Aubrey Beardsley

August 21, 2017

Today we celebrate the genius of Aubrey Beardsley on what would have been his 145th birthday.  Hard to imagine what he would have accomplished had he grown older.


Michael Kluckner Exhibition

April 21, 2017

Grandview’s own Michael Kluckner, watercolorist, author, and heritage expert, is having his first exhibition in Vancouver since 2006. The exhibition will include watercolours, oils, and drawings “mainly about Vancouver”.

The show is at the VanDusen Gallery Gallery on Oak Street, between April 29th and May 27th. Admission is free. An opening reception will be on Saturday 29th April from 2:30 to 5:30pm.

Michael is also streaming a complete virtual show at his website.

Don’t miss it!


Art — Again

February 28, 2017

Over the years, I have presented a number of posts on the fall and rise of the super-rich art market: the  market continues during the crash;  after the economic crash in 2008;  a new peak in 2009; the Chinese were leading the recovery in 2010. There have been others but I have been busy elsewhere for the last few years and haven’t been writing too much about art and sales. But I have been keeping an eye open.

I watched the market fall flat through most of last year. The oligarchs seemed to have put their money more in additional real estate than art or football clubs for the last year or two, distorting property markets across the globe, and flattening the top end of the art market. This spring’s auctions are supposed to give us a clue as to whether that disappointment will continue this year or whether the current stock exchange record highs will help propel a new burst.

gauguin

In what might have been a special case or may indeed be a harbinger of the year to come, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev sold a Gauguin last night for US$33.5 million. It was a picture he had purchased in 2008 for US$85 million, leaving him with a 74% loss.

But it is early days yet. This series of 20th century auctions at Christies is hoped to fetch a total of about US$450 million by the time it is complete in the middle of March. What they actually achieve will give us a better idea of where the market is heading.


Transit As Design Template

September 16, 2016

In London, there are companies turning out fine furnishings and accessories which celebrate the iconic design style of the London Underground.  These images are from Creative Review:

tfl-1

The bottom two items are inspired by the Piccadilly Line upholstery (left), and the Tube’s floor patterns (right).

My question is: Will anything Translink ever does inspire anyone to do anything creative?


Creative Design Goes Postal

September 15, 2016

I went to my local post office yesterday and was, yet again, shocked that it was costing me $1.05 to send a letter to downtown Vancouver.  Today, I found some stamps that are actually worth paying for — if you are in Britain, at least.

Agatha Christie 400% Stamps.indd

This is the centenary anniversary of the Agatha Christie’s first detective story, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  To celebrate this event the Royal Mail ordered up six stamps representing some of her most famous mysteries.  Jim Sutherland and Neil Webb have come up with beautiful designs that look good, fairly represent the plots of the books, and include clues that can be found through heat or UV light. In addition, each stamp contains a secret letter that, put together with the others in the set spell “AGATHA”.

styles

This is the stamp that shows “The Mysterious Affair At Styles”.  As Creative Review describes this:

“Poirot and Hastings investigate the crime scene – forming the skull, as the murderer used poison. The whole stamp is then reproduced in miniature on the poison bottle.”

It seems to me that Canada Post  is good at putting ever larger numbers (i.e. prices) on their stamps. Perhaps they should release their artistic energies instead.


Hammershoi — Again, At last

August 28, 2016

More than eight years ago, I wrote an excited post about an artist I had just come across — Vilhelm Hammershoi.

Vilhelm-Hammershøi-Interior-Stragegade-30-1901

 

Since then, I have only come across a couple of his images. It was a stunning pleasure, therefore, to find a documentary made by Michael Palin, also eight years ago, that delves deeply into the artist and his motivations.

The documentary lasts about an hour and is well worthwhile!


Best Illustration 2016

August 3, 2016

The World Illustration Awards for 2016 have been announced.  The overall winner,  Books Professional, was this wonderful piece in graphite and charcoal by Jungho Lee of South Korea.

Jungho-Lee-Promenade-1024x672

Creative Review has a lot more of the winning images.  Excellent work as always.