Fine Arts

Stolen Picasso – When You’re So Rich You Don’t Notice Your Picasso Is Missing

 

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Gallery Art owner Kenneth Hendel holds on tightly to Picasso’s ‘Portrait de Marie-Therese’ at his gallery in Aventura on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Hendel received a letter from a New York law firm saying that the Picasso in his gallery was stolen ten years ago from the Tisch family and they just noticed it was missing now. The gallery owner contends he bought the art from another dealer – paid $350,000 for it — and that he knows nothing about it being stolen.
PATRICK FARRELL pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Get To Know Pop Art

You’ve heard of the titans of the pop art movement – Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol – and will be familiar with images of Coca-Cola bottles, Marilyn Monroe and Lucky Strike packets, but far from being purely the reserve of the American art scene in the 60s and 70s, this movement spanned the globe at a time when countries and societies were reeling from the fallout from WWII, raging conflict in Vietnam and the rise and rise of Communism. Artists were uniquely placed to satirise and deride politicians, film stars – and even other artists, using humour, sex and innovation to provoke, parody and reflect


Marcello Nitsche I Want You 1966

To the outside world, many of the artists in The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop existed on the peripheries of the movement; of course Warhol made the news with headline grabbing quotes – and continues to be the poster boy for all things Pop to this day – but many artists working across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia were hugely prolific in their own countries, and proved the movement was not just American, British or male. Many brought together for the first time, their significance is now re-examined in an explosion of visual stimulation.

Body Politics

Numerous artists created work that examined and questioned depictions of the female body in art and popular culture. Instead of being a purely ‘decorative’ element of a composition, the female body emerged throughout the 60s and 70s as a legitimate tool of protest and empowerment. The body was being reclaimed. No longer merely fetishised and glossy, there were uncomfortable questions being asked of its role in visual culture and mass media.

Evelyne Axell Valentine 1966

Artists such as Evelyne Axell (who for a time showed under the gender-ambiguous name Axell) challenged that it now stood for power, liberation and equality. Introduced to painting by family friend RenĂ© Magritte, Axell’s 1966 work Valentine was produced as a homage to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to go in to space (and also the first civilian). By attaching a helmet and zip to the canvas, Axell invites her viewer to peek through the zipper at the flesh beneath. Acutely aware of a woman’s reception in a male-dominated industry, her work frequently challenged perceptions of images of the female body and sexuality. Despite achieving a feat of daring exploration and discovery, many only commented on Tereshkova’s physical appearance. To further highlight this absurdity, Axell staged a Happening in which a model performed a reverse strip-tease; starting naked apart from an astronaut’s helmet and adding layers of clothing as the performance went on, to the delight of the assembled crowd. Catalan artist Mari Chordà also explored anatomy in Coitus Pop 1968, by abstracting the sexual organs in a burst of enamelled colour on wood – graphic shapes and unmistakably phallic.

Mari Chorda Coitus Pop enamel paint on wood

In Anna Maria Maiolino’s striking Glu Glu Glu 1966, we stare straight down the throat of our subject, and below her disembodied head lie brightly coloured intestines. She is female, but anonymous. The body parts are recognisable, but disconnected from the whole. It’s beautifully constructed using quilted fabric, which should be soft and tactile, but used to make glossy internal organs it becomes repulsive, visceral and unsettling.

Anna Maria Maiolino Glu Glu Glu painted quilted fabric Pop Art

War and Peace

Far from being purely about consumer habits and radical new fashion, pop art was a vehicle for artists to comment on political events and recent history. Nothing was off limits; Joan Rabascall’s Atomic Kiss was made as part protest, part warning sign; whilst America fought in Vietnam, the very real threat of an impending world war terrified a generation who were living through vicious conflict. Sex and death are uncomfortable bedfellows, and he describes his motivation for using found imagery: ‘what was important, I believe, was to get away from abstract art, which was very present in galleries, and do something that was corresponding to the time in which we were living’. Read the full interview

Joan Rabascall Atomic Kiss Pop Art collage

America’s influence on fashion, art, music, and technology around the world of course couldn’t be denied, but a number of artists commented on this imperialism by depicting the American flag or President Kennedy – whose assassination in 1963 rocked the United States to the core, but the ripples were felt globally. Often these motifs were adopted with a fascination in the materials, processes and subject matters employed by Rauschenberg, Wesselman and their peers. A truly international society opened up with the advent of cheaper air travel and imported television and films. Other nations felt connected and invested in these news reports, and as such America’s agenda also belonged to the rest of the world. The Vietnam War was firmly in the sights of Finnish artist Reimo Reinikainen, with his series reworking the Stars and Stripes.

Reimo Reinikainen Sketch 4 for the US Flag

Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami became obsessed with movies, television and adverts as a young boy growing up in Tokyo, watching up to 500 hundred films in one year. He himself has drawn comparisons with his work and that of Warhol – citing him as a huge influence after a visit to New York in the 1960s. With Japan still reeling from the atomic bomb attack in 1945, Tanaami turned his sights on the culture that was rebuilt in the aftermath of tragedy, and he still draws on this when making art: ‘Today, I still create works that deal with my experience of war as a child. This moment of fear that a whole city can disappear just within a moment is a memory that has been recorded deep in my mind; it does not go away’. Read the full interview

Keiichi Tanaami film still from Commercial War

Strength in Numbers

Included in the exhibition are several works by groups of artists working under one name. Highly politicised, after years of civil war and living under General Franco’s regime, Joan Cardells and Jorge Ballester formed Equipo Realidad in Valencia in 1966. Far from an introspective viewpoint, they explored Spain’s heritage and cultural traditions, whilst examining them through the lens of modern society, developing as all other European territories were, at rapid speed. They used found imagery and appropriated them or referenced it in their paintings, such as Robert Capa’s iconic photograph of a Spanish resistance fighter, Falling Soldier, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man in Divine Proportion 1967. Though they made work in Spain, Cardells said ‘our work was closely tied to current international events, more than national or local ones, because of censorship. We were cautious because censorship was watching us: we had a problem with a serigraphy of Che Guevara. But the critical stance was always above the local or the general’. Read the full interview.

Equipo Realidad Divine Proportion Vitruvian Man da Vinci

Another group, Equipo CrĂłnica, comprised of Rafael Solbes, Manuel Valdes and Juan Antonio Toledo was also operating in Valencia at the same time, forming in 1964 and also closely examining the changing face of the country they lived in. With a conservative fascist party in power, these groups we considered radical, and sometimes even anarchic thinkers – critical of conservative doctrines and passionate about the role played by the artist in society. They reinforce this by painting their own versions of famous Spanish paintings hailed as masterpieces the world over, such as Las Meninas, giving it a 1970s makeover, complete with patterned carpet, inflatable toys and a pot plant. Far from trivialising important motifs from Spanish culture, they focussed on the collision between past and present, and the emergence of mass-produced domestic items. In 1969 they painted Guernica ‘69 made in reference to Picasso famous protest painting of the same name. Their works were figurative, referenced other famous images, popular culture and events in the political landscape in which they were living – as a means of resisting the totalitarian state of Franco’s Spain.

Equipo Cronica Social Realism Pop Art in the Battle Field Comic Strip

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The World Goes Pop features many works that deal with the idea of multiples, doubles, mirror images and diptychs, as Pop Art turned its sights to the very new concept of mass production; in homewares, cars, gadgets, fashion, music and even weapons. Source material from advertising, music and film found its way on to gallery walls as artists experimented with techniques and image manipulation like screen-printing and collage, elevating their status from the domestic and everyday, to fine art.

Kiki Kogelnik Hanging Pop Art mixed media

Dorothee Selz Relative Mimetism Woman with Boots and Lamp

Artists are uniquely placed to turn a mirror on society at large, and to broadcast back to their audience. Pop Art was something a general consumer population could relate to – it was not elitist; it used symbols, materials, products and images that people identified with, many of them would be in the average home in their kitchen cupboard or a photograph from a newspaper article. Magazine and comic strips were widely used, and not just by Roy Lichtenstein, as the history books may have you believe. French artist DorothĂ©e Selz mimicked poses from a magazine to create her series Relative Mimetism highlighting the convention of using the body as a sales tool and sex object, by placing the original and her version side-by-side.

Join the conversation #WorldGoesPop

Source: Think You Know Pop Art? | Tate

As Seen In The Miami Herald In 1990 & Today – How Time Flies!

Closure of Miami Causeway Threatens Traffic Mayhem at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Could this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach see the worst traffic ever for the famously hectic art fair week? The city’s famously clogged roads are going to be even worse this December thanks to the closure of the Venetian Causeway.

One of three passages between Miami Beach and Miami, the Venetian Causeway helps relieve congestion on the MacArthur Causeway to the south or the Julia Tuttle Causeway to the north. Visitors to Art Basel in years past need no reminder of how difficult it can be to get from Miami Beach to say, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, or Wynwood when traffic slows to a crawl on the causeways.

The nine-month, $12.4-million project, which began in late May, will rebuild the causeway’s western drawbridge. Built in 1927, the historic span was patched with metal plates during a renovation in the late 1990s. The need for a better solution became clear in March 2014, when a plate was dislodged and a bus became stuck in the gap.

The city is offering other transit options, which will include water taxis as well as a free trolley service running along the length of Miami Beach that connects the main convention center to the Design District.

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Miami trolley route. Photo: courtesy Miami Beach.

The city is also testing out a new “Miami-Dade Art Express” bus route, which is also free. Running every 20 minutes between 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., the bus will provide an alternate mode of transportation across the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Nick Korniloff, head of two fairs in Miami (Art Miami and its sister fair CONTEXT) and one in Miami Beach (Aqua Art Miami), is hopeful that the effects of the closure won’t be too dramatic. “The Venetian was convenient up until a point,” he told artnet News via e-mail, “but never came close to being able to handle the bulk of traffic that the interstates [on the other causeways] do.”

Free Miami trolley. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons.

Free Miami trolley. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

Remembering Robert Mapplethorpe, born this day in 1946.

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Born in Queens, NY, Robert Mapplethorpe attended classes at Parsons School of Design while he was a teenager, working mostly with collage and mixed media. There he met fellow artist and musician Patti Smith, who posed in some of his earliest portraits of famous figures, and developed his love of photography as a medium separate from his collages.

In the late 1960’s he worked as a photographer for Andy Warhol‘s Interview magazine. Mapplethorpe began taking Polaroids of his family, friends, and public personalities regularly, and in the late 1970s, focused primarily on intimate, sexually charged images, which is what brought Mapplethorpe significant critical attention. Mapplethorpe later did a series on female bodybuilder Lisa Lyons, as well as images of dramatic, classical nudes, carefully composed still lifes, and engaging portraits.

In 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS, and over the next three years, continued to photograph fervently. He also established the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, dedicated to supporting photography and AIDS research. He had his first major American retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1988, just a year before his death

Pop culture graphic artist Peter Max debuts exclusive key art for The Voice

Famed illustrator and graphic artist Peter Max, known for his signature psychedelic style and pop culture drawings, has designed key art to celebrate the show’s upcoming season of NBC’s The Voice.

A cultural icon whose work spans four decades, Max’s groundbreaking art has been seen everywhere from the outside of a Boeing 747 to the pages of Life magazine. And drawing the Voice judges isn’t exactly out of his wheelhouse: Max previously painted portraits of pop sensation Taylor Swift, based on the debut of her 2008 album “Speak Now.”

With paintings on exhibition in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary culture. Max has been successively called a Pop Icon, Neo Fauvist, Abstract Expressionist and the United States “Painter Laureate.”

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Check out Gallery Art’s collection of Peter Max artwork throughout the decades:

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Happy (88th) Birthday Alex Katz!

GallArt.com Wants To Wish A Very Happy Birthday To One Of The GREAT Masters of Art! Alex Katz!

Alex Katz, 2004. Photograph by Vivien Bittencourt.

Alex Katz, 2004. Photograph by Vivien Bittencourt.

Pas de Deux 5

Pas de Deux 5

Black Hat (Nicole)

Black Hat (Nicole)

Grey Dress

Grey Dress

Grey Ribbon

Grey Ribbon

Sweatshirt II

Sweatshirt II

Katz has received numerous accolades throughout his career. In 2007, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy Museum, New York. In 2005, Katz was the honored artist at the Chicago Humanities Festival’s Inaugural Richard Gray Annual Visual Arts Series. The same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York— his second Honorary Doctorate, following one from Colby College, Maine, in 1984. Katz was named the Philip Morris Distinguished Artist at the American Academy in Berlin in 2001 and received the Cooper Union Annual Artist of the City Award in 2000. In addition to this honor from Cooper Union, in 1994, his alma mater created the Alex Katz Visiting Chair in Painting with the endowment provided by the sale of ten paintings donated by the artist. Katz was inducted by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1988. In 1987 he was the recipient of the Pratt Institute’s Mary Buckley Award for achievement and also received the Queens Museum of Art Award for Lifetime Achievement. The Chicago Bar Association honored Katz with the Award for Art in Public Places in 1985. In 1978, Katz received the U.S. Government grant to participate in an educational and cultural exchange with the USSR. Katz was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for Painting in 1972.

Works by Alex Katz can be found in over 100 public collections worldwide. Most notably, those in America include: Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Brooklyn Museum; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Des Moines Art Center; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Additionally, Katz’s work can be found in the Albertine Graphische Sammelung (Austria), the Atenium Taidemuso (Finland), the Sara HildĂ©n Art Museum (Finland), the Bayerische Museum (Germany), the Berardo Collection (Portugal), the Essl Collection (Austria), the French National Collection, the Israel Museum, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez (Spain), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Japan), Museum Moderne Kunst (Austria), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Spain), the Nationalgalerie (Germany), the Saatchi Collection (England), and the Tate Gallery (England), among others.

In 1968, Katz moved to an artists’ cooperative building in SoHo, where he has lived and worked ever since. He continues to spend his summers in Lincolnville, Maine.(via AlexKatz.com)

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