georgiaphoto2ArtistsinAuction

If you love color and abstraction, you won’t want to miss the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit currently on display at the Whitney Museum in NY.  By now you’ve read multiple reviews, but it can honestly be said that this is one show you have to see in order to “experience”.

While it is true that Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers and landscapes made her one of the most celebrated figures of twentieth-century art, the radical abstractions she created throughout her career are much less well known. Yet they are equally spectacular. In fact, it is her abstract work that ultimately led to her creation of landscapes and florals, and not the other way around.

For O’Keefe, abstraction offered a medium in which she could portray the “unknown” – the many intense thoughts and ideas she could not express in words. Her work conveys emotional response to people and places, as well as the rhythms of nature and the experience of being enveloped by its mystery and beauty.

The exhibit also chronicles the life saga of an extremely prolific artist, allowing us to feel her emotions as she went through different stages of elation and agony. At times her pieces explode with color, at other more distressful times, color becomes somewhat subdued.

Charcoals

In 1916, O’Keefe burst onto the New York scene with her charcoal abstracts –  some of the most radical works ever produced in the US in the twentieth century. Renowned photographer Alfred Steiglitz, who would shortly become her personal and professional partner, gave her a show in 1917, exhibiting her work for the first time at his “291” gallery.

Witness “Early Abstraction” from 1915 – a linear work that takes on the form of a piece of sculpture.

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"Early Abstraction," 1915


Vibrant Oils

She first introduced oils at the Anderson Galleries in 1923, marking the public’s first view of her work since 1917 at “291.” It was a jubilant time for O’Keefe, both artistically and personally, and the vibrant colors she uses – fiery reds, lush greens, erotic greens and yellow – convey her exhilaration. Favorites of ours include “Pink and Green,” 1922, “Corn Dark,” 1924, “Red Canna,” 1925-1928, and “White Sweet Peas,” 1926 (you’ll have to see these for yourself in person).

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"Abstraction," 1926

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"Grey, Blue & Black-Pink Circle," 1929

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"Flower Abstraction," 1924

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"Abstraction White Rose," 1927

There is one particularly darker piece from this time period, a work that portrays her experience of undergoing anesthesia before an operation to remove a benign breast cyst – “Black Abstraction,” 1927.

O’Keefe married Steiglitz in 1924 and they spent winters in NYC and summers at his home on Lake George. Many of the colorful lake series were produced during the peaceful times spent there.

Darker times

O’Keefe first started to travel to New Mexico in 1929. Steiglitz was having an affair with a younger woman and she felt the need to escape. In 1932 she suffered a nervous breakdown and stopped painting altogether until 1934. For the next ten years abstraction figured very little into her work until the Black Place Series, which were based on an area in New Mexico 150 miles west of her home at Ghost Ranch.

Paving the way

After Steiglitz’s death in 1946, O’Keefe moved permanently to New Mexico, at which time she began to introduce flat geometric planes of color, a factor that would play a central role in the art of the 1960’s. A great example is “Black Door with Red” from 1954.

A personal favorite is the opening work to the exhibit – “Above the Clouds” – an absolute masterpiece, which was created in the early 1960’s.

Although the exhibit stops around this time period, O’Keefe would go on to expand and evolve through her painting. She died in 1986 – at the ripe old age of 98 – having left an indelible mark on the world of abstract art.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

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"Black Door with Red," 1954

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"Above the Clouds," 1962-63

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Dulcie Dee at Monkdogz Gallery

Dulcie Dee at Monkdogz Gallery

ArtistsinAuction

Dulcie Dee, an American born Chinese artist, is also a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side. Her grandfather, Dee C. Chuan, was the founder of the China bank in Manila, Philippines. As a result of this familial tie, Dulcie was sent over by her father in the early 1970s to meet her Asian relatives. She spent much time during her growing years in the Philippines and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University in Manila.

After college Dee became a freelance artist, working for the big ad agencies in NYC as a hands-on graphic designer for the better part of 15 years. She always painted and exhibited in shows along the way, the first in 1992, which was a one-woman show.

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The Geisha Exposed

Her experiences in Manila were a real eye opener and initiated the start of her unique painterly style of Asian Art. She pored over the books in the local libraries and found loads of inspiration.

In the 1980s Dee started copying the Japanese shunga wood block print masters who had so fascinated her, such as Utamaro and Yoshitoshi. Mainly, she would copy Samurais and Geishas to paper. First she used color pencil, as well as pen and ink to simulate the wood block, but over the years she finessed the work to suit her distinct style. Interestingly enough, many of her Geisha paintings are self-portraits.

After four years in San Francisco, where she received her Masters, she came back to NY and started on a new Madame Butterfly series, a total of 12 pieces where she decidedly opened up the kimono and exposed the Geisha. Nicknamed the foreplay series, these works evoke a vibrancy based on color and semi-eroticism.

Soon after, in 2007, she participated in the Flashing Flesh group show at the Monkdogz gallery in Chelsea, marking the first time a Chelsea gallery exhibited her work.

Akiko

Akiko

Eri

Mariko

Mariko

Eri

Hard Times

“Peking Princess” came next. This large, oil on canvas is a self-portrait that depicts the Chinese girl painter caught amid the oncoming recession in NY. The blue/green hair symbolizes suffocation and struggle – life’s hardship where she is spinning her wheels and not really getting anywhere in terms of job prospects. The piece was shown earlier this year at the National Arts Gallery Roundtable, a show that included invited guest artists.

Peking Princess

Peking Princess

Dee currently lives and works in her studio apartment in the Financial district. She constantly paints but is eager to find work, and at this point, a roommate to help share the costs of living in NYC.  We are excited to have her as one of our featured artists and wish her much success.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Dulcie Dee’s work, click here.

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alexinstudio3

ArtistsinAuction

Chaos, chemistry, creation. Three words that describe the unstructured and powerful works of Alex White-Mazzerella. Originally inspired by Expressionist painting, his art involves much freedom and spontaneity, with the ultimate aim of creating an expression and freezing it in time.

His process can start with a point of departure, like a sketch, but often just comes from his expansive imagination. Sometimes music can put him in a certain state of mind to create, and through the exercise of painting he finds the connection to the subconscious.

All his paintings evolve through many layers and he is constantly transforming them. He stops and concludes a piece if he feels a certain strength or the inclination that there is nothing left to be done.

A Boston native, White-Mazzerella only recently got into painting in earnest, although he admits developing a natural affinity to sketching and drawing at a very early age. Currently he works at the Art Student’s League in NY under the tutelage of Phillip Sherrod.

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White-Mazzerella works with many different materials – pastels, charcoal, house paint, acrylics and pencil. His technique often involves dropping paint, which he believes effectively conveys the movement of time on paper.

He also creates collages, such as “Navigation Arf” – a whimsical look at traveling. The piece is of a large face with photos embedded in the eyes and mouth in an imaginary landscape.

Navigation Arf

Navigation Arf

“El Bicho” started with a sketch of an African tribal mask. It eventually evolved into something more whimsical.

El Bicho

El Bicho

“Rufus” originated from a color study and took off from there. He created a face, then deconstructed it and used the paint dropping technique to complete the work.

“Beware of Chinatown” is a whimsical take on Chinatown. White-Mazzerella lived in Hong Kong for a while and he saw first hand the ruthless experience of being a fish. Here you see a profile of a dog looking lasciviously at a fish.

Rufus

Rufus

Beware of Chinatown

Beware of Chinatown

Alex works fast and is very prolific. He generally spends four hours per day painting. He sells through galleries and can often be found on the streets of Soho on weekends offering his work.

His 2009 exhibition schedule has included Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn, It’s a Wonderful Life Niagara Bar in Manhattan, as well as Urban Slant, Gallery Onetwentyeight, Art for Change, Hacia Afuera and Gelabert Studios Gallery, all located in Manhattan.

Alex is excited about his upcoming expo in Oslo, Norway and ArtistsinAuction is excited to have him as one of our featured artists.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Alex White-Mazzarella’s work, click here.

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Interview
Interview

ArtistsinAuction

The work of Richard Eugene  Barbera (he prefers Gene) has a youthful spirit and energy that is easy to get excited about, so we were extremely excited to talk to him. We played a little bit of phone tag because he was in Madrid, Spain with his wife and their three-month-old son on a visit to see his grandparents.

All of Gene’s work is chock full of attitude and expression. His influence started at a very young age. During his childhood in Portland, Maine  he embraced the beauty of his surroundings, but unlike most Maine painters who got caught up with the intense scenery, Gene flocked to the various people that filled the working  industries. He started taking classes at the Portland Art School just before his senior year in high school, where he made books of chalk and pastel drawings. A lot of his earlier work was done on beautiful antique music paper.

From those fisherman in his early life in Maine to the natives encountered during extensive travel around the world – all the various expressions and characters are what make up his paintings today. With unforgiving and meaningful one-stroke executions, he creates a distinct personality, often adding uncomplimentary colors and exaggerated cartoon-like features that result in a mysterious finish.

Plex

Plex

Picnic

Picnic

“People can understand and relate to figures,” Gene says of his work. He has always loved figures. He especially loves the feeling one receives when they see expression in the eyes. Gene recalls being moved by Richard Diebenkorn’s figures at a show in San Francisco in the late 70’s.  He especially loved how the figures felt like huge slabs of paint.

We find the most thrilling aspect of Gene’s work not to be the energetic compositions that we are allowed to see on his canvases, but rather the mystique and intrigue of what we don’t see. Who are the figures that comprise his subject matter and what are they thinking and feeling?

Melody

Melody

Gene has sold some of his pieces, but it’s tough he says. For over fifteen years now he has been a slave to his craft – he is one of those artists who is always working on a painting or a drawing.  He  feels that art should be priced affordably so that more people can enjoy it. That makes Gene Barbera and his art a perfect addition to the ArtistsinAuction gallery.

Gene currently lives in Stanford, Connecticut.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of R. Gene Barbera’s work, click here.

With Tea

With Tea

Breeze
Breeze