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The Affordable Art Fair

Shaking up the dusty model of art as an elite pastime, the Affordable Art Fair showcases new artists, galleries, and programming! Yesterday I was even treated to a Robert Blackburn printmaking station and workshop, free local beers from Heartland Brewery, cocktails by St. Germain, and knit wall installations (Renee Prisble, Orange Jelly, 2012, sweaters, polyfill, zip ties). Many wonderfully dressed individuals also descended onto 7 West 34th Street, 11th Floor and their sartorial whimsies were just as enjoyable as the art hanging.  The fair attempts to introduce the young or newbie collector with a series of tips from not-so-stuffy community. Some of these include:

  • Speak up! Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Exhibitors are happy to talk and this is a great way to get firsthand knowledge about the work and/or artist. When you are considering an artwork, ask about the artist, where they are from, how long they have been with the gallery, if their work is included in any major collections, or if the artist has won any public art prizes.
  • Budget! Budget! Budget! Know what you are willing to (and what you can) spend and stick to it!   If the piece that has caught your eye is out of your budget, ask if there are any other works by the same artist especially in a different medium. Original prints, such as screen prints and etchings, are a great entry-level option as they can be lower in price than a painting.
  • Look again-take your time-and follow your heart! Take some time out to have a drink or a snack  and think through your choices.
  • Come ready! Take time to think about what will work best in your space.  Do you need a large or small piece, something vertical or horizontal, will the work be exposed to a lot of sun, what colors will work best, who will be seeing the work (are you putting it in a bedroom or living room)?
  • And, most importantly HAVE FUN!!! ART IS FUN!! 
Oh hello! That’s me, rocking UGallery tote swag., one of the many exhibitors, is a funky tech start-up based in San Francisco that works in both original art and more affordable prints (via their Paperwork moniker). The gallery was nice enough to invite me (and a ‘plus’ +1) to the Private Preview. Because I am a modern woman, my plus one does not always strictly mean my boyfriend. Yesterday, my plus one was my wonderful friend Rishi. Rishi and I went to undergrad together where we both fell in love with Edward Said’s Orientalism and a shared sociology (AND American Studies AND International Affairs) professor, Melani McAllister. We have both relocated from Washington, DC to New York, NY. OK, rambling aside, Rishi was the perfect choice because we both enjoy free alcohol and the power of creation (art)! I knew he was the right choice when I realized that he hand needlepointed the belt he chose to wear to the event.

Clockwise from Top Left: Rishi rocking an Affordable Art Fair Tote, A detail from ‘Daniel John Gadd’s, Creature Fear II, 2011, oil and string on panel’, snapshots from the open artist studio, Mike Chavez’s ROTFLMAO, screenprint and acrylic on canvas, AND a phenomenal fascinator and matching earring set on a fellow visitor. 

 This is Engine Gallery’s booth displaying work by Raymond Waters. That Haute Couture is made with filmstrips from Citizen Kane (there was also a dress done with porn stills).

Dinah Dufton’s Child’s Play series from Will’s Art Warehouse.

Andrew Boder, Wolf 1-6, Acrylic on Paper on Panel, 2012 from Blunt Collective.

Eric Mistretta, When You Were This Big, 2011, Candles and House Paint on Panel

A whole new meaning in “dog collars”.

Christian Dorey’s take on Andy Warhol, Cool Hand Luke, Hunter S. Thompson, etc. Originally from Vancouver, Christian Dorey has been living in Montréal since 2001. Inspired by pop art, expressionism movement, music and cinema, intuition and political engagement well describe his work. He is represented by Arteria.

Clockwise from Top Left: Laura Murray, Inheritance, from Visual Arts Gallery/SVA, A general snapshot of the fair, Artist Pure Evil’s signature, Clinton Demenez‘s small scene shadowboxes are futuristic and apocalyptic, Ivar Theorin, Untitled (Ram), 2012, paper over armature.

Do not feed the artwork! Cecile Plaisance’s Barbie 1, 2012 from Envie D’Art Galerie.

Photorealism! Daryl Zang, Bliss, 2011, 32 x 48.

A detail of Rebecca Cole’s Comics 01 which is made using recycled comics, etymology pins, and hand cut butterfly silhouettes.

Vanessa Smith, Floor, Acrylic on Canvas from the Mark Jason Gallery.

Rachel Denny, Gazelle, 17″ x 9″ x 11″ from Portland Fine Art.

Three fashionable Affordable Art Fair goers, including Jean and Valerie from the fashion blog that “sets a bad example for older women”, Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.

What piece of art would YOU purchase? Most of the items were under $1,000 for originals, with the most expensive pieces just under the $10,000 mark. 

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An Artist’s Dwelling (5)

I recently visited a show at the Andrew Krep Gallery, in Chelsea, titled, “‘Interiors’: Pierre Bonnard, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, William Copley, Édouard Vuillard”  The show juxtaposed several styles and decades of art history by exploring the evolution of personal space, decorative wallpaper, and intimacy. The press release from the gallery explains, “The show highlights the rich optical and visual layers and patterning consistent in each of the artists’ work, depicting interior spaces full of feeling, psychological depth and a sense of remembrance – a domestic hedonism, or meditations on the nature of time, perception and memory. ” The exhibition included some surrealist details, some impressionist strokes, and a lot of rooms. Often everyday objects in our home accumulate into accidental still lifes – these interior spaces show a psychological snapshot of both an artist and his/her life. Above all, the show allows the viewer to realize it is OK to mix centuries – the 19th century can converse with the year 2012 easily. French windows and ikea furniture can match.

InteriorsPierre Bonnard Marc Camille Chaimowicz, William Copley, Édouard Vuillard, Installation View, Image Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery

Pierre Bonnard, The Breakfast Room, 1925, Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 42 1/2 in (65.4 x 108 cm) & (wallpaper), Marc Camille Chaimowicz, 2011, Non-woven paper, Image Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery

Interiors, Pierre Bonnard Marc Camille Chaimowicz, William Copley, Édouard Vuillard, Installation View, Image Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery

In my humble opinion, no artist understand the importance of monotonous interior life quite like Jean-Édouard Vuillard (perhaps also Giorgio Morandi, but we can save his obsessive bottle painting for another post). Vuillard (November 11, 1868 – June 21, 1940) was a French painter and printmaker associated with the artist collective called The Nabis. This avant-garde group was named for the Hebrew word for “prophet”. They believed they could revitalize modern art much like the prophets inspired people from the biblical days. The group did not just work with canvas, they often extolled and designed wall decoration, and also produced posters, prints, book illustration, textiles, and furniture.

Édouard Vuillard, Interieur, 1902, Oil on Cardboard, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Édouard Vuillard, Interieur a la Table à Ouvrage, 1893

In his paintings Vuillard depicted mostly interiors, intricate patterns, streets, and gardens.  The patterns of a tablecloth, of a woman’s dress, and of wall coverings intermingled to create a beautifully layered piece. He lived at home with his mother (a dressmaker and Parisian corset maker) and had siblings who visited – most notably his sister. Often my inspiration comes from the outside – wandering streets, stopping into boutiques, and traveling. Yet, Vuillard did not need to leave his home to understand the aesthetics of beauty and to find his animus.

Vuillard was best known for intimate, indoor looks at the private lives of his subjects. These domestic scenes feel “very claustrophobic,” explains the curator of The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Kimberly Jones. She continues. “You can almost feel the walls closing in in some cases and that’s very much intentional. This is the world behind closed doors, an intimate private world that we live but we don’t get to see. So we become a voyeur.”

Édouard Vuillard. Mother and Sister of the Artist. c. 1893. Oil on canvas. 18 1/4 x 22 1/4″ (46.3 x 56.5 cm). Gift of Mrs. Saidie A. May. © 2005 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. (Can’t you just smell the mothballs?)

Vuillard’s interiors are often described as richly patterned, dizzying, and highly feminine. We are surrounded by bold fabrics, blurred walls, and quiet Sunday scenes. Vuillard, the artist himself one remarked, “I don’t paint portraits,” he said. “I paint people at home.” His heavily decorated rooms define a person, his stokes create a soothing rhythm for the eye (even though sometimes they are depicting SHARP geometric designs), and his understanding of fashion (both interior and physical) as a psychological delinieation,  is why I believe his interiors are so powerful.

Vuillard’s Room at the Château des Clayes, c. 1932, Distemper on paper, mounted on canvas, 30 5/8 x 39 7/16 in. (77.8 x 100.2 cm), Signed, l.r.: “E. Vuillard”, Gift of Mary and Leigh Block, 1973.337, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868-1940), printed by Auguste Clot (French, 1858-1936), published by Ambroise Vollard (French, 1867-1939), Interior with Pink Wallpaper I, plate five from Landscapes and Interiors, 1899, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

After reading this blog post you have now become familiar with “Intimism”! Bravo! Yippee! This is a variety of late 19th- and early 20th-century painting which intensely explores domestic interiors as subject matter.

 Clashing patterns = matching patterns.  A richly patterned and layered room ala Vuillard. Found via Better Homes & Gardens, HERE.

Un Bisou Collection Wallpaper. Feminine and delicate. Here, actually used as a neutral “paint” color. Don’t be afraid of pattern and layering! Image found HERE.

Eijffinger wallaper – perfect for your afternoon tea service! Hello pastel table. Image found HERE.

Grand Gala Wallpaper. Although this room is not nearly cluttered enough to be a Vuillard. Image found HERE.

Living with patterns is as easy as finding one common color in all of your fabrics. Here it is a light, almost Robin’s Egg Blue with accented grey tones. Image found HERE.

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We’ve Got the Blues

Yves Klein (28 April 1928 – 6 June 1962) was a French artist working in Post-World War II Europe. He is often pinned as the precursor to the Pop Art movement, as well as an influence on the world of Performance Art. Klein did not relegate paints to the canvas, nor arts to the world of 2d. Working with live women, Klein often covered bodies in blue paints. He thought of people as “human brushes” and “model forms”. Blue Women Art, also known as “Anthopometries“, is an expansive piece that includes a full orchestra, several women, Yves Klein Blue Signature Paint, and large canvases to “perform”. The women slowly drag their paint dripped bodies across surfaces – allowing form and movement to be transferred to the canvas.

Images from the Wikipedia Commons and the Yves Klein Archives, HERE.

Klein Blue Form in Blue Venus – Please also draw your attention to similarities in Henri Matisse’s Blue Nudes.

Klein explained that although both of his parents were also painters, his painting career began on a a beach at the age of 19 when, on the sand with friends, he looked upward and “signed the sky” as his first piece of art. Clearly this namesake blue-of-a-deep-sky color followed him throughout his lifetime.  He painted monochromes for several years in the 1940’s and early 1950’s however one seminal day in 1955 made him realize that Ultramarine and Lapis Lazul would be the pigment of his future. Hannah Weitemeier author of Yves Klein, 1928–1962: International Klein Blue explains“From the reactions of the audience, [Klein] realized that…viewers thought his various, uniformly colored canvases amounted to a new kind of bright, abstract interior decoration. Shocked at this misunderstanding, Klein knew a further and decisive step in the direction of monochrome art would have to be taken…From that time (technically 1958) onwards he would concentrate on one single, primary color alone: blue.”

As always, the art world recycles in wonderful ways: Here is the ultramarine pigment in the The Wilton Diptych, which can be seen in the National Gallery, London. The image was painted for Richard II (1367–1400) who is the crowned and kneeling figure on its left-hand panel. This color is often used to depict Madonnas (pictorial or sculptured representations of Mary, Mother of Jesus

TAKASHI MURAKAMI, Homage to Yves Klein , 20/10/2011 – 07/01/2012, Galerie Perrotin, 10, Impasse Saint Claude, Paris found HERE.

Clearly this color is still permeating the mind of artists and the realm of the arts. Photography by Elspeth Diederix / ultramarine / red chairs 2007, found HERE. 

Klein’s deep blue was so captured in the subconscious of people that it began to reappear in interior design, clothing (notably in suits), painting and all aspects of the cultural sector. The artist worked with chemists to capture the raw intensity of dry pigments in a color that does not appear naturally in ecosystems – save for the sky and a few bird’s feathers. This unique hue is now known in art circles, paint stores, and the color experts Pantone as International Klein Blue. Let us just, for one second, imagine being so influential that we have created an color whose legacy will be continually used after our death. Major.

The Blues: as a point of comparison.

Klein in your Bathroom! This also looks easy to clean, deifnite perk. Image via House to Home.
From Sight Unseen, HERE.
A quaint and rustic room featuring the serigraphHomage to Tennessee Williams by Yves Klein. Via, HERE.
From the home of the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi company. A table filled with IKB pixie dust, created by the artist. Found via Architectural Digest, HERE.
Baboo Apartment by Bernardes & Jacobsen, São Paulo, Brazil – art by Alexander Calder, Keith Herring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Yves Klein blue table…found HERE.
GO BOLD OR GO HOME. Found via Yolksy, HERE.
Screenshot from Sweet Paul Magazine Spring 2012 Issue – found HERE.
Those red lacquered bamboo legs! The glossy pink table! The medieval wall! The Foo Dog Lamps! I literally cannot stop using exclamation points. Found via Design Crisis, HERE.

Bravo, bold man! Interior designer (and assistant to the inimitable Miles Redd) Nick Olsen painted his living room a high-gloss enamel acid green (Benjamin Moore’s Oregano) and accessorized with pops of white, blue and chocolate brown. Photo by Paul Costello, Domino, November 2006. Found HERE. 

Not good at hanging paintings straight? No problem. Leave it on the floor as a mock back-spalsh. Via Riazzoli, HERE.

The Evitavonni Blue Chair is a piece of furniture that is so bold and brilliant it is sure to become the focal point of ANY room. Found at Chair Blog, HERE.


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