One of America's most beloved artists, whose work affected every artistic movement from the 1950s to the present day, the retrospective was planned for last year, to celebrate Johns' 90th birthday. The pandemic came along and the retrospective was postponed. Johns turned 91 on May 15th. His story is a remarkable one. Johns was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1930. After his parents divorced, he lived with his grandparents, then an aunt. He began to draw at a young age, hoped to become an artist, although he wasn't sure what that meant and hadn't been exposed to much art.
Lichtenstein took a lot of heat in the 1960s for his mechanical style, his use of Ben-Day dots and comic book panels...the Pop art that changed the way art is viewed today. He turned "low art" into "high art" and tapped into the consumer culture of America in the '60s. Lichtenstein had the last laugh, with an outstanding career. His 1962, Masterpiece, a tongue-in-cheek painting that reflected his career, sold in 2017 for $165 million.
Psychologists who have studied how viewers react to art works, find that the reactions are often manifested physically, with chills running down their spines, the catching of breath, smiles, tears...especially for those people who are open to the experience of exploring a work and who have at least some fundamental knowledge of art. Each individual's reaction to an artwork is different, depending on their history, culture, mood, past experiences and familiarity to the art world. Much of the work we admire makes us feel good, which is why we want to surround ourselves with it. Even works that evoke stronger emotions, provocative work, is thrilling to gaze upon.
Jasper Johns is one of America's most beloved artists. His works focus on, he says, “things the mind already knows.” His use of flags, targets and repeated colors and patterns, done in heavy layers of encaustic medium, give his work a rich, textural quality. Born in Augusta, Georgia in 1930, Johns spent many of his formative years living in the rural south with his mother and other relatives. He had little exposure to art but, somehow, he spent much time drawing and knew that he wanted to be an artist.
Born in Monroe, Washington in 1940, Close developed an interest in art at a young age. He was dyslexic, and was a poor student all the way through high school. Despite his poor performance, Close managed to complete his B.A. at the University of Washington in Seattle and win a scholarship to Yale, from where he received his M.F.A. He then went on to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna on a Fulbright grant.
London's Royal Academy of Arts is holding the first comprehensive exhibit of Milton's Avery's work in Europe. Milton Avery was an artist's artist, revered by young artists like Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, whom he mentored. He was a modern American colorist, creating intimate portraits and landscapes that were neither Impressionistic nor Abstract Expressionist, the trends in America at the apex of his career.
Andrew Wyeth began painting Betsy Merle James when they met, in the summer of 1939. He had been invited, on his twenty-second birthday, by artist and editor Merle James, to meet James' three daughters. Betsy was 17 at the time, and she took Wyeth to meet her neighbors, siblings Alvaro and Christina Olson. Wyeth began painting the Olsons and their home that summer, as well. Christina was paralyzed from the waist down and refused to use a wheelchair or crutches. It was Betsy who posed for, and titled, Christina's World, Wyeth's most celebrated work.
As collectors of fine American art, it's gratifying to see contemporary artists, like Reggie Burrows Hodges, get the acclaim they deserve. Reggie Burrows Hodges had his first New York solo show at the Karma Gallery at the beginning of this year. The accompanying catalog includes an essay by The New Yorker's theater critic, Hilton Als, who writes that Hodges' figures, “are made sharper, and more haunting, not because we see those things in their eyes, we see it in their bodies, their postures, the endless desire for humans not to be alone, and to connect."
Joan Miró was a renegade; a revolutionary artist who painted what he saw, felt and imagined. His works inspired other artists to find their own, unique voices and they continue to inspire artists today. A testament to the endurance of Joan Miró's art is an exhibit of his work to mark the recent opening of the Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
Luis Montoya opened the first fine art foundry in South Florida and was joined by Leslie Ortiz in 1985. In 1994, the two artists began to collaborate on works that have a unique sensibility. They take objects, beautiful in their own right, and sculpt them into larger-than-life works that make the viewer really see their beauty and remarkable qualities. It's hard to ever look at an olive, sea shell, hazelnut or asparagus spear in the same way again after seeing a bronze rendering of the object by Montoya & Ortiz.
“I never paid attention to what people said,” he told a recent Galerie magazine interviewer. “I knew I would always work out what I wanted to do." My style was ahead of the public and certainly of the institutions. They were never on the same page with me. Curators followed what they read in art history books, which are out of date. Most art history by the time you read it is out of date.”
James Rosenquist's work combines Pop and Surrealist images. His background as a sign painter gave him a set of skills and unique perspective about both the art and consumer culture of the world around him. He studied art at the University of Minnesota and moved to New York in 1955 to study at the Art Students League. To earn a living in New York, Rosenquist joined the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. He paint billboards around Times Square and Fifth Avenue. In his 2009 autobiography, Rosenquist wrote, "I painted billboards above every candy store in Brooklyn. I got so I could paint a Schenley whiskey bottle in my sleep."
A new generation of fans has discovered the works of Tom Wesselmann. His images are appearing, with increased frequency, on the shirts, shorts, towels and water bottles of millennial skateboarders and surfers. The Robb Report calls the designs maximum art school chic.
There is much about Orville Bulman's life that is surprising. It's hard to imagine Orville Bulman and Raymond Burr crossing paths, but they did. Burr was not only Perry Mason, he was an avid art collector and gallerist and was a great admirer of the paintings of Orville Bulman.
Stephen Scott Young is one of America's most accomplished watercolor artists. His masterful technique, in watercolor, etching and silverpoint, earned him recognition early in his career. In 1985, Young was given first prize in the American Artist Magazine national art competition. The following year, Young became the youngest living artist to have work sold at Christie’s New York.
Among our recent acquisitions are works by some of the most influential artists in the world. All of them are American, with the exception of Joan Miró. Miró had a significant influence of American artists like Alexander Calder, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock.
Recent acquisitions at Surovek Gallery include the works of some of the greatest American (and one European) artists who have contributed to the breadth and scope of art in America. Here's a look at just a few of the new works available at Surovek Gallery.
As we write this post, it's a balmy and beautiful 79-degree spring day in Palm Beach and a snowy, 39 degree day in Brattleboro, Vermont, where Kahn spent summers painting the beautiful scenery. Though Kahn loved his time in Vermont, he said that he did his best work in his Manhattan studio. Kahn died in 2020, at age 92, just three months after the death of Emily Mason, his wife of more than 60 years.
A retrospective of the works of Jasper Johns will be shown simultaneously at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit, called Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror has been in the works for five years and is schedule to open at both venues on September 29, 2021.
Scott Kelley's paintings of the flora and fauna of south Florida has made him one of our favorite artists. Many of his works, available at Surovek Gallery, are from the sketches he created when he visited the Florida Swamps in 2019. Kelley was born in Binghamton, New York in 1963 and spent family summer vacations in Maine. He seems to always have had the gift of seeing and drawing the fine details that he observes in his subjects and imbuing them with a sense of wonder and awe.
This year the Brattleboro Museum held an exhibit called Figuration Never Died: New York Painterly Painting, 1950-1970. The exhibit included the works of Wolf Kahn, Robert Dinero Sr., Alex Katz and other painters whose lives intersected in New York and in more natural settings, like Vermont and Maine.
The work of Derrick Adams set a new auction record at Christie's earlier this month. His painting, Figure in the Urban Landscape 31, was auctioned at the Post-War to Present auction.
Christie's recently gave collectors a view of still life paintings that were game changers in the history of art and are to be sold at upcoming auctions. Named as one of the "10 still lifes that moved us" on the Christie's site, is a work by Jonas Wood, one of our favorite contemporary artists.
Roy Lichtenstein was not just inspired by comic books; he was a classically trained artist and college professor who was inspired by Japanese art and the works of Picasso, Braque and Monet.
In 1945, Pablo Picasso began to create prints at the Mourlot Studio in Paris, a print shop that was founded in 1852. Picasso worked in a space that he set up in a corner of the shop, where he spent months at a time creating prints. Between 1945 and 1969, Picasso created over four hundred lithographs at the Mourlot Studio.
The works of Reggie Burrows Hodges are getting rave reviews at his first New York solo exhibit. The New York Times said that his works “are at once visually striking and dense with cultural argument.” Architectural Digest said, "The people-oriented paintings of Reggie Burrows Hodges possess the ability to draw in even the casual bystander. Now, thanks to an exhibition at Karma, Manhattanites will have the opportunity to see this artist’s works up close. For his New York debut, Hodges presents a series of canvases that are as rich in color as they are in substance."
The Norton Museum of Art opened to the public on February 8, 1941 and has been serving West Palm Beach and the surrounding community for eighty years. The Norton underwent a renovation, completed in 2019, that expanded the museum's gallery and teaching space. It now has a state-of-the art, 210-seat auditorium, a new store and restaurant and a Great Hall that serves as the Museum’s “living room.” The expansion also includes a lawn for outdoor programs, and a sculpture garden. The project also included the renovation of six Museum-owned, 1920s-era cottages to house an artist-in-residence program, and the Museum Director’s home.
This has been a harsh winter in many parts of the country. It's a natural human reaction to want to hunker down inside a warm, cozy house and watch the snow fall outside. It's also natural to want to paint a scene on a balmy day, when all looks pastoral and serene, but some painters can not only see the beauty of the snow and the fog, but are able to capture that beauty on canvas.
At age 44, Jonas Wood has become one of the most recognized artists in America, Europe and Asia. His paintings and prints have set auction records. Wood says that he has been influenced by great contemporary artists like David Hockney and Alex Katz. “I’m obviously connected to the histories and traditions of painting – especially modernism and postmodernism – and I reference the painters of those traditions. Luc Tuymans, Peter Doig, David Hockney, Alex Katz, Lucian Freud – those guys are all postmodern painters who love modern painting. That’s the way I think about it. I’m part of the third or fourth generation of people post-Cubism who acknowledge that this is the canon they’re painting into.”
Art lovers know is that looking at a work of art is an emotional experience that can transport us to breathtaking places and stir feelings in us that can make us feel calm and serene. Many of the American artists whose works are in our gallery discovered places that they loved to paint and share with the world.
After World War ll many American artists found themselves in a world of new consumerism and were able to find work as commercial illustrators, designers and even billboard creators. Some of them, like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol became notable Pop artists, whose works are still relevant today.
Derrick Adams works in his studio, just a few blocks away from the Nostrand Avenue Long Island Railroad Station, so it made sense for him to be asked to create a mural for newly renovated platform. The mural is made of 85 panels of laminated glass that spans the length of the platforms and extend on to the four new pedestrian bridges.
Being an artist can be a very solitary undertaking. For 93-year-old Alex Katz, it has been working every day, alone in his studio, for decades. During most of the year he lives and works in the SoHo studio that he and his wife and model, Ada, have been living in since 1968. They spend summers in their home and studio in Lincolnville, Maine.
The works of Roy Lichtenstein continue to be some of the most sought after in the art world. Last July, one of his later works, Nude with Joyous Painting, done in 1994, sold at Christie's on-line auction for more than $46 million. Born and raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Lichtenstein was a sophisticated, erudite New Yorker who studied drawing and design along with botany, history, and literature at Ohio State University. He also took engineering courses at De Paul University in Chicago during his service in the army during World War ll. Lichtenstein was deployed to Europe where, ironically, he found a book about Japanese brush painting, which had a profound influence on his art.
The first commercially printed Christmas card was sold at Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale in London on December 9 for £13,750, or about $18,370. The card was designed by illustrator John Calcott Horsley in 1843 at the request of Sir Henry Cole, a British civil servant who founded the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Only 21 of the 1,000 copies that were printed have survived.
Alex Katz "A lot of people want to paint something timeless, but I paint the immediate present." – Alex Katz Alex Katz has been inspired by what is right in front of him. For the last seven decades he has followed his own sense of style. His works defy categorization. He paints figures, landscapes and flowers, using [...]
Pat Steir This has been a very good year for Pat Steir. She was commissioned to create an exhibit for the the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., which is set to open soon. A documentary of her life called, Pat Steir: Artist, which took four years to complete, has been released. Pat Steir painting in her [...]
Alex Katz Alex Katz in his SoHo studio, 2017, (image: Todd Eberle for Architectural Digest) Alex Katz is back in Manhattan. When the pandemic began, he spent three months in Pennsylvania, then three in Maine, where he has a house and where he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of [...]
Photograph of Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso on the beach, September 1937Tate Archive Picasso Dora Maar met Pablo Picasso in 1936. It was a rough year for Picasso, who had stopped painting for months, and a good year for Maar, who was at the height of her career as a photographer. Maar had a significant [...]
Alex Katz Alex Katz is a consummate New Yorker, and much of his work reflects the style and sensibility of a sophisticated city dweller...but not all of it. In 1949, after he graduated from Cooper Union, Katz received a scholarship to spend the summer at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he was introduced [...]
Art lovers in Beijing flocked to the UCCA Center for Contemporary art last summer to view a retrospective of the works of Pablo Picasso. The show was the first comprehensive exhibit of Picasso's work in mainland China, and it set new attendance records.
Another summer has come and gone. Autumn is here. In the Northeast, the changing of the season brings with it cool weather, changing leaves, fall colors and inspiration for artists. Anthony Thieme 1888-1954 Anthony Thieme at his home in Rockport, Massachusetts, 1950. One of the most inspiring paintings of the seasons was done by Anthony [...]
Major museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad are reopening and visitors will be able to see exhibits that had to be postponed at the start of the pandemic. Much of what has been going on in the art world has been taking place outdoors and online, and has generated a new audience of art lovers and collectors.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York reopened its doors on August 27th, after being closed for five months. The first two days of the reopening were for members only. The general public will be admitted on the 29th. Attendance is limited to 2,000 visitors per hour and 14,000 per day to allow for proper social [...]
The American public is being encouraged to buy more stamps to support the US Postal Service. Buying stamps is easy, but getting a design accepted for use on a stamp is not so easy. It takes about three years from the time an idea for a stamp is submitted to the time that it's issued and made [...]
There's been a lot of news this week about saving the United States Post Office, a service that many of us take for granted. The USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Many wonderful artists and their art works are represented on stamps and the process by which they receive the honor is an interesting one.
Pablo Picasso was the most influential artist of the first half of the twentieth century. That influence can still be felt around the world. In 2011, a car bomb attack killed eight people and damaged two buildings in Oslo's government quarter. One of the buildings was adorned with a mural that Picasso designed in collaboration with Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar in 1970.
A sculpture by Alexander Calder sold at a Paris auction for more than $5.5 million on July 9th. The 11-foot tall sculpture is just one of many that are installed in France, where Calder went to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1926. Calder was born in Pennsylvania in 1898, and received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1919.
Pablo Picasso and Alex Katz are both artists who established their own creative paths and their own styles, while others were conforming to the movements of the day.
In the 1950s a group of young artists, who had a lot of talent, an abundance of passion but not much money, settled into the old factory buildings in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. The industrial spaces, once used for manufacturing sails, had high ceilings and enormous rooms that were perfect for use as living and studio space. That section of Brooklyn, along the East River, was called Coenties Slip.
Like many artists, Milton Avery was influenced by the time he spent painting during the summer, sometimes with other artists, sometimes in solitude. In the 1920s, Milton Avery lived and worked in New York, and began spending summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Avery was born in 1885, in the small upstate town of Sand Bank, New York. He spent much of his early adulthood caring for his extended family after the deaths of his father and brother-in-law. He was always interested in becoming an artist, but his priority was earning money to support the family.
David Hockney Sets New Record in Hong Kong David Hockney turned 83 on July 9th...the same day his 1996 30 Sunflowers painting sold for $14.8 million, making it the second-most expensive work by a Western artist to sell in Asia. David Hockney's 30 Sunflowers at auction at Sotheby's in Hong Kong. The work exceeded the presale [...]
Scott Kelley, Walton Ford and Stephen Scott Young are three of the finest watercolorists in America. Even with the unpredictable and, often, unforgiving medium, each has his own style, his own focus and each has created masterful works that we are pleased to offer in our gallery.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York is planning for a retrospective of the works of Alex Katz in 2022. The Guggenheim closed its doors, at the start of the pandemic and, like museums and galleries around the world, it is preparing to reopen safely. The Guggenheim in Venice and in Spain have both reopened.
Wolf Kahn was more than just a great American landscape painter. He was also a mentor, teacher, art ambassador, husband, father and friend. Wolf Kahn died on March 15, 2020, at the age of 92, in his Manhattan home, of congestive heart failure.
The history of American art, and American artists, reflects the changes and growth that occurred as the country matured and became increasingly independent. The British tradition of painting portraits and bucolic landscapes slowly evolved into art with an American sensibility. In 1820 the Hudson River School emerged as the first well-known school of American painters who created sweeping landscapes of uniquely American vistas.
The annual Fine Art Print Fair, the world's the largest international art fair, celebrating 500 years of printmaking, was scheduled to be held at the Javits Center in New York, but the Center has been turned into a 1,000-bed field hospital during the coronavirus, so the Fair will be held online through June 13th. The Fair includes [...]
This year Memorial Day was celebrated quietly, without much fanfare and without parades. When we looked at some of the paintings of soldiers in our gallery, we could see the poignancy with which they are often remembered in art; remembered in works that last far longer than a parade. Many artists have, themselves, served in the military, [...]
Many people around the world have had to isolate themselves for the past few months and have found it difficult to be alone. But solitude is a choice for many, especially many creative thinkers. Research on both artists and scientists shows that one of the most prominent features of creative people is their lesser interest in socializing. There's a serenity that solitude can bring.