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Tuesday, 05 April 2011 04:41

f impressionist master Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” triptychs, separated 50 years ago and sold to three museums, has been reunited in a multifaceted exhibit that highlights not only the three-panel artwork, but the artist too.

“I think all of us think of Monet as this father of Impressionism, as this painter who was spontaneous, who painted outdoors in his garden,” said Nicole Myers, associate curator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where “Monet’s Water Lilies” opens April 9. “That was certainly true. He presented himself that way publicly, really to the end of his life.”

But Monet had another side that’s also detailed in the exhibition, which ends Aug. 7 before moving on to the St. Louis Art Museum and then to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

“With these later paintings from the 20th century that he’s working on, you see the sort of obsessive, almost obsessive-compulsive, artist who came indoors and worked tirelessly making revisions again and again in this kind of obsessive way,” she said.

It’s unclear if Monet ever considered the three panels finished, she said.

“And it really blows out of the water this impression we have of this man who just sort of dashed off his first thoughts and left things alone. He worked on them almost consistently from 1915 to 1926,” Myers said.

The three panels, each 6-feet tall and 14-feet wide, languished in Monet’s studio at Giverny outside Paris after his death in 1926, Myers said. The pieces on display at the Nelson-Atkins comprise one of two of Monet’s Water Lily triptychs in the U.S. The other is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where they are a steady, popular selection.

“What’s amazing about them is the mood they create in the room where they’re installed,” said Ann Temkin’s, MoMA’s chief curator of paintings and sculpture. “It’s a magical one. It becomes a very quiet place. The visitors become quite contemplative.”

Tuesday, 05 April 2011 04:34

A painting by Paul Gauguin on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. was attacked by a gallery-visiting woman who repeatedly struck the work of art while screaming ‘this is evil.’

According to other gallery-goers and security personnel the woman, who has been identified as 53-year-old Susan Burns, attempted to tear the painting down from the wall and thrashed the painting with her fists.

According to misdemeanor complaint charges Burns 'struck the middle of the painting with her right fist.'

Luckily, a transparent acrylic shield surrounding the work of art, protecting it from the assault.

'She was really pounding it with her fists. It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn't expect at the National Gallery,’ Pamela Degotardi, a witness to the incident, told The Washington Post.

The 1899 painting, Gauguin’s ‘Two Tahitian Women,’ depicts two native women carrying fruit and flowers, one with both breasts exposed, the other with one exposed.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington, D.C. Superior Court, Burns said that the painting is 'very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned ... I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.'

Tuesday, 05 April 2011 04:26

SHANGHAI — A triptych oil painting by Zhang Xiaogang sold for $10.1 million on Sunday at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. The sale broke the record for a piece by a living Chinese artist, and was the latest sign of China’s phenomenal ascent in the global art market.

Mr. Zhang, who is 52 and based in Beijing, is now among a handful of living artists to have a work sell for more than $10 million. Less than a decade ago, many of his works were selling for $60,000 or less. He joins a group that includes Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Gerhard Richter, according to

Sotheby’s said Mr. Zhang’s work “Forever Lasting Love” (1988) was bought on Sunday by an unidentified buyer bidding by telephone. The painting depicts primitive men and women in a mystical setting with hints of Salvador Dalí and Gauguin. It is one of Mr. Zhang’s earliest works and was displayed in 1989 at a groundbreaking exhibition of avant-garde art held in Beijing.

The triptych was among 105 works put up for sale by Guy Ullens, the Belgian collector who is considered a pioneer for amassing a large number of Chinese contemporary art works for his private collection beginning in the 1980s. Sotheby’s said the collection raised $54 million, far above the $12.7 million to $16.7 million the auction house estimated before the sale.

Mr. Ullens and his wife, Myriam, opened the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2007.

Tuesday, 05 April 2011 04:23

Ruben Toledo loves a good sandwich.

“Put anything between two slices of bread and I’m in heaven,” he told guests at a Louis Vuitton Art Talk last night in SoHo.

The Cuban-American artist wasn’t at the Vuitton boutique to talk about food–though he approaches the art of the sandwich much the same way he approaches watercolor: by instinct. Rather, Toledo joined host Sally Singer, editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, to talk about what drives his work.

“It always comes back to humanity–people are always interesting to me,”  Toledo said.

The night was a chance for art patrons, Vuitton clients and friends of the Toledos (Isabel Toledo is an internationally known fashion designer) to see original works by the Havana-born, Jersey-raised artist, all under the auspicious of Louis Vuitton. It was the second such event in recent months–Xavier Veilhan, who installed purple balloon mobiles in Versailles, spoke at the Vuitton boutique on Fifth Avenue last December.

The brand has a history of collaborating with well-respected artists; events like this provide a way to curate, promote and align itself with well-respected talent. Most recently, Marc Jacobs engaged Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Stephen Sprouse to work with the Vuitton monogram for things like bags, window displays and art installations. Peter Marino, the architect famous for his black leather chaps and caps, has worked on several LVMH stores.

So last night between sips of champagne and bites of tiny Cuban sandwiches guests looked at sketches, drawings, watercolor paintings and sculptures, most of them from the the illustrations Toledo has created for the Louis Vuitton City Guide series that he started in 1998. (Click through the slide show to see more from last night.) More than 100 cities have been featured in the books; Toledo has been to most of them.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 04:55

In the auction world memories are short and relationships fickle. From season to season there is no way to predict which auction house will win the prized property, and it often comes down to the most lucrative deal a firm can offer the seller, although occasionally a clever marketing strategy can make the difference.

Four years after Christie’s sale of art and objects belonging to Allan Stone, the obsessive collector and art dealer who died in 2006, one might assume that another Stone sale would go to Christie’s as well.

But it is Sotheby’s that recently won a large group of artworks belonging to the Stone estate. Mr. Stone, who founded the Allan Stone Gallery 50 years ago, was an obsessive collector whose house in Purchase, N.Y., and Manhattan gallery were filled with art and objects. There were Abstract Expressionist paintings by Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, sculptures by John Chamberlain and boxes by Joseph Cornell. (Mr. Stone also collected decorative objects by Antoni Gaudi and at one point he owned 30 Bugatti cars.) But it is a group of fine artworks — paintings, sculptures, drawings — that Sotheby’s will sell next month in two auctions on the same night.

It has divided the property into Volume 1 and Volume 2. Both sales will take place on May 9, the night before Sotheby’s contemporary-art auction.

Volume 1 will include the art Mr. Stone made his reputation buying and selling. For sale will be examples of works by de Kooning, Kline, Cornell and Mr. Chamberlain. Volume 2 will be devoted only to paintings and drawings by Wayne Thiebaud, whose work Mr. Stone championed. Together the two sales are expected to bring $35 million.

“We wanted a good representation of artists in his stable,” said Anthony Grant, international senior specialist of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, who said he believes the Stone heirs chose Sotheby’s over Christie’s not because of financing but because they liked the idea of a separate sale devoted only to Mr. Thiebaud.

Timing is everything in the art business, and with a major retrospective of de Kooning’s work — the first in this country since 1983 — set to open at the Museum of Modern Art in September, the price and demand for his early works are escalating. Paintings dating from 1942 to 1976 are for sale, including “Event in a Barn,” a 1947 view of a figure in an abstracted interior that is estimated at $5 million to $7 million.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 04:52

A portrait by Lucian Freud of a contentedly smiling woman, regarded as a turning point in the development of the style that made him one of the most instantly recognisable and expensive contemporary painters, is expected to fetch up to £4.5m when it is auctioned by Christie's in June.

The estimate is an indicator of the meteoric rise of Freud's prices: the last time Christie's sold the painting in 1973 on behalf of Ann Fleming, wife of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, it fetched £5,040.

Woman Smiling is an exceptionally cheerful portrait for Freud, of Suzy Boyt, an artist herself. She was a pupil of Freud's at the Slade art school before she became his lover for a decade, a friend for much longer, and mother of five of his many children, including the novelist Susie Boyt.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 04:43

Viewing: April 28-May 11, 2011

Auction: May 12, 7pm

Location: Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Phillips de Pury & Company is honored to announce the sale of a rare, iconic portrait of the legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, painted by Andy Warhol in 1963. The stunning painting will be offered for sale in the Contemporary Art Part I auction on May12th and is estimated at $20,000,000/$30,000,000.

"Liz #5 is a pristine gem. It is Warhol at his very best with a perfect screen, glowing colors, and impeccable provenance. She is classic yet every bit as cutting edge as she was when Warhol painted her nearly 50 years ago. Liz #5 embodies everything that a major collector of 20th century art desires and we are thrilled to offer this rare and exciting opportunity to the market." Michael McGinnis, Senior Director and Worldwide Head, Contemporary Art.

Liz #5 was painted at the height of the actresses' fame which coincided with the most significant creative period of Warhol's career. The glamorous portrait embodies the most important themes of Warhol's oeuvre including including celebrity, wealth, scandal, sex, death and Hollywood. The epitome of old-world Hollywood style and glamor, Liz Taylor was one of Warhol's most famous inspirations alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. Taylor captured Warhol's attention early on with her life's high profile romances and tragedy; it was this vibrancy and pathos that so attracted Warhol to her and ensured she was a formidable influence on his work throughout his career. In his own words he once said, "Elizabeth Taylor, ohhhh. She's so glamorous.

In Liz #5, her unforgettable face emerges from a rich turquoise background, perfectly capturing her luminous skin, striking violet eyes and red lips. The power of her attraction has never been as evident as it is in this Warhol painting - a dazzling tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. This striking portrait is a testament to the legend and beauty of one of the world's most beloved and iconic actresses, both capturing her very essence and transcending the limits of time.

Liz #5 comes from an important private collector who acquired it from the estate of famed art dealer and collector Ileana Sonnabend. Beginning in the early 1960's, her gallery was instrumental in introducing postwar America Art to Europe and she represented the most prolific and groundbreaking artists of her time including Jasper Johns, Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. Liz #5 remained in her personal art collection until her death in 2007. This is the first time a work from her estate will come to auction and it offers the rare possibility to acquire one of the Sonnabend treasures in the open market.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 03:34

The set of Mark Rothko paintings originally commissioned for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York are the treasure of Tate Modern. They occupy a room of their own, low-lit and filled with brooding intensity. The hazy outlines of what might be doors, windows, or the gates of heaven and hell hover on the wine red and imperial purple surfaces of Rothko's mural-scale abstractions. In all of them darkness beckons, mordantly inviting the beholder to imagine vast apocalyptic landscapes, undefinable events on a cosmic scale.

Almost everyone who enters the room feels an urge to sit down on the benches in the middle of the space. It's as if the emotional weight of these sombre works instinctively makes you sit, instantly drained by them. Before you even have time to try to compose a rational understanding of them, they have a psychological impact.

Rothko was a fan of the book The Birth of Tragedy by German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. In this provocative 19th-century work, Nietzsche argues that ancient Greek tragedy grew out of the rites of the god of wine and ecstasy, Dionysus. When he was planning his paintings for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building in Manhattan, Rothko toured Italy. He went to Pompeii and studied the ancient Roman murals there. Deep reds, abstract and empty, and illusory depictions of doors leading to spaces beyond, are characteristic of ancient Roman fresco painting. But perhaps the most tantalising potential source of Rothko's cycle of paintings is the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, where people are depicted celebrating a Dionysian mystery cult against rich red backgrounds. It seems to me that Rothko, a reader of Nietzsche, must have seen connections here between deep red and black walls and the idea of art as a tragic Dionysian experience that opens up the imagination like a raw wound.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 03:29

In a small, windowless room away from the crowds at the Barcelona foundation built to maintain the legacy of Joan Miró there is his library. It contains poetry, of course, as well as Plutarch, Hemingway and Lewis Carroll. But on the same shelves there are other books – the pulp fiction thrillers of Edgar Wallace; the schlocky master criminal Fantômas novels; a David Lodge; an unread Ulysses.

It says a lot. For such a wildly imaginative, radical artist there is lots that is reassuringly everyday about Miro. He had a very happy, stable marriage. He was extremely organised. He wasn't known as a big drinker or party animal. In photographs he has no Picasso or Dali-like swagger. He looks like a slightly apprehensive accountant, worried that he's mislaid some receipts.

But it is his art that makes Miró the titan that he is. Next month Tate Modern in London will stage the first major UK exhibition devoted to his work for nearly 50 years – a remarkable gap which, Tate hopes, will mean an entirely new generation can have their eyes opened to one of the most important of all 20th century artists.

The show, which will travel to Barcelona and Washington, also aims to confound expectations and explode a few myths. "Miró's work is often understood in ways that are a little simplistic," conceded the show's co-curator, Marko Daniel. "People look at his work as if it were childlike, or childish, and they tend not to see the depth of passion that goes into it."

Today Miró, a genuine pioneer and forefather of abstract expressionist art, is revered in Spain. Not as a hero necessarily but as a great man whose presence in his home city of Barcelona is everywhere.

It was not always the case. During most of the Franco years Miró was better known abroad. "He went from being almost entirely invisible in the Spanish art world to being feted as the greatest living painter in Spain," said Daniel.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 03:25

A technique for peering under the surface of classic paintings came with a risk: The old, precious artwork had to be removed and transported through changing environments to the machine that would bombard it with X-rays.

A new mobile scanning device is sparing art lovers from a potential heart attack by allowing scientists to examine a painting right where it hangs. The new scanner already has led to surprising revelations about how the Old Masters went about their work, scientists announced yesterday (March 29) at the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

Finding long-hidden layers and changes made to the art is like watching over the artist's shoulder as he paints, said study author Matthias Alfeld, of the University of Antwerp in Belgium. "It says something about the history of the painting and about the surrounding of the artist when he worked," Alfeld told LiveScience.

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The technique is called scanning macro X-ray fluorescence analysis. Alfeld and his colleagues used it on more than 20 paintings from the 16th through the 19th centuries, including works by Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Rubens.

Friday, 01 April 2011 14:16

PINEHURST, N.C. – A little over a week from now, college basketball will have crowned its champions, baseball will be in full swing and the first of golf’s four major men’s tournaments will be played at the Augusta National Golf Club, that bastion of well-pruned privilege.
You may wonder what this has to do with collecting. I wondered the same until I found myself in Pinehurst, N.C., a town so unchanged from a century ago that it resembles a hand-tinted postcard.
Developed as a winter retreat for sporty northerners by James Walker Tufts (1835-1902), the Boston soda-fountain magnate and maker of Tufts silver-plated tableware, Pinehurst is a living monument to golf, a British import with a storied past, as well as a beautifully preserved manifestation of the American country-house movement.
Tufts’ genius was thinking big. After finding a sunny spot with enviable rail connections to the Northeast and Midwest, he bought up more than 5,000 acres of partially timbered pine forest and hired the firm founded by Frederick Law Olmsted to create a New England-style village on one hundred lushly landscaped acres. He completed the hat trick by recruiting Donald Ross, the Scottish-born designer of more than 400 classic courses, to be Pinehurst’s first resident pro in 1901.
The Ross association runs long and deep in Pinehurst and neighboring Southern Pines. Visitors can play several Ross courses, including the famed Pinehurst #2, completed in 1907. They can tuck in for the night at the homey Pinecrest Inn, operated by Ross from 1921 to 1938, and pore over more than 300 original field sketches and course layouts by Ross at the Tufts Archives in the village of Pinehurst, named a National Historic Landmark in 1996.
Collectors can even take a bit of vintage golf home with them. Pinehurst has two galleries devoted to golf art, antiques and memorabilia. Robert Hansen, a collector and course developer who lives nearby in the old Ross residence, Dornach Cottage, presides over Old Village Golf Shop at the corner of Dogwood and Market Streets, where he sells antique clubs, paintings, prints, photographs and sculpture.
Several doors down in the 1898 Harvard Building, the Old Sport & Gallery stocks a large selection of historical prints, autographed books and photographs, and golf artifacts, including selections from the collection of the late Mort Olman, author of Olman’s Guide to Golf Antiques & Other Treasures of the Game. The shop’s founder, Tom Stewart, traveled the world as a professional golfer before settling in Pinehurst.
“I collected for 40 years before opening a shop here in 1997,” says Stewart, who caddied as a kid growing up in northern Michigan and was 16 when he met Walter Hagen, a key figure in the development of professional golf. “Antique and collectible golf books are my passion. They say that the smaller the ball, the better the literature.”
Although the market in sporting antiques has slowed down a bit, outstanding collections still bring exceptional prices. In September 2010, Sotheby’s auctioned antique golf clubs from the collection Jeffrey B. Ellis, a golf historian and collector, for $2,166,209. At $181,000, the top lot was an 18th century Andrew Dickson long-nosed putter.
Europe’s premier sporting auction house, Mullock’s, is offering golfing memorabilia on April 28 in Hoylake, U.K.  Bonhams’ dedicated sale of golfing memorabilia is planned for June 1 in Chester, U.K.  The Golf Auction, an online seller of golf memorabilia, closes bidding on its current sale on April 10. Old Sport & Gallery is contemplating organizing an auction to coincide with the 2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Opens, to be played in Pinehurst.
“Wholesome in every respect,” as Tufts liked to say of Pinehurst.
Write to Laura Beach at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, 01 April 2011 03:25

After only eight years, the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show has quickly established itself as the most anticipated event of the season in South Florida, both for dealers and collectors. Tens of thousands of savvy collectors, industry experts, and serious collectors flocked to the annual event, which saw active buying and an enthusiasm that was electric. Antiques industry icon Ronald Bourgeault commented, “I’ve never seen such crowds at an antique show—it was packed.” With the collections of more than 180 world-renowned dealers on display, the show featured a broad spectrum of items available for purchase, including fine art, antique and estate jewelry, furniture, porcelain, Asian art, American and European silver, glass, textiles, sculpture, contemporary art and more, ranging from the antiquities to the twentieth century. In addition to the strong paintings and jewelry sales, decorative arts and furniture faired extremely well. Buying energy was high and showed no sign of a slow economy. Says Phil Tyler of Sallea Antiques, “This was probably our best show of the year. It’s the best far and away and consistent from year to year.”

“The combination of the high-caliber dealers that participate in our show and the magnificent collections they present to our guests is what we attribute to our success,” said Scott Diament, chief operating officer of the Palm Beach Show Group. “This is a show that truly offers something for every type of collector and every type of price range.”

“We’ve done a considerable amount of business,” said Graham Arader of Arader Galleries, who sold several Audubon prints of birds, Gould prints of hummingbirds, and Thornton prints of flowers. Jim Alterman, of Jim’s of Lambertville and Ashley John Gallery, stated “The sales this year were the best we’ve ever had at a Palm Beach Show Group fair, and sales have continued after the show from clients who attended.” He adds, “Buyers came from across the country and bought a range of materials, from our jewelry to Pennsylvania impressionist and contemporary paintings.” Among his sales was a seven-figure Edward Redfield painting to a new collector that he met at the show. Howard Rehs echoed the point about this year’s attendance and continued, “We met a lot of new clients this year, and the people who come to this show are educated about the material and understand what they are looking at.” Alan Granby of Hyland Granby Antiques added, “There was a higher level of energy and enthusiasm this year, which resulted in more sales. It was a terrific show.” Among his sales was a rare, carved and gilded eagle, asking price of $250,000, paintings, and scrimshaw. Gavin Spanierman, who sold, among other things, an Ernest Lawson painting, noted, “I am very pleased with the attendance and quality of the collectors present.”

Friday, 01 April 2011 03:08

Barn Star Productions is proud to announce the 17th annual 23rd Street Armory Antiques Show, April 8-10, 2011 in Center City, Philadelphia, PA. 
This highly regarded antiques show and sale has been credited as the innovator of Antiques Week in Philadelphia, which now encompasses three shows, two auctions and several museum and gallery openings making April in Philadelphia a destination for antiques and the arts.  

Located at the historic First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry Armory, this iconic fortress provides the perfect backdrop for Barn Star’s antiques show. 
Limited to forty five exhibitors, the show features fine American, English, French and Asian furniture and accessories, early cast iron toys and banks, miniature portraits, fine art, nautical material, folk art, Native American, Oriental rugs, Canton, Flow Blue and Historical Staffordshire, garden and architectural decorations, quilts, samplers, watercolors, American and English silver, prints and more with something for just about every taste and budget. Log on to for a Discounted Admission Coupon and save!

Amenities abound at the Armory Show including a convenient multi level garage next door offering discounted parking for show visitors, a show café serving delicious food and drink, on-site shipper, handicap accessibility and  free magazines on antiques and decorating plus our complimentary  “Opening Morning Mimosa and Chocolates Welcome” on Friday from 10 until 11 am. Adding to your Philadelphia experience, a free luxury shuttle bus service will be provided by Barn Star’s Armory Show to the Philadelphia Antiques Show at the Navy Base on Saturday and Sunday during show hours.

Offering more than just wonderful exhibitors and their antiques, our show takes pride in the Special Show Exhibit we present each year as a fun and educational bonus feature. This year, Tramp Art: Carving a Legacy, will present an intimate look at this folk art genre in a display curated by authors, dealers and experts on the subject, Clifford and Nancy Wallach, showcasing pieces from their personal collection as well as objects from the collections of our exhibiting dealers in our entrance portico. A signing of their latest book entitled; Tramp Art: Another Notch, Folk Art from the Heart, will be held on Saturday at 2 pm.  

The 23rd Street Armory Antiques Show is located at The First Troop Armory, 22 South 23rd Street (between Market and Chestnut Streets), Philadelphia, PA, with show hours Friday, April 8, 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday, April 9, 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday, April 10, 11 am to 4 pm. For directions, AMTRAK Discount and more information visit  and click on the Armory Show. No computer, please call 845-876-0616 for a free color brochure. Show phone number is (914) 474-8552.

Thursday, 31 March 2011 03:41

China’s growing ranks of millionaires are set to buoy sales at Sotheby’s (BID) spring auction in Hong Kong as collectors seek Qing Dynasty porcelain, Chateau Lafite wines and multi-million-dollar paintings.

The event may bring in as much as HK$2.4 billion ($310 million), said the New York-based auction house. The eight-day marathon, from tomorrow to April 8, features two private European collections of ceramics and contemporary art, including an 18th-century Chinese vase worth more than $23 million.

“The rarest, most important and finest work is this Falangcai vase,” Giuseppe Eskenazi, one of the world’s foremost Chinese art dealers, said. “This is good if not finer than what’s in the Beijing Palace Museum as well as in Taiwan in the National Palace Museum.”

Hong Kong’s first major sale of the year will show that rising wealth in China is continuing to drive demand, dealers said. It has 3,600 lots, about 1,000 more than last April’s auction in the city, which took a record HK$2.29 billion and revived prices in most categories to pre-credit-crisis levels. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest auction market for fine art last year, according to research company Artprice, benefiting from the support of its government in Beijing.

The “Golden Pheasant” vase was one of the personal objects belonging to the Qianlong emperor. It goes on sale on April 7 as the highlight of the Meiyintang collection of 80 works that is estimated to fetch as much as HK$940 million.

Thursday, 31 March 2011 03:36

The Crocker Art Museum has completed construction of a 125,000 sqf expansion designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA). The Teel Family Pavilion more than triples the museum’s current size and enhances its role as a cultural resource for California and the state’s many visitors. One of GSSA co-founder Charles Gwathmey’s last major public projects, the Crocker Art Museum expansion complements the 125-year-old museum’s historic structures, which includes one of the first purpose-built art museum buildings in the United States.

In addition to extensive new galleries for temporary exhibitions and the display of the Crocker’s permanent collection, The Teel Pavilion includes expanded educational and art studio space, a teacher resource center, a space for participatory arts programming for children and adults, an expanded library, and a new student exhibition space and teaching galleries. The Anne and Malcolm Henry Works on Paper Study Center greatly improves access for visiting scholars studying the Crocker’s outstanding master drawings collection, and for the public. The expansion also provides space for onsite collections care and storage, as well as a new conservation lab. New public amenities, including a 260-seat auditorium, a café with indoor and outdoor seating, and a redesigned Museum Store, have also been added. The first floor is open to the public free of charge and free Wi-Fi will be available.

Project architect Gerald Gendreau said, “The design for the new Crocker Art Museum is about adding to the urban collage — complementing the historic Art Gallery building, tying to the green space that fronts the Museum, even engaging travelers on the adjacent highway — all while giving the Museum flexible spaces for growth now and into the future.”

Thursday, 31 March 2011 03:31

George Tooker, a painter whose haunting images of trapped clerical workers and forbidding government offices expressed a peculiarly 20th-century brand of anxiety and alienation, died on Sunday at his home in Hartland, Vt. He was 90.

The cause was complications of kidney failure, Edward De Luca, director of the D C Moore Gallery in Manhattan, said.

Mr. Tooker, often called a symbolic, or magic, realist, worked well outside the critical mainstream for much of his career, relegated to the margins by the rise of abstraction. As doctrinaire modernism loosened its hold in the 1980s, however, he was rediscovered by a younger generation of artists, critics and curators, who embraced him as one of the most distinctive and mysterious American painters of the 20th century.

He specialized in eerie situations with powerful mythic overtones. Luminous and poetic, his paintings often conveyed a sense of dread, but could just as easily express a lover’s rapture or spiritual ecstasy. Whatever the emotion, his generalized figures, with their smoothly modeled sculptural forms and masklike faces, seemed to dwell outside of time, even when placed in contemporary settings.

The harried figures in “The Subway” (1950), gathered in a low-ceilinged passageway, could be characters in a Greek tragedy, stalked by the Furies. In “Landscape With Figures” (1965-66), the disembodied heads of despairing office workers peep out of a mazelike set of cubicles, like the damned in a modern version of the Inferno. The men and women in “Waiting Room” (1957) simply wait, catatonically and existentially, as if they were extras in a play by Beckett or Sartre.

Thursday, 31 March 2011 02:55

American artist Richard Prince has two exhibitions opening in Paris this week.

The artists’ homage to Willem de Kooning, a series of abstract expressionist-style paintings, opened at the Gagosian Gallery yesterday. While a collection of Prince’s ephemera opened at the Bibliothèque nationale de France today.

The Bibliothèque nationale show is inspired by Jim Morrison’s poem ‘An American Prayer’. It includes several of Prince’s famous “rephotographs” as well as a selection of books and snapshots, other personal items and his famous ‘Nurse’ paintings.

Despite their proximity, the contrast between the two shows could not be more obvious.

Prince’s de Kooning works are gestural, sketchy pieces combining painting and drawing with cut out images of torsos and genitalia.

“It was time to pay homage to an artist I really like,” Prince said in a statement. “Some people worship at the alter – I believe in de Kooning.”

'Richard Prince: de Kooning' is at the Gagosian Gallery until 21 May; and 'Richard Prince: American Prayer' is at the Bibliothèque nationale de France until 26 June

Click here for images from both exhibitions.

Thursday, 31 March 2011 02:37

BOSTON MA -   AD 20/21: Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Centuries, the only annual art and design show of its kind, takes place April 7-10, 2011 at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama.

AD 20/21 features 50 selection exhibitors offering modern to contemporary fine art, photography, jewelry, furniture, glass ceramics, sculpture, fine prints and more.  This year’s show also features the annual Boston Print Fair, and will also include a spectacular lineup of special programs.  The show opens Thursday, April 7 with a Gala Preview benefiting The Boston Architectural College.  Weekend show hours are Friday, April 8 from 1-9pm, Saturday, April 9 from 11am-8pm, and Sunday, April 10, from 11am-6pm.  Admission is $15 (under 12 free) and includes admission to all special programs.  For additional information, please call 617-363-0405 or visit

Thursday, 31 March 2011 02:23

Tom Wesselmann Draws is the most comprehensive exhibition of drawings by the artist that has ever been assembled. Many of the 108 works have never been seen outside the artist's studio in New York. In the 1960s, Tom Wesselmann was one the key leaders in the Pop Art Movement along with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Robert Indiana. He was a brilliant colorist, superior draftsman and innovator of new techniques, who devoted his life to his art and his family.

The exhibition, which covers drawings from his entire career spanning 1959-2004, was originally curated in 2003 by Wesselmann and his wife Claire and encouraged by Emilio Steinberger, Director of the Haunch of Venison Gallery in New York. Wesselmann passed away in 2004 at the age of 73 and the show was put on hold. Five years later, Claire felt ready to revisit the project. “Working in collaboration with the Museum on the installation of the exhibition, his wife Claire will apply her own aesthetic sensibilities to capture the essence of her husband’s oeuvre,” says Greenberg. As stated by Aimee Walleston in the December 2009 issue of Art in America, “Claire Wesselmann is as alive as in Wesselmann’s drawings, with a keen intellect and a uniquely personal take on her husband’s practice.” 

“Some supporters have urged me to put together a drawing show because I have never had a major drawing show. The project interests me from another point of view in that I have made drawings in ways more adventurous than what many envision...The scope of the show will be to present a well edited selection of the best drawings available covering the full range of my varied production. I don't view the show as delineated by decades in any way, but as a continuity of drawings as they occurred...A show that will enlarge the common perception of what a drawing is to a surprising and rewarding degree.”  –Tom Wesselmann, New York City, 2003

The exhibition opened at Haunch of Venison in November 2009 and travelled to the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University in October 2010. The Kreeger Museum will complete the run of the show. The catalogue, Tom Wesselmann Draws, Haunch of Venison, New York, 2009 accompanies the exhibition.  Tom Wesselmann: His Voice and Vision by John Wilmerding, Rizzoli, 2008 will also be available.

Thursday, 31 March 2011 01:42

Never Before Seen on the Market, Original Drawing for the Pop Masterpiece Kiss V Discovered by Christie’s to Be Auctioned at May 11th Post-War And Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York — In a tale that could inspire anyone to collect art no matter the budget, Christie’s is pleased to announce the auction of an exquisite drawing by the American Pop Art master Roy Lichtenstein to be offered at the Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale at Christie’s New York on May 11, 2011. The drawing was acquired for a mere $10 in 1965, is expected to realize more than one million dollars at Christie’s in May.

Drawing for Kiss V (estimate: $800,000-$1,200,000), rendered in graphite and wax crayon on paper, is the original drawing for Roy Lichtenstein’s masterpiece painting Kiss V of 1964 and belongs to the artist’s most celebrated series of iconic portraits of dream-girls that he created between 1961 and 1965. Acquired by the present owner at one of the legendary Happenings organized by the Artists’ Key Club, a group formed by a leading group of emerging pop artists in the early 1960s, the invitation for the event instructed participants to convene at the Hotel Chelsea in New York and register in a lottery in return for a key to a locker at Penn Station, famously undergoing renovation in 1965. Inside each of these lockers was a work that had been donated by artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Arman, Christo, Niki de Saint-Phalle and Andy Warhol. The present owner bought their lottery ticket for $10 and that evening in March of 1965 found this masterpiece in their locker. Drawing for Kiss V has remained in the same New York private collection for over forty-five years and is a unique piece of history that captures the remarkable aesthetic and cultural zeitgeist of the New York art world at a time of revolutionary change.

Jonathan Laib, Post-War and Contemporary Art Specialist and Head of Morning Sale comments:
“Drawing for Kiss V is a master work created by Roy Lichtenstein in 1964 while at the height of his creative powers. Lichtenstein has succeeded in producing in this very small work a statement that traps the viewer in a voyeuristic gaze. Through the use of a shallow pictorial space Lichtenstein intensifies the dramatic events within; As a viewer we are violating an intimate and perhaps even violent moment between two lovers in an ambiguous situation that registers somewhere between agony and ecstasy. In this incredible drawing Lichtenstein accomplishes much of what defines his greatest works; the lingering effects of this drawing are lasting, it finds its way into the crevices of the mind and lingers freezing time to create experience. Though small in scale this drawing packs a punch that is much larger than its physical limitations.”

Christie’s leads the market for works of art by Roy Lichtenstein. In November 2010 at Christie’s New York, the artist’s masterpiece Oh… Alright… sold for $42.6 million setting the world record price for the artist at auction. The world record price for a work on paper by the artist was established at Christie’s London in June 2010 when Collage for nude with red shirt sold for £2,729,250.

Auction: Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 7pm

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium