leslierankow

Contemporary and Modern Art Advisory Service

Talented Toddlers, creating abstract art

Wassily Kandinsky Composition 8, July 1923 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Wassily Kandinsky
Composition 8, July 1923
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

WASSILY KANDINSKY, RUSSIAN ARTIST AND ART THEORIST, IS CREDITED WITH PAINTING THE FIRST MODERN ABSTRACT WORKS.  IN DECEMBER 1911,  HE PUBLISHED A PIONEERING WORK, CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL IN ART, A CLASSIC AND SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF MODERN ART. IN THIS TRACT, KANDINSKY PROPOSED A VIRTUAL REVOLUTION IN PAINTING, ENCOURAGING ARTISTS TO EXPRESS THEIR OWN INNER LIVES IN ABSTRACT, NON-MATERIAL TERMS RATHER THAN THE REPRESENTATIONAL WORLD AROUND THEM. HE EXPLORED THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLORS, THE LANGUAGE OF FORM AND COMPOSITION, AND DEFINED THE MEANING AND PHILOSOPHY OF NONOBJECTIVISM IN ART.  IN THE 20th CENTURY, ABSTRACTION TRANSFORMED THE LANGUAGE OF ART PROVIDING A MORE INTELLECTUALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY DEMANDING PLATFORM THAN REPRESENTATION.

IN PREDICTING ARTISTIC BRILLIANCE, DRS. ELLEN WINNER AND JENNIFER DRAKE INVESTIGATE ABSTRACTION IN THE ART WORK OF THE ARTISTICALLY GIFTED CHILDREN. THEY CONCLUDE THAT THESE CHILDREN MAY ACTUALLY SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHERS AND WILL DISCOVER ADVANCED COMPOSITIONAL TECHNIQUES MANY YEARS BEFORE THEIR PEERS. THE SUBJECT OF CREATIVITY IN ALL ITS FORMS IS EXPLORED AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF A CHILD’S PURSUIT OF ART AS AN ADULT IS PREDICTED. IN AN EARLY 1997 PUBLICATION, GIFTED CHILDREN, MYTHS AND REALITIES, DR. ELLEN WINNER DOCUMENTS NINE MYTHS ABOUT GIFTEDNESS. 20 YEARS OF DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT TO THIS SUBJECT LATER, THIS ARTICLE UNDERLINES THE NEED ON THE PART OF PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY TO CULTIVATE ART EDUCATION OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL’S LIMITED CURRICULUM.

THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS POST OF THE ARTICLE. THANK YOU ELLEN AND JENNIFER!

PART FOUR

NONREPRESENTATIONAL PAINTERS

We suspect, however, that producing works in a naturalistic style is not the only way to demonstrate artistic brilliance. Although most Western children identified as gifted in drawing have come to our attention by virtue of their precocious realism, some talented children have mastered a non- realistic style instead. Psychologist Claire Golomb of the University of Massachusetts Boston has described these children, whom she called “colorists,” as showing an awareness of form and quality and a concern with decorative and expressive aspects of color, texture and design. These artists are more difficult for an untrained eye to spot because their drawings may look similar to the charming, nonrealistic paintings of typical preschoolers.


TALENTED TODDLERS?

Parents sometimes believe that their two-year-old is a prodigy because they notice the similarity of their child’s painting to that of an abstract expressionist master. Gallery owners, too, have been fooled by such paintings. In 2011, for example, four-year-old Aelita Andre had an exhibit in New York City and was touted as a genius on a par with Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky. These works, however, are age-typical, and we cannot yet call their maker artistically gifted—even if we find the paintings pleasing and superficially similar to works by abstract expressionists. (The film My Kid Could Paint That, directed by Amir Bar-Lev, asks whether parents and gallery owners are fooling the public into thinking these works are signs of genius.)

Aelita Andre, Painter Prodigy

Aelita Andre, Painter Prodigy

Other children, however, truly are precocious artists. Parents can nurture such giftedness when it exists. In the early years parents can encourage art-making behavior, provide high-quality art supplies, and take the child to museums and expose him or her to the range of styles in which artists have worked. Given the lack of attention and time devoted to art education in most schools, the opportunity to study art formally outside of school very likely is critical if the child is to go on to become an artist. In 2011 curator Ayala Gordon reported that almost all the 31 Israeli artists whose childhoods she studied had begun taking art lessons outside of school with artist-teachers by age 10. It was in these classes that they began to identify themselves as artists and to discover others like themselves. —J.E.D. and E.W.


We have recently discovered a child, whom we classify as artistically gifted, whose paintings are entirely nonrepresentational. His process does not resemble that of his peers, nor do his works. Several days shy of his second birthday, Arrian began to create colorful abstract drawings on large, 18- × 24-inch pages using Crayola markers, concentrating intensely. He usually works on each drawing for a day and a half to two days. He fills the entire space densely and meticulously. As his mother describes it:

One session for Arrian is typically a cycle through whatever set of markers he is using at the time. So,if he has a set of 24 he will  systematically go through each marker one by one…. He often begins with some circles all over the page and long flowing lines. . . . Once he has his basic drawing he colors it in systematically—almost in quadrants.

Non-representational painting Arrian, age 2 years 3 months

Non-representational painting
Arrian, age 2 years 3 months

A few months later his mother noted:

Ari is obsessed with making circles—he tries for hours to make the smallest, tightest, thinnest circles he can do. He tries all kinds of ways of holding the marker … experiments with putting his face really close to the page. He likes to dangle the marker to get a thin feather line but then tries with his fist to get a tighter circle—to hold it properly to gain control, and ultimately [he] seems to want to achieve some combination of all three to get the look he wants. He’s been doing this all day for a week—sometimes with just one or two colors.

When Arrian turned three, he discovered view- finders. For two weeks he carried around a comb through which he inspected the world. He also started drawing people at this time, right on track with typical development. Notably, he was not ahead of the curve in representational skill. He was, however, advanced in intensity: after drawing one face—a circle with eyes—he went on to draw about 400 more smiling visages, all in one sitting. The systematicity, intensity, focus and meticulous care with which Arrian draws set him apart from the typical two-year-old scribbler. None of the precocious realists we have studied show anything like Arrian’s behavior—they progressed rapidly to representational drawings and showed no interest in nonrepresentational art.


Sci Amer Mind Images (12-15-11) 2jpg_Page6

THE NEXT SECTION EXPLORES THE COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF ARTISTICALLY BRILLIANT CHILDREN THAT PREDICT WHO IS LIKELY TO BECOME AN ARTIST – COMPELLING THEORY FOR GALLERISTS, COLLECTORS AND ARTISTS ALIKE!

THANK YOU, ELLEN AND JENNIFER, FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION, AND THANK YOU ALL FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG, YOUR COMMENTS AND SUPPORT!

The artistically gifted child: A Different Way of Seeing

At age two years and three months, Arrian worked for five days to create this 18- x 24-inch painting. He used Crayola markers sometimes drawing with the right hand and sometimes with the left.

At age two years and three months, Arrian worked for five days to create this 18- x 24-inch painting. He used Crayola markers sometimes drawing with the right hand and sometimes with the left.

 

WE LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH MANY PARENTS OF DIVERSE CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS ARE FANATIC IN GIVING HTEIR CHILDREN EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED.  THEY WANT TO RAISE CHILDREN WHO ARE SOCIALLY SKILLFUL,  ACADEMICALLY ACCOMPLISHED AND SCHOLASTICALLY ADVANCED.  THANKS TO GREAT ADVANCES NOT ONLY IN CHILD PSYCHOLOGY BUT ALSO IN NEUROSCIENCE, STUDIES INCREASINGLY PRESENT AND DEBATE PROPER WAYS TO ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO REACH THESE GOALS.  TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS, RECENTLY REVIEWED IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES, RESPECTIVELY QUESTION THE VALUE OF THE MICROMANAGING “TIGER MOTHER” APPROACH AND LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF SUCCESSFUL PARENTING IN AMERICA.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0c9a3f80-5e35-11e6-bb77-a121aa8abd95.html?ftcamp=engage/email/emailthis_link/ft_articles_share/share_link_article_email/editorial

ELLEN WINNER, Ph.D., AS PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BOSTON COLLEGE AND SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE AT HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, AND AS DIRECTOR OF THE ARTS AND MIND LAB, HAS CONTRIBUTED HER EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND FINDINGS ON COGNITION IN THE ARTS IN TYPICAL AND GIFTED CHILDREN AS WELL AS ADULTS FOR OVER TWO DECADES.

A RECENT CONTRIBUTION TO SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, WITH CO-AUTHOR, JENNIFER DRAKE, Ph.D., PREDICTING ARTISTIC BRILLIANCE, STUDIES THE ARTISTICALLY PRECOCIOUS CHILD. THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS POST OF THIS ILLUMINATING ARTICLE.

PART THREE

a) Typical tadpole drawing of human, age 3 b) Two people dancing, by Grace, age 3 c) photo of Grace

a) Typical tadpole drawing of human, age 3
b) Two people dancing, by Grace, age 3
c) photo of Grace

Precocious realists begin to draw representationally by age two, at least one year ahead of most children. The artworks of typically developing youngsters are abstractions: an apple is captured with a slash, a human body with a circle, a horse’s body with a square. Precocious realists produce works that are much more optically convincing.

These children discover on their own how to create the illusion of 3-D using depth cues—foreshortening, occlusion, size diminution, shading to convey form and, the most difficult technique of all, linear perspective—years before most of their peers. In a comparison of typical and precocious artists published in 1995, psychologist Constance Milbrath, now at the University of British Columbia, observed that half of the children in the precocious group used foreshortening, in which lines not parallel to the picture plane are drawn shorter, in their artworks by ages seven and eight. Typically developing children reached comparable levels only by ages 13 and 14.

An avid 12-year-old naturalist, Joel Gibb displays artistic talent but may be using drawing as a tool to understand nature. He may become a scientist instead.

An avid 12-year-old naturalist, Joel Gibb displays artistic talent but may be using drawing as a tool to understand nature. He may become a scientist instead.

The ability to draw realistically at an early age marks the childhoods of many recognized artists. Artist and curator Ayala Gordon observed naturalism in the childhood compositions of 31 Israeli artists. Many famous artists’ early drawings have been singled out for their advanced realism, too, including Picasso, John Everett Millais, Edwin Henry Landseer, John Singer Sargent, Paul Klee and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Picasso recalled one of his first drawings in this way: “I was perhaps six…. In my father’s house there was a statue of Hercules with his club in the corridor, and I drew Hercules. But it wasn’t a child’s drawing. It was a real drawing, representing Hercules with his club.”

Complex Layered drawing by Arkin (a) Drawing by the adult Picasso showing similar layering (b)

Complex Layered drawing by Arkin (a)
Drawing by the adult Picasso showing similar layering (b)

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HE DESIRE TO WORK SO HARD AT SOMETHING COMES FROM WITHIN.
A CHILD’S INTEREST AND DRIVE CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM THE TALENT.

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Different Way of Seeing

We set out to discover what cognitive differences might give these children their edge. Their skill is not a matter of intelligence. As we reported in 2010, we have observed no relation between realistic drawing ability and IQ. This finding is bolstered by the cases of autistic “savants” with low IQs, such as Nadia, a child discovered at age six who demonstrated phenomenal artistic prowess despite severe learning disabilities, and Stephen Wiltshire, a man with autism who could draw elaborate cityscapes from memory after only a brief exposure to a scene.

What we have found instead is that children who draw realistically at an above-average level differ in their perceptual abilities. They have strong observational skills and seem to be able to just see the shapes of things, including the distortions that occur as objects recede into depth and diminish in size. A typical child might see a road as having parallel sides because she knows that a road’s edges are parallel, whereas an artistically gifted child overrides her knowledge about the road and sees its sides converging in the distance.

The Block Design Test

The Block Design Test

Early artistic aptitude is also strongly associated with the ability to focus on the parts of an object or scene rather than on the whole. To examine this idea, we used a visual and motor skills test called the Block Design Task. Children were asked to arrange red and white blocks to match a given pattern. We gave this task once in traditional format and once with the pattern segmented to reveal where the block boundaries should be. All participants did well on the segmented version. Children with realistic drawing ability, however, performed much better than other kids on the unsegmented version, presumably because they could mentally divide a complex form into its parts with ease.

 

They also performed better on a task in which they were asked to detect small shapes hidden within figures, a skill that requires analyzing a form by its elements. We hypothesize that a focus on component parts characterizes the process by which realistic artists draw. They may create a complex drawing not by first sketching the global outline but by building up their drawings part by part. Thus, they may both process and generate a scene with a more local focus than do nonartists.

This local-processing bias is also seen in children with autism. In 1993, for example, psychologists Amitta Shah, now a consultant, and Uta Frith of University College London found that autistic children performed equally well on both versions of the Block Design Task. Although a local-processing bias is commonly thought of as a characteristic of autism, our work has found that this proclivity is predicted not by the presence or absence of autism but only by the ability to draw realistically.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, THE AUTHORS EXPLORE THE AREA OF NON-REPRESENTIONAL ART. AS ABSTRACTION IS USUALLY CONSIDERED MORE SOPHISTICATED AND ASSOCIATED WITH CREATIVITY IN ADULT ARTISTS, THESE ARTISTICALLY PRECOCIOUS “COLORISTS’ SHOW A HIGHLY DEVELOPED SENSE OF FORM AND COMPOSITION.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

The Rage To Master: talent and motivation in artistically brilliant children

Sculpture Garden, Weatherspoon Art Museum

Sculpture Garden, Weatherspoon Art Museum

HARRIET WISEMAN ELLIOTT WAS A PIONEER IN WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND THE SUFFRAGETTE MOVEMENT AND SERVED IN THE 40s AS PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE UNDER THE ROOSEVELT ADMINISTRATION. AT THE TIME  OF HER DEATH IN 1947, THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA IN GREENSBORO ESTABLISHED THE HARRIET ELLIOTT SOCIAL SCIENCE FORUM TO HONOR THIS DISTINGUISHED AND INNOVATIVE PROFESSOR OF  POLITICAL SCIENCE AND DEAN OF WOMEN WHO TAUGHT ON THE CAMPUS FROM 1913 UNTIL 1935.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection Jun 25, 2016 – Sep 18, 2016

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection
Jun 25, 2016 – Sep 18, 2016

IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR, DR. JENNIFER DRAKE,  CO-AUTHOR WITH ELLEN WINNER, Ph.D., PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BOSTON COLLEGE, OF THE STUDY OF PREDICTING ARTISTIC BRILLIANCE WAS INVITED TO SPEAK ON THIS SUBJECT AT THE UNIVERSITY’S PRESTIGIOUS HARRIET ELLIOTT LECTURE SERIES.

Henri Matisse: Selections from the Claribel and Etta Cone Collection Jun 25, 2016 – Oct 16, 2016

Henri Matisse: Selections from the Claribel and Etta Cone Collection
Jun 25, 2016 – Oct 16, 2016

HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY’S WEATHERSPOON ART MUSEUM, A STRONGHOLD OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ART THAT INCLUDES WORKS FROM THE DILLARD COLLECTION OF ART ON PAPER  AND THE ETTA AND CLARIBEL CONE COLLECTION OF PRINTS AND BRONZES BY MATISSE, JENNIFER INTRODUCED HER LECTURE AS FOLLOWS:

 

Some young children are able to create stunningly realistic drawings that resemble those of adult artists. In this talk, I present research examining the perceptual and cognitive skills that underlie this talent. 

Sketches by Arkin Rai (age 6) showing layering, foreshortening and linear perspective.

Sketches by Arkin Rai (age 6) showing layering, foreshortening and linear perspective.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO POST PART II OF THE ARTICLE.

Exceptional realism, such as that displayed by Arkin, is one important sign, but it is not the whole story. Not all adult artists drew as convincingly as Arkin when they were his age, and some young children are now being discovered who show a skill for producing nonrepresentational art, rather than realistic works. We have identified five other characteristics that we believe foretell artistic creativity. A budding artist’s drawings are often well composed and display either a decorative, colorful aspect or an expressive power. The child also has a hunger to look at art, possesses an enormous drive to create and wants to be original. Last, we contend that outstanding artists, and perhaps geniuses in all domains, not only possess innate talent but also are intrinsically motivated in a way that others may not be—something we call the rage to master.

Arkin Rai Age 6

Arkin Rai
Age 6

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FAST FACTS

Motivated to Master

I. Artistically gifted children may see the world differently than other youngsters do. They discover advanced compositional techniques many years before their peers.

II. These precocious children tend to be self-motivated and deeply interested in honing their skills.

III. These early signs and others are helping researchers to predict which children are likely to pursue art as adults.

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Birth of a Skill

Scientists and educators have long sought to demystify the emergence of expertise, artistic and otherwise. Many researchers have argued that exceptional  achievement can be boiled down simply to hard work—about 10,000 hours of it. Studies of eminent scientists in the 1950s supported this view by underscoring the individuals’ capacity for endurance, concentration and commitment to effortful practice. Benjamin Bloom, a prominent education psychologist who studied mastery, wrote in 1985 that none of his subjects achieved expertise without a supportive environment and a long and intensive period of training. This education came first from encouraging instructors and later from demanding master teachers. A few years later psychologist K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University conducted studies of experts in piano, violin, chess, bridge or athletics. The investigations revealed that a person’s level of achievement correlated strongly with the amount of practice put in.

A typical two year old's drawing of two apples using two lines.

A typical two year old’s drawing of two apples using two lines.

These studies, however, have not been able to tease apart hard work and innate ability. The children with the most talent may also be the ones most interested in an activity, who begin to develop their skills at an early age and who work the hardest at it. Committing time and energy to a task likely is easier when advancement comes quickly but not when every step is a painful struggle.

FAST FACTS

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PRECOCIOUS ARTISTS BEGIN TO DRAW REPRESENTATIONALLY BY AGE TWO

AT LEAST ONE YEAR AHEAD OF MOST CHILDREN, WHO DRAW ABSTRACTIONS.

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A precocious two-year-old draws a circular line to capture contour.

A precocious two-year-old draws a circular line to capture contour.

We have tackled this question by examining the earliest signs of artistic talent. Researchers have long assumed that the first inkling of it in humans, and especially in the young child, is the ability to portray the three-dimensional world realistically on a two-dimensional surface. Art historians have been struck by the realism of cave paintings done by our Paleolithic forebears, leading many to assume that this style is the most natural form of art. Although most children’s drawings are schematic, certain youngsters, including some with autism, can draw in a highly naturalistic fashion from a very early age, mirroring those paintings done by our ancestors. We refer to children who show an early ability to draw in this manner as precocious realists, and we now know a great deal about their developmental trajectory.

IN THE NEXT LRFA POST, THE ARTICLE EXPLORES THE SOPHISTICATED PICTORIAL TECHNIQUES ADOPTED BY ARTISTICALLY BRILLIANT CHILDREN.

UNTIL THEN, THANK YOU FOR READING!

Predicting Artistic Brilliance: a study of the gifted child with Ellen Winner and Jennifer Drake

MoMA Art Lab

MoMA Art Lab

 WHAT IS GIFTEDNESS?  THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED CHILDREN states:

Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Even within schools you will find a range of beliefs about the word “gifted,” which has become a term with multiple meanings and much nuance.  Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and social-emotional functions can develop unevenly.  Some gifted children with exceptional aptitude may not demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement due to environmental circumstances such as limited opportunities to learn as a result of poverty, discrimination, or cultural barriers; due to physical or learning disabilities; or due to motivational or emotional problems.  This dichotomy between potential for and demonstrated achievement has implications for schools as they design programs and services for gifted students.

IN 1996, ELLEN WINNER, Ph.D. PUBLISHED A STUDY ON THE GIFTED CHILD AND HAS CONTINUED TO CONTRIBUTE HER FINDINGS, RESEARCH AND INSIGHT ON THIS SUBJECT. THE STUDY DETERMINED THAT CHILDREN THAT WHO ARE HIGHLY GIFTED IN AN ART FORM FACE MANY OF THE SAME PROBLEMS FACED BY ACADEMICALLY GIFTED CHILDREN.
TODAY’S  LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO PRESENT  PREDICTING ARTISTIC BRILLIANCE, A RECENT 2012 CONTRIBUTION ON THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT PREDICT TALENT AND GENIUS, PUBLISHED BY ELLEN WINNER, Ph.D, AND CO-AUTHOR JENNIFER DRAKE, Ph.D. IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND.
ai went from creating abstract, schematic drawings (this page, left) to learning several ad- vanced techniques, such as occlusion (this page, right). His sketches (opposite page) show layering, foreshortening and linear perspective. 

Rai, age 3,  creating abstract, schematic drawings 

A “RAGE TO MASTER”, AS OBSERVED IN SOME PRECOCIOUS YOUNG ARTISTS, MAY HELP DEFINE EXTREME VISUAL CREATIVITY
by Jennifer E. Drake and  Ellen Winner

Arkin Rai, a seven-year-old child living in Singapore, draws dinosaurs with exquisite realism. At age three his dinosaurs were simple and schematic. A year and some months later, however, he created a complex drawing in which dinosaurs were layered one on top of the other, an image that bears an uncanny resemblance to a drawing of horses and a bull by the adult Pablo Picasso.

In Arkin’s fanciful scene, the long, graceful neck of an Apatosaurus-like beast obscures the view of other dinosaurs. One of them is a Tyrannosaurus rex, drawn in profile with one leg mostly hidden behind another—an effect called occlusion, which most children discover at age eight or nine. In the ensuing months his drawings became shockingly realistic. He started using fluid contour lines to give figures shape. At age six he was depicting dinosaurs fighting and running, using various advanced methods to convey the distance between objects.

Rai, age 4 years, 7 months, demonstrating several advanced techniques such as occlusion.

Rai, age 4 years, 7 months, demonstrating several advanced techniques such as occlusion.

Most adults cannot draw anywhere near as realistically as Arkin can, and we are in awe of such technical virtuosity in a young child. Although we cannot know if Arkin will develop into a professional artist, his drawings and those of children like him are helping us study the emergence of artistic ability. By examining the artworks of gifted children and the early compositions of adult artists, we and other researchers have begun to predict who will display great visual creativity later in life. Our studies of young artists may also offer insight into the development of mastery more generally.

Rai, age 4 years, 7 months

Rai, age 4 years, 7 months

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, DRS. WINNER AND DRAKE WILL DESCRIBE THE HISTORY OF RESEARCH ON THIS SUBJECT AND IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTICS THAT FORETELL ARTISTIC CREATIVITY.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

BIOS
ELLEN WINNER, Ph. D

ELLEN WINNER, Ph. D

Ellen Winner is Professor and Chair of psychology at Boston College and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab, which focuses on cognition in the arts in typical and gifted children as well as adults. She is the author of over 100 articles and three books—Invented Worlds: The Psychology of the Arts (1982), The Point of Words: Children’s Understanding of Metaphor and Irony (1988), and Gifted Children: Myths and Realities (1997) and co-author of Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (2007) and Studio Thinking 2: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (2013).

She has served as President of APA’s Division 10, Psychology and the Arts in 1995-1996, and received the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Research by a Senior Scholar in Psychology and the Arts from Division 10 in 2000. She is a fellow of APA Division 10 and of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics.
JENNIFER DRAKE, Ph. D

JENNIFER DRAKE,
Ph. D

Jennifer Drake is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Statistics from Boston College. Her research program focuses on emotion regulation and the arts in children and adults. In a second line of research, she studies the cognitive and perceptual processes underlying graphic representation skill in artistically gifted children. Her research is funded by grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Imagination Institute supported by the John Templeton Foundation, and PSC-CUNY. Her research has been featured in Scientific American Mind, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio.

Looking forward with Max Teichner of Gagosian Gallery

Piero Golia, Loser, 2003. Courtesy the artist, Bougada & Cargnel, Paris. "PAR TIBI, ROMA, NIHIL" at the Nomas Foundation, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Rome, Italiy

Piero Golia, Loser, 2003. Courtesy the artist, Bougada & Cargnel, Paris.
“PAR TIBI, ROMA, NIHIL” at the Nomas Foundation, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Rome, Italiy

WELL-RECEIVED EXHIBITIONS IN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED MUSEUMS ADD INCOMPARABLE STATURE TO A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST’S REPUTATION. THE COLLECTING PUBLIC AND ART MARKET IS ENCOURAGED BY THIS CRITICAL  AND CURATORIAL ACCLAIM. THE MUSEUM OR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION’S RECOGNITION OF AN ARTIST WHO IS CONTINUING TO PRODUCE OFFERS COLLECTORS, CURATORS AND THE ART GOING PUBLIC THE OPPORTUNITY TO UNDERSTAND HOW AN ARTIST’S PRACTICE EVOLVED AND CONNECT FURTHER WITH THE WORK.  THE ART BOOM AND PUBLICITY SURROUNDING RECORD PRICES AT AUCTION AS WELL AS THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF ART THANKS TO ONLINE AUCTIONS, INSTAGRAM, INTERNATIONAL FAIRS THAT ARE A MIX OF SOCIAL EVENTS, CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP AND ART, AS WELL AS THE OVERALL GENERAL GROWTH OF GLOBAL WEALTH, HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY BOOSTED MUSEUM ATTENDANCE.

FRANCIS BACON MONACO AND FRENCH CULTURE JULY 02ND 2016 PRESS RELEASE ARTIST INFO "Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture," Installation view at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. Photo by JC Vinaj/Grimaldi Forum,

FRANCIS BACON
MONACO AND FRENCH CULTURE
JULY 02ND 2016
PRESS RELEASE
ARTIST INFO
“Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture,”
Installation view at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.
Photo by JC Vinaj/Grimaldi Forum,

GAGOSIAN ARTISTS HAVE  STRONG INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION IN THE MUSEUM SECTOR OF THE ART WORLD. THIS SUMMER ALONE, THE DE YOUNG IN SAN FRANCISCO PRESENTS ED RUSCHA AND THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST; IN MONACO, THE GRIMALDI FORUM PRESENTS THE WORK OF FRANCIS BACON FROM A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE: THE INFLUENCE OF FRENCH CULTURE DURING BACON’S MONEGASQUE PERIOD.

"Sterling Ruby," installation view at The Winter Palace at the Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Artworks © Sterling Ruby Studio. Photo by Sophie Thun

“Sterling Ruby,” installation view at The Winter Palace at the Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Artworks © Sterling Ruby Studio. Photo by Sophie Thun

A SURVEY OF THE ICONOCLASTIC WORK OF STERLING RUBY IGNITES THE GRAND ROOMS OF THE WINTER PALACE AT THE BELVEDERE, VIENNA, A STARTLING JUXTAPOSITION AND COMMENTARY  ON THE CELEBRATION OF WARFARE EXPOUNDED THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING.  IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY, THE STAEDEL MUSEUM OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE EXHIBITION OF GEORG BASELITZ’S CELEBRATED “HEROES” SERIES.

Georg Baselitz, The Shepherd, 1966, oil on canvas, 63 13/16 × 51 3/16 inches (162 × 130 cm) © Georg Baselitz 2016, courtesy Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden. Photo by Jochen Littkemann, Berlin

Georg Baselitz, The Shepherd, 1966, oil on canvas, 63 13/16 × 51 3/16 inches (162 × 130 cm) © Georg Baselitz 2016, courtesy Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden. Photo by Jochen Littkemann, Berlin

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO SPEAK WITH MAX TEICHER OF GAGOSIAN GALERY ABOUT ITS CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AND FUTURE PLANS.

MAX, THANK YOU. GAGOSIAN GALLERY HAS ORGANIZED EXHIBITIONS OF THE SCOPE AND SIGNIFICANCE THAT ARE OFTEN ONLY FOUND IN A MUSEUM.  WHAT ARE SOME OF THESE EXHIBITIONS AT THE GALLERY THAT WERE THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?

"In the Studio: Paintings" Curated by John Elderfield Installation view February 17 - April 18, 2015 Photo by Rob McKeever

“In the Studio: Paintings”
Curated by John Elderfield
Installation view
February 17 – April 18, 2015
Photo by Rob McKeever

Ever since we’ve been collaborating with distinguished curators, it has allowed us to serve as both an artist venue and educational venue for collectors and art enthusiasts. Specifically exhibitions like In the Studio Photographs and In The Studio Painting brought together some artists that we don’t typically show or represent.

Curated by John Elderfield and Peter Galassi, the subject of the artist’s studio in works of art is a very large one with a long history: The spaces where art is made, and the means by which it is made in that space, have proved fascinating to both its creators and its viewers. The aim of this pair of exhibitions is to explore important themes in the development of the subject within these two mediums.

In the Studio: Photographs Curated by Peter Galassi CHARLES RAY Plank Piece I–II, 1973 Gelatin silver prints mounted on rag board, in two parts © Charles Ray. Photo by Rob McKeever

In the Studio: Photographs
Curated by Peter Galassi
CHARLES RAY
Plank Piece I–II, 1973
Gelatin silver prints mounted on rag board, in two parts
© Charles Ray.
Photo by Rob McKeever

HOW WOULD YOU ANALYZE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE ART WORLD SINCE YOU BEGAN AT GAGOSIAN? WHAT DIRECTION DO YOU THINK WE CAN NOW ANTICIPATE?

In my eight years here I can confidently tell you that the contemporary art world has expanded significantly with more galleries, more collectors, and more exhibited artists. This is wonderful in all aspects and I see this only increasing with time. More eyes on art allows the art world to be less intimidating and more inviting to new collectors.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXHIBITIONS WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO AT GAGOSIAN IN THE MONTHS AHEAD?

I am excited by the recent opening of our San Francisco gallery. The inaugural exhibition is Plane.Site.

Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003 Acrylic, oil, and wax crayon on handmade paper © Cy Twombly Foundation Photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly
Untitled, 2003
Acrylic, oil, and wax crayon on handmade paper
© Cy Twombly Foundation
Photo by Rob McKeever

PLANE.SITE  a cross-generational exhibition of modern and contemporary artists organized by Sam Orlofsky to inaugurate the San Francisco gallery.

“Plane.Site” explores the dynamic exchanges between drawing and sculpture, in the work of artists from the modern post-war period to the present day. To that end, each participating artist is represented by a work in both two and three dimensions.

Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2009 Wood, white paint, cardboard, yellow acrylic, plastic strings 21 × 12 × 9 1/2 inches (53.3 × 30.5 × 24.1 cm) © Cy Twombly Foundation Photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly
Untitled (Lexington), 2009
Wood, white paint, cardboard, yellow acrylic, plastic strings
21 × 12 × 9 1/2 inches (53.3 × 30.5 × 24.1 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation
Photo by Rob McKeever

I hope everyone visits the new space when they travel to San Francisco!

MAX, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC CONTRIBUTION.

IN OUR NEXT POST, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME BACK PROFESSOR ELLEN WINNER, PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BOSTON COLLEGE, AND HER CO-AUTHOR, JENNIFER DRAKE, PH.D., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE, CUNY, WITH THEIR RECENT ARTICLE ON PREDICTING ARTISTIC BRILLIANCE – CERTAINLY A TOPIC OF INTEREST TO COLLECTORS AND CURATORS ALIKE!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

HAPPY SUMMER!

Roy Lichtenstein Sinking Sun

Roy Lichtenstein
Sinking Sun

The art of collecting, with Max Teicher of Gagosian Gallery

Rockaway! featuring site-specific installation by Katharina Grosse. Image courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1. Photo by Pablo Enriquez.

Rockaway! featuring site-specific installation by Katharina Grosse.
Image courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1.
Photo by Pablo Enriquez.

OBSESSION IS A VALUABLE TRAIT IN BOTH MAKING AND COLLECTING ART. WORKS WHICH COMMAND THE MOST CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL ATTENTION ARE, TO A GREAT EXTENT, PRODUCED BY ARTISTS WHO ARE CONSUMED BY THE CREATIVE PROCESS, WHETHER FROM AN INTELLECTUAL, TECHNICAL OR EMOTIONAL PERSPECTIVE, BEST YET ALL THREE. FOR A COLLECTOR, OBSESSION INSURES THE ACQUISITION OF WORKS THAT WILL BE A SOURCE OF INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL PLEASURE FOR SOME TIME TO COME. AFTER IDENTIFYING ARTWORKS THAT INITIALLY CAPTIVATE ONE’S ATTENTION, THE ENSUING RESEARCH, DUE DILIGENCE AND CONTINUED DIALOGUE WITH ART EXPERTS, ILLUMINATE ONE’S FIRST VISCERAL REACTION.

THE LEGENDARY ART DEALER, LORD DUVEEN, WHEN STANDING IN FRONT OF JMW TURNER’S BRIDGE AND TOWER,  FAMOUSLY DECLARED, “IF I OWNED THAT PICTURE, I SHOULD WANT NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD”. THAT STATEMENT PROVIDES THE GOLD STANDARD WHEN DECIDING ON ADDING A WORK OF ART TO A COLLECTION.

GAGOSIAN GALLERY, WITH 16 EXHIBITION SPACES AROUND THE WORLD, HAS A VIBRANT CONTEMPORARY PROGRAM AND OFFERS A VAST ROSTER OF ARTISTS AND MEDIUMS TO CONSIDER. THE GALLERY RECENTLY WELCOMED AN EXCEPTIONAL GERMAN ARTIST, KATHARINE GROSSE, INTO ITS FOLD. HER MOST RECENT OUTDOOR WORK WAS UNVEILED TO THE PUBLIC ON JULY 3rd, THE LATEST SITE SPECIFIC COMMISSION FOR ROCKAWAY! MoMA’S PS1’s PROGRAM THAT WAS INITIATED AFTER HURRICANE SANDY’S DESTRUCTION OF THE COASTAL AREA.

Carsten Höller's The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK.

Carsten Höller’s The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK.

 

STARTING TO COLLECT CAN BE A MYSTERIOUS AND INTIMIDATING PROCESS. TODAY THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH MAX TEICHER AT GAGOSIAN GALLERY. MAX IS DEDICATED TO MAINTAINING A DIALOGUE WITH EMERGING ARTISTS AND COLLECTORS.

IN A LECTURE HE GAVE ON THE SUBJECT, HE COUNSELED:

We need to start thinking about what is in front of our eyes today. I want to see the artist really thinking through his process. He must have something to offer. It is a ten-year process to get to this moment. You can see how an artwork draws comparisons and references another, this is a way that we can make sense of the moment we are in.

You have to learn and dedicate time to it. You must read and not be afraid to ask questions.

MAX, WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN CONTEMPORARY ART AND WANTS TO BEGIN TO BUILD A COLLECTION?

I would suggest they start buying. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed and prefer to be overly patient and slow. However, I notice that too many people can beat around the bush and be hesitant. The only way to know what art you want to live with is to simply live with it.

To mark the one-year anniversary of its move into a permanent home in Gorky Park, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow has opened “Small Axe,” an exhibition by Urs Fischer.

To mark the one-year anniversary of its move into a permanent home in Gorky Park, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow has opened “Small Axe,” an exhibition by Urs Fischer.

WHAT KIND OF ART SHOULD THEY FOCUS ON AND HOW WOULD THEY GO ABOUT FAMILIARIZING THEMSELVES WITH ALL THE POSSIBILITIES?

Art to which they have a strong response! Part of the reason I love being with Gagosian Gallery is that every artist we work with is museum quality and their markets are very stable. Thinking about price and value when looking at art should always be the last thought and collecting with a gallery like Gagosian enables individuals to connect with art and not have to worry about the associated costs.

"Sterling Ruby" at The Winter Palace at the Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Sandal (4828), 2014, ceramic, 11 × 20 × 35 1/2 inches (27.9 × 50.8 × 90.2 cm) © Sterling Ruby Studio. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

“Sterling Ruby” at The Winter Palace at the Belvedere, Vienna, Austria.
Sandal (4828), 2014, ceramic, 11 × 20 × 35 1/2 inches (27.9 × 50.8 × 90.2 cm) © Sterling Ruby Studio. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

ARE YOU ASSIGNED SPECIFIC ARTISTS WITHIN THE GALLERY ROSTER FOR WHOM YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE IN TERMS OF STUDIO VISITS AND PLANNING EXHIBITIONS AND, IF SO, WHICH ARTISTS AND WHAT IS THE ASSIGNMENT PROCESS?

Everyone has a unique role here that is best suited for their personality and what is best for the gallery.  These roles mean that we all wear many hats.  Many of my colleagues are assigned specific artists; I definitely have specific responsibilities. I’ve been lucky enough to be included in many studio visits and exhibitions but there certainly isn’t one specific artist for whom I’m responsible.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG WITH MAX, HE WILL SHARE HIS INSIGHTS ON THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET. PLEASE JOIN US!

Building bridges: artist/gallery/collector, with Max Teicher of Gagosian Gallery

GAGOSIAN GALLERY LONDON April 27 - June 17, 2016 "Alberto Giacometti Yves Klein: In Search of the Absolute" Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

GAGOSIAN GALLERY LONDON
April 27 – June 17, 2016
“Alberto Giacometti Yves Klein: In Search of the Absolute”
Installation view
Photo by Mike Bruce

GAGOSIAN GALLERY CURATES MUSEUM QUALITY EXHIBITIONS ON A REGULAR BASIS, OFTEN THEMATIC IN CONTENT OR ON OCCASION FOCUSING ON A SPECIFIC PERIOD OF AN INDIVIDUAL ARTIST’S WORK. THE GALLERY ENJOYS A RICH HISTORY OF EXCEPTIONAL EXHIBITIONS DEDICATED TO THE WORK OF ALEXANDER CALDER, JOHN CHAMBERLAIN, WILLEM DE KOONING, LUCIO FONTANA, ANDY WARHOL, AND OTHERS. FOR EXAMPLE, A SERIES OF OUTSTANDING SURVEY EXHIBITIONS EXPLORED DIFFERENT PERIODS OF PICASSO’S WORK, CURATED BY THE ESTEEMED PICASSO EXPERT, JOHN RICHARDSON.

ARTISTS, ARTISTS’ ESTATES AND COLLECTORS ANTICIPATE THAT GALLERIES  OF THIS CALIBER WILL NOT ONLY SUPPORT THE WORK OF ARTISTS THEY REPRESENT WITH A MULTI-FACETED PLATFORM OF WORLD-WIDE GALLERY AND MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS BUT ALSO WITH  ART HISTORICAL RESEARCH AND CONNOISSEURSHIP. THUS, IN ADDITION TO THE SHOWS THEMSELVES,  THE GALLERY PUBLISHES SCHOLARLY EXHIBITION CATALOGUES AND ARTISTS’ MONOGRAPHS AND PROVIDES A HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED PUBLICITY  NETWORK THAT REACHES EVERY POTENTIAL AUDIENCE BY BOTH TRADITIONAL METHODS AND SOPHISTICATED 2.0 MARKETING. http://www.gagosian.com/

GAGOSIAN GALLERY CHELSEA September 10 - October 17, 2015 "ROY LICHTENSTEIN: Greene Street Mural" Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

GAGOSIAN GALLERY CHELSEA
September 10 – October 17, 2015
“ROY LICHTENSTEIN: Greene Street Mural”
Installation view
Photo by Rob McKeever

THESE ARE THE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS THAT COMMAND PUBLIC ATTENTION. BEHIND THE SCENES, NURTURING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GALLERY AND ARTIST IS AS CRUCIAL A FUNCTION FOR THE WELL-BEING OF BOTH ARTIST AND DEALER.

THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH MAX TEICHER OF GAGOSIAN GALLERY.

MAX’S FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST, SHARED BY MANY OF US ON THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ARTS, FOSTERS HIS EMPATHY AND RAPPORT WITH ARTISTS. AS A COLLECTOR IN HIS OWN RIGHT, HIS APPRECIATION OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE DECISION-MAKING SELECTION PROCESS ADDS A DIMENSION TO HIS EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE.

GAGOSIAN GALLERY NEW YORK March 10 - 19, 2016 "Masterworks from the Chinese Past" In collaboration with Gisèle Croës Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

GAGOSIAN GALLERY NEW YORK
March 10 – 19, 2016
“Masterworks from the Chinese Past”
In collaboration with Gisèle Croës
Installation view
Photo by Rob McKeever

MAX, WHEN DID YOU FIRST START AT GAGOSIAN AND IN WHAT CAPACITY?

I started interning at the gallery when I was 19. I was always happy to help in any way. I was then lucky enough to be an art handler. That helped me build personal relationships with objects and I learned the process of how the gallery works and how much effort people put into it.

HOW DID YOUR AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY EVOLVE OVER THE EIGHT YEARS YOU HAVE WORKED AT GAGOSIAN? DOES THE GALLERY HAVE A STRICT HIERARCHY OF RESPONSIBILITY OR IS THERE A FLUIDITY AND OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF GALLERY MANAGEMENT?

I can’t speak for everyone else’s development here, but I do feel like it is a terrific place for people to find their role on the team. Everyone is different and everyone has specific purposes and this is the kind of place that brings out the best in these people.

GAGOSIAN GALLERY CHELSEA February 17 - April 18, 2015 "In the Studio: Paintings" Curated by John Elderfield Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

GAGOSIAN GALLERY CHELSEA
February 17 – April 18, 2015
“In the Studio: Paintings”
Curated by John Elderfield
Installation view
Photo by Rob McKeever

DO YOU COLLECT AND, IF SO, WHAT TYPES OF WORK AND WHY?

Of course I collect! I think that one of our great collectors here at Gagosian said it well. He said that the moment you put your first piece on the wall, you can no longer live without art. My collection is made up of artists that have an appreciation for technical skill and craftsmanship. I find it impossible to solely collect so I often go on studio visits and engage in brainstorming with the artists. There are several that I have consistently supported for several years now.

DID YOU PROPOSE EXHIBITIONS OF SPECIFIC ARTISTS AND HOW DO THESE EXHIBITS AND ARTISTS REFLECT YOUR INTEREST IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD?

I have been fortunate enough to build bridges between many artists, curators, gallerists, and collectors. Sometimes an exhibition can start from a casual conversation with an artist to years of suggesting their work to others. Great art always finds a way of being presented to large audiences.

UNREALISM The Moore Building, Miami Design District Art Basel Miami December 2015

UNREALISM
The Moore Building, Miami Design District
Art Basel Miami December 2015

AT LAST DECEMBER’S MIAMI ART BASEL, GAGOSIAN LAUNCHED AN ENORMOUS EXHIBITION OF FIGURATIVE WORKS ENTITLED UNREALISM  IN COLLABORATION WITH JEFFREY DEITCH. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF VIEWING THE EXHIBIT WITH YOU AS MY GUIDE AND BENEFITED FROM YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF FIGURAL ARTISTS.

WHAT DOES THE RENEWED INTEREST IN FIGURATIVE PAINTING AND SCULPTURE REPRESENT TO YOU AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INFLUENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND DIGITAL PRINTING HAS ON THIS RENAISSANCE?

I think these things come in waves. I think that post-war era figurative painting has come in and out. I have even heard of several universities that banned it until only 10 years ago. I think technology is always expanding the abilities for artists to create. Ever since oil painting took over tempera painting in the renaissance, technology has continued to open windows. Today with digital photography, everyone with a mobile phone is a curator or an artist on Instagram or social media with what they are putting up there.

GAGOSIAN GALLERY LONDON BRITANNIA STREET November 2012 - January 2013 "ZENG FANZHI" Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

GAGOSIAN GALLERY LONDON
BRITANNIA STREET
November 2012 – January 2013
“ZENG FANZHI”
Installation view
Photo by Mike Bruce

IN THE NEXT LRFA POST, MAX WILL SHARE HIS INSIGHTS ON THE ART OF COLLECTING ART. HIS EXPERIENCE AS BOTH AN ASTUTE COLLECTOR AND  DEALER PROVIDES A 360 DEGREE PERSPECTIVE.  DO ASK MAX ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ON THIS SUBJECT.

THANKS FOR READING!

Introducing Max Teicher of Gagosian Gallery: a global art network

MAX TEICHER Gagosian Gallery 980 Madison Avenue New York

MAX TEICHER
Gagosian Gallery
980 Madison Avenue
New York

IN ITS 30 YEAR HISTORY, GAGOSIAN GALLERY HAS EVOLVED INTO A INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF GALLERIES WORLDWIDE. IT HAS EARNED ITS POWERFUL GLOBAL PRESENCE WITH GALLERIES STRATEGICALLY PLACED AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NEW YORK AND BEVERLY HILLS IN THE UNITED STATES, LONDON, PARIS, GENEVA AND ZURICH, ROME, AND HONG KONG. MOST RECENTLY OPENED, THE 12th GALLERY WORLDWIDE, GAGOSIAN SAN FRANCISCO,  IS PERFECTLY LOCATED ON HOWARD STREET, NEXT DOOR TO JOHN BERGGRUEN, A SAN FRANCISCO FIXTURE, AND ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE NEWLY EXPANDED AND SPECTACULARLY RECEIVED SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART.

http://www.gagosian.com/

GAGOSIAN SAN FRANCISCO 657 Howard Street

GAGOSIAN SAN FRANCISCO
657 Howard Street

SFMoMA TRIPLES THE EXHIBITION SPACE OF THE ORIGINAL BUILDING AND ALLOWS THE MUSEUM TO CURATE AND EXHIBIT A GREAT DEAL MORE OF ITS STELLAR COLLECTION, PARTICULARLY RICH IN GERMAN NEO-EXPRESSIONISM AND MINIMAL ART. THIS LATEST VENUE OFFERS GAGOSIAN DIRECT ACCESS TO THE ESTABLISHED AND ENGAGED BAY AREA COLLECTORS AND PROXIMITY TO NEWER ART-COLLECTING SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEURS.

 

The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Richard Serra Sequence 2006

The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Richard Serra
Sequence 2006

MAX TEICHER AT GAGOSIAN GALLERY IN NEW YORK PROJECTS THE CONFIDENCE AND ENTHUSIASM THAT CHARACTERIZE THE MOST EFFECTIVE DEALERS. GAGOSIAN OFFERS ARTISTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXHIBIT IN ARCHITECTURALLY IMPRESSIVE GALLERY SPACES WORLD WIDE AND ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL COLLECTORS FOR IMPORTANT WORKS BY SUCH REVERED LUMINARIES AS LUCIO FONTANA, CY TWOMBLY, DAVID SMITH, AND PICASSO. THE LIST IS ENDLESS, A SPECTRUM OF THE MOST ESTABLISHED AND SOUGHT AFTER MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AS WELL AS A CONTINUALLY EXPANDING ROSTER OF NEW TALENT.

Gagosian Gallery Madison Avenue New York City

Gagosian Gallery
Madison Avenue
New York City

THE COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT AND OPEN-ENDED POSSIBILITIES FOR ADVANCEMENT AT GAGOSIAN UNDOUBTEDLY MAKE A POSITION AT THE GALLERY BOTH ENVIABLE AND CHALLENGING YET MAX TEICHER. HEADQUARTERED IN NEW YORK AT THE MADISON AVENUE LOCATION ACROSS FROM THE CARLYLE HOTEL, ALWAYS APPEARS RELAXED WHILE VERY MUCH IN CHARGE.

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED THAT MAX HAS AGREED TO CONTRIBUTE.

 

Gagosian Gallery 980 Madison Avenue New York

Gagosian Gallery
980 Madison Avenue
New York

 

MAX, HOW DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN ART?

I have always enjoyed the aesthetic world, specifically, architecture, visuals arts and design. When I was a teenager, I developed a love for contemporary art. I began trying to learn and see as much as possible.

AS THIS INTEREST DEVELOPED, WHAT DIRECTION DID YOU TAKE, ACADEMICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY, TO FURTHER THIS?

Without thinking much of my future, I first took a job with Bruce Frank when I was 15 years old.  He is a very well regarded dealer of African and Oceanic art. From there, I decided to continue with this career path and focus my studies on visual art. I attended Sarah Lawrence College (like you!) with visual art in mind.

 RICHARD SERRA ABOVE BELOW BETWIXT BETWEEN, EVERY WHICH WAY, SILENCE (FOR JOHN CAGE), THROUGH MAY 7 - JULY 29, 2016


RICHARD SERRA
ABOVE BELOW BETWIXT BETWEEN, EVERY WHICH WAY, SILENCE (FOR JOHN CAGE), THROUGH
MAY 7 – JULY 29, 2016

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE INTERNSHIPS AND JOBS THAT YOU HAD THAT SOLIDIFIED YOUR PROFESSIONAL PATH?  WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS AND LESSONS DID YOU CULL FROM THESE EARLY EXPERIENCES?

I began working for Abby M. Taylor Fine Art in high school and she was kind enough to invite me to work with the gallery at the LA Art Fair. I was fascinated by the way dealers interacted with collectors about art. Each person’s attraction to specific works of art represented many aspects of their personal narrative. The role of the dealer became clear to be a connector between an object and viewer. I continue to be assured that this was a role I wanted myself.

YOU HAVE AN ENORMOUS APPRECIATION FOR ARTISTS, THEIR CREATIVE PROCESS, AND THEIR STRUGGLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR VISUAL AND INTELLECTUAL CULTURE. WHAT EXPERIENCES HELPED YOU TO EXPAND THIS EMPATHY?

After realizing my dream was to work with living artists, I understood that it was important to start painting and understand the artist’s process. It took me several years to appreciate and accept it, and without it I wouldn’t be geared to do this.  

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG, MAX WILL SHARE HIS EXPERIENCES SINCE FIRST JOINING GAGOSIAN GALLERY.  MAX IS AN ARTICULATE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE DEALER HAPPY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. FIRE AWAY!

Ed Ruscha OUR FLAG 1987 oil on canvas 54 x 120 inches

Ed Ruscha
OUR FLAG
1987
oil on canvas
54 x 120 inches

AND HAPPY 4th!

 

Curatorial legends: the life of Katharine Kuh with art historian and writer, Avis Berman

Katharine Kuh Museum of Modern Art

Katharine Kuh
Museum of Modern Art

THE WHITNEY MUSEUM WAS ESTABLISHED BY TWO DEDICATED WOMEN COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING THE LIVING ARTISTS OF THEIR TIME. TODAY, THE ART WORLD IS COMPRISED OF MANY POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL WOMEN: GALLERISTS, ART ADVISORS, AUCTION HOUSE SPECIALISTS AND DEALERS. THERE ARE BRILLIANT WOMEN CURATORS WHO HELP BUILD MUSEUM COLLECTIONS OR WORK INDEPENDENTLY CREATING COMPELLING EXHIBITIONS THAT WIDEN AND DEEPEN OUR CULTURAL AND AESTHETIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE ARTS.

Katharine Kuh. Mark Chagall and Dan Rich Art Institute of Chicago 1958

Katharine Kuh. Mark Chagall and Dan Rich
Art Institute of Chicago
1958

IN TODAY’S LRFA POST, WRITER AND CURATOR AVIS BERMAN WILL DOCUMENT THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF A WOMAN OF THE LAST GENERATION OF CURATORS WHO GREATLY CONTRIBUTED TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART.  KATHARINE KUH WAS ONE OF THE GREAT ART WORLD FIGURES OF THE MID-20th CENTURY, FORMER CURATOR AT THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO.  LIKE JULIANA FORCE, KUH WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORTING THE CONTEMPORARY ART OF HER TIME.

Katharine Kuh Art Institute of Chicago May 1951

Katharine Kuh
Art Institute of Chicago
May 1951

AVIS, WHAT DREW YOU TO WRITING ABOUT HER AND CURATING AN EXHIBITION IN HER HONOR? WHAT WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS THAT SHE MADE?

I met Katharine Kuh in 1982 when I began conducting an oral history of her for the Archives of American Art’s special oral history project on Mark Rothko’s life and times, which was sponsored by the Mark Rothko Foundation. I was supposed to go three or four times, but she had almost total recall and what she was telling me was so interesting and compelling that I decided that I was going to keep going until the job was done. I recorded her fifteen times and, after that, we were friends. After I finished the oral history in 1983, I kept getting together with her and, as I knew more than anyone else about her professional life, she asked me to be her literary executor. In 1986 she began writing her memoirs, which she did not live to complete. So I finished them and got them published in 2005. 

Katherine Kuh: My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator by AVIS BERMAN

Katherine Kuh: My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator
by AVIS BERMAN

Katharine’s great achievement was her consistent championing of the avant-garde in a hostile environment. Chicago in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s was conservative in its artistic tastes, and it took great courage to stick to her principles. In the 1930s her gallery, which specialized in modern American and European art, was vandalized by “Sanity in Art,” a local organization rabidly advocating native regionalism and in the 1950s she was picketed outside the museum for buying a Jackson Pollock – protestors waved placards that said “Koo Koo Must Go!”

The Artist's Voice: Talks with Seventeen Modern Artists by Katharine Kuh

The Artist’s Voice: Talks with Seventeen Modern Artists
by Katharine Kuh

I always admired her most for her implacable belief that the center of art is not the art historian, critic, dealer, advisor, or curator – it is the artist. Katharine always hung around with artists as her best education, and I have tried to do the same.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney working in the Eighth Street studio

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney working in the Eighth Street studio

IN A CAREER AS VAST AND VARIED AS YOURS, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING HIGHLIGHTS? DO YOU FIND THAT THEY ARE MORE OFTEN AS AN ART HISTORIAN, CRITIC OR CURATOR?

I guess that the best thing I ever did was Rebels on Eighth Street, which brought a significant woman to light and established the history of an important American museum in context of seemingly no information about the subject. The book is still a part of the conversation on American art, and Force can no longer be ignored – I felt vindicated when the Whitney opened downtown last March and the gallery on the first floor was dedicated to both Gertrude Whitney and Juliana Force. In the past, only Gertrude Whitney would have been celebrated.

I am also very proud of the William Glackens exhibition. Most people have not seen the artist at his best, and we were able to bring together almost all of the top pictures under one roof. The critics, including several who had previously not been admirers, concluded that this was an artist who deserved a fresh look.

Robert Henri's portrait of Edith Dimock Glackens

Robert Henri’s portrait of Edith Dimock Glackens

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

I am researching an essay on Edith Dimock Glackens, William Glackens’s wife and also an artist and thorough-going feminist, and I’ve embarked on a project with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

WHAT SUBJECTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO FOCUS ON IN THE FUTURE THAT YOU HAVE YET TO EXPLORE AS FULLY AS YOU WOULD LIKE, AND WHY?

I’m not ready talk about that at this time. I do want to write another book, subject to be named later.

AVIS, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION OF TIME AND EXPERTISE. I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEXT BOOK!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I AM DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, MAX TEICHER OF GAGOSIAN GALLERY. MAX NOT ONLY WORKS VERY HARD BUT ALSO ALWAYS MAKES OUR COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS FUN AS WELL AS PRODUCTIVE.

PLEASE JOIN US! YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS AS FOLLOWERS AND READERS ARE MUCH APPRECIATED.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Albert Barnes, patrons of the arts, with writer/curator Avis Berman

Exterior of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio on MacDougal Alley

Exterior of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio on MacDougal Alley

THE MOVE OF THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART IN NEW YORK  TO THE BASE OF THE HIGH LINE IN LOWER MANHATTAN HAS  REESTABLISHED THE MUSEUM’S NATIVE DOWNTOWN ROOTS. ORIGINALLY HER STUDIO IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, SCULPTOR GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY AVIDLY PURCHASED AND EXHIBITED NUMEROUS WORKS BY THE  STRUGGLING LIVING ARTISTS OF HER TIME THAT ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WHITNEY MUSEUM’S COLLECTION TODAY.

Fireplace in Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio sculpted by Robert Winthrop Chanler

Fireplace in Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio sculpted by Robert Winthrop Chanler

ONE HUNDRED YEARS LATER IN 2014, THE ORIGINAL SITE OF THE MUSEUM, THE WHITNEY STUDIO, WAS ADDED AS A NATIONAL TREASURE TO THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION’S LIST. LOCATED WITHIN THE LARGER COMPLEX OF THE NEW YORK STUDIO SCHOOL THE STUDIO OFFERS TOURS OF ITS REMARKABLE INTERIOR SPACE THAT HOUSES THE UNIQUE DECORATIVE INTERIORS BY ARTIST ROBERT WINTHROP CHANLER.

Inside Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio Ceiling by Robert Winthrop Chanler

Inside Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s studio
Ceiling by Robert Winthrop Chanler

 https://savingplaces.org/places/whitney-studio#.V2A_8-YrJR4

TODAY, WITH HISTORIAN AND CURATOR AVIS BERMAN,  THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO  EXPLORE NOT ONLY THE UNIQUE SPIRIT OF AMERICAN MODERNISM BUT ALSO THE HEROIC PATRONS WHO SUPPORTED IT.

AVIS, I HAD THE PLEASURE OF ATTENDING YOUR LECTURE AT THE AMERICAN ART FAIR LAST NOVEMBER. I WAS FASCINATED BY YOUR ILLUMINATING ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF JULIANA FORCE, A REMARKABLE WOMAN ABOUT WHOM I KNEW SO LITTLE, INSPIRED BY YOUR BOOK “THE REBELS ON EIGHTH STREET: JULIANA FORCE AND THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART”.

Guy Pene du Bois Portrait of Juliana Force 1921 Oil on canvas

Guy Pene du Bois
Portrait of Juliana Force
1921
Oil on canvas

WHAT WAS AVAILABLE IN TERMS OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES  FOR YOUR BOOK ?

There were papers in the Whitney Museum and the Archives of American Art, but the breakthrough came when the papers of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney became available to researchers through the generosity of her family, especially Flora Irving Biddle, one of Whitney’s granddaughters, who was always encouraging. Later on, the Whitney found a cache of papers that had been stored with the facilities manager; these boxes contained minutes of staff meetings that gave me much insight into the inner workings of the museum. I also traveled to archives all over the country. But the testimony of witnesses was invaluable and I couldn’t have done it without the extensive interviewing.

William Glackens edited by Avis Berman

William Glackens
edited by Avis Berman

 

http://www.ursusbooks.com/pages/books/149834/avis-berman/william-glackens

IN ADDITION TO YOUR EXTENSIVE CONTRIBUTIONS AS A WRITER AND CRITIC, YOU RECENTLY CURATED AN EXHIBITION ON WILLIAM GLACKENS, THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF THIS ARTIST’S WORK IN NEARLY FIFTY YEARS THAT OPENED AT THE MUSEUM OF ART IN FORT LAUDERDALE AND TRAVELED TO THE PARRISH ART MUSEUM IN WATER MILL, NEW YORK,  AND THE BARNES FOUNDATION IN PHILADELPHIA.

Installation view of Glackens exhibition Nova Southeastern University's Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale Photograph by Steven Brooke

Installation view of Glackens exhibition
Nova Southeastern University’s Museum of Art
Fort Lauderdale
Photograph by Steven Brooke

WHAT IS THE CURATORIAL PROCESS?

The curatorial process for me began with two main aspects:

1) what would be the main stories I would like to tell about this artist? And  

2) What works of art would I most like to have in the show and why? That is, the most ambitious, the most adventurous, and the most pivotal. I thought about these ideas simultaneously to develop a proposal and a checklist. Ideally, the combination should express the curatorial mission, which is to make the artist look as good as possible and show well-known touchstones of art along with rarely seen yet excellent works that will surprise viewers and make them see the artist in a new and expanded way.

William Glackens Captain's Pier, 1912-1914. Oil on canvas Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

William Glackens
Captain’s Pier, 1912-1914.
Oil on canvas
Bowdoin College Museum of Art,
Brunswick, ME

Once the ideal checklist is made, I had to travel to various places to examine works I had not seen in person, and further refine my decisions. I also spoke to many curators informally about the possibility of lending works of art. Then the loan process begins, and you have to have substitutions for the inevitable rejections. Fortunately, in regard to Glackens, only one institution turned us down completely, but others could not lend for all three venues. Once we were pretty sure about the loans, my colleagues and I began writing our essays and talking about the exhibition design with the exhibition departments at each museum. I then edited the catalogue, working with the head of publications at the Barnes, which published the catalogue with Rizzoli. Then it was on to publicity and preparing for installations and opening and ongoing public events. And I found that even though I spent weeks essentially living in those galleries at each museum, I missed the paintings and drawings horribly after the show closed and everything went back to the owners.

William James Glackens The Armenian Girl Oil on canvas The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia and Merion, PA

William James Glackens
The Armenian Girl
Oil on canvas
The Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia and Merion, PA

WHAT WAS THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP THAT GLACKENS HAD WITH COLLECTOR AND MUSEUM FOUNDER, ALBERT BARNES?

William Glackens and Albert Barnes went to high school together in Philadelphia, and they were teammates on the school’s baseball team. But after school, Barnes studied medicine and chemistry and went into business, and Glackens studied art and worked as an artist-reporter and illustrator to support his painting. They didn’t see each other until late 1911, when Barnes, who lived in suburban Philadelphia, looked up Glackens, who had moved to New York in 1896. Barnes wanted to collect modern art, and Glackens was then a progressive modern artist who had become famous in art circles for participating in the historic show of “The Eight” in 1908, and had also been involved in the 1910 Independents show. When Barnes got in touch with him, he was on the cusp of joining the early group of artists who were plotting the future Armory Show. Barnes offered Glackens a trip to Paris to buy modern French art for him, and gave him $20,000 in cash to use for purchases. Glackens went to France in February 1912 and returned with 33 paintings and works on paper, including iconic paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, and Cézanne. Glackens’s buys formed the nucleus of Barnes’s collection, and from then on, except when travel took them across the Atlantic, Glackens and Barnes saw each other several times a month until Glackens’s death in 1938. Barnes was a legendarily combative and vituperative man who made many enemies, but Glackens remained a staunch friend. In turn, Barnes bought many paintings and drawings by Glackens, usually several pictures a year, and wrote and talked discerningly about the artist’s work.

Katharine Kuh

Katharine Kuh

ANOTHER OUTSTANDING WOMAN MEMORIALIZED BY AVIS IS KATHARINE KUH, FORMER CURATOR OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, GRADUATE OF VASSAR COLLEGE IN 1925, AND A PIONEER OF MODERN ART, WHO INTRODUCED ARTISTS SUCH AS KLEE, MIRO AND PICASSO TO THE CHICAGO PUBLIC. AVIS BERMAN WILL TRACE KUH’S PATH FROM GALLERIST TO FIRST CURATOR OF MODERN PAINTING AND SCULPTURE AT THE CHICAGO ART INSTITUTE IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG.

 

 

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