Tag Archive | Bridget Riley

The George Michael Collection at Christie’s

George Michael Collection
All Photos By Gail

For true pop music devotees — and particularly for those who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s2016 delivered a year of The Day The Music Died-level emotional trauma on a monthly basis. Like some kind of Plague Upon the Rock Stars, 2016 wiped out an entire lifetimes’ worth of legends, including David Bowie in early January, then Keith Emerson in March, Prince in April, Leonard Cohen in November and, as the year’s final fuck you — on Christmas day no less — we lost George Michael.

George Michael’s death at age 53 was especially devastating to my close friend Geoffrey, for whom Michael was not only a favorite recording artist but also a creative inspiration and role model. In March, George Michael’s personal art collection will be sold by Christie’s Auction House in London, with all proceeds going towards continuance of Michael’s philanthropic work. But before the collection hits the block to be sold worldwide for millions of pounds, an exhibit of representative pieces is touring a few cities where Christie’s has offices, so that George Michael fans can experience the joy that Michael surely felt while living with these beautiful and moving works of fine contemporary  art — many of which are by artists with whom Michael had personal relationships. Geoffrey recently relocated from Manhattan to Chicago, so when he asked me if I would attend the exhibit at Christie’s headquarters in Rockefeller Center, I said that I would. “Take Pictures of Everything,” he implored me, and I did. Sadly, out of the 200 pieces to be sold, the NYC leg of the exhibit only had twelve artworks on display. This is what I saw.

Handcuffs

Handcuffs (2002) by Michael Craig-Martin is expected to sell for between 30,000 to 50,000 GBP (Great British Pounds). This is my favorite piece among the collection on exhibit in New York.

Portrait

Portrait (2009) is a Bronze and California Redwood-based sculpture by Thomas Houseago. It is expected to fetch 40,000 to 60,000 GBP.

In The Park and American Tan XXIV

In The Park (1997) above left, and American Tan XXIV (2006-07), on the right, both by Gary Hume, are estimated to sell for 40,000 to 60,000 GBP each

Incorruptible Crown

Incorruptible Crown (2006) is one of four works by Damien Hirst in this collection. The kaleidoscopic design is created from butterfly wings under glass. It is expected to sell for between 300,000 to 400,000 GBP.

Video and Quote

The art is displayed in just two galleries, and in the second gallery there was a short video playing on a loop that tells you something about the collection and about who George Michael was as an artist and philanthropist. There were also quotes on the walls attributed to Michael, as well as a few quotes from various artists that he knew. It is in this room that I felt his spirit.

Immaculate Heart Sacred with Quote

Immaculate Heart Sacred

Photograph of Immaculate Heart-Sacred (2008) by Damien Hirst. The physical work is estimated to sell for between 120,000 and 180,000 GBP.

If you had any doubt that George Michael became rich beyond his wildest dreams, understand that there are three of Damien Hirst’s Natural History formaldehyde series works coming up for auction in London, which, owing to their potentially fragile nature, are represented in the exhibit only by photographs. The work pictured above is comprised of a pickled bull’s heart and dove wings skewered with a dagger and suspended in a glass vitrine of formaldehyde. I am sure that it will sell for much higher than the estimated price.

Paul McCartney Quote

Installation View

The Incomplete Truth

Photograph of The Incomplete Truth (2006) by Damien Hirst. Comprised of a Taxidermy Dove suspended in a vitrine of formaldehyde solution, the physical work is estimated to sell for between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 GBP.

San Sebastian, Exquisite Pain

Photograph of San Sebastian, Exquisite Pain (2007) by Damien Hirst is the artist’s take on the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Comprised of a Bullock (a young bull) pierced with arrows and suspended in a formaldehyde-filled vitrine, it is expected to fetch between 1,000,000 to 1,500,00 GBP.

Untitled 2008 By Cecily Brown

Untitled (2008) oil painting by Cecily Brown, estimated to sell for between 350,000 to 550,000 GBP.

Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul

Tracey Emin’s Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul (2002) is a large-scale example of the artist’s celebrated appliquéd blankets, which transform traditional textile-based media into vehicles for raw, confessional poetry. This piece is estimated to sell for as high as 180,000 to 250,000 GBP.

Tracey Emin Quote

Installation View with Bridget Riley.

Bridget Riley’s Songbird (1982) (striped painting above, left), among Michael’s favorite works which hung above the fireplace in one of his homes, has an estimated final sale price of 400,000 to 600,000 GBP. Rebecca Warren’s Untiled (2002) (above, right) is a bronze and gold-painted statue with an estimated final sale price of between 120,000 and 180,000 GBP.

Installation View

Although the NYC exhibit is now closed, the George Michael Collection will make stops in Los Angeles (February 11th16th) and Hong Kong (February 19th22nd), before concluding with a special public view at Christie’s London headquarters (March 9th14th). These exhibits are free and open to the public, so if you live in one of these cities you can consult the Christie’s website for their location and hours.

Best of luck to all bidders!

Eye On Design: Cabinet Inspired By The Art of Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley Cabinet
Photo By Gail

I had the most amazing time at the Architectural Digest Design Show a few weeks back, and photographed so many great pieces that will eventually end up in this blog. Here’s one of them: a liquor cabinet designed by Zelouf + Bell that was inspired by the fabulous Op Art of painter Bridget Riley — and you know how much we love her here at The Gig.

Bridget Riley Cabinet

Here’s the reveal…wait for it…

Bridget Riley Cabinet

OMG, so cool! Zelouf + Bells specializes in bespoke art furniture. Visit them online at Zelouf and Bell Dot Com.

Bridget Riley at David Zwirner Gallery

Bridget Riley Black and White Square
All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy the fabulous Op Art images of legendary British painter Bridget Riley? I sure do. Bridget Riley is so cool, the retro-pop project Death By Chocolate even wrote a song about her. Fabulous. Bridget is 84 now, but still rocking a paintbrush, and I got to meet her recently at the opening reception for her current exhibit over at David Zwirner. You need to check it out.

Bridget Riley Installation View

This new show is the gallery’s first exhibition with Bridget Riley in New York, her first show in the city since 2007, and the only New York presentation since Bridget Riley: Reconnaissance at the Dia Center for the Arts in 2000 to feature new and older works. The exhibition marks fifty years since Riley’s participation in The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art, the highly influential group show which led to instant, international recognition for the young British painter. Last year, David Zwirner hosted her inaugural show at the London gallery, which was a major survey of her stripe paintings from 1961 to 2014.

Bridget Riley

One of the most significant living artists, Riley’s work has radically explored the active role of perception in art, using the interrelationship between line and color to convey movement and light within the pictorial field. From the early 1960s, the artist has employed elementary shapes — such as circles, stripes, and curves — to create visual experiences that actively engage the viewer, testing the limits of each element at various stages throughout her career.

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley Vertical Stripes

Stripes

This exhibition includes paintings and works on paper spanning almost thirty-five years of Riley’s practice. It takes its chronological point of departure in vertical stripe works from the early 1980s featuring her “Egyptian palette” inspired by the artist’s trip to Egypt in late 1979, which unlike previous combinations of color was organized according to plastic (and not rational) principles. These asymmetrical compositions anticipated the ensuing diagonal grid paintings that Riley began in 1986. Featuring rhomboid shapes that break up the picture plane, these in turn became the foundation for her curved paintings in the late 1990s.

Bridget Riley Installation View 2

Vertical, curvilinear shapes prevailed in the past decade and also characterize her wall painting Rajasthan (2012), a composition of intersecting forms in green, gray, orange, and red whose presentation here marks its first display outside of Europe.

Bridget Riley Orange and Green

Bridget Riley Orange Purple and Green

Bridget Riley Yellow Blue and Green

Bridget Riley Black and White Long

The exhibition culminates with Riley’s most recent stripe works as well as a new series of black-and-white paintings that explore concavity and convexity of the line, all shown here for the first time. The return to painting in black and white, which she had abandoned in the mid-1960s in order to explore the properties of color, was directly inspired by Riley’s 1962 painting Tremor, and here appears in the current context of five decades of work.

Signature

Bridget Riley will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Bridget Riley Signage

Bridget Riley Framed

Must See Art: Julian Stanczak’s From Life at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

Julian Stanczak Four Panels
All Photos By Gail

I don’t think I could count the number of times I overheard someone mention how much the paintings of Julian Stanczak reminded them of Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley while we cruised around the opening reception for From Life, Stanczak’s new exhibit over at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Trust me: it was a lot – and I was thinking the same thing.

Julian Stanczak Red Bars

But a little research on my part revealed that the term Op Art actually first appeared in print in Time Magazine in October 1964 in response to Stanczak’s Optical Paintings exhibit at the Martha Jackson gallery. Crazy!

Julian Stanczak Orange and Yellow

Now at age 86, Julian Stanczak – a former student of Joseph Albers, whose early life was marked by enormous personal struggle – serves as a true artistic and personal inspiration with his first solo exhibition at M-I & N, which includes a dozen large-scale paintings spanning the artist’s career from the 1960s to the present and includes works not seen publically in decades.

Julian Stanczak Blue and Red Squares

Stanczak’s canvases are created through a complex process of tape masks in which colors are systematically added and unveiled in layers. While incredibly methodical, Stanczak works alone on his canvases without the aid of preliminary sketches, relying solely on his own vision of a finished work.

Julian Stanczak Black Grid

A Detail from the Above Painting is Below.

Julian Stanczak Detail

This is even more impressive when you know that Stanczak lost the complete use his of right arm after confinement in a Siberian hard labor camp during World War II.

Additional 1980
Additional (1980)

Arist in front of Additional
Julian Stanczak, Photographed in front of Additional, at the Show’s Opening Reception on October 30th.

The artist makes the surface plane of the painting vibrate through his use of lines and contrasting colors, but what I want to really emphasize is how these paintings look completely different to the naked eye than they do when seen through the lens of a camera. The observable transformation is really quite remarkable.

Julian Stanczak Black Test Pattern

In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that these paintings are mind-blowing.

Julian Stanczak

Very highly recommended!

Julian Stanczak’s From Life will be on Exhibit Through December 6th, 2014 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Located at 534 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Quatorial 1978
Quatorial 1978

From Life Signage

Modern Art Monday Presents: Bridget Riley Blaze I

Bridget Riley Blaze 1
Bridget Riley, Blaze 1, 1962 (Photo By Gail)

While at Goldsmith’s College in London, Bridget Riley (born 1931) became interested in the optical vibrations initiated by Georges Seurat’s Pointillist technique of the 1880s. By 1961, Riley was painting solely in Black and White, and her paintings of the early 1960s are pioneering examples of what came to be known as Op Art.

With Blaze 1 (1962), Riley applied black zigzag stripes of emulsion to a white ground to create a pattern that assaults the eye: the bands of paint create a corkscrew–like optical effect wherein the two-dimensional painting appears to both recede into the wall and to project itself into space in front of the picture plane.

Bridget Riley’s Blaze 1 is part of the permanent collection in the Modern Art wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Video Clip of The Week: Destruction Unit, “The Holy Ghost”



Well now. There isn’t much I don’t love about this simultaneously frightening and compelling, and all-together intriguingly atmospheric video for “The Holy Ghost” from Destruction Unit. I mean, you’ve got your deep and apparent influences from the likes heavy aural gloom masters Killing Joke and Bauhaus (check and check) and the drummer — who, by the way, is a total badass on the kit — gets serious bonus points for wearing a Brian Jonestown Massacre T-Shirt. I love this band! “Holy Ghost” is the brand new single from Destruction Unit’s latest CD, Deep Trip, on Sacred Bones Records. The band is currently on tour in Europe. Enjoy!


Destruction Unit Deep Trip Cover Art