Sotheby’s Preview May14

Sotheby’s Preview

This evening Sotheby’s will auction some truly remarkable pieces of both Post War and Contemporary Art. I was able to preview the auction over this past weekend, and was blown away by the magnitude of important works that are part of this catalogue. From Yves Klein to Gerhard Richter, and Jackson Pollock to Andy Warhol – there really is something for everyone… and by everyone, I mean the über rich. We can be guaranteed that there will be a flurry of paddles in the air tonight! Some of my favorite artists that are represented in this sale include John Currin, Cy Twombly, and Joan Mitchell. I don’t necessarily ‘get’ what all of the commotion is over Jeff Koons – and to see the estimates that they’re expecting from his pieces, you’re perhaps scratching your heads as well. I once wrote a paper (as a lowly art history undergrad) on one of Koons’ vacuum cleaners. The professor wrote me a note to say that it was either one of the most genius things that he’d read, or one of the most absurd. I can quite safely assume that it was the latter – but hey, I got an A! Here are some of the highlights, as well as a few of my favorite works from this evening’s auction. Cy Twombly Untitled – 1971 Auction Estimate: 500,000 – 700,000 USD   John Currin Lydian – 2013 Auction Estimate: 500,000 – 700,000 USD   Dan Colen 53rd & 3rd – 2008 Auction Estimate: 600,000 – 800,000 USD   Donald Judd Untitled (91-2 Bernstein) – 1991 Auction Estimate: 6,000,000 – 8,000,000 USD   Yves Klein Sculpture Éponge Bleue Sans Titre, SE 168 – 1959 Auction Estimate: Upon Request   Cy Twombly Untitled (Bolsena) – 1969 Auction Estimate: 10,000,000 –...

Piero della Francesca May10

Piero della Francesca

One of my favorite museums, The Frick Collection recently mounted an exhibition on the painter, Piero della Francesca – who is strongly considered to be one of the most influential painters of the fifteenth century, and of the Italian Renaissance. Piero was also known to be an extraordinarily competent mathematician – as evidenced by several treatises that he penned on geometric study… not to mention his painterly understanding of perspective, architecture, and even figural representation. Of the seven paintings that are currently on display at The Frick, six are from the Sant’Agostino altarpiece (1454–69), “a large polyptych that towered over the high altar of the local Augustinian church and was disassembled around 1555.” As seen from this first image (a reconstruction of the altarpiece) the vast majority of panels are missing. Not part of the exhibition are the second and fourth figures of the main tier, Saint Michael Archangel and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino – which can be found in London and Milan respectively. Very little is known of the missing central panel – which presumably would have been of the Madonna and Child. The seventh painting on display, Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels, was also an altarpiece – for another church or a private residence. I included (at the end of this post) my favorite painting by Piero della Francesca, The Montefeltro Altarpiece (Brera Madonna) – which was commissioned by the Duke of Urbino to celebrate the birth of his son. To truly see Piero’s understanding of geometry, look no further than this painting! Although the exhibition is quite small, it is certainly worth seeing – not to mention the absolute treasure trove of other paintings that one can see as part of The Frick Collection. Piero della Francesca in America is on exhibit...

Leonardo Da Vinci Dec01

Leonardo Da Vinci

I’ve always had a very deep reverence for the great Leonardo da Vinci. I mean, who doesn’t – right? As a college art history major my primary focus was on the Italian Renaissance… I even took a seminar based solely on da Vinci’s oeuvre. Aside from being a masterful artist, da Vinci was also a crackerjack scientist, mathematician, and architect… among a myriad of other things. London’s National Gallery recently mounted the most extensive, most important exhibition of Leonardo’s work ever held. Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan opened on November 9th, and will run through February 5th. Inspired by the recent restoration of their own da Vinci painting, The Virgin of the Rocks, this exhibition primarily focuses on the work that he produced as court painter to Ludovico Sforza – a Milanese duke during the 1480s and 90s. For the first time, both versions of The Virgin of the Rocks will be shown together – as the Musée du Louvre has loaned their (later) version. Other highlights include La Belle Ferronnière, The Madonna Litta, and my favorite painting (perhaps of all time), The Lady with an Ermine – a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, mistress to Ludovica Sforza. I once wrote a 30 page paper on this woman. Let’s split a bottle of wine, and I’ll tell you all about her! If you’re an art enthusiast, and can get to London in the next few months – do yourself the favor. We’re currently planning a quick January jaunt across the pond… for the sole purpose of seeing this fabulous show. Nerd alert! The Virgin of the Rocks, c. 1483-1485   The Musician, c. 1486-1487   Saint Jerome, c. 1488-1490   The Lady with an Ermine, c. 1489-1490   The Madonna Litta, c. 1491-1495   The Virgin of...

Lucien Freud Jul22

Lucien Freud

We lost the great Cy Twombly earlier this month, and with this week’s death of Lucien Freud, the art world has suffered another tragic blow. Lucien was known for his portraiture – for both the heavy impasto technique that he employed, and the juxtaposition of the eerily sexual and the psychological. As the grandson of famed psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, it’s perhaps not a surprise that his painting was embedded with a perversity and wonderful strangeness. He was one of a kind! John Minton, 1952 Woman in a White Shirt (Duchess of Devonshire), 1956-1957 Naked Girl Asleep II, 1968 Frank Auerbach, 1976 Man in a Chair, 1985 Reflection (self-portrait), 1985 Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995 David Hockney and Lucien Freud in the studio, 2002 Lucien Freud in his studio, 2005 Lucien Freud in his studio,...

Eduardo Garza Jul09

Eduardo Garza

As my close friends will tell you, I love a curiosity cabinet – and no one’s work is more curious or special, than Eduardo Garza’s! I first became a fan of Garza’s when his fantastic pieces started to appear on the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman. Whether it’s an ostrich egg, a piece of coral, or a semi-precious stone, Eduardo finds a way to infuse glamour into these natural specimens – creating beautiful, one of a kind accessories for the home. Of these examples, I particularly love the Oxidized Copper Ostrich Egg, and the Oceana Dome! Here are some photos of his stunning work. Oxidized Copper Ostrich Egg   Butterfly Dome   Oceana Dome   Gold Sea Fan   Rose Quartz Bookends   Amethyst Ring   Citrine Specimen   Human Skull Replica   Red Ear Turtle Shell   White Coral Specimen   Octopus Coral Specimen   Coral Specimen   Bird Nest Coral Specimen   Coral and Gold Collection   Ostrich Egg Sculpture, Citrine Specimen, Blue Coral Specimen   Coral and White Cold Collection   Bird Nest Coral Specimen, Butterfly Dome, Open Brain Coral Specimen   Various Pieces from the Eduardo Garza Collection   Various Turtle Shells   White Coral Specimen, Human Skull and Rock Crystal Sculpture   Various Pieces from the Eduardo Garza Collection   Photos via Gilt Groupe & Eduardo...

Cy Twombly Jul07

Cy Twombly

I was truly sad to hear about the July 5th death of Cy Twombly, one of my favorite painters. With an oeuvre that defied art world classification, and a career that stretched across six decades, Mr. Twombly was part of an elite pantheon of living, postwar artists. His calligraphic scrawl, while at once refined, held a childlike mischievousness – and a sense of humor that was positively genius. I will never forget the first time that I saw his painting, Achilles Mourning the Death of Patroclus. Hilarious! He will be missed.  Cy Twombly    The artist with his painting, Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor, 1994   Leda and the Swan, 1962    Untitled, 1970   Lepanto, 2001   Untitled, 1961   Note II, 2005 – 2007    Cold Stream, 1966   Ferragosto IV, 1961    Untitled, 1968   Untitled, 2005    Achilles Mourning the Death of Patroclus, 1962...

Sølve Sundsbø Jun13

Sølve Sundsbø

With a list of clients and collaborators that reads like a who’s who of fashion, Sølve Sundsbø has easily established himself as one of the most innovative, most in demand photographers that is working today. During the nineties, the Norwegian born Sundsbø moved to London for school, and apprenticed under the legendary Nick Knight. Since striking out on his own he has worked with everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Tom Ford. Editorially, his work has appeared in all of the mainstream, global fashion magazines, but in my opinion, his most exciting pictorials have been those that he has done for the more niche, artsier titles – like Numéro and V. Some of Sølve’s most iconic work has been done in collaboration with the late Alexander McQueen. In one of many projects, the duo teamed up to produce a short film for the Florence Biennale. Since McQueen’s death, Sundsbø has continued to work with the house – having recently photographed the book to accompany the Met’s Savage Beauty exhibition. So many times a Sølve Sundsbø snap looks as if it has been digitally altered, but in fact, the photographer uses a bevy of old-fashioned techniques to get these types of effects. Here are a few of his stunning pictorials. Enjoy! ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   Invitation à la danse – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Invitation à la danse’ – Elena Sudakova Numéro 91, March 2008   ‘Like a Doll’ – Anabela...

Pratt / Paper / Pucci May10

Pratt / Paper / Pucci

Students from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute recently participated in a design competition, for which they were asked to create a garment or sculpture – using only sheets of plain white paper. The students’ work was then displayed in the showroom of mannequin and furniture dealer, Ralph Pucci – and judged by the likes of Vicente Wolf, Jens Risom, Anna Sui, and Linda Fargo. Having recently written about the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, I was particularly excited about this – not to mention completely bowled over by the level of talent. Check out the April issue of Interior Design Magazine for the full story. The 3rd place fashion winner – an Elizabethan look   The 1st place fashion winner – a laser cut creation   A cape created with an X-Acto knife   Another view of the 1st place fashion winner   A Marchesa inspired dress of roses   The 2nd place fashion winner – spine, headpiece, and bodice   The 1st place sculpture winner & An origami-esque creation   A dress comprised of 100 triangles & A Hussein Chalayan inspired look   A chain-mail dress & A detail of the Elizabethan ruff collar   A Bauhaus inspired abstracted plaid & A sculpture of hanging disks   Photos via Interior Design...

Designer Easter Eggs Apr22

Designer Easter Eggs

Throughout our history eggs have been positively rife with symbolism. Woven through the fabric of nearly every culture, religion, and era, are images of eggs, with significance in areas of study ranging from religion to alchemy. As a pagan symbol, the egg is often looked at as emblematic of the the four elements – with its shell representative of the earth, the membrane of air, the egg white of water, and the yolk as fire. Its elliptical form was also viewed as a relation to the universe, and the movement of heavenly bodies. In art, the rich iconography of the egg has its ties to religion – as a symbol of creation and fertility, and of immortality and the resurrection of Christ. Of course the theme of resurrection is what makes the egg such an iconic symbol of Easter – with the painting and hunting of Easter eggs, fancy chocolate covered candies – and my personal favorite, Reese’s peanut butter eggs! Inspired by the House of Fabergé, the people at Vogue recently went looking for the most fabulous eggs that they could find (both edible and decorative), and even turned to an amazing group of artists, fashion designers and creative types – to see what they could create for the occasion. My favorites include Eddie Borgo’s gilt, jewel encrusted bauble, Belle Fleur’s fanciful creation of flowers and greenery, and the stunning group of blue découpaged eggs by John Patrick. Here are some of the highlights. Photos via...

The Hermès Enamels Apr21

The Hermès Enamels

Earlier today I was perusing the Hermès website (something that I do more often than I should), and came across these fantastic photos. They’ve taken a bunch of classical figure paintings from revered artists such as Duval, Courbet, Modigliani, and Gauguin – and photoshopped their enamel bracelets onto the arms of the women. It’s just such a fun idea, and a great example of the fantastic creativity of Hermès’ team. They do everything with such elegance – even their mailings and emails are fun. My favorites include the Ingres (of course), the Duval, and the Gauguin. Enjoy! Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres La Grande Odalisque, 1814   Édouard Manet Olympia, 1863   Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ L’esclave Blanche, 1888   Amedeo Modigliani Nu Couche de Dos, 1917   William-Adolphe Bouguereau Biblis, 1884   Francisco de Goya La Maja Desnuda, 1800   Gustave Courbet La Femme au Perroquet, 1866   Paul Gauguin Nevermore O Tahiti, 1897   Amaury Duval Baigneuse Antique, 1860   William-Adolphe Bouguereau La Vague, 1896   Lucas Cranach the Elder Les Trois Grâces, 1531   Photos via...

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