Friday, January 7, 2005
The Fame Factor: September 7-18, 2007
In September, work by world-famous artists such as Joan Mitchell, Karel Appel, Lynn Chadwick, Wilfredo Lam and Bram van Velde will be in The Fame Factor, a group show at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia organized by if ART Gallery. The exhibition also will include if ART Gallery artists Leo Twiggs, Edward Rice, Kees Salentijn,Virginia Scotchie, Laura Spong and Paul Reed. The Fame Factor will explore the concept of fame, especially the relativity of fame.
The exhibition opens September 7 with a reception from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. and runs through September 18. Opening hours for Gallery 80808/Vista Studios will be expanded during the if ART exhibition. They will be weekdays, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sun, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Other American artists with national and even international reputations in the show are Richard Hunt, Benny Andrews, Ibram Lassaw, Paul Reed, John Hultberg and Sam Middleton, an American artist who has lived in the Netherlands since the early 1960s. Dutch artists with international fame in addition to Appel and Van Velde will be Corneille, Ger Lataster, Hannes Postma, Kees Salentijn and Lucebert. Furthermore, the show will present French artist Jacques Doucet and Belgian artist Reinhoud.
Reinhoud and Doucet both were part of the legendary CoBrA group of Northern European artists from the late 1940s and 1950s, which also included Appel, Corneille and Lucebert. “CoBrA” stands for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the cities or origin of most of the major figures in the group. Another artist in the show, Wilfredo Lam, a Cuban artist who had a vast international reach, exhibited once with CoBrA, in the early 1950s, though he was not a member. All of these artists are in the collections of major American museums. Dutchman Salentijn works in a post-CoBrA style.
Hunt, Lassaw, Chadwick and Reinhoud are sculptors. All will be represented in the exhibition with limited-edition lithographs. Hunt, from Chicago, is one of the country’s most famous living sculptors, in part for his many public sculptures. Lassaw was one of the main sculptors in the New York School and a core figure on the city’s 1940s-1950s Abstract Expressionist scene. Chadwick is one of the most prominent figures among British sculptors of the generation of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Sam Middleton, born in Harlem, NY, but living in the Netherlands, is known for his collages inspired by jazz; the exhibition will show some of his silkscreens. Lataster is one of the Netherlands’ most prominent Abstract-Expressionist painters; his work is in several major American museums. Postma established a big reputation in Europe in the 1960s with his etchings and aquatints, some of which will be in the show. Bram van Velde, who spent most of life and career in Paris, is a legendary figure among mid-20th-century European abstractionists.
Hultberg was part of the New York School scene but subsequently moved to California. Andrews was from Georgia but built his career in New York City, becoming one of the country’s most prominent African-American artists, who increasingly gained traction in the wider art community. Reed was with Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis and Gene Davis among the original Washington Color Field painters of the 1960s. Mitchell is simply one of the most famous Abstract-Expressionist painters.
Twiggs, from Orangeburg, S.C., most likely is the country’s most prominent pioneer with batik as a contemporary art medium. Scotchie is a ceramist with an international reputation who teaches at the University of South Carolina. Rice, from North Augusta, S.C., is represented in many museums in the Southeast. Spong’s reputation has grown by leaps in recent years and is now among South Carolina’s best-known abstract painters.
“The idea of the show is to explore how relative fame is,” if ART Wim Roefs said. “Several feet worth of books and catalogues on Appel, and a few feet on Mitchell, don’t change the fact that among people attending this show, Laura Spong is probably better known – and she makes do with a single 32-page catalogue. Leo Twiggs also is better known here than Appel and Mitchell. Someone like Van Velde is legendary in Europe. Though he had New York gallery shows in the United States, and though his work is in many major American museums, he is at best obscure around here. In general, of course, a lot of famous European artists aren’t well-known in the United States.”
“Lassaw really was one of the major sculptors among Abstract Expressionists, but, of course, sculptors, except for David Smith, played third fiddle in the movement compared to the painters. Reed was one of six artists in the first nationally traveling exhibition of Washington Color Field painters, with Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis, and he makes the art-history books. Still, he’s mainly known among art insiders, though the renewed recent appreciation of color-field painting has giving him new exposure, too.”