“Pure Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection” at the Art Institute of Chicago

Highlighting one of the most important gifts in the history of the Prints and Drawings department at the Art Institue of Chicago, Pure Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection brings together more than 100 works from celebrated art dealer Richard Gray and art historian Mary L. Gray. Assembled over nearly 50 years, the Gray Collection encapsulates a long and distinguished history of artmaking dedicated to the medium of drawing. From January 25 to May 10, 2020, Pure Drawing documents that endeavor, showcasing one of the most immediate, exploratory, and intimate of art forms.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The Head of a Young Man in Profile to the Left, 1749-50. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray.

Showcasing one of the finest private collections of its kind, Pure Drawing traverses 700 years of artists’ myriad attempts to understand, reflect, and interpret the world through drawing.

Prominent Chicago gallery owner Richard Gray and his wife Mary L. Gray were longtime benefactors and supporters of the city’s cultural institutions. Motivated by their deep sense of civic responsibility and longstanding relationship with the Art Institute of Chicago, they have given 91 works from the collection to the museum. The exhibition Pure Drawing celebrates their extraordinary legacy. With a deep and sustained interest in the variety of ways artists put pen or pencil to paper, the Grays built a collection that is exceptional in both quality and breadth. Focused on key periods and places—fifteenth to eighteenth-century Italy; seventeenth to twentieth-century France; seventeenth-century Holland; and twentieth and twenty-first century America—they sought out works defined by excellence and boldness of execution. The most celebrated names appear throughout: Peter Paul Rubens, François Boucher, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Canaletto, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock.

The Art Institute of Chicago logo

Extending from Renaissance drawings to works of art brut and beyond, Pure Drawing encompasses the richness of drawing techniques and media in the Western tradition, from black and red chalk, graphite, conté crayon, wash, and pastels to charcoal, watercolor, collage, and pen and ink. Although landscapes, still lifes, and the occasional abstraction are to be found in their collection, the Grays gave prominence to one of the great subjects in Western art: the human figure. A few examples give a sense of the scope of the exhibition. Tiepolo’s masterly red-and-white chalk drawing on Venetian blue laid paper, The Head of a Young Man in Profile to the Left (1749/50), conveys an immediacy of expression and empathetic rapport that suggest drawing from life. Jacques-Louis David’s Nude Soldiers Gesticulating with Their Weapons (1796/97) is a powerfully executed preparatory work for his iconic painting The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799). Edgar Degas’s Study for a Portrait of Monsieur and Madame Louis Rouart (1904) evidences the artist’s relentless experimentation with the medium of pastel. Picasso’s Man with a Clarinet (1911) represents the consummation of Analytical Cubism, pulling apart and reassembling the figure in order to capture its totality.

Richard and Mary’s unerring eye for drawings of extraordinary quality was legendary, and they demonstrated over and over again a level of collecting sophistication rarely matched,” said Kevin Salatino, Anne Vogt Fuller and Marion Titus Searle Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings, and co-curator of the exhibition. “The importance of their gift to the Art Institute cannot be exaggerated, and reflects their abiding love for the museum and the city of Chicago—and for the medium of drawing,” Salatino added.

Walker Art Center Presents: The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam And Erwin Kelen Collection Of Drawings

Zak Smith
Self-Portrait with a Bunch of Pictures Pinned to the Wall
2003
acrylic, metallic ink on plastic-coated paper
39 13/16 x 27 7/16 in.
Private collection
©Zak Smith

Celebrating the remarkable collection of drawings recently donated to the Walker Arts Center by longtime patrons Miriam and Erwin Kelen, The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam And Erwin Kelen Collection Of Drawings, explores the expressive potential of the human body. Richly varied in theme and style, the works on paper span more than a century of artistic experimentation. Featuring portraiture, social satire, erotica, and fantasy in mediums ranging from crayon, ink, and graphite to watercolor, pastel, and collage, the Kelens’ works are joined by a select group of related drawings and sculpture from the Walker’s current holdings. As a whole, The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam And Erwin Kelen Collection Of Drawings is not only a display of virtuoso artworks but also a testament to the pleasure of building a collection and the rewards of sharing it.

Joan Miró
Femme devant la lune (Woman in Front of the Moon)
1935
gouache, watercolor, India ink on paper
14 5/8 x 11 7/8 in.
Private collection
©Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris 2019

Among the artists in the exhibition are Max Beckmann, Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Willem de Kooning, Edgar Degas, Jim Denomie, Otto Dix, Marlene Dumas, Arshile Gorky, George Grosz, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, William Kentridge, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, René Magritte, Henri Matisse, Kerry James Marshall, Joan Miró, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Rowan Pope, Egon Schiele, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol.

Christian Rohlfs
Kniender Akt (Kneeling Nude)
ca. 1916–18
watercolor, gouache on paper
19 3/8 x 16 in.
Private collection

The Expressionist Figure: The Miriam and Erwin Kelen Collection of Drawings, Curated by Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts, is on view November 17, 2019 through April 19, 2020.

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This Just In!: David Breslin And Adrienne Edwards Will Curate The 2021 Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced today that its 2021 Biennial, the 80th edition, will be co-organized by two brilliant members of the Museum’s curatorial department, David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards. The 2021 Whitney Biennial exhibition will open in the spring of 2021 and is presented by Tiffany & Co., which has been the lead sponsor of the Biennial since the Museum’s move downtown.

Image credit: Adrienne Edwards and David Breslin. Photograph by Bryan Derballa

Alice Pratt Brown Director Adam D. Weinberg noted: “The central aim of the Biennial is to be a barometer of contemporary American art. Each Biennial is a reflection of the cultural and social moment as it intersects with the passions, perspectives, and tastes of the curators. David and Adrienne will be a great team. They are inquisitive, curious, and are acutely attuned to the art of the current moment. No doubt they will bring fresh outlooks to this historic exhibition and reinvent it for these complex and challenging times.”

With a long history of exhibiting the most promising and influential artists and provoking debate, the Whitney Biennial is the Museum’s signature survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States. The Biennial, an invitational show of work produced in the preceding two years, was introduced by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, and it is the longest continuous series of exhibitions in the country to survey recent developments in American art.

Initiated by founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art. More than 3,600 artists have participated, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Lynda Benglis, Frank Bowling, Joan Jonas, Barbara Kruger, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, David Wojnarowicz, Glenn Ligon, Yvonne Rainer, Zoe Leonard, Kara Walker, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Lorna Simpson, Renée Green, Wade Guyton, Julie Mehretu, Cecilia Vicuña, Mark Bradford, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Ellen Gallagher, Rachel Harrison, Wu Tsang, Nick Mauss, Sarah Michelson, Laura Owens, Postcommodity, Pope.L, Jeffrey Gibson, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden.

The biennials were originally organized by medium, with painting alternating with sculpture and works on paper. Starting in 1937, the Museum shifted to yearly exhibitions called Annuals. The current format—a survey show of work in all media occurring every two years—has been in place since 1973. The 2019 Biennial (still on partial view on the Museum’s sixth floor until October 27) was organized by two Whitney curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley. It featured seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.

David Breslin was recently named the DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, a role he will assume this month. Since joining the Museum in 2016 as DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, Breslin has spearheaded the Museum’s collection-related activities, curating a series of major collection exhibitions and overseeing acquisitions. Working closely with his curatorial colleagues, he has organized or co-organized four timely and thematized collection displays, including Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960, An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017, Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, and The Whitney’s Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965, which is currently on view on the Museum’s seventh floor. In 2018, he co-curated (with David Kiehl) the landmark retrospective David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night.

Breslin came to the Whitney from the Menil Drawing Institute, where he created an ambitious program of exhibitions and public and scholarly events and helped to shape the design of the Institute’s new facility. He also oversaw work on the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns and grew the collection. Prior to the Menil, Breslin served as the associate director of the research and academic program and associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; he also oversaw the Clark’s residential fellowship program and taught in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Breslin co-edited Art History and Emergency: Crises in the Visual Arts and Humanities (Yale University Press, 2016), a volume that grew from a Clark Conference he organized with art historian Darby English.

In 2018, Adrienne Edwards was named Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney. Previously, she served as curator of Performa since 2010 and as Curator at Large for the Walker Art Center since 2016.

At the Whitney, Edwards curated Jason Moran, the artist’s first museum show, now on view on the Museum’s eighth floor. She originated the exhibition at the Walker in 2018; it previously traveled to the ICA Boston and the Wexner Center for the Arts. The exhibition features a series of performances, Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon, curated by Edwards and Moran. She organized the event commencing the construction of David Hammons’s Day’s End, featuring a commission by composer Henry Threadgill and a “water” tango on the Hudson River by the Fire Department of the City of New York’s Marine Company 9. Earlier this year, Edwards organized Moved by the Motion: Sudden Rise, a series of performances based on a text co-written by Wu Tsang, boychild, and Fred Moten, which presented a collage of words, film, movements, and sounds.

For Performa, Edwards realized new boundary-defying commissions, as well as pathfinding conferences and film programs with a wide range of over forty international artists. While at the Walker, she co-led the institution-wide Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Initiative, an effort to expand ways of commissioning, studying, collecting, documenting, and conserving cross-disciplinary works. Edwards’s curatorial projects have included the critically acclaimed exhibition and catalogue Blackness in Abstraction, hosted by Pace Gallery in 2016. She also organized Frieze’s Artist Award and Live program in New York in 2018. Edwards taught art history and visual studies at New York University and The New School, and she is a contributor to the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study in Visual Art’s forthcoming publication Black Modernisms.

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, said, “David and Adrienne truly represent the best spirit and ideals of the Whitney. Not only are they devoted to—and beloved by—living artists, but they bring to the art of our time a deep historical and scholarly awareness. The most recent editions of the Biennial have reaffirmed its vitality and relevance, and I look forward to discovering how another pair of Whitney curators will lend their voices to our signature exhibition.”

Christie’s Announces Details of Exhibitions, Sales, Tickets and Catalogues for the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

May 1-11 Online Sale | May 8, 9 & 10 Saleroom Auctions

First look at complete collection of more than 1,000 items of decorative art and 550 works of fine art:

  • Two evening sales of European, American and Latin American masterpieces
  • Online sales of Fine and Decorative Arts across eight collecting themes
  • All estate proceeds to benefit philanthropy

Public highlights exhibitions continue around the globe

  • Los Angeles April 6 –12
  • Beijing April 6 – 7
  • Shanghai April 10 –11
  • New York April 28 – May 8

Christie’s announces final details of the most anticipated art world event of the spring season: the sale of the magnificent Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. All of the estate proceeds will be directed to a dozen philanthropies Peggy and David Rockefeller supported during their lifetimes, for the benefit of continuing scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives, among others.christies_logo_black-hr_mdtv71b

New confirmed details include the complete schedule of live and online sales, illustrated catalogs available online, remaining US and Asia highlights tours and locations, and ticket information to attend the special extended public exhibition of the Collection at Rockefeller Center in New York from April 28 – May 8. The global tour and exhibitions are presented in partnership with VistaJet. In total, the Collection is expected to realize in excess of $500 million. Before now, the most valuable collection ever previously offered at auction was the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé in 2009 at Christie’s Paris, which achieved more than US$400 million.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller comprises approximately 1,550 auction lots, including one of the largest and most important collections of decorative arts to come to market in decades. Christie’s will offer 900 lots via live saleroom auctions at its Rockefeller Center site on May 8, 9 and 10. A companion online sale – which opens for bidding worldwide on May 1– will feature an additional 650 lots organized across eight collecting themes, with estimates ranging from $100 to $10,000. Through this unique integration of sale channels, Christie’s brings traditional decorative arts to the forefront, leveraging a sophisticated digital marketing approach and ‘guest-stylist’ partnerships with top tastemakers, interior designers, and social media influencers.

Marc Porter, Christie’s Chairman, Americas stated: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection has inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event.

Following the main auction week, Christie’s will offer a selection of 19 lots of jewelry from the family collection as a highlight of its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York on June 12. The jewelry will be exhibited as part of the extended exhibition in New York and the highlights tour to Los Angeles.

In keeping with Peggy and David Rockefeller’s wishes, Estate proceeds from the Collection sales at Christie’s will be directed to the following philanthropies, which the Rockefellers supported throughout their lifetimes: American Farmland Trust, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Council on Foreign Relations, the David Rockefeller Fund, Harvard University, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller University, and The Stone Barns Restoration Corporation – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, among others.

LOS ANGELES TOUR

West Coast collectors and jewelry enthusiasts will get a first look at the Collection highlights between April 6 and 12 when Christie’s brings a selection of masterpieces and Rockefeller family jewels to its flagship West Coast gallery in Beverly Hills. The touring exhibition was curated with the tastes and interests of Christie’s clients in mind, with rare works by American artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Willem de Kooning exhibited alongside masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin. In addition, Christie’s LA will unveil Diego Rivera’s rarely-exhibited large-scale masterwork, The Rivals, painted in 1931 aboard the ship carrying Rivera and Frida Kahlo to New York. A collection of jewelry owned by Peggy Rockefeller will be included in the Los Angeles previews, featuring signed pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Raymond Yard, among others.

Porter further added: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection have inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event. Continue reading

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Presents West Coast Exclusive of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules

Major Retrospective Includes Vast Array of Work from the Boundary-Breaking Artist’s Six-Decade Career

Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, November 18, 2017–March 25, 2018

A fuse was lit in the 1953 art world when Robert Rauschenberg convinced artist Willem de Kooning to allow him to erase one of his drawings; fellow artist Jasper Johns executed the inscription within the frame: “ERASED DE KOONING DRAWING ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG 1953.” Now seen as a bombshell that shook the foundations of Abstract Expressionism, Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) is an outstanding example of Rauschenberg’s irreverent yet incisive style, and it famously pushes the limits of what art can be.SFMOMA logo 2

This special work was acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from Rauschenberg through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis, an instrumental member of the board of trustees who befriended Rauschenberg late in her life. It now anchors the museum’s exceptional holdings of the artist’s early work and is a highlight in the West Coast exclusive of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, on view at SFMOMA from November 18, 2017, through March 25, 2018.

Formerly presented at Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the exhibition’s iteration in San Francisco pays special tribute to SFMOMA’s close and longstanding relationship with Rauschenberg. From hosting his first retrospective — organized by Walter Hopps in 1976 — to spearheading the recent Rauschenberg Research Project — an ambitious digital resource published on www.sfmoma.org that makes art historical and conservation research about Rauschenberg works widely accessible — SFMOMA has long been devoted to this extraordinary and trail-blazing figure. This presentation is also dedicated to Phyllis C. Wattis, in honor of her generosity and cherished relationship with the artist and SFMOMA.

Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I, 1963

Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I, 1963; oil and silkscreen ink on canvas; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, gift of Susan Morse Hilles; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Robert Rauschenberg and Phyllis Wattis were kindred spirits,” said Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA. “Both were eager to discover new ideas that broke old boundaries. They relished life and art with expansiveness of spirit and always with a twinkle in their eyes.

A defining figure of contemporary art, Rauschenberg produced a prolific body of work across a wide range of media — including painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, photography, and performance — frequently and fearlessly defying the traditional art practice of his time. Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules marks the first retrospective of the artist’s work in nearly 20 years, celebrating the depth and scope of his six-decade career. SFMOMA’s presentation emphasizes his iconoclastic approach, his multidisciplinary working processes and frequent collaborations with other artists.

Largely organized chronologically, the exhibition begins with the artist’s wide-ranging early work, from bold blueprint photograms and intimate photographs to his delicate Scatole personali (boxes filled with found objects). These galleries introduce Rauschenberg’s eagerness to experiment with and break from artistic conventions, his innovative approach to materials and his multi-disciplinary and collaborative nature, all of which were driving forces throughout his career. This early period plays out across three locales: Black Mountain College, a fertile ground for experimentation where Rauschenberg studied with Josef Albers and Hazel Larsen Archer, and undertook his first important collaborations with Susan Weil, Cy Twombly, John Cage and Merce Cunningham; North Africa and Italy, where Rauschenberg traveled with Twombly; and lower Manhattan, where he set up his early studios and worked in close dialogue with Jasper Johns.

Among the many highlights of the exhibition is Automobile Tire Print (1953) in SFMOMA’s collection, made when the artist instructed composer John Cage to drive his Model A Ford through a pool of paint and then across 20 sheets of paper. The layered paper and fabrics in his Black paintings and Red paintings led to the artist’s landmark Combines (1954–64), a body of work that breaks down the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Collection (1954/1955) and Charlene (1954) are presented together for the first time in almost four decades, providing a rare opportunity to see and compare the range of strategies Rauschenberg explored in the Combines’ formative stages. Monogram (1955–59), his landmark work assembled from a taxidermied goat with a painted tire around its body, anchors this presentation.

The exhibition continues by presenting key periods of the artist’s career in depth, including a gallery devoted to transfer drawings and silkscreen paintings. For the Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno (1958–60), Rauschenberg clipped pictures from magazines and newspapers, illustrating Dante’s epic poem with images from contemporary American life. Rauschenberg’s merging of classical themes, art history references, contemporary politics and pop culture culminate in the silkscreen paintings, such as the vibrant Scanning (1963) and Persimmon (1964). Rauschenberg also actively explored technological innovations for his performances and artworks in the early 1960s. Collaborations with Billy Klüver and a team of engineers lead to the inclusion of embedded radios in Oracle (1962–65). For the sound-activated work Mud Muse (1968–71) the artist constructed an enormous vat of vigorously spurting and bubbling mud. Originally conceived for an exhibition in Los Angeles and inspired by a hydrothermal basin in Yellowstone National Park, this presentation marks Mud Muse’s first return to California since 1971.

In 1970, Rauschenberg relocated his primary residence and studio to Captiva Island, Florida, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. These new surroundings prompted the creation of the series Cardboards (1971–72). SFMOMA’s Rosalie/Red Cheek/Temporary Letter/Stock (Cardboard) (1971), one of the earliest of the series, encapsulates this move with a mailing label from Rauschenberg’s New York studio to his Captiva address affixed to its front. Far from isolated in Florida, Rauschenberg constantly welcomed visitors, many of them artists, and continued to travel frequently. A trip to India inspired his striking, lively series Jammers (1975–76); a 1982 visit to China ultimately lead to the launch of ROCI (the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange), an intense seven-year project encompassing travel, art-making and exhibitions in over 10 countries. Rauschenberg’s own photos from this period of travel appear in many later works including SFMOMA’s Port of Entry [Anagram (A Pun)] (1998). Continue reading

Artsy and UBS Release Multimedia Feature “The Year in Art”

Report Engages Audience with 2016’S Art Trends, People, News, and Events

Artsy, in collaboration with, today launched an immersive experience that will guide users through the most important art and culture moments, influential artists and curators, and most impactful exhibitions of 2016. Presented as an easily digestible, accessible look at the past year in art, the feature takes a broader look at the art world, connecting important moments in that sphere to current events in the world at large. This is the fourth iteration of Artsy and UBS’s ongoing partnership, following their collaboration on The Art Market (in Four Parts), a four part series exploring the contemporary art market.download

Earlier iterations of Artsy and UBS’s continuing collaboration include a series of short films about the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, The Year in Art 2015, and the previously-mentioned The Art Market (in Four Parts).

The Year in Art feature is informed by data gleaned from UBS’s Planet Art mobile app (an aggregator of contemporary art news) and Artsy’s proprietary data, as well as input from Artsy’s close collaborators—artists, curators, collectors, critics, and others—which was then interpreted and filtered through Artsy’s editorial team. The feature highlights particularly impactful “moments” in the global art calendar from the past year, including Brexit (exploring a possible cooling of the art market); the re-emergence of Dread Scott’s flag (and its adoption by the Black Lives Matter movement); and the release of the Oculus Rift headset (focusing on the proliferation of virtual reality in society at large), amongst others. Articles announcing The Most Influential Living Artists of 2016, Most Influential Curators of 2016, Top Emerging Artists of 2016, and Artists to Watch in 2017 round out the feature, providing a robust snapshot of the past year, and a reference for years to come.

Artsy is the leading resource for learning about and collecting art from over 4,000 leading galleries, 700 museums and institutions, 60 international art fairs, and select auctions. Artsy provides free access via its website (Artsy.net) and iPhone and iPad apps to 500,000 images of art and architecture by 50,000 artists, which includes the world’s largest online database of contemporary art. Artsy’s encyclopedic database spans historical works, such as the Rosetta Stone and the Colosseum, to modern and contemporary works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Richard Serra, Sarah Lucas, and Cindy Sherman. Powered by The Art Genome Project, a classification system that maps the connections between artists and artworks, Artsy fosters new generations of art lovers, museum-goers, patrons, and collectors.

This is the latest initiative in our overarching mission to drive the conversation around art forward in a thoughtful and accessible way,” notes Marina Cashdan, Artsy’s editorial director. “As interest and engagement with visual culture grows, globally rich features such as this are important references and touchstones to understanding society’s relationship to the most influential art and artists of today. Partnering with UBS on our fourth project together, and having access to Planet Art’s detailed analytics, was integral to realizing this comprehensive feature.

UBS’s long and substantial record of patronage in contemporary art enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art world through the firm’s global art platform. In addition to the UBS Art Collection, considered one of the world’s largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art, UBS has an extensive roster of contemporary art programs that include the firm’s long-term support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, for which UBS serves as global Lead Partner; the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and a global exhibition tour of WOMEN: New Portraits, an exhibition of newly commissioned photographs by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. Continue reading

New York Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Week Review: Betsey Johnson Forever!

Runway Images by Dan Lecca/Front Row/Backstage Images by The Billy Farrell Agency

American designer and renowned fashion icon, Betsey Johnson returned to New York Fashion Week on Friday, September 11th to present her Spring/Summer 2016 collection, entitled The Curious Case of Betsey Button was a retrospective commemorating Betsey’s 50 colorful years in the fashion industry.

Backstage at the Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Show (Photo Credit: The Billy Farrell Agency)

Backstage at the Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Show (Photo Credit: The Billy Farrell Agency)

The show which was held at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station (a soul-sucking show space, if ever there is any), was divided into six defining moments in Betsey’s career and kicked off with Betsey’s signature prom princesses of the 2000’s, followed by the “flower power” of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Next came late 70’s punk, followed by the “trippy hippy” early 70’s Betsey Johnson for Alley Cat. Rounding out the decades were the mod mavens of 60’s Betsey Johnson for Paraphernalia. Narration from Betsey herself played over each defining era, for a real trip down memory lane.

I have long held the view that, much like Bob Mackie and a select few designers that have shown at NYFW over the years, Miss Johnson’s collections are generally above review. By her own admission, she is not out to change the world (too much) or find a cure for athlete’s foot. (She is, however, a staunch supporter for finding a cure for Breast Cancer.) She is about creating a balance: injecting fun into her life and work, while still taking it seriously, BUT not too serious. Hence the signature cartwheel and split at the end of her shows, the seemingly wild, all-over-the-place but cohesive sense that marks the collections. Above all, she’s an extraordinary woman. It’s no wonder then, that she is one of the legendary women to be featured in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders‘ latest “List” documentary, American Masters: The Women’s List, to air on PBS on September 25th.

Betsey Johnson. Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Betsey Johnson is to be featured in Timothy Greenfield-Saunders‘ American Masters: The Women’s List, a documentary focusing on their individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles and identities. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt. Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

The spring/summer 2016 collection, while mainly serving as a retrospective, had a lot going for it in the here and now. It was filled with ideas that would—and will– work for the season and beyond. Those strapless “prom princess” dresses were paired with long sleeve, street-ready metallic tops that a girl could wear with her skinny jeans and be on-trend. The Veronica Lake hair-dos was also an amazing addition to the overall looks. The second segment was made all the more delicious by the colorful corsets that circled the models’ waists.

In the “Mud Club” section, the standout piece was the red/black chevron pantsuit with a black leather bandeau top. Here, seeing nine (mostly blonde) models with semi-severe chignons, looking very much like Linda Evangelista in her 80’s prime, was a jolt but hey, it worked.

The fourth section was noteworthy for the scrimped, straight hair deftly reminiscent of the period. It was like watching (in a good way, of course) Square Pegs (starring a young Sarah Jessica Parker), a television sitcom from the 80’s. The standouts here were the fur-trimmed teacup print jacket (paired with the granny boots), the patchwork jacket with faux fur sleeves and the soft, draping long “Stevie Nicks” long-sleeve dress.

The iconic Max’s Kansas City was a nightclub and restaurant at 213 Park Avenue South, in New York City, which became a gathering spot for musicians, poets, artists and politicians (in essence, everyone who was anyone), in the 1960s and 1970s. It was opened by Mickey Ruskin (1933–1983) in December 1965. Max’s quickly became a hangout of choice for artists and sculptors of the New York School, like John Chamberlain, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Larry Poons, Brice Marden, Bob Neuwirth, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, Philip Glass, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, René Ricard, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman. It was also a favorite hangout of Andy Warhol and his entourage, who dominated the back room, including some of the women represented in this section. It also showed the wide range of style of the time, including the navy polka dot mini with a white Peter Pan collar. Stunning.

2015 marked a year long celebration for Johnson. In addition hitting her 50th year in the industry, Betsey was awarded the CFDA Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The party will continue into Holiday 2015 as Johnson releases a limited edition 50th Anniversary Collection which includes dresses, activewear, handbags, shoes, jewelry all in a signature Betsey Johnson print. Continue reading