Alex Katz Alex Katz in his SoHo studio, 2017. 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 1949. Katz celebrated his 93rd birthday [...]
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 with his portrait of friend Celia Birtwell on the cover of the December 1985 issue of Paris Vogue 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 [...]
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.
If a movie was made today of the life of Jane Peterson, it would probably star Julia Roberts (who is 52, around the age that Jane Peterson married for the first time and settled down to a life of domesticity for four or five years) and a cast of international actors to play her teachers, patrons and friends. The film would be billed as, "small town girl becomes successful artist, travels the world and finally settles down with millionaire husband."
The sale of yeast in the U.S. increased by 647% at the end of March and is still on the rise. Baking, during this shelter-in-place time has been one of the things that many people are using as a distraction, a family activity and a comfort.
Many artists spend each day alone in their studio or in a natural setting, not so different than the lives some of us find ourselves leading today. The difference is that artists choose solitude and it's not forced upon them by a pandemic.
Wolf Kahn, one of America's most lyrical landscape painters, died of congestive heart failure in his Manhattan home on March 15. He was 92.
The world, as we knew it, has been going through radical changes during these past few weeks. Our personal and professional lives have been disrupted and we have had to modify many of our activities of daily living. With many museums and galleries closed to the public, and offering virtual tours online, it stands to reason that more people than ever have been seeking comfort and solace by surfing for art. One of the unexpected consequences of people staying at home is that many are beginning to educate themselves and learning to appreciate works of art.
With museums and galleries temporarily closed, in the U.S. and around the world, we've become increasingly dependent on technology, especially with stay-at-home restrictions, to fill the need we have to socialize and find solace in creativity. Many of the artists whose works are in our gallery live and work in New York, which has been hard hit by the Corona virus.
For many of us, the order to stay at home and shelter in place has left us wistful for a trip to a museum or gallery. Thanks to modern technology, virtual tours of some of the most magnificent museums and galleries in the world can be taken without getting off the couch.
Eye to I at the Boca Museum Before there was the selfie, there was the self portrait. Eye to I, the current exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, explores the way in which twentieth-century American artists portrayed themselves through painting, drawing, photography, and film. Unlike selfies, which can be instantly gratifying and, often, very candid, self-portraits [...]
The National Portrait Gallery of London is currently holding an exhibit of Hockney's drawings, the first major exhibit of the artist's drawings in more than twenty years. Although there are more than 150 works on display, done from 1950 to the present, only five subjects are represented in the works: his friend Celia Birtwell, his mother, Laura Hockney, curator and friend Gregory Evans, master printer and friend Maurice Payne and Hockney himself.
This weekend art lovers are celebrating Art on Paper at Pier 36 in Manhattan. Nearly one hundred galleries have been invited to this annual event, that showcases works of art which are done on paper or constructed with paper.
The streets of New York became a canvas for Jean-Michel Basquiat, the subways a canvas for Keith Haring. Both artists had recognition in underground art venues and clubs, but did not gain immediate entrance to established galleries and museums. The art, and club, scene in the 1980s was wild and frenzied. Haring and Basquiat both worked and partied with abandon and, as it turned out, the streets and subways gave them access to wide audiences. Their art eventually crossed the threshold from street art to high art, paving the way for graffiti artists who came after them to gain acceptance in galleries and museums around the world.
Frank Stella in Tampa Beginning in April, the Tampa Museum of Art will be holding two concurrent exhibits of works by Frank Stella. The first exhibit, titled Frank Stella: Illustrations After El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya, consists of a portfolio of twelve prints that Stella created in 1984, after a visit to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The inspiration [...]
A painting by Keith Haring sold for £3,206,000 ($4,181,630) at Phillips London auction on February 13th. The 96 x 96 inch Untitled painting was included in the groundbreaking 1982 show organized by art dealer Tony Shafrazi. The work was purchased by an anonymous collector, who held on to it until this auction, although it was shown at a Haring retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1997 and the retrospective Keith Haring: The Political Line at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2013.
Maria Oakey Dewing is one of the women included in the Smithsonian's archives, and whose works are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's art collection. Dewing began her career around the turn of the twentieth century. Her abstract, impressionist style was considered avant-garde, and way ahead of other artists of her generation.
Marc Chagall's poetic images made him one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century. He was a painter, printmaker, set designer and created extraordinary stained glass windows for the United Nations, an incredible ceiling mural at the Paris Opera House and wondrous murals at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Jacob Lawrence was one of the most unique and masterful American artists of the twentieth century. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1917, and moved with his mother and siblings to Harlem in 1930, where he studied art at Utopia Children's House, a program designed to meet the needs of families in the city.
After a decade of working on political caricatures, Larraz knew he wanted to create art that mattered to him, but the art scene in New York in the 1970s and ’80s was transitioning from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism and Conceptual Art, none of which interested Larraz. “I wasn’t bored of my job. I love drawing and I love politics,” he said in a 2015 interview in Huffpost, “but I knew I wanted to do something that completely filled me with joy. When I started, the type of painting I wanted to create was forbidden. Abstract art was in full force at the time, but I wanted to be a Realist painter, which was considered degenerate art. I remember thinking ‘Terrific. You are not supposed to do this, and this is exactly what I am going to do.’ I had to go there, it was calling me.”
A new record for the work of Alex Katz was set at the Phillips auction house in London last October. His 1972 painting, Blue Umbrella sold for $4.1 million. The painting is just one of the more than 200 that Katz has created of Ada, his wife and muse. The 92-year-old Brooklyn born artist is going to have his first solo exhibit in Spain this fall, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid. The exhibit will include paintings of flowers, landscapes and portraits, done in the distinctive style and colors that Katz has refined during his long career.
When the Roman Empire declined, around 133 BC, the art of landscape painting also declined. Although artists have been painting landscapes since antiquity, they were used only as background for religious, mythological or historical figure paintings. The word landscape comes from the Dutch word landschap, meaning region or tract of land. The Netherlands was one of the first places where landscapes became a popular subject for paintings and the term landscape came to mean a picture depicting scenery on land.
Contemporary artists Scott Kelley and Walton Ford have much in common. Scott Kelley was born in 1960, Walton Ford in 1963. Kelley was born in Binghamton, New York, Ford was born in Larchmont, New York. They both had traditional art educations, Kelley at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and at Cooper Union in New York, Ford at the Rhode Island School of Design.
The contemporary art market has grown 1,800% in the last 19 years and its Price Index rose 22% in 2018/19, according to artprice.com. Of the top ten artists whose work set auction records in 2019, Claude Monet's Meules topped the list at Sotheby's New York, when it sold at the May 14th auction for $110,747,000. Jeff Koons [...]
This time of year stirs up memories, gives rise to feelings of nostalgia and, hopefully, joy. Great works of art awaken many of the same emotions. Each work at Surovek Gallery has been carefully chosen because of its beauty, its history and the sensation it evokes. We would like to showcase some of the fine works of [...]
David Hockney used to have his suits specially made with large pockets to accommodate a sketch book. In 2010 he got an iPad and discovered that it fit in the same pocket. A masterful artist in many mediums, Hockney has used the iPad to create visually stunning images. In January, 2020, a limited edition book, signed and numbered by David Hockney, will be released. The drawings were done on both his iPhone and iPad between 2009 and 2012, while Hockney was at his former home in Yorkshire.
The holidays bring up many emotions that artists are often able to capture. Many of the paintings by the American artists in our gallery seem to take on a deeper, more nostalgic, heartwarming feeling this time of the year. Here's a look at just a few of the works in the Surovek Gallery that evoke a sense of joy and the extraordinary artists who created them.
Ahead of his time, the first paintings of the sea that Homer exhibited in New York were panned by the critics. Writer and critic Henry James wrote that Homer's paintings were, “almost barbarously simple” with “no imagination.” Although James did add that “there is something one likes about him.” Homer's use of diffuse light and stark narrative was a sharp contrast to the emotional, bucolic work that was popular in the 1870s.
Keith Haring's original, signed works are coveted by museums and collectors, and are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Keith Haring posing with his Crack is Wack mural in 1986. The Mural at Grace House Keith Haring's generous spirit and his desire to share his art and promote art education for young students, led to his [...]
Considering all the turmoil that Marc Chagall witnessed and experienced throughout his lifetime, it's remarkable to see the optimism, playfulness and joy in his art. Chagall was born in 1887, in Liozna, which was part of the Russian Empire. He was the oldest of nine children in an Orthodox Jewish family at a time when Jewish children were not allowed to attend regular schools or universities.
Chuck Close at last week's opening of the Pace Gallery in Chelsea The Who performed at last week's grand opening of giant new Chelsea headquarters of the Pace Gallery. They were chosen for their ability to remain relevant and strong, like the gallery and the art it exhibits, for decades. The new building on West [...]
What is most interesting about Nichols' work is the way he himself executed and perceived it. Nichols was born on a farm in David City, Nebraska in 1904. He did chores, walked two miles to school and, eventually left the rural environment for Chicago to pursue a career in art. He became a very successful illustrator, who was able to create both sophisticated graphics and comforting landscapes.
At 92, Katz is still climbing up onto scaffolds to paint enormous landscapes and, of course, portraits of Ada, his muse and wife of sixty-one years. Alex Katz met Ada at a the opening of his two-person show at the Tanager Gallery in New York in October 1957. They were married four months later. One of the first paintings that he created of her was Ada in Black Sweater, in 1957.
A recent exhibit at the Whitney Museum focused on the exuberant colors that pivotal artists used during the psychedelic 1960s. Included in the show was Frank Stella's Gran Cairo, part of the Whitney's permanent collection, one of the first paintings that Stella did after the Black Series that brought him instant acclaim in the art world when he was barely twenty-five. The exhibit, called Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s magnified the varied styles and focus of the mid-century artists.
In 1930, Grant Wood entered his now iconic painting, American Gothic, in an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood had attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1913. The painting won a $300 prize and gave Wood instant recognition, across America, as a Regional Artist. Tim Roby, left and Chris Shepherd [...]
Neil Welliver began life in 1929, in the small town of Millville, Pennsylvania, a village fueled by sawmills and gristmills. He went on to receive his MFA from Yale in 1955, where he stayed on to teach for the next ten years, before becoming chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Art.
William Glackens was one of the best reporter-artist-illustrators of his time, rendering fast, accurate and compassionate drawings for the Philadelphia Record, and the New York Herald. When the half-tone printing process was finally successfully engineered, so that it was good enough for commercial use (around 1898), illustrators, like Glackens, were replaced by photographers.
Wolf Kahn will be turning 92 in October. He is dealing with macular degeneration, and can no longer read or drive, but he can still paint and work with pastels. "The older I get," he says, "the more yellow a yellow becomes, the bluer a blue becomes, and that gives me hope for the future." Kahn still paints almost every day. He and his wife, artist Emily Mason, divide their time between their home in New York and their summer-through-fall studios in Vermont.
Mary Cassatt is an American treasure, although it was not until after her death, in 1926, that she received the recognition that she deserved. She was born into a wealthy banking family in Philadelphia, and went on family trips to Europe, where she was exposed to great art and culture and could speak both French and German. [...]
Frank Stella changed the way in which art was viewed and created in post-war America. His minimalist Black Painting Series, which debuted at the Museum of Modern Art's Sixteen Americans show in 1959, ushered in the Minimalist movement and led to Stella's renown in the art world.
Richard Diebenkorn, 1993. (c) Leo Holub Richard Diebenkorn's painting, Ocean Park #126, sold at Christie's last year for $22,587,500, making it one of the top fifty artworks sold at auction in 2018. Richard DiebenkornOcean Park #126, 1984 The Ocean Park Series of paintings were inspired by his move from a dark, windowless studio to a [...]