Saturday, May 31, 2008

Frank Gehry

ARTmostfierce is great fan of Architect Frank Gehry. In fact most of my design studio projects including my thesis used a similar architectural language and design approach. Gehry unfortunately like most great architects(Saha Hadid among them ) has ran into all sorts of obstacles while trying to get his designs come true.

Please enjoy this NY Times article written by NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF while I go and get my on my knees and my hands dirty gardening in the backyard. ARTmostfierce will  try his best to have a Martha Stewart kind of day ! ...Ha!
More blog posts  coming soon!

Published: May 31, 2008
Mr. Gehry first tried to break into the city’s architectural scene in the early 1980s, when he was hired to design a town house for the Upper East Side doyenne Christophe de Menil. The project ended in tears for Mr. Gehry when she fired him over a glass of Champagne.

Nearly 20 years later, his proposal for a mega-Guggenheim Museum on the East River was shelved for lack of funds. His plan for the colossal Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn remains a pet target of grass-roots activists. And his first major New York building, a headquarters for the media and Internet conglomerate IAC on the West Side Highway, was recently disfigured by an enormous logo.

So Mr. Gehry’s 76-story Beekman Tower, which is under construction just south of City Hall and whose latest design was released on Friday, should be considered long overdue.

Rising just south of the entry ramps to the Brooklyn Bridge, it will join an imposing cluster of landmarks around City Hall, including Cass Gilbert’s 1913 neo-Gothic Woolworth Building and McKim, Mead & White’s 1914 Municipal Building, early examples of the city’s deep romance with the sky. Draped over a classical shell, the tower’s crinkled steel skin is proof that the skyscraper has yet to exhaust itself as an urban art form.

Just as important, the design suggests that the city is slowly if hesitantly recovering from the trauma of 9/11. Only a few years ago, as plans were readied for a bunkerlike Freedom Tower downtown, it seemed as if the Manhattan skyline would be marred by jingoism and fear.

Mr. Gehry’s tower, by contrast, harks back to the euphoric aspirations of an earlier age without succumbing to nostalgia. Like Jean Nouvel’s recently unveiled design for a West 53rd Street tower, which suggests shards of glass tumbling from the sky, it signals that the city is finally emerging from a long period of creative exhaustion.

The design has evolved through an unusual public-private partnership. In an agreement with New York education officials, the tower’s developer, Forest City Ratner, agreed to incorporate a public elementary school into the project. Forest City was responsible for the construction of the school; the Department of Education then bought the building from the developer. (Forest City was also a development partner in the new Midtown headquarters of The New York Times Company.)

The Beekman Tower is thus a curious fusion of public and private zones. Clad in simple red brick, the school will occupy the first five floors of the building. Atop this base will be the elaborate stainless-steel form of the residential tower, which will have its own entrance along a covered porte-cochere between Beekman and Spruce Streets.

Only a few blocks from ground zero and Wall Street, the shimmering tower’s hypnotic pull will significantly reconfigure the downtown skyline.

A classical T-shaped plan and sharp corners give the building an unexpected heft. As the structure rises, its forms will step back slightly, subtly breaking down the scale and bringing to mind a series of stacked toy blocks. The pattern shifts at each break, setting the composition slightly off balance and injecting an appealing sense of vulnerability.

Yet what makes the tower so intoxicating is the exterior skin. Before dreaming up the design, Mr. Gehry checked into a room at the Four Seasons Hotel and spent days gazing out at the skyline. He experimented with dozens of configurations, from stoic to voluptuous, before opting for facades etched with a series of soft, irregular folds.

This pattern strikes a perfect note. The folds evoke rivulets of water, crinkled sheets of aluminum foil, melting ice; their effect will be heightened by light and shadow dancing across the surfaces over the course of a day.

Some of that emotion carries over to the interiors. The exterior folds are not merely decorative flourishes; they create a series of bays inside each of the apartments. The walls inside echo the dreamy, undulating pattern of the facade, as if the building were melting.

Mr. Gehry was not allowed to tinker with the layout of the actual apartments. But in today’s real estate climate, where brokers impose the most conservative limits on design to maximize profits, this detail should be considered a major victory.

If the project has a weakness, it is the disparate levels of creative energy invested in the building’s public and private spheres. Partly because of the budget constraints facing a typical public school, Mr. Gehry settled on a relatively straightforward design for the base. Its brick cladding, pierced by big industrial windows, verges on austere.

So far the school’s interiors, designed by the New York firm Swanke Hayden Connell, seem dully conventional. By contrast, the residential tower’s entrance is invested with all of Mr. Gehry’s characteristic flair. Wavy panels made of steel trelliswork hang from the entry’s ceiling; big squat columns frame views to a small public garden outside.

Such is the world we live in today. Under current circumstances the Beekman Tower is not a minor victory.

A lesser architect might have spoiled one of the most fabled views in the Manhattan skyline. Instead Mr. Gehry has designed a landmark that will hold its own against the greatest skyscrapers of New York. It may even surpass them.

Pixel Perfect...

How many of your photographs in your collection are the REAL DEAL ?

By this I mean if they are the original conception and instant image conceived by the artist or a backstage calculated and pumped up on technology steroids image reminiscent  of  all the major editorial magazines and publications.

Are you a fan and collector of REAL photography or you are simply falling for that perfect looking image that simulate a poster because there is no flaws in it?

How much value do these rather trendy and off the moment techniques add to the photographs?

Is  Photography as an art media evolving to accept this new technology and the days of instant imaging (Polaroid) are doomed?

How will these new technology fare with old good Classic Photography without all these tricks out of a hat?

ARTmostfierce had all these questions and many more on his head after reading this article in the New Yorker Magazine written by Lauren Collins . It is a very good article and I recommend that you read it (it is seven pages long) and find out what really happens behind the scenes.

ARTmostfierce was so extremely disappointed to find out that photographers like Phillip-Lorca DiCorcia, Patrick Demarchelier and Annie Leibovitz are among the many artists that do some serious professional backstage image manipulation changing anything you can imagine to achieve that perfect image.I was well aware of the fashion editorial photography but, not so much for book publishing and  specially REAL art collection photographs!
Another questionable example of the merging of ART and Fashion!

The guy responsible for most of it is Pascal Dangin and he is quite brilliant at it!
Not only he has an incredible eye to identify flaws but,  also how to correct them and even fool people with good trained eyes! This is the kind of guy that you want right next to you when you are about to buy a photograph. He will dissect it and put it back together for you in a matter of seconds! He is a genius!
Enjoy the article !
Let me know your thoughts!

For a charity auction a few years back, the photographer Patrick Demarchelier donated a private portrait session. The lot sold, for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to the wife of a very rich man. It was her wish to pose on the couple’s yacht. “I call her, I say, ‘I come to your yacht at sunset, I take your picture,’ ” Demarchelier recalled not long ago. He took a dinghy to the larger boat, where he was greeted by the woman, who, to his surprise, was not wearing any clothes.
“I want a picture that will excite my husband,” she said.
Capturing such an image, by Demarchelier’s reckoning, proved to be difficult. “I cannot take good picture,” he said. “Short legs, so much done to her face it was flat.” Demarchelier finished the sitting and wondered what to do. Eventually, he picked up the phone: “I call Pascal. ‘Make her legs long!’ ”
Pascal Dangin is the premier retoucher of fashion photographs. Art directors and admen call him when they want someone who looks less than great to look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks amazing already—whether by dint of DNA or M·A·C—to look, as is the mode, superhuman. (Christy Turlington, for the record, needs the least help.) In the March issue of Vogue Dangin tweaked a hundred and forty-four images: a hundred and seven advertisements (Estée Lauder, Gucci, Dior, etc.), thirty-six fashion pictures, and the cover, featuring Drew Barrymore. To keep track of his clients, he assigns three-letter rubrics, like airport codes. Click on the current-jobs menu on his computer: AFR (Air France), AMX (American Express), BAL (Balenciaga), DSN (Disney), LUV (Louis Vuitton), TFY (Tiffany & Co.), VIC (Victoria’s Secret).
Vanity Fair, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, French Vogue, Italian Vogue, V, and the Times Magazine, among others, also use Dangin. Many photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, rarely work with anyone else. Around thirty celebrities keep him on retainer, in order to insure that any portrait of them that appears in any outlet passes through his shop, to be scrubbed of crow’s-feet and stray hairs. Dangin’s company, Box Studios, has eighty employees and occupies a four-story warehouse in the meatpacking district. “I have Patrick!” an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway, exclaims in “The Devil Wears Prada,” but her real-life counterparts probably log as much time speed-dialling Pascal.

Please read more about this interesting article !

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Murakami Prints $$$$

Please enjoy the blog header photo this week by the talented photographer Andrew Valli!

ARTmostfierce recommends that while visiting the Brooklyn Museum and while enjoying the Takashi Murakami show, open up your purse and pick up a Murakami print for sale.

Yes, there is two styles and four different versions of each one. The 40 x 40 inches ( first image shown above) goes for $1,250.00.This one is also in a limited edition of 300. .The 20 x 20 inches(second image) is only $900.00 limited edition of 300.They are both still available in low numbers .

This is not my favorite image of a Murakami work ever but, they are made with such good quality and these images in particular are from his last painting series.

Murakami has done quite well in recent auctions(15.1 million one of his Lonesome Cowboy sculpture) and his work is getting a lot of mass appeal. If you are looking for an investment piece of art, I recommend taking a look at it.

You can't it over the phone, the Internet nor they will hold it for you (OK divas!)...SO if you want it, march your ass to Brooklyn, go and see the show and it is for sale on the last room of the show(a lot of people had missed it so keep your eyes open while in the last room!).

By the way it is already on E-bay.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Winners of NY Photo Festival

New York Photo Award 2008 Winners!!!!!

Congratulations to all the winners specially Edgar Martins, winner in the Personal/Fine Art Series . One of his photos The Accidental Theorist is shown in the above blog header. Artmostfierce conducted an interview with Edgar Martins posted on April 29,2008. Scroll below and read it !
Go and get Edgar Martins Topologies book at Aperture and check out his limited edition prints. Great photos and worth the investment!

Collectors keep an eye on these names listed below.

Student Personal Fine Art Series - Anna Skladman
Student Personal Fine Art Single Image - Alana Celii
Student Book - Tiana Markova-Gold
Student Editorial Series - Tobias Kruse
Student Editorial Single Image - Gratiane de Moustier
Multimedia - Photo/Audio - Two Winners..."The Ninth Floor" by Jessica Dimmock & MediaStorm/"Curse of the Black Gold" by Ed Kashi & MediaStorm
Multimedia - Photo/Video - "Bearing Witness" a Reuters/MediaStorm Collaboration
Personal/Fine Art Series - Edgar Martins
Personal/Fine Art Single Image - Jessica Todd Harper
Editorial Series - Paula Bronstein
Editorial Single Image - Two Winners...Ibraheem Abu Mustafa & Adem Hadei
Photography Book - Amy Stein
Advertising Series - John Offenbach
Advertising Single Image - Jason Bell

Winners received a PowerShot G9 Digital Camera from Canon, along with their awards.

Meet The Jury

Tim Barber
Elisabeth Biondi
Frank Evers
Lauren Greenfield
William Hunt
Charlie Melcher
Daniel Power
Jody Quon
Benjamin Trigano
Meagan Ziegler-Haynes

Meredith Birkett
Snorri Bros
Greg Clayman
Lauren Greenfield
Frank Evers
Bjarke Myrthu

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Picture Show

OMG... too much to do tomorrow evening. Here is another great event.

Happy Shopping$$$$

ARTmostfierce might have to check this one too!

Show& sell exhibition and silent auction of photographic prints at the chelsea art museum. Tue, May 20, 2008 silent auction from 6p-9pwinners announced at 9ppack and carry from 9p-10pproceeds go to coalition for the homeless/camp homeward bound

Featuring works by: Lamia AbillamaJerome AlbertiniLaurent AlfieriLucas AllenTom AllenDavid ArmstrongLachlan BaileyJohn BalsomErin BantaTim BarberJames BennettLynn BlodgettKarl BlossfeldtBoogieBela BorsodiMark BorthwickJohn BrattinRobin BroadbentMatthew BrookesGreg BroomAble BrownThomas C. CardPatrick CariouCatherine ChalmersJesse ChehakChristopher ChenierFabio ChizzolaFaubel and ChristensenRobert ClarkTodd ColeAlessandro D'AndreaBenedict DeLorenzoJeff DentonDrew DiSalvoBenjamin DonaldsonMax DoyleConor DuffyJoanne DuganMartin EderAdam FedderlyRobert FimmanoLola FlashChris FloydRichard FoulserAlec FriedmanNicholas FriedmannRafael FuchsClaudia GalindoAdrian GautTierney GearonAndrea GentlGlenn GlasserMario GodlewskiNathaniel GoldbergMarcelo GomesKaren GossRobin GraubardChristopher GriffithBob GruenJohn GuerreroFrancois HalardShuli HallakPamela HansonGreg HarrisNick HaymesDavid HazanAlec HellDerek HendersonAndrew Hetherington Todd Hido Matthew HiseAlex HoernerRainer HoschDitte IsagerDean IsidroDrew JarrettMatt Jones Thatcher Keats Sebastian KimLiz KlebiekoJesse KoechlingNikolas KoenigAndreas KonrathFrederic LagrangeAaron LampellKent LarssonGail LeboffLemont Le Moing Nicholas LordenRoxanne LowitFinlay MacKayPaul MaffiCarlotta ManaigoBecci MansonTodd MarshardDan MartensenChristina MartinezRobert MaxwellMary McCartneyGlynnis McDarisToby McFarlan PondAlasdair McLellan Patrick McMullan Randall MesdonCristiano MorroyGerrard NeedhamMinh NgoAnthony O'DwyerAlice O'MalleyKate OrneSkye ParrottVirginia ParrottAlessandra PetlinBryce PinchamChad PitmanPlatonRon PownallGabrielle RevereMischa RichterJono RotmanCraig SalmonVictoria SambunarisRobert SantiagoTamara SchlesingerStewart ShiningChris ShipmanVanina SorrentiJerry Spagnoli Amy Stein Jock Sturges Christopher SturmanTakuMei TaoAlistair Taylor YoungAnna TuckerJens UmbachJosh van GelderMariano VivancoMatthias VriensWataruEric WeeksWilliam WegmanJan WeltersJana WilliamsChristian WitkinAnna WolfTom WoolYelena YemchukGretchen Zufall

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

For furniture lovers, check this show!

Artists Absorb Israel’s Six Decades, and Move On !

Not “The Last Supper”: Israeli soldiers and a work by Adi Nes at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

ARTmostfierce had a busy weekend with the NY Photo Festival, family graduation visit and a couple of benefits that are up this week...never enough time!

In the meantime...
Please enjoy this article by Ethan Bronner of the New York Times. Adi Nes's work is discussed
and he is quite know already in the New York art circles. Check out his work and keep an eye on him.

JERUSALEM — At first glance it seems a straightforward if animated photograph of Israeli soldiers in a mess hall: uniformed young men chatting, pouring, laughing, smoking at a set of utilitarian tables bearing metal bowls and nondescript food. But it doesn’t take long to sense that the scene is spiritually and sexually charged. The men are a little too handsome and draped a little too casually over one another, and their group pose is a little too evocative of a certain iconic meal.

Adi Nes’s untitled work is widely known as his “Last Supper,” and its homoerotic challenge to Israeli machismo and its reference to the Christian message of looming betrayal and death have made the photograph one of the better known pieces of contemporary art in Israel. Along with 59 other works, including videos and interactive installations, it is featured in an ambitious, sometimes macabre and often witty show at the Israel Museum here.
Called “Real Time: Art in Israel, 1998-2008,” the exhibition is one of six to be rolled out over the coming months to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary. There will be one show for each decade of the country’s existence, each in a different museum across the country.
The Israel Museum, which, under its director, James S. Snyder, likes to think big and make waves, chose the most recent decade for its show. And while it can be hard to gauge the durability of new art, Mr. Snyder and a curator of the show, Amitai Mendelsohn, say that Israeli artists are undergoing a rare flowering, gaining international recognition for works that make universal statements about very Israeli phenomena.
“We have entered a kind of dream-come-true period, meaning Israeli art has turned very international without losing its Israeli feel,” Mr. Mendelsohn said.
A soaring number of Israeli artists are enjoying solo exhibitions in the United States, including Sigalit Landau, whose eerie, dreamlike installations are on view at the Museum of Modern Art; Barry Frydlender, whose large digitally compressed color photos of daily life here were shown at MoMA last year; and Yael Bartana, whose videos will be at P.S. 1 in Queens in the fall. All are represented in the Israel Museum show.
“I think this success is partly about artistic maturation, absorbing their heritage and moving on,” Mr. Snyder, who was hired from MoMA 12 years ago, said on a recent walk-through of the show, which continues through Aug. 30.
“There has been a kind of synthesis into modernity,” he added. “These artists grew up here and absorbed 60 years of history and integrated it into their worldviews.” Some of the strongest pieces are digital and video works, he said, “and this too is very representative of Israel, which is undergoing a high-tech boom.”
All of those trends are reflected in a video by Ms. Bartana of the two minutes of stillness observed on the country’s Memorial Day for the fallen in Israel. Each year, in April or May, a piercing siren is heard across the land, and Israelis of all stripes stop what they are doing — including driving — and stand in a haunting, unitary silence.
Ms. Bartana’s video is shot from a bridge above a Tel Aviv highway. At first cars whiz through a tunnel. Suddenly, a few stop, and their doors open. The drivers emerge. Others follow. The drivers stand, their minds doubtless caught between their individual concerns and their collective identity. Some parts are shot in slow motion and manipulated so that vehicles vanish or pull along ghosts of themselves, forcing the viewer to contemplate what the ritual means. The piece is called “Trembling Time.”
Most of the 40 artists in the show were born after the 1967 Six-Day War, a watershed in Middle East history. It is hard to know what that suggests about their perspectives. But the artists are relatively young and seemingly less burdened by the need to embrace or reject Zionist history or by the sense of isolation that typified life in Israel until the 1990s, when the Arab boycott against the country collapsed, cable television arrived and the Internet took over consciousness.
Artists react to artistic tradition, speaking across generations to, and of, their colleagues, but also often to the specific moment in which they are creating. The decade this group represents, 1998 to 2008, was seemingly event-filled — the attacks of Sept. 11 in the United States, the war in Iraq, the second intifada (or Palestinian uprising), Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the war between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Yet there has been little serious art focused on those events in this country.
Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, a sociologist at Hebrew University who wrote an essay on the decade for the show’s catalog, says the period being addressed was one of indifference — “with nothing new to say, no new song, no refreshing or exciting project, no youth, nothing innovative or original in Israeli society.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gap & The Whitney Museum T-shirts

ARTmostfierce recommends getting one of these walking art creations!
For $28.00 USD is definitely a look!

Eric LoPresti@ Like The Spice Gallery

ARTmostfierce was invited to an studio visit for emerging artist Eric LoPresti sponsored by the auction house Phillips DePury.

Eric's paintings are combination of oil and airbrush on linen .Most of his paintings are manifested as diptychs in which one side has a complete abstract expression vs. a quite crafted , insightful and detailed visual that makes us think of the some of the world most current events.
A good example of it is the second diptych painting (Untitled) in which an image from Iraq can be as familiar as a neighborhood somewhere in Florida or Los Angeles in the moment of being hit by a missile. There is a lot of reflexion, insinuation and hidden messages in his paintings but, I want you to be the judge so please, go to the opening tomorrow night and see for yourself . For more info please see links below or contact Marisa Sage at Like The Spice Gallery. Don't miss it!


May 16 - June 8, 2008
Opening: Friday May 16, 6:30 - 10pm

224 Roebling Street at South 2nd, Williamsburg
Hours: Mon, Wed - Sat 12-8pm Sun 12-7pm (closed Tues)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bacon Triptych Auctioned for Record $86 Million

Sotheby's/Associated Press
This undated photo released by Sotheby's shows the three panels of Francis Bacon's "Triptych, 1976."

ARTmostfierce keeps asking...What Recession ?
The auction results from last night at Sotheby's keep proving the art market continues to thrive no matter the current economic situation.
Please read article written by Carol Vogel of the New York Times.

Triptych by Francis Bacon brought $86.3 million on Wednesday night at Sotheby’s, becoming the most expensive work of contemporary art ever sold at auction and a retort to doomsayers who had predicted that the art market would falter seriously this season because of broad economic anxieties.

“Recession? What recession?” Barbara Gladstone, a Chelsea dealer, said jokingly as she was leaving the salesroom.

Although the sale had top-quality art and dealers predicted it would be a success, it went well beyond even the auction house’s expectations, bringing in $362 million, above the sale’s high $356 million estimate. Only 10 of the 83 works failed to sell, and 18 artist records were set for names ranging from Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni to Tom Wesselmann and Takashi Murakami.

By far the most exciting moment of the evening was when “Triptych,” Mr. Bacon’s comment on his own angst — a vast (each of the three panels measures about 6 ½ feet by 5 feet) and densely painted allegorical painting came up for sale. Three telephone bidders went for the painting, which was being sold by the Moueix family, producers of Château Pétrus wines. Hailing the painting as “a landmark of the 20th-century canon,” Sotheby’s had estimated it would sell for $70 million.

(Final prices include the commission paid to Sotheby’s: 25 percent of the first $20,000, 20 percent of the next $20,000 to $500,000 and 12 percent of the rest. Estimates do not reflect commissions.)

Two monochrome works by the artist Yves Klein fetched giant prices. Offered from the collection of Walther Lauffs, a German industrialist who died in 1981, and his wife, Helga, “MG9” (1962), a gold leaf on panel, proved wildly popular. It carried an estimate of $6 million to $8 million, but Philippe Ségalot, a Manhattan dealer, bought the painting for $23.5 million. Mr. Ségalot, who spoke French on a cellphone as he bid, also bought “IKB1,” a 1960 deep blue canvas that had been expected to bring $5 million to $7 million but fetched $17.4 million. (As soon as the hammer fell on both paintings, speculation started spreading through the salesroom that Mr. Ségalot was bidding for François Pinault, the luxury goods magnate and owner of Christie’s, but Mr. Ségalot declined to comment on the buyer for whom he was bidding.)

Abstract images have been strong sellers in general this week. Gerhard Richter’s “Abstract Picture” from 1990, a dreamy canvas of yellows, violets, blues and orange, went for $15.1 million, far above its $5 million to $7 million estimate. The buyer was yet another mystery telephone bidder.

Marianne Boesky, who for years had represented Mr. Murakami before he jumped to the powerhouse Gagosian Gallery two years ago, was selling one of the artist’s outrageous sculptures, “My Lonesome Cowboy,” another cast of which is on view as part of the artist’s retrospective that opened last month at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The sculpture of the naked cowboy brought another record price, selling to a telephone bidder for $15.1 million, nearly four times its $4 million high estimate.

Mr. Murakami, wearing his signature baggy blue jeans and his hair in a ponytail, was standing in the back of the salesroom on Wednesday night. People in the audience believed he spent $1.1 million for a 2001 sculpture by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, “Light My Fire,” a sculpture of a child on a tree stump holding a flame.

Three works by the art world titan Robert Rauschenberg were on offer Wednesday night, and his death this week at 82 prompted avid speculation on how they would fare. Historically, auction prices tend to dip immediately after an artist dies in anticipation that long-withheld works will flood the market.

But “Overdrive,” a 1963 silkscreen collage incorporating images of a bird, a stop sign, a one-way street sign and other objects, made yet another record price, bringing $14.6 million. Sotheby’s had thought it would make $10 million to $15 million.

The evening had one particularly pricey bump: “Orange, Red, Yellow,” an abstract Rothko in dense tones from 1956, was expected to fetch $35 million. It was being sold by Heinz Eppler, a philanthropist and collector from New York and Palm Beach, Calif. There were no bids for the painting, which failed to sell. A small triangle by the lot number indicated that Sotheby’s had a financial interest in the painting. Before the sale, some contemporary-art dealers said they had heard that Sotheby’s had purchased it in partnership with Robert Mnuchin, a Manhattan dealer. Perhaps there were too many red Rothkos for sale this week. On Tuesday night at Christie’s, a Rothko in reds and yellows went for $50.4 million, a highlight of that sale.

But Pop Art was still had its day. A Tom Wesselmann, “Great American Nude No. 48,” a 1963 roomlike assemblage that includes a radiator and window illumination, brought another record price, selling for $10.6 million, above its $8 million high estimate. (Another Wesselmann, “Smoker #9, 1973,” a painting in the shape of a woman’s red lips inhaling smoke, set a record for the artist’s work at auction on Tuesday night at Christie’s, going for $6.7 million.

Jose Mugrabi, the Manhattan dealer, bought Warhol’s “Detail of the Last Supper (Christ 112 Times)” from 1986 for $9.5 million. Measuring 6 feet by 35 feet, it presents a black grid with the face of Christ outlined in yellow. It seemed like a good price considering the low estimate was $10 million.

Peter Brant, the newsprint magnate was a big seller last night. One of Richard Prince’s early supporters he was parting with “Millionaire Nurse,” from 2002. one of the artist’s paintings inspired by the covers of erotic pulp fiction from the 1940s. In this painting, his nurse is wearing a white surgical mask. While it had been estimated to sell for $3.5 million to $4.5 million, five bidders went for the work which ended up selling for $4.2 million or $4.7 million including Sotheby’s fees. (On Tuesday night, Christie’s auctioned a Prince nurse painting from the same year for a record $7.3 million.) Even more subtle canvases had their appeal. “Achrome,” a sensual, layered white canvas by Piero Manzoni, also brought a record price. Franck Giraud, Mr. Ségalot’s partner, beat out five bidders to buy the painting for $10.1 million, well above its $6.5 million estimate.

After the sale, as the crowds were milling around talking about the evening, everyone seemed stunned by the large sums of money that were spent. “I don’t understand why it did so well if the economy was mediocre,” said Mr. Mugrabi. “Maybe people feel safer with art.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg, Titan of American Art, Is Dead at 82

ARTmostfierce is a big fan of the works of Robert Rauschenberg.
Sadly, he died last night at the age of 82 years old. Please read the great article written by Michael Kimmelman of the The New York Times.

Published: May 14, 2008

By Michael Kimmelman
Robert Rauschenberg, the irrepressibly prolific American artist who time and again reshaped art in the 20th century, died Monday night. He was 82.

He died of heart failure, said Arne Glimcher, chairman of PaceWildenstein, the artist's gallery in Manhattan.

Mr. Rauschenberg’s work gave new meaning to sculpture. “Canyon,” for instance, consisted of a stuffed bald eagle attached to a canvas. “Monogram” was a stuffed Angora goat girdled by a tire atop a painted panel. “Bed” entailed a quilt, sheet and pillow, slathered with paint, as if soaked in blood, framed on the wall. They all became icons of postwar modernism.

A painter, photographer, printmaker, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Mr. Rauschenberg defied the traditional idea that an artist stick to one medium or style. He pushed, prodded and sometimes reconceived all the mediums in which he worked.

Building on the legacies of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and others, he thereby helped to obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art — not to mention between art and life.

Mr. Rauschenberg was also instrumental in pushing American art onward from Abstract Expressionism, the dominant movement when he emerged during the early 1950s. He became a transformative link between artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and those who came next, artists identified with Pop, Conceptualism, Happenings, Process Art and other new kinds of art in which he played a signal role.

No American artist, Jasper Johns once said, invented more than Mr. Rauschenberg. Mr. Johns, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Mr. Rauschenberg, without sharing exactly the same point of view, collectively defined this new era of experimentation in American culture. Apropos of Mr. Rauschenberg, Cage once said, “Beauty is now underfoot wherever we take the trouble to look.”

Cage meant that people had come to see, through Mr. Rauschenberg’s efforts, not just that anything, including junk on the street, could be the stuff of art (this wasn’t itself new), but that it could be the stuff of an art aspiring to be beautiful — that there was a potential poetics even in consumer glut, which Mr. Rauschenberg celebrated. “I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly,” he once said, “because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”

The remark reflected the optimism and generosity of spirit that Mr. Rauschenberg became known for. His work was likened to a Saint Bernard: uninhibited and mostly good-natured. He could be the same way in person. When he became rich, he gave millions of dollars to charities for women, children, medical research, other artists and Democratic politicians.

A brash, garrulous, hard-drinking, open-faced Southerner, he had a charm and peculiar Delphic felicity with language that nevertheless masked a complex personality and an equally multilayered emotional approach to art, which evolved as his stature did. Having begun by making quirky small-scale assemblages out of junk he found on the street in downtown Manhattan, he spent increasing time in his later years, after he had become successful and famous, on vast international, ambassadorial-like projects and collaborations.

Conceived in his immense studio on the island of Captiva, Fla., these projects were of enormous size and ambition; for many years he worked on a project that grew literally to exceed the length of its title, “The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece.” They generally did not live up to his earlier achievements. Even so, he maintained an equanimity toward the results. Protean productivity went along with risk, he believed, and risk sometimes meant failure.

The process — an improvisatory, counterintuitive way of doing things — was always what mattered most to him. “Screwing things up is a virtue,” he said when he was 74. “Being correct is never the point. I have an almost fanatically correct assistant, and by the time she re-spells my words and corrects my punctuation, I can’t read what I wrote. Being right can stop all the momentum of a very interesting idea.”

This attitude also inclined him, as the painter Jack Tworkov once said, “to see beyond what others have decided should be the limits of art.”

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ACRIA Unframed Event May 20

ARTmostfierce has been a strong supporter of ACRIA for many years.
Young collectors and avid ones, this is your opportunity to get some great deals from emerging artists.There is also a silent auction with fantastic artist works.

In case you don't know about ACRIA and the services this organization provides, please click link below for more information.

There is also a store option in their web site in which you can also purchase great limited editions from previous events.
You can also contact Scott Drevnig Manager, Arts & Marketing @ 212.924.3934 x 101