COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
An undated photo released by the New York Public Library, is an 1891 print entitled “The Letter,” by American Artist Mary Cassatt. Eighty-eight examples of Cassatt’s work as a printmaker will be on display at the New York Public Library starting Friday, March, 8, 2013, in an exhibit entitled “Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt.” (AP Photo/New York Public Library, Mary Cassatt)

  The art world is finally taking notice of the creative process as equally important as the artwork itself. Two major exhibits on the subject are taking place in New York City: Edward Hopper’s drawings at The Whitney Museum of American Art and Mary Cassatt’s prints at the New York Public Library. And while the former will […]

David Hockney. The Jugglers, June 24th, 2012. Courtesy of The Whitney Museum of American Art.

David Hockney (1937- ), the English painter, printmaker, photographer and stage designer, owes his notoriety to the resistance with which the public accepts new forms of art. A myopic reception of art and consequently its categorization in styles and media have persisted for more than three centuries. Hockney seems to defy them all. An audacious […]

Chicago Art Expo 2013

The rooftop at the James Hotel New York became some sort of checkpoint for Chicagoans and New Yorkers last Friday. The former had just flown in for the Frieze Art Fair 2013 on Randall’s Island whereas the latter stopped by to check the competition. In the world of modern and contemporary art, two major artistic […]

Daniel Brush. Bowl with golden butterflies. © Thomaï Serdari.

Luxury is the opposite of anarchy. If anarchy defies organization, luxury welcomes it. If anarchy rejects stratification, luxury aspires to it. Anarchy objects to commitment, luxury stems from it. And while absence of luxury does not lead to anarchy, anarchy is prohibitive to luxury. In an art system that is highly organized and somewhat predictable, […]

Fornasetti enamelled brown glass, 1937. Courtesy of Alexandre Biaggi.

Call it name-dropping, call it trend-setting, brand-cladding is an art for urbane New Yorkers. These global nomads, whether local or international, are well versed in the language of brands. They show a flare for branded apparel, define their lifestyle according to branded neighborhoods, and consume branded art by means of branded funds and trust accounts.  […]

Joself Albers, Homage to the Square. Courtesy of The Morgan Library.

Side by side comparisons, also known as “compare and contrast,” are the go-to tool of art historians. It’s a fail-safe method that brings out the most fine of subtleties in works that at first glance have nothing in common. What is one to do with about 60 sketches of oil on paper by Josef Albers […]

Louis I. Kahn. Esherick House, 1959-1961. Courtesy of Wright Auctions.

The inventory of modern architecture, especially housing, reads like a prescription for physical therapy. It is often dry, cold, and uninspiring—even worse, it can be confusing and off-putting like a drill that your therapist trusts will make you feel better and fully functional. You totally understand the mechanics on a purely abstract level and yet […]

Kehinde Wiley. Alios Itzhak and Mizrah Ukraine, 2011. Detail. Courtesy of The Jewish Museum.

From Carrie Bradshaw’s “fashion road kill” on the TV series Sex and the City to last week’s incident in the Bronx, when a teenager was brutally beaten for his sunglasses and sneakers, the message is clear: fashion kills. Whether responsible for the ramshackle of many a starlet’s celebrity or the sudden halt of someone’s life, […]

Dan Flavin Installation view at Joni Weyl. Courtesy of GEMINI G.E.L.

We often view works of art as individual strokes of genius. This naïve interpretation of what art is stems from our lack of understanding of the artistic process, one that involves countless attempts at experimentation, countless drawings and preparatory sketches of the very idea we admire, even multiples of the same scene in the same […]