Wednesday, July 1, 2015

High Museum of Art Premieres Major U.S. Exhibition of Alex Katz Landscapes

The High Museum of Art presents a major exhibition of 60 works created between 1954 and 2013 by internationally acclaimed American artist Alex Katz, including 15 monumental landscape paintings to be displayed publicly together for the first time. “Alex Katz, This Is Now” is one of the largest exhibitions focused on the artist’s landscapes in almost 20 years. The High is the sole U.S. venue for the exhibition, which will also tour to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

On view from June 21 to Sept. 6, 2015, the exhibition traces Katz’s unique artistic treatment of the landscape throughout the trajectory of his career, from his 1950s collages that use the environment as a setting for the human figure, to the artist’s later works, which illustrate Katz’s shift to landscape as the dominant subject. Approximately one third of the paintings featured in the exhibition were created by Katz within the last decade, offering visitors an opportunity to view the artist’s contemporary works alongside early examples from his career.

“The works in ‘This Is Now’ reveal the absolute clarity and power of Katz’s vision, which has enabled his work to stand out among his contemporaries since the 1950s as new art movements were introduced,” said Michael Rooks, Wieland Family curator of modern and contemporary art at the High. “Today, at the age of 87, Katz seems as young as any emerging artist. He paints with gutsiness and a personal resolve that has driven his practice for six decades, but which has become increasingly accelerated in recent years, reflecting a uniquely American boldness and steadfastness of purpose.”

“We are delighted to build on the High’s commitment to engage our audiences with the work of living artists and to provide a platform for such a major figure in American art,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. director of the High.

Katz utilizes a signature shorthand of rapid paint-handling to convey essential, abridged imagery, which is even more urgent and powerful in the landscapes of his late career. “This Is Now” places particular focus on what Katz calls his “environmental paintings.” These works, in monumental size and scale, engulf viewers with their expansive, painterly surfaces that depict moments of intense observation in the landscape—what Katz describes as “flashes” of perception or “quick things passing.”

In these paintings, images are often cropped and lack a specific point of spatial reference, such as a horizon line, thus inviting a contemplative experience and generating the feeling of immersion in Katz’s open-ended pictorial space. Works in “This Is Now” demonstrate the very deliberate choices that Katz makes to translate the temporal nature of “quick things passing” into keenly observed and powerfully felt moments of perception—when the understanding of visual information and the construction of one’s relationship to it happen simultaneously.

Among the 15 monumental landscape paintings featured in the exhibition are two recent acquisitions from the High’s collection that exemplify Katz’s unique style: 

“Winter Landscape 2” (2007) and 

“Twilight” (1988). 

“Winter Landscape 2” depicts a stand of trees that have shed their leaves, which are set against a cool, snowy background.  In the galleries, the painting is complemented by works from Katz’s “January” series, which incorporate the same composition, demonstrating Katz’s repeated return to subjects and specific imagery. “Twilight” features small slivers of a moonlit sky as seen through the top of a grove of shadowy fir trees.

Other significant works in the exhibition include:

  • “10:30 am” (2006) – Elements of this large-scale work demonstrate what Katz calls “environmental” painting. No horizon line or ground plane is indicated in the composition. Instead, it provides a vast, indefinable pictorial space that viewers are invited to enter. A series of tree trunks are rhythmically located across the surface of the painting, while an allover pattern of leaves provides a counterpoint.
  • “Blue Umbrella #2” (1972) – Perhaps Katz’s best-known image, painted of his wife Ada beneath an umbrella, this work is an early example of Katz’s use of the environment as a setting for the figure.
  • “7:45pm Monday, 7:45pm Tuesday, 7:45pm Wednesday, 7:45pm Thursday” (1998) – One of Katz’s largest paintings, the work consists of four large panels and depicts four separate moments of the same setting at dusk.
Fundamental to his artistic practice, Katz has cited landscape as “a reason to devote my life to painting.” Upon Katz’s graduation from The Cooper Union in 1949, he began studying at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he was exposed to painting en plein air. That experience was pivotal in his development as an artist, and landscape painting has remained a fundamental aspect of his practice through subsequent decades.

In the late 1950s, Katz invented a new mode of painting, radically departing from the mainstream American art of the time. Working in a style that became his signature— characterized by the artist’s fixed concentration on a central subject, typically isolated against a monochromatic ground, or landscape—Katz created representational paintings that challenged the New York School’s critical authority, which championed the dominance of non-objective, abstract painting at the time. His paintings corresponded directly to the external appearance of the people and places around him—what American Abstract Expressionist painter Barnett Newman called “object matter.”

Katz applied a renewed focus on landscape as a central theme in his work in the 1980s. He began to produce his monumental paintings, stripping away unnecessary information and representing his subjects in a way that is as much about the essence of form as it is about light, time, and the appearance of the world around him.

Accompanying “This Is Now” is a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Rooks, art critic Margaret Graham, and artist David Salle, as well as poems by John Godfrey and Vincent Katz, the artist’s son. 

Alex Katz, Sunset 5, 2008 , oil on linen, 274.3 cm x 487.7 cm/ 9' x 16' © Pace Wildenstein- 22nd St.

Alex Katz’s “My Mother’s Dream” (1998)
About Alex Katz

Alex Katz (born Brooklyn, N.Y., 1927) is represented in more than 100 museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Tate Gallery, London; the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among many others. Katz has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions around the world since 1951.

Setting out as a young painter in the 1950s, Katz immersed himself in the art world of New York, then populated with the larger-than-life figures of Abstract Expressionism to whom most artists of his generation aspired to emulate. However, in spite of the preeminence of that movement, Katz took a separate path that represented a new direction in painting. Inspired by the open structure of Jackson Pollock’s allover paintings, Katz made the radical decision to apply Pollock’s formal framework to representational painting, employing the idea of the color field as environmental space between and among the things that populated his canvases.

Katz began exhibiting his work in 1954, and since that time has produced a celebrated body of work that includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints. His earliest work took inspiration from various aspects of mid-century American culture and society, including television, film and advertising, and over the past five-and-a-half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of modern life. Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swaths of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr called "a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation."

Bruce Museum Greenwich CT: Seven Deadly Sins Exhibition Part of Collaboration among Area Museums

The galleries of the Bruce Museum will be bursting with pride this summer, and into falwith the exhibition The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride  June 27 through October 18, part of a groundbreaking series of area exhibitions exploring the Seven Deadly Sins. Presented by seven members of the Fairfield/Westchester Museum Alliance (FWMA), the Seven Deadly Sins exhibitions represent the group’s first ever collaborative effort.

Other area exhibitions in the Seven Deadly SinsFWMA collaboration include: •Lust, open now through July 26, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art•Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath –Force of Nature, open now through September 7, Wave Hill•Envy, An Installation by Adrien Broom, open now through September 26, Hudson River Museum•Emilie Clark: The Delicacy of Decomposition, exploring Gluttony, opening July 12 (through September 6), Katonah Museum of Art•Greed, GOLD, opening July 12 (through October 11), Neuberger Museum of Art•Sloth, opening July 19 (through October 18), The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

“The Seven Deadly Sins have played a significant role in theology, literature and art since the Middle Ages,” says Susan Ball, Deputy Director of the Bruce Museum and a curator of the Bruce’se xhibition. 

“Pride, or superbia, represents the mother of all sins and the one from which all others arise –the root of a many-branched tree .It’s a fascinating,intriguing subject, and we’re delighted to be presenting it at the Bruce.” 

The Bruce Museum exhibition places the sin of Pride within a historical context, presenting nearly 50 works ranging from Dürer works on paper from as far back as 1498 to Fay Ku’s 2014 graphite and oil on mylar. Susan Ball and Co-Curator Amanda Skehan have selected paintings, engravings, etchings, lithographs, illustrated books, magazines, three-dimensional objects and more from private collections, galleries, and institutions that include Yale University Art Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Art, National Gallery of Art, Princeton Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Clark Art Institute. 

The exhibition’s curators point out that the show is intended not only to put the sin of pride within a historical context, but also to encourage discussion, raisingquestions about the history of morality and moralizing.

“The debate about the definition of sinfulness in general and each specific transgression in particular has raged for centuries,” Ball says. “One might ask, at what point is the line between healthy self-esteem, or pride, and the sin of arrogant self-aggrandizement, or pridefulness, crossed?”

Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558-1617) after Cornelis van Haarlem (Dutch, 1562-1638) Phaeton from The Disgracers, 1588 Engraving Collection of The Hearn Family Trust Photograph by Paul Mutino 

Fay Ku (American, 1974-) Juno's Creatures, 2014Graphite and oil on mylar, 42 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist and Claire Oliver Gallery, New York

Jan Pietersz Saenredam (Dutch, 1565-1607) after Abraham Bloemaert (Dutch, 1564-1651)Temptation of Man, from The History of Adam and Eve, 1604EngravingCollection of The Hearn Family Trust Photograph by Paul Mutino

Honoré Daumier (French, 1808–1879)Mlle. Etienne-Joconde-Cunégonde-Bécassin de Constitutionnel..., 1834 Lithograph, 17 7/8 x 14 in. David Tunick, Inc. New York Photograph courtesy of David Tunick, Inc. New York

Gabriel Schachinger (1850-1912 )Sweet Reflections, 1886 Oil on canvas, 51 x 31 in. Woodmere Art Museum: Bequest of Charles Knox Smith Photograph by Rick Echelmeyer

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Norman Rockwell Museum Commemorates 70th Anniversary of United Nations Through Exhibition of Rockwell’s Humanitarian Works

We the Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations To Open June 20 at United Nations Visitor Center in New York City

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “United Nations,” 1953. Study for an unfinished illustration. Pencil and charcoal on paper. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections.

Beyond the legendary status that he had achieved during his lifetime, artist Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was a masterful visual communicator with a deeply held belief in the imperative of peace, prosperity and basic human rights for all the people of the world. His compassionate images of family, community, and the challenging issues facing a rapidly changing world became a defining national influence, reaching viewers by the millions in the most popular periodicals of his day.

In 1952, at the height of the Cold War and two years into the Korean War, Rockwell conceived an image of the United Nations as the world’s hope for the future. His appreciation for the newly formed organization and its mission inspired a complex work portraying members of the Security Council and 65 people representing the nations of the world.

Researched and developed to the final drawing stage, Rockwell’s United Nations never actually made it to canvas, but his desire to reach out to a global community and emphasize the commonality of mankind found its forum in the 1961 painting, 


Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Golden Rule,” 1961. Oil on canvas, 44 1/2″ x 39 1/2″. Cover illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” April 1, 1961. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN

Golden Rule, which appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and later as a large mosaic at the United Nations.

This summer, Norman Rockwell Museum will honor the 70th anniversary of the United Nations with an unprecedented exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters, uniting the mosaic with Rockwell’s Golden Rule painting, his United Nations drawing, and other works that reflect the artist’s personal beliefs in universal commonalities of mankind as a “citizen of the world.”

We the Peoples: Norman Rockwell’s United Nations will be on view at the UN’s Visitors Center in New York City, from June 20 through September 15, 2015.

“Norman Rockwell’s United Nations brings the UN Charter to life,” notes United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “It is a reminder that the United Nations remains the home and hope of ‘we the peoples.’”

“This unique exhibition bridges the local and the global,” adds United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson. “Spotlighting an iconic artist who showed the ideals of home, while also beckoning us to the dreams and aspirations of the world at large.”

“Norman Rockwell was a keen observer of people and believed that every person mattered. As he matured as an artist, his subject matter frequently addressed issues of social change and our common humanity,” says Norman Rockwell Museum Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt.

“We are honored to be partnering with the United Nations, at the invitation of Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, for this special exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of the organization’s peacekeeping efforts. Eliasson believes that Norman Rockwell’s artwork captures the humanitarian aims of the United Nations and embodies ideals for all people. Indeed, his interest in portraying international figures, America’s civil rights movement, the early work of the Peace Corps and the United Nations, and The Four Freedoms (soon to celebrate their own 75th anniversary), informed and helped shape civil society in America. We are proud to be able to share this inspiring and heartfelt display of his work, from our permanent collection.

Organized by Norman Rockwell Museum with support from the United Nations Foundation, We the Peoples features 33 original artworks, and marks the first showing the artist’s rare 1953 drawing, United Nations, outside of Stockbridge. Along with 1961’s Golden Rule painting, the exhibition will feature idea sketches, color studies, and notes for both artworks.

A selection of reference photos taken by the artist at the UN, featuring several of its ambassadors and members of its Security Council, will also be displayed, along with photographs of local models, taken in his Arlington, Vermont studio in 1952, as reference for the artwork.

Other highlights from the exhibition include a series of travel paintings and drawings created by Norman Rockwell in the early 1960s, featuring spontaneous oil portraits of citizens from India and Russia; 1955 drawings from the artist’s sketchbook reflect his observations during a worldwide trip for Pan American Airlines’ advertising campaign; and two paintings of the Peace Corps in India, created for Look magazine in 1966, showcase Rockwell’s idealism and hopeful outlook for the future; digital reproductions of some of his most iconic Civil Rights era paintings also will be included. Additional archival documents and video will support the exhibition.

“Norman Rockwell’s United Nations reminds us that the people of the world look to their leaders to work together at the UN to create a better world for all,” said Kathy Calvin, the United Nations Foundation’s President and CEO.   “For the past 70 years, the UN has worked with governments around the world to help build peace, human rights, and prosperity in a rapidly changing and complicated world, and it will continue to do so for the next 70. People around the world hope for a future in which we can end extreme poverty and inequality, and combat the impacts of climate change — the UN is working with governments to establish global goals and a plan to make them a reality. In this crucial anniversary year, the UN Foundation is proud to support an exhibit that reminds us just how important the role of the UN is to all of us.”

Also on display, the towering glass mosaic of Rockwell’s Golden Rule was presented to the United Nations in 1985 as a 40th anniversary gift on behalf of the United States by then First Lady Nancy Reagan, made possible by the Thanks-Giving Square Foundation. In 2014, the newly restored mosaic was rededicated by the Permanent Mission of the United States by Assistant Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, whose vision was the impetus for this exhibition.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Martin Johnson Heade

Martin Johnson Heade (originally Heed) was born in Lumberville, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on August 11, 1819. He received his earliest artistic training from the painter Edward Hicks (1780-1849) and perhaps had additional instruction from Hicks' younger cousin Thomas, a portrait painter. The influence of these two artists is evident in Heade's earliest works, which were most often portraits painted in a rather stiff and unsophisticated manner.

Heade traveled abroad around 1838 (the precise date of this first European trip is uncertain), and settled in Rome for two years. He made his professional debut in 1841 when his Portrait of a Little Girl (present location unknown) was accepted for exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1843 his Portrait of a Young Lady (present location unknown) was shown at New York's National Academy of Design.

Following a second trip to Europe in 1848 Heade attained a somewhat greater artistic sophistication and began to exhibit more regularly. He moved frequently in the late 1840s and early 1850s, establishing a pattern of itinerancy that would persist throughout his life. Heade gradually concentrated less and less on portrait painting, and by the mid-1850s was starting to experiment with landscape painting.

In 1859 he settled in New York, where he met Frederic Edwin Church, who became one of his few close friends in the American art world. Heade was drawn to coastal areas and began to specialize in seascapes and views of salt marshes; soon he was receiving praise for his ability to capture changing effects of light, atmosphere, and meteorological conditions.

In the late 1850s and early 1860s he began to experiment with still-life painting, an interest he would maintain for the rest of his career. He continued to travel in the eastern United States and then, in 1863, made the first of three trips to South America. Church had already been to the tropics twice, and his large-scale paintings of dramatic South American scenes had won him widespread fame and critical approval. Although Church encouraged his friend to seek out equally spectacular scenery for his own paintings, Heade was generally interested in more intimate and less dramatic views.

While in Brazil in 1863 he undertook a series of small pictures called The Gems of Brazil (c. 1863-1864, Manoogian collection), showing brightly colored hummingbirds in landscape settings. He hoped to use these images in an elaborate illustrated book he planned to write about the tiny birds, but the project was never completed. Nevertheless, he maintained his interest in the subject and in the 1870s began to paint pictures combining hummingbirds with orchids and other flowers in natural settings. During these years he continued to paint marsh scenes, seascapes, still lifes, and the occasional tropical landscape.

In later life Heade's wanderings took him to various spots, including British Columbia and California. Never fully accepted by the New York art establishment--he was, for instance, denied membership in the Century Association and was never elected an associate of the National Academy of Design--Heade eventually settled in Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1883. He was married that same year and at last enjoyed a reasonably stable domestic and professional existence. He also formed the first productive relationship of his career with a patron, the wealthy oil and railroad magnate Henry Morrison Flagler, who would commission and purchase several dozen pictures over the next decade.

Heade continued to paint subjects that he had previously specialized in, such as orchids and hummingbirds, but he now also turned his attention to Florida marsh and swamp scenes and still lifes of cut magnolia leaves and flowers. Heade and his work were largely forgotten by the time of his death on in St. Augustine on September 4, 1904, and it was only with the general revival of interest in American art in the 1940s that attention was once again turned to him and his reputation restored.

Christie's 2006


Christie's 2015

National Gallery of Art

Heade, Martin Johnson
, American, 1819 - 1904
Rio de Janeiro Bay
oil on canvas

Heade, Martin Johnson
, American, 1819 - 1904
Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds
oil on wood

Heade, Martin Johnson (painter)
, American, 1819 - 1904
Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes
c. 1871/1875
oil on canvas
Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth
c. 1890
oil on canvas

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Emile Albert Gruppe


LOT SOLD. 31,250 USD

LOT SOLD. 20,000 USD






Emile A. Gruppe Gallery, Inc. 

These Emile A. Gruppe paintings are currently for sale.  Please inquire for prices.

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Evening Light, Gloucester
25 X 30

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Morning Bass Rocks
30 X 36

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Old Timer (circa 1940)
36 X 30

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Rocks and Surf
20 X 24

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Hauling the Nets
36 X 40

Bass Rocks Emile A. Gruppe
Bass Rocks, Gloucester MA
 30 X 36

Birches on Hillside by Emile A. Gruppe
Birches on Hillside30 X 25
Palm Tree with Red Roof by Emile A. Gruppe
Palm Tree With Red Roof
24 X 20
Winter Stream
30 X 36

Emile Gruppe Gallery
Autumn 1939
20 X 24

More images:

Emile Gruppe Lady In Red 

Emile Gruppe Winter Landcape

Sold at auction for $59,500

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Alfred Henry Maurer at Auction and in Galleries

The Phillips Collection

ALFRED MAURER (1868–1932)

Alfred Maurer was one of the first American painters to reflect the influence of European modernism in his painting. Born in New York, Maurer studied in 1884 at the National Academy of Design, New York, where he became recognized as an accomplished painter of portraits inspired by those of James A. M. Whistler and American impressionist William Merritt Chase.

From 1897–1914 Maurer lived in Paris where he became acquainted with fellow Americans Arthur Dove and Gertrude and Leo Stein. It was in the Stein’s salon, a well-known meeting place for Americans and modern French artists, that Maurer met Henri Matisse. The intense color and expressive freedom of Matisse’s fauvist paintings forced Maurer to reexamine the fundamentals of his art. Maurer’s painting between 1905 and 1914 became the work of an artist whose gift for lyric expression had been released for the first time. Using the bold colors of the fauve palette and the dark, rough outlines of pre-cubist art, Maurer attacked his canvases with renewed vigor. Widely respected by his avant-garde contemporaries, Maurer exhibited in 1909 at Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291 in New York, in the 1913 New York Armory Show, and was an associate member of the modernist Salon d’Automne in Paris.

In 1914, on the eve of World War I, Maurer permanently returned to New York. For Maurer the departure from Paris was painful, but he continued to increase his mastery of modernism, assimilating aspects of cubism and even venturing into abstraction at a time when such developments were anathema to popular opinion in the United States.

In 1924 the art dealer Ernest Weyhe purchased the contents of Maurer’s studio—more than 255 works—and Weyhe became his artistic representative, providing Maurer long-awaited financial security. At this point in Maurer’s career, Duncan Phillips began collecting Maurer’s works on Weyhe’s advice. The Phillips Collection owns five works by Maurer, four late oil paintings and one watercolor:

ALFRED MAURER (1868–1932)

Still Life with Artichoke and Bread, I, circa 1929-1930 

ALFRED MAURER (1868–1932)

Still Life with Doily, circa 1930

ALFRED MAURER (1868–1932)

The Florentines, circa 1929 


ALFRED MAURER (1868–1932)

The Old Tree, circa 1924

Menconi + Schoelkopf

Alfred H. Maurer
Still Life with Pears, c. 1928
Oil on masonite
13 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches 

Also see

Alfred Maurer: At the Vanguard of Modernism

 Sotheby's 2014

LOT SOLD. 100,000 USD

 Sotheby's 2013

LOT SOLD. 12,500 USD

Sotheby's 2011

Lot. Vendu 6,250 USD

Sotheby's 2007

LOT SOLD. 24,000 USD

Christie's 2014


Christie's 2012


 Christie's 2011

 Christie's 2008