May 2018

On July 4th Sotheby’s London will offer a rare treasure at auction. “The Bust of Peace” (1814), a newly recovered marble bust by Italian Neoclassical master Antonio Canova (1757-1822) will make its debut after nearly 200 years of obscurity.

In a new exhibition and accompanying book, Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez, offers a retrospective that covers the dual histories of Los Angeles. George Rodriguez, who has been capturing quintessential American images since taking a photography class to fulfill a high school elective requirement in 1954, has been documenting LA life from the gritty streets to the glitz of Hollywood for over four decades.

Now at Denver’s Robischon Gallery, Amy Ellingson has a thought-provoking solo exhibition. Ellingson’s title, “Sweetbitter Beast” refers to ancient Greek poet Sappho's Fragment 130, translated by Willis Barnstone.

“Eros loosener of limbs once again trembles me, a sweetbitter beast irrepressibly sweeping in.”

Opening this month at Kavi Gupta in Chicago is a new exhibition of works from Mission School painter Clare Rojas. Egret includes a range of works, representative of Rojas’ diverse practice, which has encompassed printmaking, painting, murals, and sculpture. Included in this exhibition are 100 small abstract sketches in gouache, created by Rojas as part of her daily practice. There are also nine large oil paintings and several sculptural works. In the past, Rojas’ work reflected her interest in folk art and folklore.

Today the art world mourns the death of Robert Indiana. The pop artist died on Saturday at the age of 89. His ubiquitous “LOVE” sculptures, notably seen in Philadelphia, New York, and Indianapolis, are iconic works of art. The four letters stacked in a square with an off-kilter “O” were made famous in 1964 as a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card. Indiana went on to create steel sculptures based on this design, as well as prints. Since then the image has gone on the grace postage stamps, clothing, and every kind of souvenir imaginable.

A fixture in modern art since 1954, Alex Katz’s radically cropped portraits and bold landscapes foreshadowed Pop Art. His wide brush strokes and meticulous composition combine abstraction and representation, with a style faintly reminiscent of woodblock prints. Approaching his 90th birthday, Katz began applying to unmistakable style to landscapes, diverging from the portraiture he’s known for. The resulting exhibition, Grass and Trees, explores three motifs: grasses, roads and trees.

Christie's continued a streak of record-breaking auctions at their Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on Tuesday. Kazimir Malevich’s "Suprematist Composition" led the sale, achieving nearly $86 million. The 1916 painting is one of his most iconic and is representative of the height of Malevich's Suprematist movement.

Not to be left behind by Christie’s record-breaking Rockefeller sales last week, at Monday evening’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale, Sotheby’s set new records of its own. The highest auction price in Sotheby’s history went to Modigliani’s nude masterpiece, “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche),” selling for $157.2 million. Modigliani is one of only three artists whose works have achieved over $150 million at auction, the other two being Picasso and da Vinci. “Nu couché” is one of a series of nudes that Modigliani painted between 1915 and 1917.

This week at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, Los Angeles–based artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga debuts a body of work representing her social justice-based artistic practice. Aguiñiga’s Craft & Care includes diverse projects and objects, bringing together fiber art, furniture design, performance art, and community engagement to document the lives of people living binationally.

Chicago's unique culture and history, as seen through the eyes of its residents, is on view in a striking new photography exhibit opening at the Art Institute of Chicago on May 12. In his 1951 book "Chicago: City on the Make," Nelson Algren offered bittersweet praise for the city: “Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies.