Posts Tagged ‘artist’

Korean artist Lee Ufan

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The Korean artist Lee Ufan about whom I have blogged before has been commissioned to create a site-specific work to inaugurate the Sculpture Garden for the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston. The garden will be designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. Lee Ufan is well known in Europe and Asia for his contemporary sculptural pieces.


For my European  readers and clients I wanted to mention the exhibit of 

KURODA TATSUAKI  (1904-1982) 

at the Museum fuer Lackkunst in Muenster, Germany. 

October 9th to January 22, 2012.
He was born in Kyoto into a family of lacquer artists,  and became a famous member of the Japanese Folk Craft Movement ( think  Soetsu Yanagi ).
I know very little about Kuroda Tatsuaki but I admire  Japanese lacquer art and I  am enamored with  and am blown away by the craftsmanship and striking designs of  20th century works of lacquer. 


M.F. Hussein, age 95, passed away in London. He is probably India’s most highly priced artist. He started out as a poster artist for Bollywood movies. He painted large colorful canvases with Hindu mythological  folktale subjects and animals  and  most importantly, women, as the giver of love and life. It was the painting of a nude Hindu woman that brought him into conflict with his country’s legal system and although he was exonerated, he decided to live in Dubai. He had broken  with traditional Indian painting style  many decades ago  and is now  often called  the Picasso of India. 

Qi Baishi painting soars to record $65m at Chinese auction

Qi Baishi (1864-1957)  is well known for  rendering his subjects – from toys, to animals, to vegetables, in a  whimsical and playful manner. I remember when his watercolors went for $ 6,000.  I just came across this auction record! 

Qi Baishi painting soars to record $65m at Chinese auction

An ink wash painting by Qi Baishi (1864-1957) set an auction record of 425 million yuan (US$65.4 million) for Chinese art at the Guardian Spring Auction in Beijing on Sunday night. The sale totaled 1 billion yuan (US$649 million).

“A Long Life, A Peaceful World,” depicting an eagle on a pine branch, was presented by the artist to military and political leader Chiang Kai-shek for his 60th birthday.

Measuring 100 by 266 centimetres (three by 8.5 feet), the 1940s painting, flanked by two calligraphy scrolls, secured the second highest price paid for art in mainland China. More than a year ago, an 11th c. calligraphy scroll by Song Dynasty master Huang Tingjian sold for 436.8m ($64m) yuan at China’s Poly Auctions.

The starting bid was 88 million yuan (US$13.54 million) with the price realized after an intense 50 rounds of bidding over 30 minutes.

Qi Bashi was a prolific, largely self-taught 20th c. artist whose work is highly sought-after in China’s booming art market

Qi Bashi’s work sold for a record $65 million at Guardian Auctions in Beijing.

Japanese Art Does Well


(Lacquer Paddle-Shaped Writing Box, Meiji period (1868 –1912), circa 1910, Courtesy Erik Thomsen Asian Art / Japanese Art Dealers Association.)
According to JADA (Japanese  Art Dealers Association) attendance at JADA dealers grew by 25% over the preceding year. JADA members exhibited in their galleries, hosted out-of-town dealers at their galleries and also exhibited  at the Ukrainian Institute of America on 79th Street. The number of visitors to JADA 2011 grew by 25%.  My favorite pieces (to dream about) were an Arita figure of a seated beauty with wonderful enamel work, sold by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art, and a pair of large  Momoyama ink on gold leaf screens with wave and rock design offered and sold by Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. 
Also during Asia Week, Bonham’s and Christie’s held very successful Japanese auctions. 
I feel that Japanese art sales are coming back. In general prices achieved  are still well under the figures we saw a number of years ago (except for a number of rare items)  and  now  is the time to buy Japanese art and antiques! 

Western Women Artists Active in Asia

Exhibition at the  Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA, March 4-May 29, 2011. 
This is a fascinating exhibit showing the influence Western art had on Asian art and vice versa,  Eastern art interpreted by Western artists in the Orientalist manner. The exhibit shows works of  art created by Helen Hyde (1868-1919), Bertha Lum (1869-1954), Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956), and Lillian Miller (1895-1942). All of these women  were active  and lived in Japan, were originally trained as painters and also worked on remarkable woodblock prints. While there were a few European artists living in Asia, it was fairly unusual for Western female artists to live in Japan at that time.  These artists, while born in the West, collaborated closely with Japanese artists, publishers and  teachers. They frequently portrayed Asian subjects  and they adopted the Japanese art of woodblock print making.  Their art is sought after  by Asian and Western collectors.  These four artists are primarily known as woodblock print artists. This exhibit shows their  watercolors, book illustrations and etchings. 


China jumped from ninth place to first place in 2010, becoming the world’s largest auction marketplace for Fine Art, overtaking the United States and United Kingdom. In addition,  the dramatic evolution of the internet and its 2 billion and a half users have caused a speedy acceleration of online art sales. All this is reported by Artprice, the world leader of art market information. China not only played an important role in the global economic recovery, it also seized the limelight in cultural, art  and sports events. Expressing the pride of Chinese culture it took the global auction prices to new heights. And what I have commented about before — prices of Chinese artists have not only closed the gap but overtaken Western artists and art works. 
So it is no surprise that the Ullens Collection auctioned off at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 3, 2011 brought new record prices for contemporary Chinese art.


 TWENTIETH CENTURY JAPANESE CERAMIC EXHIBITION AT THE CLARK CENTER FOR  JAPANESE ART & CULTURE in Hanford, California (; Hanford is located in the south central San Joaquin Valley, CA)

An exhibit by a modern Japanese ceramic artist,  the master porcelain artist Fukami Soeharu is taking place at the Clark Center. Fukami is internationally famous for his  rare stoneware sculptures as well as for his pale blue glazed porcelains. His works  can be found in some 47 international museums. He is considered to be the most famous living Japanese artist in any medium. His blue glaze was originally inspired by Song and Yuan ceramics but his  abstract porcelain sculptures, some over 7 foot high, are a stunning example of Japanese inventiveness and sensitivity. Japanese artists  may build upon the arts  or crafts of neighboring countries but they  develop and transform  their ideas into unique and unsurpassed works of art.   The art of Japanese lacquer  and basket weaving would be another example of this.
On view through July 30th 2011.


Papers around the globe including the NYT and Christian Science Monitor carried the story about the artist, dissident  and social activist Weiwei’s detention at Beijing’s  airport on Sunday and his detention at an undisclosed location.  He is best know for his Olympic “Bird’s Nest” stadium for the Olympic Games.  His cell phone is turned off, his blog was shut down and his wife does not know where he is being held. Weiwei used to send out daily political messages to about  75,000 followers on Twitter.  According to Holland Cotter of the NYT, this May an outdoor sculptural piece by Weiwei, from the “Circle of Animals, Zodiac Heads” is scheduled to be installed at the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel in New York. The artist is expected to attend the opening. The sculptures were created by Weiwei based on a set of zodiac heads that once adorned a fountain at the Summer Palace, Yuanming Yuan, based on designs by European Jesuits at the court of  Emperor Qianlong at his invitation. The pieces  were carried off by British and French soldiers in the 1860’s.  Christie’s recently offered two of these heads as part of Yves Saint Laurent’s estate and there was an uproar in China about getting all the heads back. Now Weiwei has symbolically placed “his” set of zodiac heads in New York (and later in London and Los Angeles).  Is the artist reconstituting these pieces, advocating repatriation or is he  expressing another opinion? Will Weiwei attend the opening?


February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

If you are pursuing up and coming artists from India, you may wish to check out India’s third annual Art Summit. It took place in New Delhi,   January 20th to 23rd but you can follow some of the emerging  and established artists on Eighty-four galleries from twenty countries managed to sell about 50% of works shown, claiming a spot in the global market. This will be an interesting development to watch as this venue  establishes itself as India’s single largest platform for modern and contemporary art.  Prices started in the low thousands. One gallery owner from Mumbai reported that she was unprepared for what happened, when all three editions of a $ 13,000 neon lighted-and-acrylic piece by Tejal Shah were snapped up.  And a New Delhi gallery sold 10 contemporary pieces ranging in price from $ 7,700 to $ 270,000. Not all works offered were by Indian artists. According to the New York Times, two galleries sold paintings by Picasso, each selling for more than $ 1,000,000. One of the principal buyers  and supporters of contemporary Indian  art  and an influential art  collector in India is Kiran Nadar who founded the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art,  with paintings by  Souza and Raza (his Sarashtra painting bought for $ 3.5 million). Together with the Devi Art Foundation of New Delhi, and two other private museums planned for  Coimbatore and Kolkata, these private museums make up for the absence of contemporary art from public museums in India.