STREET now open! Chicago | Los Angeles | Miami | New York | San Francisco | Santa Fe
Amsterdam | Berlin | Brussels | London | Paris | São Paulo | Toronto | China | India | Worldwide
 
New York
www.robinrile.com/blog
Frederick Hart and Auguste Rodin, “Marytrs of Moderndom” (Part 1)

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=1817

TEXT © 2012 Reed V. Horth, for ROBIN RILE FINE ART

Three sets of eyes drink in the sight of a veritable ocean of names. 58,195 names inscribed in inch tall letters typeset over the expanse of a wall that, while it starts minutely on one edge, expands to over 10 feet tall (3 m) at its apex. Its length is overwhelming, stretching for 246 feet (75 m) and it envelops the viewer as if it could drown us. Three sets of eyes keep vigil morning, noon and night, through winter’s harsh snows and summer’s unbearable heat. The three sets of eyes belong to Frederick E. Hart’s (1943-1999) “Three Soldiers”. The wall they stare at is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC.

 

Frederick E. Hart (American, 1943-1999) “The Three Soldiers” (1984) at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington D.C.

 

Hart’s depiction of three young American servicemen was rendered with such clarity and subtlety that it created what has been called “the most successful ensemble monument in the world”. Each of the men stand taught and at the ready, but also apprehensively seeing into the distance. The lieutenant’s slightly outturned hand motions his charges to stop. They turn to look with him and listen for his guidance. Their eyes are fixed into the distance, as if scanning the horizon for a threat. Each of the men’s taught musculature and articulated weaponry stands at the ready for quick and decisive action. The three sets of eyes represent what is the best in all of us… diligence, spirit, humility, duty and in all cases… Sacrifice.

 

“The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their aloneness and their vulnerability.” ~Frederick Hart

The spirit of sacrifice is also sculpturally evident generations apart and half a world away, mirrored the faces of six individuals in Northern France. Traditional depictions of these individuals, collectively known as the “Burghers of Calais”, had shown them to be defiant, courageous and steadfast. French master Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) turned convention on its ear by taking academic sculpture and imbuing it with an honesty and organic-nature that had not been seen before. Rodin’s “Burghers” were all too human, vaguely prideful but agonizing about their martyrdom to the hands of the English King Edward III in 1347. The city of Calais was besieged by Edward III’s forces for over a year, pushing the population to the brink of starvation. Edward offered a compromise that he would halt the siege if six of Calais’ most prominent citizens surrender themselves to him for execution.  Eustache de St. Pierre, one of the city’s most wealthy citizens, volunteered followed by five others. Their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the good of their populace became legendary and stayed the hand of the English king who, consequently allowed them to live. Rodin depicted them as they would have been, in a mixture of fear and defiant self-sacrifice. Wearing only rags and nooses limply hanging about their necks, they prepare to exit the city with its ceremonial keys. Their hollow eyes are open and their hands hang mournfully. Their oversized feet are move slowly as if trapped in a morass of tar and time. The sad depiction humanizes the subjects and brings them eye to eye with present day viewers, allowing them to commune with the past the way few sculptures had before, or since. However, the initial reaction to them allowed little by way of acceptance. “We were called to the old town hall of Calais to look at the sketch [modele] of the burghers of Calais that M. Rodin had just brought. It is sufficiently studied to give a good idea of the effect intended by the artist, and all of us felt a slight disappointment. We did not imagine our glorious citizens going to the camp of the king of England that way. First, their depressed attitude shocked our religious feelings, and we felt that the work we were looking at, far from glorifying the devotion of Eustache de St. Pierre and his companions, only produced the opposite effect.” -report by the Calais committee on the commission.

 

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) “Burghers of Calais” (1884-1895) bronze. Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966


 

Rodin and Hart both courted controversy in the commissioning of their respective works. Rodin dealt with a public scornful of less-than-patriotic looking heroes, and Hart navigated the turbulent political terrain which bridged both overt racism and the skirmish between modern sculpture and figurative classicism at the end of the 20th Century. Heavy nationalism and hyper-sensitivity to each subject heightened the effect of each sculpture on their respective populaces. After the humiliating defeat Franco-Prussian war in 1871, France went through a period of intense political self-flagellation which transcended literature, music, architecture and all of the arts. Similarly, the bruises of Vietnam were still fresh in the minds of soldiers, politicians and the public at large when Maya Ying Lin’s (American, b. 1959) minimalist Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was initially erected. Given Lin’s ethnic-sounding name (she is an American, born to Chinese parents living in the US) the public decried her monument as a great “black gash of shame”. A compromise was struck in which Hart was to commissioned to erect a figurative element overlooking the wall itself. In time, the congruity of elements and the dissipation of time have led to the public acceptance of the monument and wall working in unison.

 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982-1983) by Maya Ying Lin (Chinese-American, b. 1959. Washington D.C.


 

Years later, Hart would again revisit the theme of martyrdom as he paid allegorical homage to the daughters of Czar Nicolas II of Russia, Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga & Maria, who were killed during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918. Hart called them “The Martyrs of Moderndom” as they represented all of the beautiful things which were somewhat forgotten in the 20th Century, “The ability to have Faith, sustain Hope, feel the transforming power of Beauty and revel in the Innocence around us”. Faith, Hope, Innocence and Beauty, the four “Daughters of Odessa”. This was Hart’s clarion call to return to our classical antecedents in all of the arts, music, poetry, film and literature. Just as their predecessors the “Burghers of Calais” and the “Three Soldiers”, the “Daughters” are depicted as an ensemble, with each figure boasting their own breadth and idiosyncrasy. Each is lightly draped in ethereal linens of the spirit realm. Their faces are at peace and depict the youth and vitality of their allegorical counterparts, Hope, Faith, Innocence and Beauty. Whereas the “Burghers” and “Three Soldiers” courted controversy, the “Daughters” were eagerly accepted for permanent placement at the Prince of Wales’ private garden at Highgrove upon their unveiling in 1997.

 

Frederick E. Hart (American, 1943-1999) “Daughters of Odessa” (1997) ¾ life scale Ensemble.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 10/8/12




Salvador Dali, Crime & Time

From http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=1767

Blog by Reed V. Horth for robinrile.com

A good story…. A few years ago, we were approached by a family in the UK who had consigned seven Salvador Dali sculptures to a gallery owner in Sarasota. The owner was a 90 year old veteran who had invested a great deal of money in these works as a sort of retirement savings. His hopes were to sell the sculptures and live out his twilight years in a measure of comfort with the proceeds.

After months of not receiving a straight answer from the gallery owner about the whereabouts of their sculptures, the family sought me out to see if I might be able to help them recover their property. Through a process of discovery, it turns out that the gallery owner had sold five of the seven sculptures and pocketed the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. Further, the gallery owner fraudulently kept insisting that the sculptures were in the gallery just where they had been all along. Information was turned over to the proper authorities and the gallery owner was arrested, convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for stealing not only this gentleman’s works, but the art from several victims. While punitive justice was served in this instance, the sentence did not help the 90 year old man become whole again and replace his retirement savings.

So we went to work… As noted, this gentleman had 5 of 7 works stolen by this crooked gallery owner. This left two sculptures which remained unsold. After a lengthy process of recovery of both the sculptures and the certification of authenticity from the crooked gallery owner, the works were returned to the rightful owner. He then enlisted us to assist with the sale of these works to recoup some of his untold losses at the hands of this now-convicted thief. Thankfully, we have now placed one of the two works, “Dragon Swan Elephant” with a new owner who will be able to treasure the sculpture for generations to come. While this small measure may not make the original owner completely whole, it may allow him some measure of peace.

Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) "Dragon Swan Elephant" (1969) Prestige Edition of 19 in bronze. 31cm x 47cm x 44cm. Literature: Catalogue Raisonne "Le Dur et le Mou" by Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, pg. 171, Ref #434-436. SOLD

 

Being born in the early 1920’s, our Greatest Generation saw the Great Depression, read F. Scott Fitzgerald when it was still fresh in the mind, witnessed the bombing of London and Dresden, defeated the Nazis and the Japanese, saw the rise and the USSR and felt the isolation of the Cold War, saw the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and the rise of James Bond, as well as the peaceniks and the Beatles. He co-existed in a society which discovered DNA, nuclear physics, visited space, invented the microchip which gave rise to computers, cell phones and pacemakers. Further, metaphorically he was able to live side-by-side with Dali himself, as the world was only starting to discover the potential reach of his thoughts and poignancy of his vision.

 

History is much larger than the crookedness of a weak-willed narcissist.

 

We remain diligently working on selling the second work in this venerable collection, “Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance” and hope to find a suitable location for it soon. While only a pinprick on the fabric of time and indeed the legacy of both Salvador Dali and this family, our hope is that this episode proves the power of Art to transcend time. Art provided a wonderful catharsis and respite for decades in this family, and now can again. Art has existed for thousands of years as a tangible remembrance of mental, spiritual and emotional connections we have, both in its creation and its admiration… But, to paraphrase Patek Philippe, we merely are stewards of Art till the next generation.

 

Dali is world-renowned for his references to the fleeting nature, and tenuous grasp we have on, time. Perhaps in this instance… that makes perfect sense.

Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) "Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance" (c. 1971) Edition of 19 Artist Proofs in bronze. 69.5cm (including base). Literature: Catalogue Raisonne "Le Dur et le Mou" by Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, pg. 160-161, Ref #407.

To see more about this case and related cases:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110827/article/110829570

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111103/ARTICLE/111109815

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111230/ARTICLE/111239966

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 9/20/12




Curatorial Interior Design

By Reed V. Horth for Robin Rile Fine Art www.robinrile.com


I have often been asked over the past many years, “What is a private curator?” What they mean is, curating is most often associated with museums and galleries. Very little concentration is often paid to the curation of our own private residences although these are the museums we most often see. As homeowners, we pay a great deal of attention to the finishes, furniture, wall and fabric textures, flooring and lighting, but artwork is sometimes overlooked in the context of interior design. Oftentimes, interior designers will doff the responsibility of choosing artwork to the homeowners themselves, despite the fact that many lack decision-making prowess. Meaning, many clients simply don’t feel that they know what looks good and often need guidance in this process. THAT is what a private curator does.

A well-curated and selected collection of fine art creates an environment in which we not only can live, but also can offer a valuable investment in our mental health, childhood education and financial well-being.

Mental Health

(TOP) Smmrk Photography (Second from Top) S. Birch "Landspeeder" original oil on canvas. SOLD. (Third from Top) DEMO's Pop Art "Red Bulls" (Available in various colors) fiberglass and resin edition of 15. (Bottom) Siqeiro's "Warhol: Glamour Boy" portrait photography. All works from www.robinrile.com.

 

Our home is our sanctum sanctorum… our safe place. Our reprieve from the rigors of life, work and the outside world. Further, they are a palate with which we can paint the story of us. Our interests are reflected in our home whether or not art is a consideration. A clean and orderly home is a reflection of the homeowners as much as a cluttered and messy one is. As designers and dealers, we have often walked into multi-million dollar homes adorned with little more than framed posters and been in small apartments with multi-million dollar collections. While both are perhaps a reflection of the homeowner’s priorities in allocation of resources, it also can speak to their cultural refinement or awareness of art. Perhaps a homeowner is a pragmatist and art is purchased not merely for aesthetic value but also for its historical and monetary benefits. Perhaps decorative posters are a homeowners way of filling space without committing to a personal style. Perhaps art speaks to them in a way that they cannot quite verbalize. Either way, a well-curated collection in your safe area allows a homeowner a degree of pride, aesthetically, monetarily and historically.

 

Childhood Development

As a child, I had the benefit of living in cities and countries which offered multitudes of artistic stimuli. Further, the experiences I had digging multi-colored rocks out of the ground in Southern Turkey as a child stimulated my imagination and invited me to become the next Indiana Jones. There is something rich and textural about owning history, whether it be classical or contemporary art, natural sciences, fossils, regional or international items or some combination of all. When curating a collection, sculptural elements are often overlooked as superfluous and space-consuming, yet each time an element is added to the space, it seems more complete that it was without. The tactile nature of sculpture further allows children (whose pass-times may include Play-Doh) to interact with the art in a way that paintings do not. Incorporation of sculpture and fossil elements may provide a similar tactile stimuli to developing minds as my own experiences in Byzantium.

(On top) a Trilobite School from the Ordovician period (420 Million years ago) in Northern Europe. (Middle) Crinoids (Also known as sea lilies and feather stars), Phylum Echinodermata Unitacrinus socialis Grinell (found in 1876) from the Cretaceous Period (approx 85 Million years ago). These creatures were marine animals related to starfish. (Bottom) Fossil algae stromatalites from the Iron range in Minnesota. These structures resemble marble stone, but are over 2 Billion years old and are colored by iron.

 

Financial Well-being

Let it never be said that Art is an investment. As dealers, we cannot ever guarantee 100% that art will ascend in value. This being said, we do see trends and undulations as anyone who pays attention often does. Many of these trends will form plateaus which are discernible to the watchful eye. Artworks under $5000 are often purchased with little or no thought of value ascension. They are generally artworks that we enjoy and simply wish to own for their aesthetic beauty alone. Between $5,000-$20,000, there is often a gray area in perceived value and prospective ROI (Return On Investment). Above $20,000 buyers are generally investors in SOMEthing, whether or not Art is one of those things. Therefore, the mentality of an investor is often more pragmatic, thoughtful and deliberative. Whether or not something is purchased for a monetary consideration, they will often consider the peripheral benefits of ownership more broadly than someone who simply wishes to place something on the wall that they like. Does the work have a historical significance? Does the work have authenticity? Does the work have proper paperwork to transfer ownership legally? While these questions may or may not be asked of a purchase at $2000, they certainly would be a consideration at $50000, $100,000, $1M, etc.

 

In times of economic downturn, we often will see investors turning towards undervalued properties and commodities. Gold, silver, real estate, art, etc. When properly curated, a collection of art developed by an advocate working on your behalf, can be a stable housing for capital over a long-term. While it is perhaps unwise to advocate “flipping”, the peripheral benefits of having established art in your home for a long period of time, can often lead to the art being investments over the long-term.

(TOP) Alves "Self Portrait" (2009) acrylic on canvas. (Second from Top) Bilodeau "Between Sleeping and Dreaming". (Third from Top) Alves "Seasons" acrylic on canvas. (Bottom) Uribe "Window Garden" (Large) Mixed media, hoses and spigots. All Art available through www.robinrile.com.

 

So, why would you hire a private curator?

Well… for the same reason you would hire an interior designer, architect or investment adviser. Because you have better things to do than pour through multitudes of artists in various styles, price ranges and media looking for just the right work for your environment (assuming you even know what would look good in your environment to begin with!) You require someone to filter the wheat from the chaff. Someone to narrow your focus onto the works which truly suit your motivations best, whether they are monetary, aesthetic, historical or some combination of each. Further, you require an advocate to help negotiate pricing, vetting of paperwork for investment-level works, and create a collection which reflects what is quintessentially “You”.

 

The photos depicted in this email are precisely what we mean by “private curation”. Each photo grouping reflects several options which we feel perfectly suit the space in which they are placed, based on the client’s given criteria. Each photo montage provides the client with a glimpse of the possibilities in their own space. Scale can be given, coloration and media can be adjusted. In these photos, you will see works from icons such as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel, to photographers, multi-media artists, sculptors and even 250 million year old fossils.

This is what private curation is…. The creation of a collection and environment which is singular and reflects the homeowner’s life, personality and motivations. This serves not only the homeowner themselves, their guests and their future generations. To co-opt a phrase from Patek Philippe… “Art is not something we own. It is something we protect for the next generation.”

For information on our private curation services, or any of the artwork depicted in these photos, please email reed@robinrile.com.

S. Birch Various works available from www.robinrile.com

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 8/10/12




POP Art and the Enduring Nature of HOPE

From: http://robinrile.com/blog

By Reed V. Horth, for ROBIN RILE FINE ART

POP Art was a movement which was borne out of the angst of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The world was changing before our eyes and POP was the anti-establishment and is eminently opposed to the “elitism” which permeated much of academic art in prior years. It was purposefully juxtaposed to what was conformist or fit neatly into the box of what “Art” is. Utilizing aspects of mass culture (i.e. advertisements, comic books, cultural icons, etc.) in the context of fine art, POP embraced what was often thought of a kitsch and re-contextualized it into something completely unique. Pop Art was borne out of our post-war obsession with mass-produced commodities and prompted a sea-change in the way that collectors, thought of, purchased and invested in Art, as well as changed the way artists marketed, branded and editioned themselves. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book-styled panels epitomized and personified our consumer-oriented milieu. No longer was Fine Art confined to the wealthy. This new thought process opened a whole new buyer-class to the world of fine arts which, in turn, brought a broader focus to the arts as a whole. In turn, perception-based speculation turned fine art into a commoditized asset which was bought and sold with the idea of making money. Rarity, speculation and innovation became as prominent of motivators as image quality and talent.

(L) Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup I (Vegetable) FS-II.53. Screenprint on white paper. 1968 New York Publisher: Factory Addition, New York (M) Roy Lichtenstein “Whaam” Acrylic and oil on canvas. support: 1727 x 4064 mm frame: 1747 x 4084 x 60 mm. painting. Tate Modern, UK. Purchased 1966 (R) James Rosenquist “President Elect”, oil on masonite, 7 feet 5 3/4 inches by 12 feet, 1960-1, 1964, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre de Création Industrielle, Paris

 

Through changing the milieu of art itself, POP created its own brand and its own voice. Indeed, POP changed the way not only Art works, but the world itself. Many POP artists had talents born out of the advertising industry and the graphic arts. Employing this education in commercial imagery and buyer awareness to design and inform their own fine art, these artist created images that literally and figuratively “POP” when seen in person or in context. Warhol and Lichtenstein were joined by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Wesselman, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and, of course, Robert Indiana. Each used his own brand of commercialism in their creation of iconic and patriotic images and, in turn, became iconic in-and-of themselves.

Jasper Johns (b. 1930) Photography by Geoffrey Clements. Three Flags, 1958 Encaustic on Canvas, 30 7/8 x 45 1/2 x 5 inches. Permanent Collection, The Whitney Museum of American Art

By the same token, Robert Indiana’s “HOPE” is a quintessential statement of our zeitgeist. Originally created for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, “HOPE”, next to “LOVE” is the quintessential statement of his oeuvre. In fact, to co-opt a story recently told to me by a colleague of mine, he mentioned a conversation he had with a friend at a restaurant recently. A perceptive and intuitive waitress overheard the conversation, and my friend asked her, “What is more impactful, HOPE or LOVE?

Her immediate reaction was to say “HOPE”.

Surprised by the certainty of her answer, my friend then followed with “Why?”.

Because LOVE is sometimes fleeting. HOPE lasts forever.

Intuitive indeed.

Indiana’s “HOPE” is supposed to be jarring. It is supposed to stop you in your tracks. It is supposed to linger in your thoughts and it is intended to make you think. This is what POP ART is and has been since the 1950’s. This is what POP Art will prove to be as we move forward in time.

“HOPE” lasts forever.

 

"HOPE" by Robert Indiana. Photo montage by Author

All works shown as illustration of points made by author. Not offered for sale.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 4/10/12 | tags: Robert Indiana abstract photography installation conceptual pop Barack Obama lichtenstein andy warhol modern surrealism mixed-media sculpture




The Fine Art of Art Speculation and Investing

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=1349

An excerpt from an actual email to a family I consult with… By Reed V. Horth for www.robinrile.com

Dear M & J,

First, thank you so much for your kind note about the 60 Minutes special about the present state of the art market, specifically contemporary art. I watched the clip online and I too found it fantastically intriguing. In fact, I have spent the past several years researching art as investment and have worked very hard to locate works as undervalued assets much like real estate speculators do. This is one of the reasons your “Elena III” (by Richard MacDonald) sculpture not only fell into my lap, but was such a good deal versus other examples of the work on the market.

Over the years, I have written a few articles about this subject including “Art as Investment” (http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=263_, “Art and the Keys to Ending Recessions” (http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=1007) and “Giacometti Sculpture sells for $104M” (http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=192). Each article gives a snapshot of the market as a whole, but also provides a bit of background into what differentiates and “investment” piece of art and an “aesthetic” piece of art. While there is not one indicator as to what is or is not “investment-level”, an understanding of both art and the specific trends that differentiate a “good investment” and a “bad investment” is key to located the gems amongst the pebbles. For me, I have generally turned towards locating undervalued assets from tried-and-true names in art (i.e The Big Boys), as opposed to attempting to speculate on undiscovered talent. While unknown artists are often the biggest dividend providers, it is often difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff and once you find a true talent, there is no guarantee that his/her career will flourish beyond the present trend.

 

Robert Indiana "Hope" (2008) screenprint on paper, edition of 200. Signed by the artist. robinrile.com

Art buyers often look at art for a specific place in the home (i.e. I need a painting above a couch, a sculpture in this corner, etc.) as opposed to looking at art as a long-term investment. If a particular artwork does not suit the present décor, it is often overlooked because of the present aesthetic environment. However, art investors will tend to act much as an National Football League team would do during the NFL Draft, they often chose the best collegiate football player available at the time, and make that athlete fit with them as a player or use him as a tradable asset. Oftentimes, teams will trade draft picks to move up and select a better player simply because they know another team will provide them what they truly need in trade for the drafted player. By the same rationale, investors will not purchase art simply to cover a wall space, but instead purchase a truly great asset once it becomes available because it will be a fungible asset at some point in the future.

While auctions are only one indicator among many to judge artist growth, it does present a barometer of the overall market fluctuations much like the DOW provides you a glimpse of what is going in the US economy but is not the only criteria in which the market is judged. Among the artists whom we have seen auction growth from in the recent past include Salvador Dali, whose prices have an annual growth rate of +116% based on 1,182 lots sold thus far in 2012. Pablo Picasso is up +16% on 2,564 lots. Gerhard Richter is up +161% on 202 lots sold.  The overall art market confidence index in pegged at 21.60 and rising [Based on research provided by Artprice.com. The barometer reference point is 0. A positive value reflects an optimistic mood of the market players, pessimism shows below 0. The intraday progression follows up Art Market players feedback on current news (stock market tendencies, geopolitical events, results of high profile sales etc.). This anticipation index is to be correlated with Artprice's econometrics]

In fact, on November 4 (2010) at Sotheby’s in New York. Salvador Dali’s 1937 gouache, “Girafe en feu” (Giraffe on Fire), 22-1/4 in. by 30-3/8 in., went on the auction block estimated at $150,000 to $200,000. It finally sold for $1,870,000, a record for any work on paper by the Master Dali. What is more, it’s sale for an astounding 9 times its expected price indicated that we often underestimate the willingness of collectors, and specifically Dali collectors, to back up their passion with their pocket books.

What one must also look at is the growth or contraction of specific genres of art, whether in be modern art, pre-Colombian pottery, Ancient Chinese rice paper drawings, Contemporary, 19-20th Century Impressionist, Post-war, Latin-American, Ashcan School, etc. Like fine Italian or French wines, each genre is a discipline in-and-of itself, and must be measured on its own scale. All art cannot be compared to the market as a whole with the possible exception of market surges and crashes where everything is affected. Each must be taken of its own merit and limitation, specifically given the particular time frame in which we live and collect. After the unprecedented market expansion of the 1950s and 1960s, the oil crisis of 1973 dramatically stymied the art market and all movements of art took many years to recover. Art Basel (Switzerland) suffered its first market losses in 1974 as a direct result of this upheaval. The 1980’s boom of the Asian buying markets, and the commensurate competitive urges of the West, saw a 600% increase in the prices of artworks both in private sale and in auctions. This boom hit a speed bump in the early 1990’s with the first Persian Gulf war and did not recover again till the 1997 sale of Victor & Sally Ganz’s world-class collection of 20th Century masterworks including Pablo Picasso’s “La rêve” to Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn for a then-record price of $49M. Less than 10 years later, Wynn had a sale lined up for “La rêve” of $139M which was only halted when he accidentally damaged the painting while showing it to friends. (He put his elbow through one corner of the painting, as his eyesight is quite poor. The post-operative valuation caused it to lose nearly $54M in salable value. Ugh!)

Since 2009, our faith has been rekindled in the art market as sales have an upward trend with continue a record-setting pace on the upper echelons of collecting and steadily ascending prices on the mid-range to high-range collections ($50k+). Collectors with investments in a diversified range of assets and funds, have turned to art as a commodity which not only holds value, but also as a hedge against the volatility of the markets. Further, the aesthetic pleasure and status-gaining symbology of art is hard to overlook. While perhaps not as liquid as stock-related investments, art has trended strongly depending on the types of works a investor chooses, the quickness in which they act on opportunities and their ability and desire to hold art assets long-term. Low-range ($100.-$20,000.) continues to be a difficult pricing range as collectors in this bracket tend to hold their money or invest in other speculative markets.

This all being said, depending on what type, style, genre, or motivation the buyer happens to have, whether it is historical, speculative, aesthetic or some amalgam of each, we work to determine what the best “draft picks” are on the market at any given time.

In fact, we have a few that we feel are great draft picks as we speak.

Handoff-Super Bowl III - Joe Namath | LeRoy Neiman Published 2007. Limited Edition Serigraph. Dimensions 27.75 X 37.25. Numbered 350 pieces. Signed and numbered by LeRoy Neiman. atkinsonmann.com

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 4/3/12




DALIMiami 2012

DaliMiami 2012 (March 7-11, 2012)

Dalí Miami is a celebration of perhaps the most extraordinary contributor to the art world of the 20th Century,

Spanish Master Salvador Dalí. (1904-1989)


This first-of-its-kind exhibit will take place March 7th -11th in Miami’s own architectural gem, The Moore Building in our Design District. The museum-level collection will feature over 200 originals, prints, object d’art and editioned sculptures spanning the broad gamut of Dalí‘s prolific career.

Salvador Dalí is considered by many to be the “Father of Surrealism”. Not only is he one of the greatest masters of art of the twentieth century, but his innovative thinking and spectacular draftsmanship created some of the most indelible images which have become synonymous with Art itself… The Melted Clock, the Don Quijote with sword raised, the Maternal Egg, the Freudian Drawers…. All images which are quintessentially Dalínian. The broad variety of media in which Dalí was known to have works, often surprises viewers and collectors. Our collection, culled together by renowned curator Reed V. Horth, of Robin Rile Fine Art, represents some of the most prominent and historically significant works which remain under private ownership, outside of the museums in Spain and St. Petersburg, FL. This exhibition will provide viewers with an unparalleled exposure to this master on a scale unavailable outside of the major museums of the world.

The Moore Building is the perfect location for such an exhibition due to its location in the heart of Miami’s famed Design District. This historic venue was built in 1921 (the height of Dalí’s fame) and is one of the most iconic spaces in all of Miami. The truly unique building boasts four floors of arcaded spaces, totaling more than 28,000 square feet.

WWW.DALIMIAMI.COM

If you ever felt Dalí was out of touch, out of reach, and just a bit crazy… Let us open your eyes to the truths in all these things…. and more.

****

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since”.

~ Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

 

CONTACT

General inquiries, please contact: info@DaliMiami.com.
Sponsorship opportunities contact: Sponsorships@DaliMiami.com
Media and Press contact: Media@DaliMiami.com

Art Submissions: reed@robinrile.com

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 1/10/12




Newde, Nude, Nood… The works of E. Jones

From http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=1121

By Reed V. Horth, for Robin Rile Fine Art

While visiting a restaurant in Western Florida several years ago, we were enraptured by some of the art shown on the walls. Curious as we always are about original art, we inquired to the waitress about who the artist was and how to get in touch with him.  She said he was a raving drunk, and would never call us back even if we had cash to spend, which we did. Understanding that we may be barking up the wrong tree with this artist, she recommended a local gallery that carried something similar. Apparently her Ex had shown there, but stopped because in seemed like too much effort. (You would be surprised at how often we have heard this in the art world).

Ever hopeful, we tracked down the gallery the very next day. She was right, we were quite impressed and made off with a few originals that day. Among the artists we discovered was E. Jones. His works were a graphic mixture  of the odd eroticism of Olivia DeBerardinis and D. Bilodeau. He had a pin-up style that smacked of the modern graphic novel. As a comic fan myself (See my blog post on the subject HERE), this obviously appealed to me.

Our first meeting came after I placed several of his works with one of my collectors/investors. He and I, along with one of his other friends, proceeded to polish off 7 pitchers of Guinness in the name of Art. This typifies his almost wild-man stature. While exceedingly sensitive in his portrayal of his subjects, he is also an out-of-the-box thinker that often lets his risk-taking side show, in both his art and in his life. He has since become a valued friend and collaborator.

Flash forward nearly four years, and we have placed Jones’ works in collections as far as New York, Los Angeles, Ireland and London. His style has evolved and matured, while still keeping the sensual innocence which drew us in at the first glance.

To this end, Jones has unveiled his newest collection, which I feel may be his best works to date. Geometrical and linear but still organic and soft, his works are suited for nearly every collector of contemporary figurative art. Whether a new collector or a seasoned one, Jones’ works will convey the simple emotive responses hidden deep within you as well as your linear prospective side of an artist on the ascendancy of his career.

See more at www.robinrile.com

E. Jones (American, b. 1983) Perspective 24"x36" Watercolor / acrylic / color pencil / Nue Pastel / Water-soluble oils /on Revis bfk paper White lines created with acid free artist tape. Price on request to reed@robinrile.com

E. Jones (American, b. 1983) I AM 7 21"x30"x3" box framed Watercolor / acrylic / color pencil / Nue Pastel / Water-soluble oils /on Revis bfk paper White lines created with acid free artist tape. Price on request to reed@robinrile.com

. Jones (American, b. 1983) Paper Razor 31"x36" Watercolor / acrylic / color pencil / Nue Pastel / Water-soluble oils /on Revis bfk paper White lines created with acid free artist tape. Price on request to reed@robinrile.com

E. Jones (American, b. 1983) Marksman 27"x39" Framed Watercolor / acrylic / color pencil / Nue Pastel / Water-soluble oils /on Revis bfk paper White lines created with acid free artist tape. Price on request to reed@robinrile.com

E. Jones (American, b. 1983) Air Candy 22"33" Watercolor / color pencil / acrylic / on Revis bfk paper. Price on request to reed@robinrile.com

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 1/5/12




Pop Artist in Miami Cries (Well, that’s part of the story)

By Reed V. Horth for Robin Rile Fine Art (www.robinrile.com)

It is usually not good when you see your friends cry. However, there are exceptions in all things. This past weekend, I happened to have seen a wonderful example of this fact illustrated in living color.


In summer 2011, my wife Kat and I had the pleasure of getting to know a Pop artist in Madrid (Spain) named dEmo (Eladio de Mora). While walking from our neighborhood in Retiro to our favorite restaurant in Chueca, Kat noticed a shiny object in a window and I noticed the sculpture which it hung on. This story is more fully illustrated in my blog post Pop Artist dEmo and the Serendipidy of Shiny Things. Noticing immediately that many of the same collectors in Miami who fancied the works of Romero Britto, Steven Gamson and Leonardo Hidalgo would be drawn to these enigmatic, quirky pop art images from dEmo, I knew we had to meet. Through several meetings and many late-night conversations we developed a wonderful rapport with him, his family and his friends. We were then more convinced than ever that his rapid-fire energy and mile-per-minute thinking were just the right type of energy for us to bring to Miami with us. Within a short while, we began placing his works with our collectors around the world.


Then something miraculous happened. Several months ago, an administrator at Miami Dade College, Dr. José Vicente, President of MDC North Campus saw dEmo’s works in one of our ads. He too felt it was a perfect and enigmatic statement for the Miami community. In conjunction with the heads of The International Solidarity for Human Rights (www.ishrights.org), Ms. Elizabeth Sanchez-Vega and Ms. Devorah Sasha they set to work on a plaza at MDC North commemorating “The Route to Human Rights”. dEmo was, of course, enlisted to create the sculptures for the plaza. In his typical altruistic style, he embraced this project the same way he approaches all things… con ganas (with conviction). The result is “Niños”, a collection of 10 multi-colored Pop Art children perched upon colored pedestals. dEmo felt that the children, each looking in a different direction, represent the children of the world seeking out new inroads to learning and a brighter future without the shackles of racism, sexism, homophobia, and intolerance that we adopt as adults. You see, children do not see their differences with other children. It is adults who teach them to place boundaries between “Us” and “Them”. This cycle can, and must stop with the next generations of us. dEmo’s colorful and energetic work exemplifies this entirely. “This project is taking human rights and the arts, bringing it to the people and making it part of everyday life,” said Elizabeth Sanchez Vegas, president of International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR). This project is also the first and largest permanent public installation of dEmo’s sculpture within the United States.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 2:
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

 

With the assistance of architect Frank Costoya Jr. (www.fcarchitect.com) and Willy Fernandez at Link Construction Group (www.linkconstructiongroup.net) as well as a host of others, this project was approved and scheduled for unveiling on December 10th, 2011, the 63rd Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ground was broken and the project completed in less than 30 days.


It was on this day, that I proudly watched my dear friend cry. Publically. Honestly. Generously. As he was introduced by his dear friend The Honorable Maria Cristina Barrios Almazor, Consul General of Spain, (of whom Kat and I have also had the pleasure of sharing company recently) I saw my friend’s eyes grow red around the edges. Her impassioned introduction, in his native Castilian tongue, was eloquent and extemporaneous. She spoke of his legendary prominence in humanitarian causes and philanthropic pursuits in Spain, and how he is always the first to volunteer to help a friend in need or a cause that is dear to him. As I stood listening, I watched dEmo’s eyes and knew he was humbled and honored by the gesture. When it came time for him to deliver his own speech I knew it would be almost too much to bear. As he began, I texted Kat (who was unable to join us) that dEmo was overcome with emotion at this placement and the ceremony… “Waterworks” I wrote. Her response? “Ahhhh….How cute is he?


This is the effect dEmo has on those who know him. His emotions are as pure as the primary colors he adorns his works with. He wears them proudly. As he walked over to the podium to finally unveil the works themselves with a plethora of children on hand the honor guard played their horns in a regal pronouncement. He turned to me as he walked and threw a strong arm around my neck (which is significantly higher than he can reach comfortably). He looked at me with rosy eyes and smiled. I returned the smile as my own eyes went red.


Felicidades” (Congratulations), I said to him.


Gracias, mi amigo. Gracias por todo” (Thank you, my friend. Thank you for everything) was his reply.


(Sniff sniff)



dEmo sculpture can be exclusively purchased from ROBIN RILE FINE ART at www.robinrile.com.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 12/12/11




Pop Artist in Miami Cries (Well, that’s part of the story)

By Reed V. Horth for Robin Rile Fine Art (www.robinrile.com)

It is usually not good when you see your friends cry. However, there are exceptions in all things. This past weekend, I happened to have seen a wonderful example of this fact illustrated in living color.


In summer 2011, my wife Kat and I had the pleasure of getting to know a Pop artist in Madrid (Spain) named dEmo (Eladio de Mora). While walking from our neighborhood in Retiro to our favorite restaurant in Chueca, Kat noticed a shiny object in a window and I noticed the sculpture which it hung on. This story is more fully illustrated in my blog post Pop Artist dEmo and the Serendipidy of Shiny Things. Noticing immediately that many of the same collectors in Miami who fancied the works of Romero Britto, Steven Gamson and Leonardo Hidalgo would be drawn to these enigmatic, quirky pop art images from dEmo, I knew we had to meet. Through several meetings and many late-night conversations we developed a wonderful rapport with him, his family and his friends. We were then more convinced than ever that his rapid-fire energy and mile-per-minute thinking were just the right type of energy for us to bring to Miami with us. Within a short while, we began placing his works with our collectors around the world.


Then something miraculous happened. Several months ago, an administrator at Miami Dade College, Dr. José Vicente, President of MDC North Campus saw dEmo’s works in one of our ads. He too felt it was a perfect and enigmatic statement for the Miami community. In conjunction with the heads of The International Solidarity for Human Rights (www.ishrights.org), Ms. Elizabeth Sanchez-Vega and Ms. Devorah Sasha they set to work on a plaza at MDC North commemorating “The Route to Human Rights”. dEmo was, of course, enlisted to create the sculptures for the plaza. In his typical altruistic style, he embraced this project the same way he approaches all things… con ganas (with conviction). The result is “Niños”, a collection of 10 multi-colored Pop Art children perched upon colored pedestals. dEmo felt that the children, each looking in a different direction, represent the children of the world seeking out new inroads to learning and a brighter future without the shackles of racism, sexism, homophobia, and intolerance that we adopt as adults. You see, children do not see their differences with other children. It is adults who teach them to place boundaries between “Us” and “Them”. This cycle can, and must stop with the next generations of us. dEmo’s colorful and energetic work exemplifies this entirely. “This project is taking human rights and the arts, bringing it to the people and making it part of everyday life,” said Elizabeth Sanchez Vegas, president of International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR). This project is also the first and largest permanent public installation of dEmo’s sculpture within the United States.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 2:
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

 

With the assistance of architect Frank Costoya Jr. (www.fcarchitect.com) and Willy Fernandez at Link Construction Group (www.linkconstructiongroup.net) as well as a host of others, this project was approved and scheduled for unveiling on December 10th, 2011, the 63rd Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ground was broken and the project completed in less than 30 days.


It was on this day, that I proudly watched my dear friend cry. Publically. Honestly. Generously. As he was introduced by his dear friend The Honorable Maria Cristina Barrios Almazor, Consul General of Spain, (of whom Kat and I have also had the pleasure of sharing company recently) I saw my friend’s eyes grow red around the edges. Her impassioned introduction, in his native Castilian tongue, was eloquent and extemporaneous. She spoke of his legendary prominence in humanitarian causes and philanthropic pursuits in Spain, and how he is always the first to volunteer to help a friend in need or a cause that is dear to him. As I stood listening, I watched dEmo’s eyes and knew he was humbled and honored by the gesture. When it came time for him to deliver his own speech I knew it would be almost too much to bear. As he began, I texted Kat (who was unable to join us) that dEmo was overcome with emotion at this placement and the ceremony… “Waterworks” I wrote. Her response? “Ahhhh….How cute is he?


This is the effect dEmo has on those who know him. His emotions are as pure as the primary colors he adorns his works with. He wears them proudly. As he walked over to the podium to finally unveil the works themselves with a plethora of children on hand the honor guard played their horns in a regal pronouncement. He turned to me as he walked and threw a strong arm around my neck (which is significantly higher than he can reach comfortably). He looked at me with rosy eyes and smiled. I returned the smile as my own eyes went red.


Felicidades” (Congratulations), I said to him.


Gracias, mi amigo. Gracias por todo” (Thank you, my friend. Thank you for everything) was his reply.


(Sniff sniff)



dEmo sculpture can be exclusively purchased from ROBIN RILE FINE ART at www.robinrile.com.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 12/12/11




Cuban Master Sergio Ruiz (1922-2010)

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=733

For Robin Rile Fine Art

Sergio Ruiz was born in Las Villas, Cuba in 1922.  He participated in more than 50 exhibitions worldwide, both individually and collectively in: Cuba, Spain, Venezuela, the United States and Japan.  As a young man he dedicated four years to the study of art at ‘La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, San Alejandro’, La Habana, Cuba.  Sergio left Cuba in 1963, and relocated to Madrid, Spain, where he spent four years of his life.  This was a period of great activity for Sergio, where he devoted himself to painting, drawing, and illustrations as well as humoristic work.  In Spain he collaborated with prestigious humoristic magazines, advertising design, exhibitions, and traveled extensively, — a favorite destination was Paris.  Sergio moved to Caracas, Venezuela in 1967, there he settled, naturalized, and lived until his death in 2010.  During that time he visited the United States on a regular basis, he continued painting,– concentrating on canvasses, wood, lithographs, etchings, collages, engravings, and other media.  Throughout his life, Sergio’s humoristic work was published and recognized.

“In my work the base is the drawing, and the first impression of it is almost always a juxtaposition of multiple forms/shapes through which appears an element of poetry and humor: A supposedly dramatic figure or sometimes a machinery which sees its own plan or design frustrated”  (Sergio Ruiz)

Sergio Ruiz (Cuban, 1922-2010) Composition (1978) Large sized painting. Oil on paper.

Sergio Ruiz (Cuban, 1922-2010) Composition (1978) Medium sized painting. Oil on Canvas.

 

Brief Biographical Chronology

-Nació en Las Villas, Cuba, 1922

-Estudios primarios/secundarios en La Habana

-Estudios de pintura en La Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, San Alejandro, La Habana, Cuba (4 años)

-1956 Exposición de humor en el ‘Lyceum’, La Habana, Cuba

-1958 Exposición de pintura en el ‘Lyceum’, La Habana, Cuba

-1960-62 Trabajo humorístico en el magazine, ‘El Pitirre’, y semanario, ‘Lunes’, La Habana, Cuba

-1963 Exposición de pintura en ‘La Galería de La Habana’–El Veda, La Habana, Cuba

-1965-67 Trabajo humorístico en ‘Gaceta Ilustrada’, Madrid, España

-1965-67 Trabajo humorístico en ‘La Codorniz’, Madrid, España

-1967 Exposición de pintura en la sala ‘Abril’, Madrid, España

-1972-73 Perteneció al taller de litografía del ‘Centro Grafico Inciba’, Caracas, Venezuela

-1973 Colectiva de gráfica venezolana ‘Exposima’, Caracas, Venezuela

-1974 Colectiva de dibujo en ‘Carone’, Fort Lauderdale, FL, U.S.

-1976 Exposición de dibujos, ‘Galeria G’ , Caracas, Venezuela

-1979 Colectiva de dibujos museo Lowe de Arte, Miami, U.S.

-1979 Colectiva de pintura, Meeting Point Art Galley, Miami, FL, U.S.

-1982 Primera Bienal de Dibujo y Grabado, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

-1982 Premio de Humor, concurso de humor del periódico Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokio, Japan

-1986 Segundo premio de humor, II Salón Anual de Humor del Ateneo de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

-1988 Salón de humor, ’30 Que Ya Tienen Su Opinión’, Caracas, Venezuela

-1989-1990 Realizó una serie de grandes canvases para el presidente de Venevision, Caracas, Venezuela

-1990 Publica libro-antololía de trabajo humorístico, y caricaturas distribuido en Venezuela, y U.S.

-1990-2005 Publica numerosos trabajos humoristicos en el diario ‘El Nacional’; revista ‘Exceso’; revista ’30 Dias’; y otras publicaciones

-1995-1997 Ilustra publicaciones/libros del escritor/periodista cubano-venezolano, Fausto Maso, Caracas, Venezuela

-1997-2005 Participa en colectivas de dibujos y pintura, y da charlas en ‘Escuela de Artes Plásticas’, ‘Galería de Arte Nacional’, ‘Taller  Gráfico Cocito’, Caracas, Venezuela

-2000-2008 Nueva serie (periodo artístico), de pinturas en canvases y papel–mayoría en blanco y negro, Caracas, Venezuela. Frecuentes viajes a Madrid, España, Los Angeles, y Miami, U.S. Contactos con ‘Latin American Art Museum, en Long Beach, California

 

Nota: simultaneamente a su labor artística, Sergio Ruiz produjo un volumen extensísimo de trabajos publicitarios en el area conceptual, creativa, diseño gráfico, producción audiovisual, cine y televisión para clientes nacionales, e internacionales; frecuentemente galardonados con prestigiosos premios que otorga la industría publicitaría a la creatividad–en Cuba, España, EEUU, y Venezuela).

Sergio Ruiz (Cuban, 1922-2010) Composition (1979) Large painting. Approx. 3.5x2.5 feet. Oil on Canvas.

Sergio Ruiz (Cuban, 1922-2010) Composition Medium sized drawing Mixed media on paper

 

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 9/21/11 | tags: modern figurative surrealism abstract latin-american mixed-media conceptual arte cubano Cuban latino Cuba




Venice and other Exhibitionist Tendencies

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=714

by Reed V. Horth, for ROBIN RILE FINE ART

Don’t you guys have any other jackets?” I asked of my friends and crew members Ike and Sam as they lifted a six foot bronze reproduction of Auguste Rodin’s “Eve” into our rented U-Haul. It was around 11pm and a nippy 18 degrees, as we stood in the streets next to the Jacob Javits Center (New York), waiting for help from the Teamsters in moving a group of 12 bronzes from Auguste Rodin and Salvador Dali. While still in Miami, I had reminded Ike and Sam to bring jackets with them to New York as it was going to be winter and quite cold. Instead, both brought matching sport coats. They looked great, although Sam’s was a bit too big for his strong but diminutive frame. Unfortunately, neither jacket provided much warmth to my friends. In fact,  my Navy Pea coat (quite possibly the warmest invention ever made) was only marginally warmer as I struggled against gravity to move the pedestals into the truck. To this day I can only imagine how much they wanted to rest and be warm that cold, winter night.

Our exhibition at ART EXPO New York had just closed and I wanted to get out as quickly as possible and head back to my hotel for some much deserved rest before my flight home to Miami. Much to my surprise, the Teamsters are not really that incentivized to help you move any faster than you can probably move yourself. So, the three of us toiled against both the elements and gravity to move the collection of impossibly heavy bronzes, along with several original paintings and pedestals into our rented U-Haul truck they had driven from Miami to New York. Exhibitions are truly the glamorous side of the art world.

While the show itself was successful and fun, exhibitions themselves are a fantastic amount of work, particularly when you are in a foreign town and dealing with unfamiliar practices, labor, buyers, personalities and otherwise. However, dealing with unforeseen circumstances and idiosyncratic places was part and parcel of our trade. Further, it allowed me to become acclimatized to the formation and curation of large exhibits, the arrangements of setting up large groups of artworks into a small space (in this case, roughly 20 feet by 10 feet) the meeting of clients in faraway places and the unpredictability of massive exhibits. What it also did was to prepare me to make certain I never pass up the opportunity to visit another exhibition that might yield either art to sell and/or clientele to sell it to.

Here we are nearly a decade later on a boat headed from Venice airport on the mainland of Italy to the island of Venice itself. My wife Kat and I are here to meet with several colleagues at an exhibit of their wares in the magical and fantastical city on the water. Not truly knowing what to expect between conceptual installations and salable work, we contented ourselves with knowing that, at a minimum, we would be visiting friends in a wonderful place. The city is indeed spectacular. As an interior designer, Kat often mentioned that clients in the US pay an arm and a leg for Venetian plaster which is literally what you see on the street in Venice. What they tend to think of a detritus, we value implicitly.

Kat and I on the Venice Grand Canal, August 2011

After our late check-in, a few glasses of wine by the canal and a restful night’s sleep, we awoke the following morning and made our way South through the famously winding labyrinth of streets known as Venice. If you have never been to Venice, it is a city where everything is accentuated tenfold. The day is brighter and the night is darker. The wine more potent and the music more dramatic. The colors more bold… And the floors stickier. It is the city of love simply because if one emotion is more concentrated… it serves that they all are. The streets are a winding maze of ancient pathways. One imagines the city as it once was in its heyday. Once the walls of this city stood smooth and colorful. Now they stand as an intricate crumble of rock and resin giving the entire city a texture unlike elsewhere in Europe. We found ourselves at the southwestern most point of the island at the 54th Annual Venice Bienalle checking in to the “ILLUMinations” (ILLUMINazioni) exhibition. The sheer size and scope of the exhibit made my think back on the many exhibitions I have been a part of, both with Ike and Sam and without. The space was immense and there was artwork everywhere. After a few choice conversations and introductions we began our trek through the main portion of the exhibitions. The main display featured nearly 85 artists, and throughout Venice nearly 90 countries have individual exhibition halls featuring conceptual works generally by one artist or artist consortium. All this is directed by the inimitable Bice Curiger and organized by la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. 32 of the artists featured are young or emerging artists born after 1975. As an art merchant, many of these individual exhibits serve to stimulate conversation but do not inspire us as a items of salable merchandise which I can expose my clients to. “Art pour l’art” (Art for Art’s sake) is the melding of ideas with form. This does not necessarily translate for a merchant, but can certainly inspire creative though and artistic reflection.

One of the first exhibits we entered featured a group of televisions with crystals taped to the screen, surrounded my aluminum foil appendages and zeroxed photos of the atrocities of war. Mangled faces and bloodied corpses draped over cardboard tubes with duct tape. While intriguing and thought-provoking, it did little to sate my interests in commercial pursuits. Indeed, perhaps my indifference to such statements makes me precisely the nihilistic force the artist was rebelling against.

What I was searching for was something unique. Something I would not find in my small corner of the world. Something… other.

Throughout the exhibition, I saw fantastic examples of visual and conceptual stimuli, some of which made Kat and I giggle to ourselves, others which I felt were fantastic, salable expressions of artistic genius. We watched Art film after art film of varying viability and quality. In one, a conglomeration of scenes by American Christian Marclay (American, b. 1955) entitled “The Clock” (2010) the pivotal hour was 12 o’clock was precisely timed to chime at the hour of noon. The work itself runs on 24 hours cycles and keeps the time precisely. Gongs of Frederick March’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” clanged alongside cuckoo clocks, Marty McFly, Leonardo DiCaprio, Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’s “Un Chien Dalou”, car alarms, buzzers, Gary Cooper and every manner of watch.  When I looked at my own watch, indeed it was 12 noon. This film won the Golden Lion for Best Artist during the exhibition… for good reason. You often do not think about how much time is an effect in movies and television, even though Jack Bauer (24) seemed to make a cottage industry of it in recent years. Moving on, some of my favorite works in the exhibition made use of antique etchings blown up to scale and placed behind variable styles of glass to create a stereoscopic effect by the late Sigmar Polke (1941-2010). This play on old/new was an interesting set device, particularly considering the setting, Ancient Venice in a modern exhibition hall. I also enjoyed the iconic imagery overpainted by cartoon of disturbing effects by Llyn Foulkes (below).

Kat tended to like the massive image of Jesus made entirely of painted Easter Eggs by Ukrainian artist Oksana Mas and the oversized Rorschach images by Christopher Wool (American, b. 1955). We both found the taxidermized birds sitting on steel bars near the ceiling to be fun and slightly disturbing (I had already had a run-in with an angry bird with fiber regularity issues on this trip)

The highlight of the exhibition were three works from Tintoretto loaned for Biennale from the board of Venetian Museums, including the “Last Supper” from san Giorgio Maggiore Basilica. As noted by Bice Curiger (Director of ILLUMinations at the 54th International Art Exhibition) “Tintoretto’s art is unorthodox and experimental, distinguished by dramatic lighting. The inclusion of these paintings in the Biennale is founded on the conviction that, with their visual and expressive directness, they still possess the power to engage a contemporary audience.” Although we were unable to take photos of the works, they were breathtaking and an honor to behold.

Three works by Tintoretto are part of ILLUMInations: The Last Supper (from San Giorgio Maggiore Basilica), The Stealing of the Body of St. Mark and The Creation of the Animals (above, housed in the Gallerie dell’Accademia). The three canvases, granted as a loan by the the board of Venetian museums, are on display in the main room of the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. (from Contessanally)

From there, we were led to a second portion of the exhibition in Arsenale (above),  and abandoned railway station used by the armies of Italy to transport troops, supplies, arms, foods, etc. into and out­­­ of Venice. The building was fascinating and made me dream of exhibiting my own inventories there. The rich history and varied textural surfaces between exposed brick and crumbling Venetian plaster created an environment that contrasted with the clean, polished artworks cradled within. I imagined the oversized works of Daniel Bilodeau, Bask and Sharon Raoli alongside the sculptures of dEmo, Boban and Richard MacDonald in the space.

It was in the Arsenale that I saw my favorite work in the entire exhibition, a full-scale reproduction of Giambologna’s “Rape of the Sabine Women” made completed from wax and slowly destroying itself. The entire composition was a candle, slowly burning itself to the ground by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. In front, a figure stood silently burning whilst watching the conflagration. After months of exhibition and constant burning, the “Rape” still stood nearly one and a half meters high and the watching figure’s face sat staring from the floor instead of on the figure himself. While heartbreaking for me to imagine the months of tortuous work it took to sculpt and the backbreaking labor to move these works into place, they stood as a wonderful allegory about the impermanence of all things. Fischer’s  works were poignant, impressive and the certainly the highlight of the exhibit for me.

Reading the forgoing, I realize that all art is subjective and that the types of works I lean toward are a specific genre all of which is geared toward my own commercial interests. I get it. The condemnation of the jilted artist is nothing new for someone in my trade. Every artist feels that their statements are the most valid and their work is the most beautiful. So does every dealer. We specialize in what we enjoy just as every artist does. And to each his/her own.

It is my hope that more exhibitions will follow and more works remain to be discovered on our travels. Perhaps down the road, Ike, Sam and I will have more adventures moving weighty bronzes on a dark and cold New York evening. Perhaps, we will just relax, have a cup of coffee and allow the Teamsters do it. Perhaps.

 

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 9/7/11




Pop Artist dEmo and the Serendipidy of Shiny Things

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=694

By Reed V. Horth, for ROBIN RILE FINE ART

My wife Kat and I were walking along the street in central Madrid when she completely fell in love some hand-crafted jewelry in a joyeria in the Chueca district. If any of you know Kat, you know that she cannot resist anything shiny, so a jewelry store is a dangerous place for me to get sucked into. But, of course we ended up inside. While she oohhed and ahhed over the finery, I made small-talk (in broken Spanish) with the owners, whom I would find out later were named Nacho and his partner Jose. Nestled behind their desk was a cherry red sculpture of Giambologna’s (1529-1608) Greek God Hermes (A.K.A. The Roman God Mercury). You know, the one that doctor’s use on their offices to denote that they are flying to the rescue? His left hand holding the caduceus (herald’s Staff) and his right holding a cherry red heart. Yes… a heart. Around his tip-toed and wing-laden left foot was the zephyr, whose winds blow Hermes to the heavens. The zephyr was also surrounded by a circle of the same cherry red hearts. The sculpture was a stark contrast to the chalk white walls and modern furnishings in Nacho and Jose’s store, so the effect was to be drawn into the sculpture from the get-go. Such a juxtaposition between the classical vision of Hermes and the modern nature of the coloration reminded me of the great Yves Klein (1928-1962), who borrowed works from classical antiquity and updated them in his trademark blue. It was both poignant and sweet and made me smile.

dEmo's "Mercurio de Corazon" as shown in Joyeria Farina & Almuzara, Madrid.


Transfixed on the Mercury as much as Kat was transfixed on the jewelry, I asked about the artist who reinterpreted this work in such a grand fashion. “Su nombre es dEmo” (his name is dEmo), Nacho replied.

 

“Demo?” I asked incredulously.

 

“Si, dEmo. Es mi amigo y un artista muy popular en Madrid.” (Yes, dEmo. He is my friend and a very popular artist in Madrid).

 

“¿Tiene una tarjeta para él? (Do you have a card for him?)

 

After a few moment rustling in a drawer behind his desk, Nacho produced a business card that showed dEmo’s name and phone number. “Si”, he replied after handing it to me.

After thanking Nacho profusely we left the joyeria and could not stop talking about the treasures we had just discovered. (Which reminds me… I need to check my statement to see if Kat enjoyed the jewels as much as I enjoyed the art!) Of course, I called dEmo straight away and set up a meeting. He suggested that we all meet at a restaurant in Chueca a few nights from then.

On that evening, Kat and I showed up about our customary half-hour early (Although we are from Miami, we are preposterously punctual) so we saddled up and ordered a vino tinto (red wine). dEmo waltzed in at precisely our scheduled time and proceeded to give Kat and I huge hugs. (One thing about Kat and I: we are tall. I mean really tall. So when we get hugs from short people, they really have to work for it) He speaks in a raspy madrileño accent acquired from too many cigarettes and too many hours in the studio working on his sculptures. He smiles freely and genuinely from ear to ear. His wife was splendid and was accompanied by Nacho and Jose. The evening was lovely and after dinner we all retired to a dance club which was resplendent with dEmo’s works. A huge cherry red “Toro”, graced the dining area to the left of the entrance. At well over a meter tall, this massive taxidermilogical wonder created a fantastic and dominating aura in the small room. Made of hard fiberglass coated with layer upon layer of thick resin, they have an unusually smooth sheen. They glisten. Light plays off surfaces and they take a banal space and make it alive. With proper lighting and extra high placement, it singlehandedly made a small, impersonal space, and turned it into a grandiose presentation in which crowds always wanted to congregate. It, in other words, created an atmosphere.

dEmo's "Toro Rojo" (Red Bull) in La Turba, Madrid

We discovered other treasures from dEmo in the bar including several of his Perros (Dogs), Gallos (Rooster), Corazones (Hearts), Rhinos, Rubber Duckies, his famous Osos and Gominolas (Bears and Gummi Bears) and his newest masterpiece “La Lola” (below), a retelling of the classical Aphrodite story with the traditional Spanish mantilla in her hair. Of course, leave it to dEmo to add his own quintessentially Spanish spin to everything.

dEmo's "La Lola" in Red at La Turba, Madrid

As we chatted throughout the night, dEmo’s characteristic generosity came out. Among other things, I heard from friends he donated a sculpture for many worthy causes. He also created awards for various benefits throughout Europe and provided his name and image for use in a fashion catalogue benefiting charities. People came up to him throughout the night to shake his hand and take pictures with him. He was a rock star. People told me stories of how dEmo’s energy and aura permeate the art scene in Spain and what an effect his works are starting to have throughout the rest of Europe, as we evidenced ourselves a few nights later at a party the French Ambassador to Spain, Monsieur Bruno Delaye, had for Bastille Day. dEmo invited Kat and I and we stood amongst the 4000 guests and gawked at his incredible (and oversized- 200cm) Gallo (Rooster) painted in a custom French Red/White/Blue signifying the French flag. Crowds gathered for photos at the foot of the pedestal and it was the visual centerpiece of the incredible and massive event.

dEmo and his "Gallo" in French "Red White and Blue" for the Bastille Day celebration at the residence of the French Ambassador to Spain, Bruno DeLaye. July 2011.

Over time, dEmo and I spoke about his reluctance to work with outside agents and/or galleries. They never work as hard as he does and tend to disappoint or become risky with consignments. He noted that my energy was infectious and he felt that we were kindred spirits in the arts, him in making it and me in the marketing of it. A deal was struck in which he personally asked me to represent his work on www.robinrile.com. As he knows my client base extends not only in Europe, but also throughout the United States, central and South America and Asia, he felt this was a meeting of minds.

Kat & I at Palace Hotel, Madrid with one of dEmo's "Oso" Grande, 200cm, Blue. July 2011.


Of course, I immediately accepted…. A few days afterward… One of my clients in Mexico City purchased one of dEmo’s large “Toros”.

 

Preparing dEmo's "Toros" for shipping.


I guess he was right.

Kat and I have now had several more months to commune with dEmo, his family and his friends. He has become part of our lives and, for our part, we have become part of his. The fantastic imagination and creative energy dEmo takes into everything he does in life is infectious. He moves quickly. He speaks fast. He flips through his IPhone photos with the dexterity of an Olympic Champion. In summation, he is a creative force. His pop sensibilities and bold, primary coloration bring a fun, energy to our lives as well as those of our clients. Is our Miami-based business, with clients spanning Romero Britto to Andy Warhol, ready for a Spaniard with an eye for detail and a blazing fast iPhone? We will soon find out. What we do know is this… We certainly were ready for the energy he brought into our lives and the art he has brought into our home…. Now, the big question is… Are you?

dEmo and I July, 2011. La Turba, Madrid.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 8/4/11




Worth Avenue to Mallorca: Beltran Bofill paints life of sun and light

From: http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=675

by Reed V. Horth, for ROBIN RILE FINE ART

Back in the early 2000′s, I began working on the design and curation of a new gallery on Worth Avenue in beautiful Palm Beach, Florida. It was the third in the gallery chain I was working with at the time and it was quite beautiful, within eyesight of the Atlantic Ocean and across from the historic Esplanade, where the likes of Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Saks Fifth Avenue all kept residence. As I was working there throughout the week and commuting to either Tampa or Miami on the weekends. While waiting for inventory, I spent my hours watching surfers effortlessly undulate in the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Waves would roll in and roll out as I read Umberto Eco novels and stared at the play of light on the water. Strolls down Worth Avenue are beautiful, hot and not for the weak-of-credit. On one particular trek from our gallery to the fashionable bistro Bice, I stopped into the lovely and venerable Wally Findlay Gallery. WFG was established in 1870, so they are what we were,  at the time, aspiring to be. The gallery of choice for the well-heeled and upwardly-mobile. They have featured everyone from Edgar Degas to Marc Chagall to Alexander Calder and everyone in between. On this particular day, they had a lovely painting in the front window by a Spanish painter named Joan Beltrán Bofill (Spanish, 1939-2009).

Joan Beltrán Bofill (Spanish, 1939-2009) “Formas de Sol y Viento” Oil on canvas 116x89 cm. For acquisition information, please see www.robinrile.com

At that point, I was quite unfamiliar with the artist, but his style was a fresh take on the classical impressionist ethos. While not impressionist per se, the free brushstrokes and impasto painting techniques echoed masters of the past without miming them precisely. Young maidens in flowing skirts and shawls stand in rocky Majorcan landscapes while intemperate winds and natural sunlight wash over them. Rather than being frenetic in the face of such tempest, his works promoted surprisingly calm reflection. Light seems to emanate from the canvas itself as though washed through trees overhead. They seemed a salve to the everyday cacophony of city living and well suited for the homes and interior design of Palm Beach and South Florida homes.

His vision and his work, although they had always been in my mind had never been part of my professional repertoire. The inventories in my former galleries revolved around other neo-impressionist masters, Jose Royo, Nicola Simbari, Pino Daeni and others. However, he always seemed to start it all for me.

Joan Beltrán Bofill (Spanish, 1939-2009) “Floresta” Oil on canvas 92x73 cm. For acquistion information, see www.robinrile.com

More than a decade later, and more than a year after Bofill’s passing, my travels brought me to both Spain and Mallorca, Bofill’s homeland. Though we never met, the sun is exactly as he described it in his paintings. It sifts through the tree tops and fills the day with calming warmth. The whites are whiter. Just as he told me. The yellows, reds and blues are brighter and deeper. Just as he described. The wind on the hills and rocky outcrops of Majorcan beaches effects the same rejuvenation and calm as he conveyed in work after work. As I sat in the Mediterranean sun reflecting, Bofill made sense to me.

Wandering past a small antiquario in Central Madrid, I noticed a familiar vision. One whom I had not seen in a decade, but one whom had occupied my thoughts through the previous weeks. It was a Bofill. The women he delicately placed in the background hovered in the pure whiteness of their dresses in the placid Mallorcan sun and it passed through the trees overhead. The winds were calm but you could almost sense the verdant lavender and olive oil in the air. It brought me back to my days in Palm Beach staring admiringly at works on Worth Avenue…. as well as the previous days staring at the rocky beaches of the Mediterranean shores of Malllorca. My wife and I stepped inside and spoke to the shop owner who then made arrangements for us to see several other Bofill works from the estate of the artist. We snatched them up on the spot.

Joan Beltrán Bofill (Spanish, 1939-2009) “Desayuno entre sol y sombra” Oil on canvas 116x89 cm. SOLD, July 2011. Private Collection, Miami Beach

Now, we stare at the placid landscapes and flowing, sunlit dresses and a calm comes over us. While remembrances abound of my early days on sunny Palm Beach, new memories have taken over from the beaches of Mallorca. Bofill has perfectly encapsulated what it means to be on in the sun of Eastern Spain. The brightness. The warmth. The wind. The feeling. Perhaps this is what painting is supposed to do. Take you to someplace…. other. Perhaps seeking these sights is why I came here in the first place.

Joan Beltrán Bofill (Spanish, 1939-2009) “Sol de verano” Oil on canvas 81x100 cm. For acquisition information, please see www.robinrile.com

Please contact, info@robinrile.com or see www.robinrile.com

for information on our present inventory of works from Joan Beltrán Bofill.

The author and wife in Mallorca exploring the waters of the Mediterranean.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 7/27/11




The Continuum of MacDonald and Cirque du Soleil

From http://robinrile.com/blog/?p=575

By Reed V. Horth

Weightless and sprightly, American master sculptor Richard MacDonald has long captured our collective imaginations with his caught-in-time sculptural glimpses of ballerinas, dancers, athletes and mimes. Each figure is typified by a lightness and fluidity which is unequaled in today’s sculptural world. This fascination with motion makes it understandable why MacDonald became enamored with the famed French Canadian troupe Cirque du Soleil several years ago. Cirque has reinvented what we thought a circue was, and in the process challenged our ideas of what the human body can and cannot do. Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, created a veritable dynasty with his unusual blend of circus-like performances and street entertainment starting in 1984. His enigmatic shows, “O”, “Saltimbanco”, “La Nouba”, “Allegria” and others presented viewers with gravity-defying feats in a variety of visually-perplexing self-contained vignettes and allegorical stories.

In order to maintain a steady palate of inspiration, MacDonald teamed with Laliberté to develop sculptural works based on the unique talents and outstanding physiques of the Cirque performers. The melding of MacDonald and Cirque is both serendipitous and apropos as both has respectively taken a traditional and familiar media (circuses and sculpture) and transformed it into something daring and unique. In doing so, each has transcended the conventions of their media and reinvented the rules entirely.

In the early 2000’s MacDonald began Cirque-themed studies with “Caruso”, “Victor Kee” and the seminal “Elena II”. The early success of the “Elena” studies buttressed MacDonald’s interest in pursuing more works in the Cirque theme. Further, it allowed Cirque members, and Laliberté, the ability to showcase normally impermanent and fleeting talents, in an entirely permanent media… Bronze. Transitory moments captured for all time.

“The art of Richard MacDonald reveals the infinite beauty of the human body. The characters he creates are playing forever in the theatre of life,” says Guy Laliberté.

Richard MacDonald “Elena Study I” (L) and “Elena Study II” (R) both from 2003.

MacDonald’s experimentation with famed juggler Victor Kee produced some of the most dramatic and powerful works of his career in “Blind Faith” (2004) and “Leap of Faith” (2006). Both works portray Kee in what the New York Times described as, What if Diagelev choreographed for a juggler? That’s all you can think about as Viktor Kee performs a wondrous ballet with spheres rolling in precise patterns across his body as though gravity was a force that did not apply to him …” . The results of MacDonald’s, and Kee’s, efforts are one of the most effective tandems in all of modern figurative sculpture. Each perfectly balanced contortion portrays Kee in a taught-muscled juggling dance precariously perched atop an askew cube. He defies gravity. The juggling balls delicately and softly hover in his outstretched fingers and toes.

Richard MacDonald “Blind Faith” (L) 2004 and “Leap of Faith” (R) 2006.

Cirque du Soleil performer and gymnast Sasha Fedortchev suspends himself from vertical threads of rope and fabric in an aerobatic dance. Sasha’s time with Cirque from 1995-1998 inspired MacDonald to create a series based on his unusual talents, including the seminal “Transcendence”, whose body floats in a counter-intuitive suspension. Anya Whittenbach, whose nymph-like form precariously balances the head of an over-sized pin, exemplifies the dynamic power and balance of her performance in “O” (the phonetic pronunciation of the French word for water, “eau”). Nimble and sprightly, she delicately and effortlessly defies gravity in a moment coaptured for all time. Perhaps the most potent of the lot is “Bullwhip”, whose physique and firm stance exude quiet confidence and raw power.

MacDonald’s continuing exploration of the themes and creativity of the Cirque performers has given him a broad spectrum with which to create enigmatic compositions that combine all of the power and grace which has exemplified his career oeuvre to this point. Further Laliberté continually challenges his performers to create new ways to showcase their talents. New stories to tell and new venues to broach. This continuum creates a balance in-and-of itself between MacDonald and Laliberté. Each feeding the other.

Richard MacDonald “Transcendence: Sasha II” (L) 2006, “O-Flier (Anya)” (M) 2009, and “Bullwhip” (R) 2009.

Laliberté and MacDonald continue to reinvent their respective crafts and re-write the rules to which everyone else will continue to strive to accomplish. The bar is raised again and again and the only question which remains is… What will they do next?

Richard MacDonald “Elena III” 2005.

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 4/28/11 | tags: cirque du soleil richardmacdonaldsculptures.com sculpture traditional mixed-media performance conceptual realism surrealism figurative modern




Dali & the Big Apple

from www.robinrile.com/blog

by Reed V. Horth

So, this year has seen some pretty big changes in the ROBIN RILE family. First, Kat and I got married, much to the relief of our friends and families. While we were on our honeymoon, we had a brainchild of sorts. Because so much of our business is done via the internet, and we have not been able to meet many of our clients around the world face-to-face, we have taken to the road to meet many of you in person. Our recent jaunts have led us to New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Toronto and Mexico, and in the near future we have Chicago, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and London on the radar screen.

As a byproduct of all of this travel, we have also been able to meet with many of our vendors, publishers and friends who we have known throughout our 15 years in the art world. In the midst of a phone conversation with the head of the Salvador Dali Archives, Mr. Frank Hunter, I mentioned I would be in New York within the coming days. I was hoping he could meet up for a cup of coffee, but sadly, it was not meant to be on this trip. However, he mentioned that I should stop by Central Park to see the museum-scale works by Dali which were displayed there. He mentioned this because he knew I was part of the team which brought a collection of 41 collector and museum-scale Dali bronzes to Carlos Slim Helu’s recently-completed Museo Soumaya in Mexico City (Video Link) and I would have a special affinity for the works on display in NYC.

He was right.

(L to R) Reed V. Horth with Salvador Dali’s “Profil du Temps”; Kat Barrow-Horth with the monumental “Femme Aflame”; Reed V. Horth with “Space Elephant”; The monumental “Persistence of Memory”.

When we arrived, I saw some very familiar faces indeed, including the monumental “Femme Aflame” (which is Kat’s favorite), “Space Elephant” (my fave!), “Nobility of Time”, “Profile of Time” and the Monumental “Persistence of Memory” among others. These works fill the space exquisitely and display some of Dali’s quintessential imagery, the melting clocks, the drawers, the crutches, etc. But further, they display the power of seeing these massive compositions on scale. While we are perhaps familiar with Dali’s collector-scale works in more intimate settings such as homes, seeing the museum and monumental scale works in person allows you to experience them in a completely different light. An eye-to-eye view of the master’s vision.

Dali consistently created sculptural works throughout his life and many of us are unfamiliar with his fascination with this aspect of his career. For years, I heard, “I didn’t know Dali made sculpture”, until I place a 95 lbs. bronze “Winged Triton” in front of them. Further, with the recent publication of the comprehensive catalogue raisonne of Dali sculpture, “Le Dur et le Mou” by Robert & Nicolas Descharnes, Dali works have finally been able to be quantified in the same way his paintings and prints have been over the past decades by the writings of Albert Field (Salvador Dali Archive’s original director), Ralf Michler, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres and Descharnes.

Dali began experimenting with sculpture as early as 1932, when he completed “Le Soulier, objet surrealiste a fonctionnement symbolique”. While primitive, it displayed his traditional juxtaposition of elements for a dramatic effect. His intention was to shock the viewer with images which cause cognitive dissonance. This pairing of disparate elements continued in “Buste de Femme rétrospectif” (1933) and “Lobster Telephone” (1936) which used everyday objects such as bread, mannequin busts and an old telephone to create discord in the viewer’s eyes. The shock was part of the appeal to Dali and the more contrary the objects, the more disconcerting the audience would become and the more they would talk about him.

 

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Buste rétrospectif de femme

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

~Oscar Wilde

Through the 1960’s he experimented with classical imagery which he then updated in his own Dalinian mystique. For example taking the iconic image of the “Venus de Milo” and depreciating its image into one of historical duality; old and new, hard and soft, male and female, right and wrong. The results were some of his most celebrated works, “Otorhinological Head of Venus de Milo” and “Venus de Milo with Drawers” (see below) along with a profusion of small editions and one-of-a-kind works in all manner of media from foil to porcelain.

 

(L to R) Dali’s “Otorhinological head of Venus de Milo”; Dali’s “Venus de Milo with Drawers”

He returned to his proverbial roots during the 1960’s through early 1970’s while working on a sculpture collection for publisher Isidro Clot. The eponymous collection featured stream-of-conscious works constructed by Dali himself in wax maquettes then translated into bronze on multiple scales by a foundry. These works are some of the closest glimpses into the thoughts and philosophy of Dali during his “paranoic-critical” phase. During a conversation with author, authenticator and friend to Dali, Mr. Robert Descharnes in 2007, he mentioned how Dali would often sit by his pool in Southern Spain, totally nude with a glass of moscato, constructing the wax maquettes in only a few minutes as his form of haptic relaxation.

 

(L to R) Dali’s “Terpsichore: Muse of the Dance”; Dali’s “Gala Gradiva”, Dali’s “Dragon Swan Elephant”; Dali’s monumental “Cristo de San Juan de la Cruz” in Cannes, 2002.

Later in life, Dali worked on a series of masterworks through his studio which tended to have a steadier hand than the aging Master. Many of these works became some of his most noted and prototypical works due to their quintessential imagery and grandiose scaling. While he often displayed “prestige-scale” works to the public, these later compositions were easily scalable to museum and monumental-scale bronzes. This is not unlike the methods of French Master Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) who often completed works on one scale only to have them reduced or enlarged based on specific client (or personally creative) needs. Rodin’s most recognized work; “The Thinker” was original completed on a scale just less than 30 inches in 1880, only to be enlarged into the more commonly-known six foot version in 1904, some 24 years later. Rodin employed a series of réducteurs, including master Henri Lebossé to produce his works on multiple scales, both larger and smaller, as needed.

The large-scale, late works from Salvador Dali are what we were in New York to see based on Mr. Hunter’s excellent recommendation. While we wished we could stay for longer and drink them in, we had other appointments to keep in the Big Apple. While we still work wholeheartedly on the placement of Dali’s monumental works from our office overlooking Miami, perhaps in London, Mexico City or Paris we might have occasion to see some of them firsthand again in the near future.

Or… Perhaps in your house?

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 4/19/11 | tags: surrealism Carlos Slim Museo Soumaya Dali archives sculpture mixed-media installation surrealism figurative




What goes around....

What goes around…

By Reed V. Horth for Robin Rile Fine Art

You know you have been in the art business for quite some time when a painting you had originally sold in 2000 comes back around and you get a chance to sell it again in 2011… More than a decade later.

Gil Bruvel's original oil on canvas, "Time Transfers" on display in Miami, FL USA 2011.

This is the case with this original oil on canvas painting “Time Transfers” from surrealist master Gil Bruvel, one of my favorite artists. “Time Transfers” is arguably his finest work in oils. Which is quite a heady statement, given the various media which he has distinguished himself in, oils, graphite, gouache, watercolor… heck, he has even done some fantastic editioned bronzes.

This painting was an object of fascination for me when I was working for a gallery in Tampa, FL. Spirits, or what one viewer called “memories”, float in, around and through the female figure. She gently coaxes them upward with a wave of her hand and a soft breath of air. They descend from her helmeted head and embrace her torso as tightly as her own skin. She sustains the floating “memories” through the time which clicks ever-forward.

Gil Bruvel's "Time Transfers" (1999) original oil on canvas, 30.9" x 30.4".

After staring at the work for hours on end, I sold the work to a couple in the area. In the intervening years, I longed to see it again and had to settle for a print of the work and seeing it in one of Gil’s books on portraiture.

After being provided with the opportunity to find yet another home for the work, I finally have it in my sight-line again. While finding a home for it will not be difficult, giving it up might be.

 

Gil & Marianne Bruvel attending an RRFA exhibition in 2009. (L to R) Marianne Bruvel, Gil Bruvel, Kat Barrow-Horth, Reed V. Horth

Posted by Reed V. Horth on 3/21/11 | tags: Gil Bruvel art basel surrealism Art Miami sculpture conceptual realism surrealism figurative modern





Copyright © 2006-2013 by ArtSlant, Inc. All images and content remain the © of their rightful owners.