This column highlights art musings culled from the many journals and newsletters collected by TS Project Art.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HANG A
PAINTING UPSIDE DOWN
by Christopher Brown February 2021
Georg Baselitz has donated six of his upside-down paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where they will be on view until 18 July in the exhibition ‘Georg Baselitz: Pivotal Turn’). The canvases, which depict family and friends in the German art scene, were all painted in 1969, the year Baselitz began experimenting with painterly inversion. His first topsy-turvy work, a snowy landscape with trees, was titled Der Wald auf dem Kopf (The Wood on its Head), a pun on ‘the world turned upside down’. Critics argued over whether his radical gesture, of both painting and exhibiting his figures wrong way up, was a street-artist-like gimmick or a provocative act of genius.
Baselitz claimed to have done it to slow down his process of painting, to create something that hovered in the brain between abstraction and figuration, and which, when displayed the same way, would challenge the viewer as much as the creator. In her popular manual Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (1979), Dr Betty Edwards encouraged students to draw upside down to tap the visual, perceptual functions of the right hemisphere of the brain, thereby bypassing the left, which is devoted to verbal, analytic reasoning. Baselitz, in adopting a deliberately alienating method and mode of display, designed to resist literal interpretation, makes a similar appeal to our more creative side.
a singular artwork
Brenda Biondo | A Legacy of Shadows, no.2
Legacy of Shadows is a series of photographs concerned with the fracturing of nature and the poignancy of acknowledging beauty in a. time of destruction.” ~ Brenda Biondo
The acquisition of two ceramic sculptures for a client two years ago brought abut the recent opportunity to become acquainted with the full breadth of their collection when relocating to a new residence and re-installing their artwork.
TS Project Art was able to coordinate and ensure the artful and sensitive installation of the collection. A variety of hangings were required, that ranged from straight-forward installations of intimately scaled artwork, to larger-scale paintings filling an entire wall, along with salon style hangings of multiple framed works. Custom stands and pedestals for sculpture and numerous artifacts were also specified for the installation.
The opportunity to work with a collector whose keen eye, and spirit of curiosity reflected in their collection was truly gratifying.
Amoako Boafo, Baba Diop, 2019
AUCTION SETTING RECORDS 2020
While in the midst of the ongoing and tragic global pandemic, record setting sales at auction continued, via live online-streamed auctions. A few of the record setting sales are listed below, and were referenced in an Art News article by Angelica Villa, December 2020.
"Baba Diop," 2019
"As buyers race to cash in on figurative paintings by young artists, Amoako Boafo’s market has rapidly ascended. In December, Christie’s set a new auction record for Ghanian-born artist when his 2019 canvas Baba Diop shot past the $1 million mark during the house’s Hong Kong modern and contemporary art evening sale. The price beat the artist’s previous record of $880,000 set at Phillips earlier in the year."
"One of the top lots in Sotheby’s live-streamed evening sale in June, Helen Frankenthaler’s large-scale 1975 canvas Royal Fireworks sold for a price of $7.9 million. Having come from the collection of dealer Ginny Williams, it set a record for the Abstract Expressionist, whose life and art are being reconsidered alongside those of her female peers."
"I’ve Been Good to Me," 2013
"At Phillips, another work from the Royall family collection sold at the house’s New York modern and contemporary art evening sale in December, Mickalene Thomas’s I’ve Been Good To Me (2013) made $901,200. The result surpassed her previous high of $567,000, set in 2019. In the same night, Kehinde Wiley’s 2017 portrait of Thomas sold for $378,000, setting a new record for the Barack Obama portraitist."