Sultan has long painted large, simplified flowers, and he now creates them in
steel to be placed outdoors and enjoyed.

Andy Warhol.  "Four Flowers" print.  Pop Art
Andy made many versions of these flowers in many colors.  They are silkscreen
prints, so he could easily change colors and make many different versions.

Peter Bremers.  "Medallion for Nature."  Cast and Cut Glass.  German

Frank Hyder.  "Janus Project / Movable Museum."  
These large inflatable figures all have two heads, like Janus.  Hyder is hoping other artists
will create some more of these and join him, and then travel around the U.S. setting them
up in different cities.

Alex Bernstein.  "Ice Blue."  Cast and Cut Glass
Glass can be worked in many ways - blown, cast, cold, polished and cut, etc.  As light
passes through, it is changed by the glass.

The plaza in front of the Convention Center had a number of steel scultures by
the featured sculptor, David Haley.

Nancy Callan.  "Immersion."  Blown Glass, black with whites canes.  U.S.

Cristina Ferrer.  "Incision."  Steel   Venezuela
These pieces are all loose and can be rearranged in any form you want.  They are
cut at the bottom, so they fit over one another.  I made a couple of different
arrangements.  Each was "my" work of art.

Hyun Hee Lim.  "Red Poppies."  Korea

Hyun Hee Lim.  Detail of above work

Frank Stella.  "Sanor"  etching and aquatint.  U.S.

Joan Miro.  "Grand Gesture."  Spain   1973

Jesus Soto.  "Four Squares."  Venezuela  Kinetic Art
Black and white lines are painted on the back of the box, then small pegs hold up
the squares of color, black, and silver.  As you walk by, the little squares seem
to vibrate and move = kinetic art.

Ray Gross.  "Art Supplies."  Porcelain
Mr. Gross takes the ordinary objects in his studio, colored pencils, brushes, tubes of
paint, and transforms them into art objects in porcelain.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Palm Beach Art Fair

Last week a new art fair opened in Palm Beach, the" Contemporary and Modern."  It was
excellent, better than I had hoped.  Much smaller than Art Miami, it was just the right size,
and I spent four hours and saw all 60 gallery booths and talked with many of the
gallery owners and learned much.  The best artists were represented, and the artworks
were excellent.  The  8 ft. high "Red Lollipop" in bronze is by Desire Obtain Cherish
(D.O.C. / Jonathan Paul) and  behind a bronze by British sculptor, Sophie Ryder.

Sophie Ryder.  "Conversation."  British.  Bronze.
Sophie Ryder creates mythical creatures part human and
part animal, frequently rabbits.

Fidia Falaschetti.  "Mickey Mouse."  Gilded Bronze.  Italy
Every country in Europe was influenced by American pop culture and Pop Art.
The figure of Mickey has become universal.

Peter Anton.  "Candy and Donuts."  Mixed Media
The mouth-watering donuts and pieces of candy greeted visitors to the Art Fair.
Everyone wanted to reach out and grab one and taste it.

Close-up of Peter Anton's "Pieces of Candy."

Kwang Young Chun. " Untitled."  Koreau  2106  Paper
Kwang is one of the leading Korean artists in folded paper sculptural reliefs.
He uses mulberry paper and folds pieces into little boxes, like he used to do
with herbs in his parents' pharmacy.  He then glues them with rice glue to the

Close-up of Kwang.
Folding paper into tiny boxes is a craft which children learn when they are very young.
It is perhaps the first exercise children do in Korea.  Kwang has adapted that 
childhood practice into wonderful abstract works.

Kwang Young Chun.  "Orange."  2105  Folded Paper  Korea

Kwang Young Chun.  "Orange."  detail

Tony Cragg.  "Portrait."  Marble   England
Tony Cragg creates a very different kind of sculpture, using stone.

Kenneth Armitage.  "Seated Figure."  English  Bronze
Kenneth Armitage uses simplified human forms for his sculptures.

Jim Dine.  "Chartres."  2012  woodcut  Pop Art

Sean Helms.  "Seated Man."  English  Bronze  2015
Helms' work is very realistic, of very ordinary people in very ordinary poses,
rather than ideal figures in contrived poses.  This is about 30" high.

Amelia Pelaez.  "Still Life."  Cuba
I was delighted to see that my favorite Latin American gallery
was at the show, with its wonderful collection of Cuban art.
Senor and Senora Cernuda and their son Sergio have built
the finest gallery of Cuban art anywhere.

Amelia Pelaez.  "Still Life."  Cuba
They have many more artists besides Amelia, but she is one of
my favorites.

Marc Quinn.  "Sunrise and Sunset."  2015  England
Quinn is one of the leading British artists today.  This huge painting, 8 feet long, is typical.
He takes a handful of flowers, lays them on a table, and then paints them on a
gigantic scale.  The colors glow and inundate you.

Dayron Gonzalez.  "The Holy Father."  Cuba   2016
Dayron was new to me.  Mr. Cernuda explained that he is a young artist who paints
social and political works.  This portrait, influenced by Bacon's Pope Innocent X,
shows Pope Francis involved in all of the political events of today and in Cuba.

Bridget Riley.  "Silent Memories."  English
Bridget is one of the leaders of the Op Art Movement, interested in how
our eyes respond to colors and the way they interact with one another.

Pablo Atchugarry.  "Untitled."  White Carrara Marble. Uruguay
The dealer explained to me that Pablo spends six months of the year, right now, in Italy
near the Carrara quarries.  He chooses his pieces of marble and begins to carve.  Then,
when the weather becomes nice back in Uruguay, he goes there and completes the
works in marble and also works in other materials.

Pablo Atchugarry.  "Red."  Bronze.  Uruguay
This piece was new to me, but Pablo now makes many pieces
which are cast in bronze and painted with automobile enamels.
There are usually eight in each series, two each of red, yellow,
blue and green.  This one is 24" high, but some are 80" high.

Alexander Calder.  "Tightrope Walker."  U.S.
Calder continues to be very popular, both for his paintings / prints and also for
his sculpture.  This piece is based on the figrurs he created for his famous circus.

Mel Bochner.  "Amazing."  Embossed monoprint.  U.S.
Bochner is one of the "verbal" artists, who use words both as
abstract forms and also loaded with meaning, that you cannot avoid.

Robert Indiana.  "Love Cross."  U.S.
Robert Indiana's LOVE in steel and in prints is found all over
the world and in every museum, but he always finds new ways to
use the word.

Victor Vasarely.  "Zak."  Hungarian /  French
Vasarely is often referred to as "The Godfather of Op Art."  The piece
above uses the same colors as the Indiana work and yet it is completely
different.  As you watch, your eyes will seem to detect movement.

Jaehyo Lee.  "Bench."  Korea  2016
Jaehyo is the third of the Korean artists I became acquainted with.  His sculptures
look like simplified furniture or biomorphic shapes.  This one is made of burnt wood,
which turns black, embedded with large nails and bolts, and then smoothed.
Other works have various kinds and colors of wood embedded in other wood.

Allan d'Arcangelo.  "Aspen Colorado."  1970  U.S.  Hard Edge
d'Arcangelo frequently used road signs and simple barriers
for his works.

Sophie Ryder.  "The Hare and the Goat."  England
Sophie Ryder usually depicts mythical figures, part animal and part
human.  Her favorite character is "Lady Hare."  This piece is 24" tall
and is cast in bronze.  She has a horse and rider at the entrance to the show.

Robert Motherwell.  "Orange Lyric."  U.S. Abstract Expressionism

Kaws.  "Orange Man."  Retna.  "Calligraphy."
These are both graffiti artists / street artists / urban artists, who also do smaller
works like these to sell.  Kaws is very active in advertising design, especially of toys.
Retna has invented his own calligraphy, made up of elements from Gothic, Arabic,
hieroglyphics, and his own invention.  He often decorates whole buildings,. as he
has in Wynwood, Miami.

Manolo Valdes.  "Infanta Mariana."  Spain.  Alabaster
Manolo Valdes now lives in New York and is extremely prolific.  He has been greatly
influenced by Velasquez' "Las Meninas" and Matisse's portrait of his wife wearing a hat
with ostrich plumes.  The form of the Spanish princess appears again and again in his work.

Manolo Valdes.  "Blue Butterflies."  Spanish.  Bronze
This is a variation on the portrait of Matisse's wife, but here the ostrich plumes
have become butterflies, one of them blue.

Damien Hirst.  "Psalm 21."  English.  real butterflies
Hirst buys exotic butterflies from dealers, glues them to a background, paints around
them, and then covers them with acrylic to preserve them.  They become abstract patterns.
He then takes the pattern and creates prints of the image.

Ilhwa Kim.   "Space Station Sample."  Korea 2016  Paper
Art fairs these days show the work of a number of Asian artists, far beyond the old
boundaries of Europe and the U.S.  Most recently, Korean artists have become wifely
known.  Kim is one of the finest.  This is a piece made entirely of rolled mulberry paper,
which is then glued with rice glue to the background.  This is a detail close-up.
Each "seed" is hand-dyed and rolled.

Ilhwa Kim.  "Space Station Sample."  Seoul, Korea.  Rolled and dyed Paper
Ms Kim studied art at Korean universities and works in Seoul.  Her art works are
highly regarded in Paris and London, where she has frequent exhibits.

Mauro Peruchetti.  "Seated Jelly Bean Babies."  Cast Resin.
Peruchetti is from Italy and creates various groupings of the
ubiquitous jelly bean babies.  These are two feet high.

Donald Sultan.  "Red Poppiess."  6 feet long  U.S.  Steel

John Chamberlain, "Rustling in the Grass."  George Condo, "Portrait." 
Roy Lichtenstein, "Portrait" and Lichtenstein "Brushstroke Portrait." 

Kaws.  "Smiling Face."  U.S.  Graffiti  3 feet in diameter
This is the sort of image that Kaws uses in advertising and is highly

Thalen and Thalen.  "Silver Vessels."  Dutch / Belgian
Father and son are Dutch in origin, but live in Belgium.  Each of these pieces is hammed
by hand from a single ingot of pure silver.  They are art objects, rather than functional.

Manolo Valdes.  "Woman with Flowered Hat."  Spain   Wood
This is one of the many variations Valdes has done on Matisse's portrait of his wife
with the hat of ostrich feathers.

Roberto Cavaliere.  "Twisted Spiral."  Italy.  Stainless Steel.

Keith Haring.  "Blue Triangle."  Graffiti Art
Although Keith Haring died at 32, the amount of works he created is enormous;
I find new ones at every art show.  This one was new for me.  The figures are still
the simple outlines he had created when he spray-painted subways.