Artist Collaborations: rare books, wonderful gifts, at Gagosian Gallery with book specialist, Doug Flamm
THE CREATIVE PROCESS: FAMOUS ARTIST COLLABORATIONS
Nadia Bozovic, April 2017
What happens when two or more masterfully talented artists collaborate? Is it even possible for such strong individuals to interact and cooperate? Could they create something new together, something different, something brilliant? Yes, yes, and yes! Art collaborations simply cannot be a bad idea. There are so many examples throughout the art history that show us the wonderful uniqueness of creations that came out from such artistic partnerships. Here, we present you with some of the most famous ones!
Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat:
A Crazy Art-World Marriage
From 1980 to 1986, renowned Pop artist Andy Warhol and a graffiti prodigy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, collaborated on a number of exciting pieces that actually led them to the position they now have in the art world.
Their working process went on like this: Warhol usually painted first, and then Basquiat entered the scene with his colorful imagery. One of the most popular examples would be the piece titled Olympic Rings, completed in 1985. Warhol actually made several variations of the Olympic five-ring symbol, to which Basquiat responded with the oppositional graffiti style.
How did this “crazy art world marriage”, as Victor Bockris called it in his book, Warhol: The Biography, happen in the first place? It was due to the fame Andy Warhol had already achieved and the fact that Basquiat, a 20-year-old artist at the time, thought this fame was the missing piece which would help him with his big breakthrough in the art world. And he was right! Basquiat’s emotionally-charged paintings and graffiti art were about to become some of the best known Neo-Expressionist artworks in the U.S.
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg:
When Abstract Expressionists Meet
Speaking of crazy art marriages, the next example we are going to talk about is a collaboration between Abstract Expressionists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. In fact, the two artists, creating incredible art in the middle of the American neo-Dada movement, may actually have been in a romantic relationship in addition to their artistic collaborations.
Rumour has it that Jasper Johns was the one who came up with the word combine that’s widely used to describe Rauschenberg’s technique of incorporating everyday objects like fabric, newspaper cut-out, furniture and even animal carcasses into his abstract paintings.
In the 1950s, they extensively influenced each other’s work and the fact that there is a profound likeness in their art from that period doesn’t come as a surprise. The undersheet splashes of red, yellow, and blue colors in Rauschenberg’s Bed, both a piece of furniture and a painting, are clearly recognizable in the reds, blues, and yellows of Target with Four Faces made by his friend, lover, and a fellow artist, Jasper Johns.
Along with artistic giants like William de Kooning and Jackson Polock, these two artists paved way for the Pop Art movement by erasing the differences between the fine art and mass culture.
Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray:
50 Years of Shared Aesthetics
Rrose Sélavy was a Dada pin-up girl, a lucky charm for many artists, and… she was a man! Not just any man, that is, but one of the best-known visual artists in the entire history of art. She was ’the inventor of readymades’, and the revolutionary that completely changed the art world. Yes, you guessed it, she was Marcel Duchamp. Rrose Sélavy was one of Duchamp’s pseudonyms and his female alter-ego.
When you pronounce the name Rrose Sélavy, it actually sounds like Eros, Ce la Vie which, when translated from French, means Love, that’s life. Duchamp loved these kinds of word games as we all know, but he wasn’t playing alone. His long-time companion for optical and rhetorical illusions was a famous painter, photographer, and filmmaker, Man Ray.
Ray was there to take a shot of Duchamp every time he showed up as Rrose Sélavy. But those pictures were only a small part of their unique everlasting friendship and artistic collaboration.
IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG, WE ARE VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME BACK GAGOSIAN GALLERY’S RARE BOOK SPECIALIST, DOUGLAS FLAMM, OFFERING A WONDERFUL SELECTION OF BOOKS WHICH HIGHLIGHT THE GREAT CREATIVE RESULTS OF COLLABORATION. DOUG CAN BE REACHED AT GAGOSIAN SHOP, 976 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, DURING THE HOLIDAYS AND YEAR ROUND. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SPECIAL ADDITION TO YOUR LIBRARY OR TO THAT OF A DEAR FRIEND, THERE IS NO ONE MORE KNOWLEDGABLE.
Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston
Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford
Witness to Her Art
Art and Writings by Adrian Piper, Mona Hatoum, Cady Noland, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Daniela Rossell and Eau de Cologne
THE LRFA BLOG WISHES EVERYONE A PROFOUNDLY WONDERFUL 2021, FILLED WITH GOOD HEALTH, FREEDOM AND SUCCESS. LET’S REMEMBER SOME OF THE BEST TRAITS WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE YEAR WE ARE ALL SO EAGER TO LEAVE BEHIND: KINDNESS, GRATITUDE AND RESILIENCE,TO NAME A FEW.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!