Love and Inspirations of Art, Posters, Design, Movie, Home Decor, Travel
JULY.23.2015 | ANDREY FYODOROVYKH
Can something minimalistic be expressive at the same time, regardless of size and medium? With this question in mind, I took a trip to the David Zwirner Gallery at Chelsea in New York City, with works from minimalist sculptor artists Richard Serra and De Wain Valentine that equally bring awe and perplexity to the masses.
Richard Serra has become most famous in the art scene due to him holding exhibits using massive chunks of raw metal in very minimalistic compositions. He had become well known for his craft that TimeOut.com called him as, “the art world’s god of heavy metal”. Walk right into the David Zwirner Gallery at West 20th Street in New York City and quite literally the first thing you will see is Richard Serra’s new piece: Equal.
Needless to say, it is an absolute behemoth of an art piece. To create the piece, Serra had these 40-ton blocks made out of weatherproofed steel and later placed on top of one of another to bring out the difference in their shapes. Throughout my trip to the David Zwirner Gallery, it was the only piece I saw that people were allowed to touch. Why Equal is so striking is simply in its composition; the way the blocks sit away from each other in cold unison and almost dead silence in an intentionally dimly lit room. It almost brings to mind over how the piece brings out the rawness of the material that was used to make these blocks. The finesse seen here comes to show as to why Richard Serra is known as “the god of heavy metal” in the art world to begin with.
Moving on down to West 19th Street, another section of the David Zwirner Gallery houses the works of another sculptor artist, De Wain Valentine, who specializes in a similar direction as Richard Serra but in different means of execution. Instead of using raw metals to express his artistic vision, he used a more fragile yet equally beautiful medium: polyester resin. (In layman’s terms, it’s plastic) Valentine had to strategize when creating his pieces because he knew that average blocks of polyester resin were prone to cracking, so he hired the help of a scientist to create a more durable version called Valentine McKast Resin. It is through this type of resin that Valentine was able to create the centerpiece of his exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery: the Two Gray Columns.
At nearly 12 feet high, the Two Gray Columns start at 10 inches thick at the bottom and begin to taper off and narrow as they begin to rise to the top. It is imperative to say that the above photo can lie to some and make them think that it’s not that tall; but it absolutely is. One can easily say that this piece’s incredibly smooth and perfect edges, surface and curves are proof that Valentine knows what he is doing. This is shown further through the fact that Valentine was once told that, “Galleries will never show art made of plastic”, when he was beginning to emerge into the art scene in the 1960s. It was such a powerful and moving piece to witness that the docents at the gallery kept telling visitors (including me) to prevent coming within a foot and a half of this sculpture.
If this isn’t a compliment, then what is?
For available Richard Serra posters, please click here.
Gallery information is found below.
David Zwirner Gallery
Richard Serra, Equal
Open until July 24, 2015
535 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
De Wain Valentine, Works from the 1960s and 1970s
Open Until August 7, 2015
519 & 533 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
BY ANDREY FYODOROVYKH | JULY.16.2015
Yoko Ono’s One Woman Show 1960-1971 had just ended this past Friday at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but its absence does not dull its impact that her exhibit has had on the art world. Known by many as the widow of the late John Lennon, Yoko Ono rose up to become one of the most unorthodox and original artists in modern history and helped destroy the invisibility that plagued female artists in a world and time where women were shunned from the art world. This exhibition served as a prequel into Ono’s life over the first 11 years of her art career; leading up to her unauthorized debut at the very museum that would release the One Woman Show in her honor. However, in order to fully understand and appreciate Ono’s work, it might be imperative to first take a look at other legendary artists around the same time when Ono was producing her own art that took a similar approach in the art scene.
Ono’s work is equally perplexing as it is captivating through her use of abstract art to tell a story, which allows the viewer to take a peek into the mind of the artist that put their soul into the piece that stood before them. Passing through the vast halls of MoMA on the way to the Yoko Ono exhibit, I had passed by a few works of Jackson Pollock – including one of which that easily dwarfed the tallest living thing in the room, Pollock’s massive One: Number 31.
Some look at the works of Pollock and see a message or a way of expression on the artist’s part, while others may look at his work and think that it is quite literally gibberish on canvas. But see, that’s exactly the point; this type of art immortalizes a message and almost demands a response regardless from the public, no matter how positive or negative it might be. In fact, Jasper Johns’ painting Flag is similar in this aspect. According to MoMA, “a critic of the time encapsulated this painting’s ambivalence, asking,
Yoko Ono lived and worked in a time where pop art was absolutely exploding and became an important part of her work; with pop artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Edward Rusha dominating the pop art scene. Lichtenstein and Rusha would focus on the more physical aspects of pop art with comic book-inspired pieces such as Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl and Rusha’s OOF; while Warhol would focus more on the subject matter of pop art, as is seen on his piece Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times. This piece shows grisly photo of a car crash and mangled corpse is repeated 14 times over a red background, and begins to deteriorate with each repetition. The second side of the piece is a blank red background, which was intentional by Warhol so the owner(s) would be able to hang the second portion however they would want to with the main portion like an interchangeable puzzle piece.
So why are these artists relevant to Yoko Ono’s work? It is because a lot of the qualities seen in these artists and their work are also very present in Ono, and she has been able to present her artwork in a way that is truly original and able to raise some eyebrows, as it is seen with Ono’s Painting To Be Stepped On, which quite very literally is what it is called: a painting that you can step on. It even says so on the very piece itself.
Indeed, it is a piece of artwork that can be easily overlooked, as I’ve witnessed plenty of visitors walking over it unknowingly and I likely wouldn’t have noticed it myself if I didn’t look down for a split second. However, our participation, whether intentional or not, was all part of what Ono was trying to achieve with this piece. As MoMA stated about the piece, “the work radically questioned the division between art and the everyday by asking viewers to participate in its completion." Interestingly, this piece also breaks the barrier over how artwork is treated in a museum. Many works of art are protected in plain sight by an endless amount of plaques saying, “DO NOT TOUCH”, and rightfully so. However, this is a piece that people can engage with physically, and that is what makes it so original and a powerful expression.
Ono would later collaborate with her husband John Lennon in the late 1960s to make iconic pieces like WAR IS OVER! If You Want It in a powerful campaign aimed on their part to help achieve world peace, and these pieces will stay recognizable and relevant to our pop culture and history for generations. This is not to say, however, that Yoko Ono rode on John Lennon’s fame to get where she is today in the art scene. To backtrack a little bit, before she began collaborating with Lennon, she created her film piece called Cut Piece. In the film, she sits quietly on a stage in front of an audience and asks them to cut off pieces of her clothing while she sat passively.
This is relevant to the point at hand because it was Ono’s way of tackling social issues pertaining to cultural background, gender, and class. She wanted to push the boundaries of not only the art scene, but also the boundaries of society itself. This lead to her becoming well-known in the art scene and even outside of it, famously or infamously – depending on the people who looked at herself and her work.
Even living as the widow of John Lennon for the past 35 years, she continues to practice art to this very day, at the healthy age of 82 years old at the time of this article. To conclude, there was one piece that many would say was the star of the whole exhibition: Ono’s To See The Sky.
The purpose of this piece was to allow people to walk up the staircase “into the heavens”, one at a time. This was arguably the highlight of the show because it served as an example of how Ono engages the audience with her artwork, and also because the people just found it fun. This, ultimately, is what sets Yoko Ono’s work apart from other means of artistic expression. Instead of forcing the audience to look at and ponder her art from afar, she allows the audience to engage with the artwork – at times her being the artwork itself.
And the fact that her work has been shown to the world at the very museum that shunned her existence decades ago, it is fitting that she is going to be remembered for generations to come.
PARIS — A female tennis player clutches her racket and straddles two pockmarked globes. Between her feet, a splash of what could be blood forms a red shadow. Butterflies float up and around her. Beneath her, an older woman rolls on the floor, reaching up with a look of anguish.
This is the 2010 French Open poster, the 31st work of art commissioned by the French Tennis Federation to celebrate art and tennis. The series began in 1980.
It is the creation of Nalini Malani, 64, a Karachi-born Indian artist who paints on canvases she stretches across the floor of her studio in Mumbai, the former Bombay.
“Each foot stands on a different planet,” said Malani in a Federation pamphlet circulated to reporters. “I wanted it to be planets with women crossing the universe, the feeling of being on top of the world, of succeeding.”
Franck Lehodey, an artist who visited Malani in Mumbai late last year, said she agreed that there are elements, too, of life and death.
“The butterfly metaphor is a symbol of the short life of an athlete,” said Lehodey, the artist, referring to the relatively brief span of many professional tennis careers.
“The figure on the floor,” Lehodey said, “is like a cocoon.” From it, he said, butterflies rise after release from the chrysalis state.
In the pamphlet, Malani cited her admiration for Sania Mirza, widely respected in India as a tennis player and a practicing Muslim. “Her tennis has revolutionized the mentality here,” Malani said in the pamphlet, “It created a sense of liberation.”
Despite India’s long tradition of high-level tennis, it was mostly a men’s sport. Mirza is believed to be the first Indian female tennis athlete to compete internationally.
“In India,” Malani is quoted as saying, “if it was natural for men in high society to play tennis, it wasn’t the case, after a certain age, for young girls.”
Mirza, though, is sidelined by a wrist injury and is not at Roland Garros to see her metaphorical likeness displayed on posters and photos on the grounds or at subway and bus stops around Paris.
Lehodey, a sketch artist and editor, said that Malani’s selection to paint the poster represents a new step for the French Tennis Federation as well.
“It’s the first time the poster has been painted by an artist who is a woman from an emerging country,” he said.
The tradition of commissioning French Open posters reflects a nationwide passion for associating art and tennis. Each year, the tournament invites artists to paint or sketch their impressions of the spectacle as the tournament unfolds. In 2004, a French television channel stationed Joel Blanc, a Paris artist, to paint with oils as he sat at courtside in Chatrier Stadium. The channel displayed the images on the air during changeovers.
Last year, Lehodey helped mount a collection of comic book art depicting tennis. It drew thousands of spectators to what was called the Tenniseum, an art and tennis museum on the grounds of Roland Garros. The underground facility has been renamed the Museum of the French Tennis Federation.
Jasper Johns (b. 1930) works primarily in painting and printmaking. Johns had his first solo show in 1958 at the Leo Castelli Gallery. This is where Alfred Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art, purchased the museum’s first four artworks by the artist. In 1963 Jasper Johns and John Cage founded the non-profit Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, dedicated to supporting artists who create contemporary and groundbreaking work in all disciplines through grant programs. Today, over 900 visual artists have donated works through 13 benefit exhibitions to support this mission.
Jasper Johns is most celebrated for his large-scale painting of the American flag entitled Flag (1954), which demonstrates Johns’s early technique of painting thickly over found and collaged materials. During the 1960s and 70s, Johns created over 40 works based on the flag, and it became his top selling work at auction in 2010 when it sold for $28.6 million at Christie’s. John’s work Map (1961) is the second most renowned composition by the artist wherein he uses stenciled words and numbers applied with expressive encaustic to produce his monumental map of the United States. These two pieces truly display John’s artistic use of classical iconography such as maps, flags, targets, letters and numbers - at tendency, that places him in between the Pop-Art and Abstract Expressionist schools.
The oeuvre of Jasper Johns form the cornerstone of top Museum collections around the world and he has become the second most expensive living American artists today. Persuaded by the tenacious resolve of Tatyana Grosman, founder of the pioneering Universal Limited Art Editions, to work on lithographic stones in 1960, he began a printmaking career that as led to a body of more than 300 prints. His natural feel for the medium not withstanding, printmaking offered Johns the perfect vehicle for his “theme and variation” approach. Johns’ original prints and museum exhibition posters have tripled or quadrupled over the last 2 decades as they become increasingly rare.
Post-recession John’s posters have become even more valuable. Between 1997 and 2015, Savarin Coffee Can went up from $60 to $450, Map went up from $60 to $375, and Moratorium (sold) went up from $20 to $900.
Jasper Jones - Savarin Coffee Cup
New Le Petit Prince Collection at Rare Posters
Brooklyn, NY- June 12, 2015 - Rare Posters is pleased to present a charming collection of new Le Petit Prince lithographs and fine quality posters published in 2015. From the original designs of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry((1900–1944), these prints are after the watercolor illustrations from the beloved 1943 book. Since its publication seventy-two years ago, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's book Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) has captivated millions of readers throughout the world.
The new Le Petit collection marks Rare Posters Inc.’s continuing partnership with the Succession Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Designs highlight major themes from the book such as Asteroide, la cape rouge, les Oiseaux Sauvages and le Renard. Featured in the picture is a limited edition lithograph, numbered out of 100 in pencil, plate-signed, and blind-stamped in accordance with the Estate of Saint-Exupéry.
Available for purchase now on www.rareposters.com.
About Rare Posters Inc.:
Since its inception almost two decades ago, Rare Posters, Inc has evolved from offering a small selection of museum and exhibition posters, to now showcasing some of the most sought-after artworks available. Rare Posters’ strength is in providing an impressive selection of lithographs, limited editions prints, signed items, and high quality serigraphs to those interested in something more than a poster, but less expensive than a painting. At www.rareposters.com, you will find over 6,000 exclusive items featuring artists such as Basquiat, Rauschenberg, Chagall, Warhol, Matisse, Botero, Lichtenstein, and Miro, as well as many items hard to find anywhere else.
For inquiries, please contact: Bernard Rougerie at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 718 788 0791, toll-free +1 800 378 8899