Posts Tagged ‘painting’


November 16, 2012 – April 29, 2013
One of my favorite museums, the Rubin Museum of Art, famous for having the largest  collection of religious art from cultures of the Himalayas, including Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan as well as related cultures from India, Mongolia and China, is presenting the final of a three-part series of Modernist Art from India. The exhibition highlights art after independence, with paintings showing how the vast landscape of India is viewed by artists.  Modernist paintings from India – might be viewed as a contradiction but the West has no monopoly on Modernism. India has a complex history of modern art, starting in the early 20th century with the  Bengal School of Art centered in Calcutta/Kolkata and led by Abanindranath Tagore, a nephew of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore. In the 1930s and 40s individual art schools flourished in Bombay, Baroda, Madras and  New Delhi.
The show was curated by Beth Citron and includes paintings by Lisi Raskin, Marc Handelman, Seher Shah, and Janaina Tschaepe, Krishna Shamrao Kulkarni, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, S. H. Raza and others — all showing a variety of abstract and figural landscapes often  with a social and  political perspective.
Untitled, S. H Raza, 1956; Oil and mixed media on canvas
Elisabeth and Natasha

Gajin Fujita




opens April 20th

Gajin Fujita is a Japanese American artist born 1972, a native of Los Angeles,  whose work combines elements of traditional Japanese ukiyo-e art with contemporary American street and Pop art. His paintings show that he pays his respects to earlier Japanese artists weaving folk art and  supernatural figures through his paintings.

Yoshitoshi of the 20th century?

Gajin Fujita


February 7, 2012 Leave a comment
If you are in love with  Afghanistan’s  culture, history and people like I am or if you are merely interested in Afghanistan, then I would like to share with you news about a project in Kabul that is going on  despite politics, poverty and uncertainties.  I have always believed that by supporting education and training for  artists, architects, teachers, students,  by  providing an environment where they can create and produce their work, and then connecting them with a global community,  — the culture, the arts, crafts, pride and future of a country can be ensured and  the fight against poverty and disruptions can go forward.

Such is the case with Turquoise Mountain Arts  –  –  founded under the charities of HRH The  Prince of Wales  establishing an Institute of Traditional Afghan Arts and Architecture together with four craft schools. Please go to their website at

 It includes Jewelry, Calligraphy and Miniature Painting, Woodworking  and  Ceramic schools. Their   website introduces teachers and artists  and their work.  Commissions range from the very small to large projects (like the Embassy library in Tokyo) and Turquoise Mountain encourages you to submit your order for custom work under the BESPOKE menu button.

Be sure and check out the Partners connected with  Turquoise Mountain Arts, – each of them continuing the work with artists, artisans, and crafts people in Afghanistan.


October 13, 2011 Leave a comment


October 16, 2011-January 8, 2012
Cleveland Museum of Art
The exhibition is the first collaboration between the Cleveland Museum and the Nanjing Museum which has the most significant collection of works by Fu Baoshi donated by the Fu family.
And at the Denver Art Museum, works by XU BEIHONG: PIONEER OF MODERN CHINESE PAINTING  (1895-1953)
Opens October 30, 2011
While this exhibit will include several of the loved and well known horse paintings, it will cover the full spectrum of his important works, drawn from the Xu Beihong Memorial Museum.

October 21, 2011 – April 8, 2012
“The show will explore the extraordinary culture of princely India, showcasing rich and varied objects that reflect different aspects of royal life. On display will be both Indian and Western works, featuring paintings, photography, textiles and dress, jewelry, jeweled objects, metalwork and furniture.”
Also at the ASIAN is POETRY IN CLAY, Korean Buncheong Ceramics from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
September 1. 2011 – January 8, 2012

“Whimsical, rustic, direct, fresh, audacious, contemporary — these are some of the qualities that have been attributed to the type of Korean ceramics known as buncheong. Buncheong ceramics are characterized by their informal style and their use of white clay as an aesthetic feature. The exhibition Poetry in Clay, opening September 16 and running through January 8, 2012, will fill the museum’s Korean art galleries.

It features more than fifty-five masterpieces, including six Korean national treasures, from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea. In addition, selected Japanese ceramics from the Asian Art Museum’s collections show Japanese connections to Korean ceramics. Finally, contemporary buncheong as well as other forms of contemporary art influenced by Korean ceramics, on loan from Korea, demonstrate the vitality of this vibrant art form today.”



Reuters reported on Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales that demand for classical Chinese paintings remained strong.  A Qi Baishi ink painting “Rabbits and Osmanthus”, sold for $ 796,224, five times the estimate. 

The Asian Contemporary Art sales in Hong Kong saw around a fifth of works unsold. The sale of classical paintings had only around 5 percent of lots unsold. Mainland Chinese buyers dominated…..


September 15, 2011 Leave a comment
I neglected  to report  on one of my favorite fields  – SEA art by native as well as western artists who have settled in SEA- 20th century artists from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia –  if Chinese paintings are too expensive for you, you may want to follow SEA art auctions  taking place in Hong Kong and Singapore. I can remember when an Affandi was not out of the question for a regular budget – now you would have to buy  his ink on paper drawings if you want to find something under $ 10,000/20,000.  And what about Theo Meier, Rudolf Bonnet, Walter Spies, Ari Smitt? The last Ari Smitt I appraised about four years ago, a large floral acrylic was approximately  $ 14,000 – but no more!   
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres was always more expensive but in the recent Christie’s  Hong Kong auction on May 30th,  a  painting titled  Temple Festival in Bali went for  US $ 989,450; his works  sold in the $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 range some five years ago. But not all paintings are readily sold.  It took me some time to broker a painting by the Philippine painter Tabuena but it was easy to sell a Fernando Amorsolo. 
There is an art market for artists from Cambodia and Thailand, right now mainly handled through dealers and prices have steadily gone up. While there is a large expatriate artist community in Bali, it is mainly  ethnic Thai and Cambodian painters. I have clients who wish to sell their Thai paintings from the 1960’s/1970’s and I will probably work on this soon!
A client asked me who commanded higher prices, the expats or the local artists? There are several artists like Affandi, and the eccentric  Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain (although he died a Quatari national on June 9, 2011) who command very high prices – but not in comparison with Chinese artists.  I would say that with some exceptions, the expat artists sell for less at the moment. 
Christie’s has two sales for South Asian, Indian and SEA art. 1. South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, September 13, 2011 in NYC, including quite a few Jamini Roy, some not too expensive, M.F. Husain ($ 300,000-$ 500,000), Souza (including several very interesting ink on paper drawings estimated under $ 3,000; and 2. Indian and Southeast Asian Art, September 13, 2011, NYC. I selected a few items that appealed to me……


I receive questions all the time from clients who are looking for items they can afford. Who can compete with Chinese buyers!?
Here are a few items that have sold or are offered for sale that I consider reasonable. I have not inspected any of these pieces, nor do I vouch for accuracy of the descriptions nor do I have any financial relationship with any of the auction houses or dealers I mention. I simply want to illustrate that trends in Asian art go in cycles and if you do not want to compete with Chinese buyers, look for something else. You are not buying for investment or to build your own museum…… you are probably acquiring for the pleasure of the hunt, to handle a piece you desire, to share it, to admire it in your home. 
Keep in mind that fifty years ago, anything more recent than 18th century,  scholars, buyers and collectors alike did not consider worth collecting This was true of Chinese and Japanese art and has changed dramatically since then!  So consider pieces that might be  temporarily out of fashion!
It helps to focus on a few categories and then search the world for the best piece and price you can afford. Via the internet you have access to most auctions. As a dealer I can also help you to sift through the overwhelming information available.  I have dozens of Asian art auction notices come across my desk every week and if I am looking for something for a client- or for myself- then I check them all.  Even smaller auction houses send out notices and one can bid on-line. 
Recently sold:
1. Christie’s New York, March 2011 Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction, A cizhou-type brown painted bean-shaped pillow, 12th/13th century, $ 3,000. I always admired the sparse and forceful  lines of Cizhou pottery. 

2. Christie’s London, May 2011 Japanese Art auction, A Showa period (20th century) chased and engraved vase, signed,  equivalent of $ 2,454. 
3. Christie’s New York,  March 2011 Chinese art auction, A Beans & Cricket painting by Ding Yanyong (1902-1978), $ 2,500. If you like black ink paintings, you may want to consider this artist.
4. Eldred’s  offers in their Japanese Art auction, August 23/24, 2011 as lot number 356, A bronze vase, Meiji period, 12 1/2″ high, with relief chidori and incised wave design for $ 400 to $ 600.  The Japanese artists produced wonderful bronze pieces around the turn of the century influenced by Art Nouveaux.