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Apr
14
David Grossman - Blossoming Trees - Oil on Linen - 8x10"

David Grossman – Blossoming Trees – Oil on Linen – 8×10″

“No, I said: What kind of bird are YOU?” ~ Sam, to Suzy, upon their first meeting in the film “Moonrise Kingdom.”  

Contemplative, visual poems. Painterly, reminding me of a wistful Childe Hassam; contemporary, like a print; gentle, glowing and linear. Colorado painter David Grossman is one of three new artists signed on to Altamira Fine Art. Grossman is joined by contemporary artists David Michael Slonim and bold trendsetter Thom Ross.

Attribute it to the soft, indecisive changing of our alpine seasons, call it a love of landscape. My heart has been stolen by Grossman’s diminutive oil painting, shown above. He paints, says the gallery, “abstracted visions of forests…melodic in their focus on rhythm and symmetry.” Adds Fine Art Connoisseur: “[Grossman's paintings] effect the comfort and relief of a ‘visual exhale’ while also leading us into meditative contemplation and thought.”

A few brushstrokes and we are eras away in time, lost in a happy composition. 

Thom Ross - Gunman's Walk - Oil on Canvas 48 x 48"

Thom Ross – Gunman’s Walk – Oil on Canvas
48 x 48″

Have you been around Jackson long enough to remember California born artist Thom Ross’ installation at Snow King’s base? “Custer’s Last Stand” was an erected forest of early American soldiers pitted against Native Americans. We walked through and around the battle, and though that battle is one of the West’s most defining moments, Ross’ style is to portray iconic Americans and events in off-beat (gunmen with tiny heads!), sometimes complex and unexpected ways. He can be sensitive and elegiac; friends own an early Thom Ross painting depicting a solitary dead horse, lying on its side. It’s beautiful.

“Indians playing croquet; General Custer riding off while balancing a table on his head; Sheriff Pat Garrett standing with shotgun in hands bracing against the cold of a wintry New Mexico morning – these are a few of the unique images depicted in Ross’s paintings,” says Altamira. In addition to creating his art, Ross runs his own space, “Due West Gallery,” in Santa Fe.

David Michael Slonim - Fire and Ice-Oil on Canvas-48 x 60"

David Michael Slonim – Fire and Ice-Oil on Canvas- 48 x 60″

They are landscapes; landscapes deconstructed to layered, broad color fields, conveying essence. Contemporary painter David Michael Slonim is the third “new bird” to alight at Altamira. Plein air painting and illustration are part of his professional artistic experience.

Prisms, shards of translucent glass, collage — these I see in the artist’s expressionist works. Slonim is influenced by a bevy of masters, including Diebenkorn, Mitchell, Motherwell, de Kooning, and Cezanne.

“Although my paintings are derived from nature, they are really about color, shape, texture and line for their own sake,” says Slonim. “I started out as a plein air painter. The more I painted and studied, the more fascinated I became with abstraction. Now I am more interested in interpreting nature than representing nature.”  www.altamiraart.com 

Kyle Pozin - Mystic Warrior

Kyle Polzin – Mystic Warrior -Oil- 74 x 30″

In case you haven’t heard: April 5th’s Scottsdale Art Auction brought in $12.6 million.

Ecstatic press materials report that Frederic Remington’s “The Thermometer from Ten to Thirty-Three Degrees Below Zero,” an oil estimated between $500,000 – $700,000, sold for $920,000, the top sale of the day. Many deceased and contemporary masters did exceedingly well, but, emphasizes the auction:

“The crowd of almost 500 bidders was stunned when a 40-year-old artist from Texas, Kyle Polzin, took the block with a 74 x 30 inch oil entitled “Mystic Warrior.” Estimated up to $40,000, an extended bidding war ended in a hush, as auctioneer Jason Brooks carefully guided bids to a final total of $287,500.”

The Scottsdale Art Auction has now realized over $100,000,000 in art sales over the course of a decade. For complete results, visit www.scottsdaleartauction.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb
28

In a few months I will be moving back to the east coast. Family calls. The length of time I’ll be away is temporary and open-ended. I’m grateful, more than I can express, for the loving, caring and supportive messages I’ve received from so many of you. I carry you all in my heart. Posts may “spread out” for a while as I manage logistics, and the Blog may change its focus or form ~~~ but it’s not disappearing. We’re joined, and we’ll remain joined!  Okay, I might write a poem if I keep on. It wouldn’t be a good poem, so time to write about what’s happening in Jackson!

Clymer, John, (1907-1989), Buffalo Chase, oil on canvas, 10 x 20 inches

Clymer, John, (1907-1989), Buffalo Chase, oil on canvas, 10 x 20 inches

The Jackson Hole Art Auction is rapidly receiving an inventory of fine masterworks to  be auctioned off Saturday, September 14, 2014.  This John Clymer is remarkable! Something about it quickens my pulse. Important artists already represented in this year’s auction: Oscar Berninghaus, John Clymer, Bob Kuhn, Ken Riley and Richard Schmid. Schmid’s diminutive painting of carnations was the surprise star of last year’s auction, selling many times over its estimate. Kuhn’s “Resting Cat”, a 22 x 42 acrylic on board, is estimated at $250,000-$300,000.

“The painting was the last Prix de West entry the artist completed in his lifetime, and was awarded the Major General and Mrs. Don Pittman Wildlife Award,” notes the auction.

Kuhn, Bob, (1920-2007), Resting Cat, acrylic on board, 22 x 42"

Kuhn, Bob, (1920-2007), Resting Cat, acrylic on board, 22 x 42″

Auction Coordinator Jill Callahan emphasizes that the public is welcome to stop by the auction offices to learn more about this year’s event. As always, the auction is seeking fine art consignments; I expect offerings to be welcomed into the summer season. For a complimentary, confidential evaluation please call 866-549-9278, visit www.jacksonholeartauction.com or stop by the offices in Trailside Galleries at 130 East Broadway, Jackson, WY — or 7330 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ. www.jacksonholeartauction.com

Book cover art by Jane Lavino

Book cover art by Jane Lavino

“The Straw That Broke” is an “environmental thriller” written by Jackson’s Gregory Zeigler; the same author who brought us his recreated tale of Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charlie.” It’s Steinbeck’s 112th birthday as I write this. The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s own Jane Lavino created the cover art, and it’s awesome! What up, girl?  We need a Lavino exhibition! Promotional copy for Zeigler’s book sums up the plot: “A young scientist and free spirit, Lyn Burke, gets caught up in a battle between ecoterrorists and corrupt public officials over water in the drought-stricken desert Southwest. Lyn’s disappearance causes police officer Susan Brand and private investigator Jake Goddard to rush to her aid. Abduction, deceit, and murder threaten a cataclysm that places the entire region in jeopardy.” 

Wow, I’m thinking “Longmire!” If the book is as good as that TV series, it’s going to have you on the edge of your seat. Congrats to Greg and Jane! Check it out: www.gzeiglerbooks.com

Tammy Callens - Through the Aspen Grove - 36x18" Oil

Tammy Callens – Through the Aspen Grove – 36×18″ Oil

Plein air painter and portraitist Tammy Callens has a show of new works at Mountain Trails Gallery, in Jackson. Callens feels these paintings break new ground for her as an artist. I’ve always been a fan. Her work is romantic, impressionistic, marked by realism and personal. Callens has another quality: she’s humble about her work. I feel her intimate landscapes are some of the most captivating in town.

Callens sparked the idea of  pro-actively inviting children to participate in plein air painting demonstrations. She did this unwittingly, two summers ago during one of our “Artists in the Environment” events in Grand Teton National Park. Callens painted a difficult scene with great skill, and her most ardent admirers were young people visiting the Park, making their own memories by painting the wilderness explored on their summer vacations. It doesn’t get better than that! www.tammycallens.com 

Jan
27

If you want your art to get noticed and sold here in Jackson, you have to work at it every day, every minute you can. Don’t sit around wasting time watching TV. Your art has to be the best, the highest caliber you can produce, it has to stand out.”  ~ Jackson Hole Artist 

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“No animals died in the making of these mounts.” - Jennifer Lee, National Museum of Wildlife Art

Contests and competitions everywhere!  Jackson’s National Museum of Wildlife Art is putting out a national and regional call to artists–including amateurs–to submit “fun faux animal mounts” that will be part of the new Trophy Art Fundraiser. Artists must create fanciful examples of animal trophy heads and deliver them to the museum by February 7, 2014. All works will be on display February 12th – March 15th. All are available for sale on a first come, first serve basis beginning February 22nd, from 11 a.m – 2 p.m., during  ”Trophy Art: Fun Forms for All.”

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“We were hoping to inspire people’s creativity with this event by letting imaginations run wild,” says Associate Director of Programs and Events Jennifer Lee. “For years the museum has been asked, ‘Where is the taxidermy?’ This event offers a fun way of playing off that theme, including our tagline: “No animals died in the making of these mounts.”

Two works for sale are “Deer #5” by Kelly Vanderveer (above) and “The Lizard” crafted in silver and opal by Jackson Hole silversmith Joni Mack, top of the page.

Participating artists retain 30% of the purchase price they name as a commission for their time and efforts, with the rest of the proceeds going to the museum’s youth education programs. Images already received for the upcoming event include a lizard, mountain lion, elk, pronghorn and deer.

For more information, contact Jennifer Lee at jlee@wildlifeart.org or 307.732.5412. www.wildlifeart.org

Joshua Tobey -"Cotton Ball"  Cotton Tail Rabbit. Bronze, edition of 25 7" x 9" x 8"

Tim Cherry -”Cotton Ball” Cotton Tail Rabbit.
Bronze, edition of 25
7″ x 9″ x 8″

New paintings and sculptures are on view at Astoria Fine Art, in Jackson. In particular 2014′s Fall Arts Festival Sculptor Artist Joshua Tobey has some wonderful new wildlife sculptures. At this writing many Fall Arts fans are waiting to see the finished image of Tobey’s winning FAF work, one he hopes will initiate the new FAF tradition memorably.

Tim Cherry and Gerald Balciar also have new sculptures at the gallery; painters Ewoud deGroot, Robert Lougheed (1910 – 1982), Dean Mitchell, Tom Palmore, Al Agnew and Cole Johnson are all represented. Stop by the gallery, on the north side of Jackson’s Town Square. Who said winter was quiet?

Ewoud deGroot - "Snowy Owl"  39.5" x 25.5"  oil

Ewoud deGroot – “Snowy Owl” 39.5″ x 25.5″ oil

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Nov
26
Ed Belbruno - Cosmic Orbit

Ed Belbruno – Cosmic Orbit

“That’s one thing that’s always, like, been a difference between…the performing arts, and being a painter….A painter does a painting, and he paints it, and that’s it, you know. He has the joy of creating it, it hangs on a wall, and somebody buys it, and maybe somebody buys it again….But he never, you know, nobody ever said to Van Gogh, ‘Paint a Starry Night again, man!’ You know? He painted it, and that was it.” - Joni Mitchell

Have you been repeatedly fired? Gotten dumped? Run over an animal? It hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year…but don’t panic! Do the opposite of panicking: channel Vincent Van Gogh, grab some paints and all will be well. The universe is in charge and wants to take care of you.

Ed Belbruno

Ed Belbruno

It does seem to be taking care of painter Ed Belbruno, a recent presenter at TEDx Jackson HoleBelbruno told his story, a tale involving a long series of personal trajectories (the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces) plotting spacial trajectories. He landed himself on art’s moon. Oh, and through his painting, he plotted the first chaos route (see Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy explanation of chaos theory here) to the moon, a route ultimately used to rescue an off-course Japanese spacecraft. “Doing the opposite” of what people normally do in times of crisis saved a space mission as well as his own career, Belbruno told his audience.

Belbruno began working with oils at the age of seven, and later in life submersed himself in art training at New London, Connecticut’s Mitchell College.

“My training is a combination of being self-taught and [formal] art classes. I took a number of classes in Paris in the 80′s at the Artists al la Bastille organization, in particular under the direction of the French artist Alan Schenck. I gave art classes, on painting, at New York University in the late 70′s; now I am just too busy making paintings. I would say my [art education] is 50% self-taught, 50% formal training,” says Belbruno.

Belbruno is returning to Jackson and opening an exhibition of new works at Intencions Gallery. Promoting “Cosmically Conscious Art,” Belbruno’s kick-off reception takes place Thursday, December 5, 5-8 pm. The exhibition runs through the end of December; the public is invited to attend the opening and welcomed to visit and view the artist’s work during the exhibition’s course.

Ed Belbruno - Teton Forest in the Fall - Triptych - 8x30"

Ed Belbruno – Teton Forest in the Fall – Triptych – 8×30″

“Painting allows me to tap into a very intuitive and non-rational part of my brain,” says Belbruno. “It’s the opposite of math and enables great bursts of counter-intuition. Intencions Gallery is the perfect space for my art. When you open yourself up to the Universe and ask for help, great things happen.” Belbruno’s TEDx talk is available on line; click here.

Belbruno is drawn to Van Gogh’s work; I have not seen Belbruno’s art first hand, but his paintings appear to be created very quickly, and are abstract in that what we are seeing, or asked to see, is often not immediately apparent. His story helps us understand why he paints in the style he does, a style marked by intense energy and zeal for discovery. A documentary on Belbruno has been submitted to Sundance; we’ll see what the universe has in store for the film!  www.belbrunoart.com   www.Intencions.com

Olaf Wieghorst -  Bronc Rider. Sold: $128,700

Olaf Wieghorst – Bronc Rider. Sold: $128,700

The Jackson Hole Art Auction is already actively seeking consignments for 2014′s auction event! It takes a year to produce one of these auctions; the amount of expertise, curatorial work, cataloging, pre-producing, marketing, research, communications and sheer physical effort is truly unimaginable to those unfamiliar with the world of major auctions. The Jackson Hole Art Auction has quickly risen to become one of the most important Western Art auctions in Jackson Hole, the most important Western Art market.   

High quality Western, Wildlife and Sporting Art are sought, and interested consigners may contact the auction for a “no obligation” auction estimate; the staff is happy to assist with shipping and logistics. To find out more, simply email coordinator@jacksonholeartauction.com or  phone the auction offices at 866.549.9278.  www.jacksonholeartauction.com 

 

 

 

 

Sep
23
Travis Walker - Ski Fence

Travis Walker – Ski Fence

I’ve been rooting for Travis Walker and Altamira Fine Art to find each other on “ArtMatch.com” and now they have!

Walker is the latest Jackson artist to have a show at Altamira. His exhibition of new works, “In Such an Hour: New Views of Jackson Hole,” runs September 23 – October 6, 2013, and an Opening Reception takes place at Altamira on Friday, September 27th, 5-7:00 pm.

Walker not only makes art; he’s an arts force. If Walker had not landed in Jackson a decade ago, it’s my belief many grass roots arts initiatives would not exist. Artists don’t often take on community leadership roles, but Walker has, and now he’s reaping extraordinary rewards.

“A common subject in my work is the road, which represents our journey through life. We start off staring down the lines of a road, and our entire lives we continue to follow the road to new places. My fascination with roads led me to another symbol in my work: the trailer home,” says Walker. “I have found so many trailers scattered throughout the West that I have come to view them as representations of the American Dream, full of hope, uncertainty, and memory.”

Travis Walker - Saddle Butte (Pink)

Travis Walker – Saddle Butte (Pink)

From the moment he arrived in Jackson Walker began painting it. Most on-location artists (I think we can go ahead and list Walker as a plein air painter—he’s in the “Artists in the Environment” hall of fame and was the first truly non-traditional artist to take part in that program) can be found out in Grand Teton National Park, or anywhere out in nature –and Walker can be found there too. But he also spends much of his time painting the Town of Jackson, essentially creating new iconic images of Jackson. All these subjects entice the artist: an old salon (the former Gai Mode), a decaying house with a fence made of skis (so many have lived there!) and a vintage trailer park.

Walker’s work, notes the gallery, is influenced by American regionalists Edward Hopper and Grant Wood (“American Gothic”), and by Japanese printmaking and German Expressionism.

It often takes years of hard, consistent work to make it in the art world; it’s a challenging, competitive and sometimes heartbreaking life pursuit. But, as we’ve said, arts enthusiasts constantly keep their eyes open, and Altamira director Mark Tarrant has been tracking Walker.

Travis Walker

Travis Walker

“Travis creates very interesting interpretations of local scenes, from his views of Snow King to sweeping views of Flat Creek and the Elk Refuge,” Tarrant observes. “He is a sophisticated painter with a fresh, contemporary palette. We are pleased to present an exhibition of Walker’s work here at the gallery.”

Years ago I wrote a forward for a book about his art that Walker published. Revisiting it, it still feels relevant:

“Walker is a satellite, zooming in and out of our landscapes, freezing vast spaces and solitary formations. We’re light years away from a moment just captured. Flaxen parachutes float forever. Still purple evening shadows never give way to night. These landscapes are our ideal; they’re uninhabited, but histories are embedded. Deserted cabins hold the energy and sadness of generations. Blank windows and headlights, eyes of the universe. Beneath Walker’s surfaces is an extraterrestrial glow he never quite paints down, a light peeking out from behind closed doors.”

Born in Tokyo, Japan and a child of the military, Walker is well acquainted with transience. Place is crucial. Now, at age 37, he’s settled in Jackson with a family of his own. He received his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, and he’s had numerous shows and exhibits over the years. Walker is founder of  Teton Artlab, a non-profit providing studio space for artists. As we’ve reported, Walker was a 2013 panelist for the National Endowment for the Art’ Artists Communities Grant and a 2013 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. In 2012, he won the “Rising Star Award” from the Cultural Council of Jackson Hole.

And risen he has. www.altamiraart.com 

Martin Grelle - Scouts on the Buffalo Fork, 2013

Martin Grelle – Scouts on the Buffalo Fork, 2013

$8.39 million…

…is the official total sales amount of this year’s Jackson Hole Art Auction (produced by Trailside Galleries and Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery), held September 14th, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 85% of 284 lots were sold, with 200 phone bidders vigorously participating. The estate of James Grisebaum contributed many important works, and all but one of the 32 works from his estate were sold.

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