George Clooney by Yayoi Kusama for W Magazine

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W Magazine quite unexpectedly put actor George Clooney on the cover for their December 2013 Art Issue. No one less than Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her iconic polkadots, was in charge of the art direction. The polkadot is a motif that was recently echoed through her collaborative endeavor with fashion house Louis Vuitton. Kusama has both created the set, as well as the customized suit Clooney is wearing on the cover. Australian photographer Emma Summerton was the chosen one for the photography, and according to us, she does a great job. The black and white photographs form a powerful and strong combination with Kusama’s iconic dots.

Clooney talks about his upcoming film The Monuments Men in the issue, playing the “the leader of a special platoon of museum directors, curators, and art historians who join forces to rescue the art that Adolf Hitler stole during World War II.” Based on actual events, the story is based on Robert M. Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name.

If you ask us, this collaboration between George Clooney and one of our favorite artists Yayoi Kusama is working for us! Check out Famous Auction House for works by Yayoi Kusama, for example this cute polka-dotted yellow pumpkin. 

It's Karel Appel Week At Famous Auction House!

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This week, we’re having a special Karel Appel auction. It is the largest Karel Appel auction at Famous Auction House so far. A lot of new works are added to the collection.

Karel Appel, who doesn’t know him? Karel Appel is one of the greatest and most groundbreaking Dutch artists of all times. Karel Appel was a Dutch painter, sculptor and poet from Amsterdam. He worked and lived in Zürich, Switzerland. Appel was one of the main artists and founders of the CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam) movement in 1948, together with Corneille, Constant, Jan Nieuwenhuys and Christian Dotremont. His work was expressive and raw, and in the early days even seen as controversial, due to his wild and colorful painting style for which he often used bright colors like yellow, blue, green and even pink, and his use of all kinds of used materials in sculptural works (assemblage).

This raw, expressive style wasn’t always appreciated, and it took a long time before Appel was appreciated in the Dutch art world. However, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam decided to commission a mural by Karel Appel, but this caused a riot. After a protest of officials, the mural was covered with wallpaper. The officials said the mural was cruel, violent and barbaric. Now, we cannot even imagine that Appel’s work was once not so well received.

A lot of different works by Karel Appel are on auction at Famous Auction House from today on; ceramic plates, graphic, prints and paintings. The auction lasts until the 7th of December. Make sure to check it out. Happy bidding!

Opening Robert Yarber at Galerie Alex Daniels – Reflex Amsterdam

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Saturday December 7th, it is time for the opening of the show ‘Panic Pending’ by Robert Yarber at Galerie Alex Daniels – Reflex Amsterdam. The show consists of Yarber’s new works on paper. When not painting and drawing, Yarber performs with his noise band, Captain Bob and the Psychopomps.

Born in 1948, Robert Yarber has exhibited internationally since the early 80′s, having achieved recognition through his inclusion in the 1984 Venice Biennale, and the 1985 Whitney Biannual In 1989 Yarber was included in the “Horn of Plenty” exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In addition to being represented by Alex Daniels in Amsterdam, Yarber is represented and shown by the Sonnabend Gallery in New York, where he has had a number of exhibits since 1985.

The Texan artist is renowned for his dizzying large-scale paintings of figures flying in the night sky above glittering megacities. His extraordinary hallucinatory style has been credited as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s movie ’Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and has earned him global acclaim. Combining the influence of ancient pre-Columbian cultures and Mexican art with modern-day schlock horror and comic-strip grotesque, Yarber’s work, at once disturbing and comedic, trashy and mythical, embodies an eternal contemporaneity.

Recently, Yarber has turned to drawing, a medium which, as he puts it “carries less baggage than painting, and offers a strong immediacy”. Galerie Alex Daniels is delighted to present a collection of 20 of his dazzling works on paper, executed in pastel, colour pencil and coloured ink.

The opening of ‘Panic Pending’ is from 5-7 pm at Galerie Alex Daniels – Reflex Amsterdam. The artist will be present, so this is a great opportunity to get your books or works signed. A new book of Robert Yarber’s work and an introduction by Herbert Marks will be published by Reflex Editions and launched at the opening. You are all cordially invited to come take a look at these amazing works. See you there on the 7th!

Miniature Museum Preview Number 5!

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The time has come: this Saturday, it is time for the opening of the Miniature Museum! One of the participating artists in the Miniature Museum is Mark Ryden. Mark Ryden has made a special edition painting of 4,5 x 4,5 cm for the Miniature Museum. Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, ‘Pop Surrealism’, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul. A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. In Ryden’s world, angelic girls rub elbows with strange and mysterious figures. Ornately carved frames lend the paintings a baroque exuberance that adds gravity to their enigmatic themes.

Make sure to check out the Mark Ryden books at Famous Auction House. Blood by Mark Ryden, a miniature exhibition book, includes details and drawings of paintings from his Blood exhibition. The book Fushigi Circus by Mark Ryden features a collection of works by Ryden, including Blood, Sweat, Tears and The Creatrix. The book Pinxit by Taschen, just arrived at Famous, is now on auction at Famous Auction House. Pinxit, whose title refers to the Latin term meaning “painted by,” is organized by the themes of Ryden’s major exhibitions—The Meat Show, Bunnies & Bees, The Tree Show, and so on—and includes collected essays by Yoshitomo Nara, Carlo McCormick, and others, and a new essay by culture critic Kristine McKenna. This sweeping retrospective brings together nearly two decade’s worth of Mark Ryden’s paintings and works on paper, broadening the horizons of his uncanny universe and bringing it to the world, one page at a time.

New Miniature Museum at the Gemeentemuseum The Hague!

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The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has received a long-term loan of an extensive, unique collection of miniature artworks of some of the most famous artists in the world. With approximately 2000 artworks it’s the largest collection of the Gemeentemuseum The Hague so far.

The international collection of private collectors Ria and Lex Daniëls contains works of internationally known artists like Damien Hirst, George Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Annie Leibovitz, Christo, Yves Klein, Marlene Dumas, Yayoi Kusama and Roy Lichtenstein. Also, Dutch artists like Karel Appel, Marte Roling, Rob Scholte, Erwin Olaf, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin are represented. To accommodate this extensive collection, a complete new museum has been build, which will open this 16th of November.

The collection of 2000 works, of over 850 artists, from more than 80 different countries, consists of miniature versions of existing or especially manufactured works for the museum. The starting point are works from 10 x 10 x 10 centimeters.

Benno Tempel, director of the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, is very proud of the acquisition of the museum. As he says, “The charm of the Miniature Museum is great. But we should not underestimate the artistic quality. Lack of space will not be a limitation, so the Miniature Museum can keep on growing and become a truly great museum.”

Proceeds catalogue for KiKA
Also, the very successful photographer Erwin Olaf, who also has a solo-exhibition at the Miniature Museum, is very pleased. As he says, “Soon after the establishment of the Miniature Museum, they were supporting a great charity: Child’s Cancer Research, KiKA. All proceeds from the sale of the miniature catalogue are going to KiKA. For many world famous artists this has been one of the main reasons to contribute to the imposing collection of the Miniature Museum. It is great that now, the Miniature Museum gets the place it deserves.” 

There is a special miniature catalogue of the Miniature Museum. This catalogue contains a selection of the 2000 works. All proceeds of the catalogue will go to KiKA.

Initiators Ria and Lex Daniëls
The initiative for the Miniature Museum was taken in 1991 by Ria and Lex Daniëls, Amsterdam based art collectors and galleryholders. “What are you going to do when you find 85 miniature artworks while remodelling your home? Hang them on the wall, or as Ria proposed: establish a Miniature Museum. We choose to do the last”, Lex Daniëls said. Lex and his wife Ria saw their modest collection grow to their current collection. Soon, a Miniature Museum followed at the pedriatic oncology department at the AMC Hospital.

Curator Jet van Overeem of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague has effectuated that a completely new building of 16 meters has been designed, which will open at the 16th of November in a festive manner! The museum will be open for public for at least 5 years. See you there!

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