What Sets Apart The Work Of Alexander Calder


The idea of movement in static art may come across as a bit of a surprise for the uninitiated, but for those who are fascinated by the concept, you may have Alexander Calder to thank for it. While some of his signature early pieces like the mechanical “Calder’s Circus” and other motorized works are still probably his most memorable, Calder’s work has also extended to include a variety of other mediums, from jewelry to paintings to even costumes. Here’s a closer look into his work and what helps it stand apart from the rest.

Alexander Calder’s entry in the art world was very much a family affair, with him being a fourth-generation artist. His family was mainly sculptors, and sure enough, from as early as eight years old, the young Calder was using materials like beads and copper wire to craft jewelry for his sister’s dolls. As time went on, he would end up crafting other figures from scavenged materials. In college, Calder would indulge his love of working with his hands, but not as an art, but studying engineering and applied kinetics.

Where most artists in his time (the 1930s and 1940s) were focusing on drawings on paper, Calder emulated the contour lines by using wires to create a three-dimensional spin on things of various people, animals, and objects. These were described as “linear sculptures” and added the notion of lines into the sculpture world. However, what would really end up setting Calder apart down the line, were his first “Mobiles.” These were made of lengths of wire with thin metal fins to serve as a counterbalance. This makes it possible for air moving around the piece to rearrange everything.

Perhaps the most prominent example of motion in action was the well-known Calder’s Circus. For this piece, Calder created a large collection of miniature animals, acrobats, and other figures, moved around via a set of springs and pulleys. Three films were actually made of “performances” of the circus, and it marks one of the first modern examples of an artist being both a creator and a performer in their pieces.

Moving into the 1940s, Cader would end up extending his work even further with more motorized products like A Universe. In this work, over the course of a 40-minute cycle, two spherical shapes travel at different rates, inspired by the motion of the solar system.

Whether in motion or not, Alexander Calder options are instantly recognizable for art enthusiasts. If you’re interested in rounding out your sculpture collection with the work of Alexander Calder, be sure to look into bidding at an auction gallery in Dania Beach.

Understanding The Work and History of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is one of the first true examples of a “celebrity artist,” someone who was not only known for his artwork, but also for his own persona and charisma. However, that concept doesn’t get off the ground without some of his work, which would soon become what we associate with Pop art, and some of the most recognizable pieces of work of all art. Here’s a closer look on the full scale of Warhol’s work and what has drawn so many people to it over the years.

It’s important to note that Warhol’s first foray into art was as the most successful commercial illustrator in New York well before art experts and critics ever took any of his work into consideration. At the time, his work would be very different than the later iconic screen-printed images we remember, more focus on comic and decorative work. While many people may debate the exact meaning of Pop art, there’s no debating the important connection between modern pop culture and artwork. In the past, pop culture and high art occupied different worlds, and Warhol played a big role in allowing these worlds to merge. His work after the primary Pop art movement would be yet another example of this.

This refers back to 1965 when Warhol “retired” from painting in order to focus on making experimental films. Most people tend not to pay attention to these, but this trend is beginning to change, and on top of his other accomplishments, Warhol is now seen as one of the forefathers of independent film as we know it. More attention is also being paid to the commissioned paintings he did in the 1970s and onward as a part of his greater body of work as well. Today, Andy Warhol is still seen as one of the most prominent and recognizable figures in all of American art. Notably, the Andy Warhol Museum in his native Pittsburgh stands as the largest museum in the country dedicated to a single artist.

With Warhol being such a successful commercial artist beforehand, it makes sense that he understood value better than a lot of others. One of his most famous quotes is saying “business art is the step that comes after Art. I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist.” With that in mind, an Andy Warhol piece is a great addition to anyone’s art collection, at one point being described as the bellwether of the art market. On occasion, you may see one selling at auction in Dania Beach, so be sure to keep an eye out.

How Dale Chihuly’s Featured Exhibition At The Biltmore Came To Be

Those who aren’t familiar with the works of Dale Chihuly had a one-of-a-kind chance to see them on full display at an exhibition held at the Biltmore estate last year. The final exhibition with the end result of weeks of work to install 16 large glass sculptures around the house and estate.

Horticulture director Parker Andes noted that the estate, the former gardens, conservatory, and home of George Vanderbilt, have always posed a unique backdrop for the various art exhibitions that take place here. Built back in the 1890s, Andes mentioned how the Biltmore has a scale that’s really hard to work with.” Andes added that he has a difficult time expressive how the landscapes show off the art.

Those who are familiar with Chihuly would likely instantly recognize the two wooden boats filled with glass in the pools at the Italian Garden, which instantly harken back to the exhibition that put Chihuly on the map in the art world: 1996’s “Chihuly Over Venice.” That work was the payoff to over a year of research Dale Chihuly did with local glass factory masters, installing massive chandeliers across Venice, creating an international interest.

Today, he and his Seattle-based team of glassblowers, engineers, and other craftsmen have also put together other international exhibitions, seen in locations like Jerusalem, London, Chicago, Naples, and New York. However, when it comes to the Biltmore, Chihuly Studios director of exhibitions Britt Cornet had to admit that there was a never a setting quite like this that they worked on.

Even though this opportunity was something that both sides had worked on, it took four years of stringent planning for the exhibition to become a reality. In addition, there were some skeletal talks that took place even before that. In his 70s, Dale Chihuly himself doesn’t do a lot of press interviews but mentioned how excited he was about the show while expressing his thanks to the Biltmore team for making it a reality.

This includes a lot of work from Andes and his team. Andes mentioned how every single installation began as a general idea. At that point, he created a group of plants and textures for each sculpture, with the goal not to just mimic the work, but create complements and contrasts. While it’s not likely that you’re going to be able to bring any of these installations home, Dale Chihuly’s work is a great addition to any collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for art and antique auctions in Dania Beach that may have come up for bidding.

How Frank Stella Became An Art World Name

Frank Stella’s formal artistic debut in 1959 instantly created a powerful impression among the art scene in New York, changing up the basic nature of abstract expressionism with black striped paintings that naturally gave off an impersonal vibe. However, as time went on, he would end up increasing the complexity of his work, starting by incorporating more colors, before going on to take his paintings into the third dimension and even moving on to create free-standing structure. This constant devotion to change and experimentation is part of what has made Frank Stella such a major influence on a lot of different disciplines of art. But how did that come to be?

Born to first-generation Italian-American parents, Frank Stella’s true introduction to art started in his high school days. As a sophomore at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, he was fortunate enough to have abstractionist artist Patrick Morgan as a teacher, who first taught him how to paint. Stella would then hone his skills even further when he started taking an art class at Princeton University while working towards a history degree. His artistic tastes and sensibilities were also shaped further when he dipped his first foot into the New York artwork by being brought to exhibitions by some of his professors.

The signature paintings that a lot of people associate with Frank Stella are his “Black Paintings.” The Black Paintings consist of parallel black stripes made with of all materials, house paint. The point of the striped patterns as Stella himself puts it, is to try and out a constant rate of illusionistic space coming out of the painting. This turns the concept of painting is a look into a three-dimensional space on its head, something that had been the main mindset since the Renaissance.

By sticking to a specific system of the artist’s creating, the Black Paintings would be a major catalyst to the Minimalist art movement. Devotees of this movement focused on creating abstract works without content, theme or narrative, mainly a series of different geometric shapes. To this day, Stella has remained one of the forerunners in the medium that we know as “non-representational painting” This keeps to the idea of focusing on the basic elements of art, like color and shape, rather than trying to focus on appealing to emotion.

Having a Frank Stella piece in your collection is a piece of history and trendsetting all in one. If you are interested in looking out to add some of Frank Stella’s artwork into your own collection, be sure to look up art auction houses in Dania Beach.

A Guide to Frank Stella’s Artwork

When talking about great 20th century artists, it’s almost impossible to leave out the name Frank Stella. His minimalist work and famous sayings such as, “What you see is what you see,” rocked the art world to its foundation. Stella’s art can be found at auction houses from Dania Beach all the way to London. Here is a brief overview of why Stella and his art are such a force to be reckoned with.

The Minimalist Movement

Stella is by far best known for his minimalist artwork, which began in the 1950’s. He strayed away from paintings involving images or reflections of the real world, and instead opted for more material-inspired work such as his famous series entitled “The Black Paintings”. They involve the use of very precise straight lines, to the point where much of his work looked like it had been produced by a machine in a factory.

Straying From Simple

Although Stella’s artwork started off as paintings with a very simple nature, it began to get more and more complex later in his career. He began experimenting with the technique of painting 3D illusions onto his canvases, which also became more complex with Stella choosing oval and V-shaped canvases. These illusions were inspired by Baroque style artists such as Caravaggio, which first become popular in the 17th century.

Moving to Sculptures

It wasn’t long before Stella began experimenting with the sculpture medium, although he frequently claimed that he was still and painter and that sculptures were just paintings that had been cut out and stood up. This period of his work is where the Moby Dick-inspired work came from, which continues to astound audiences to this day.

The Important Works 

While Stella has many fantastic works, some of them objectively stand out among the rest. One of these is “The Marriage of Reason and Squalor” which belongs to his previously mentioned and critically acclaimed “The Black Paintings” series. It uses parallel lines and symmetry to create a squared-off U shape over and over again on the canvas.

Another one of his masterpieces is “Harran II” which belongs to the “The Protractor” series. In comparison with his earlier works, this massive painting uses much more vibrant colors and opts for more circular lines mixed in with his favored straight lines.

Where is He Now?

Frank Stella is still alive and working in New York City. His work, which was generally produced in a series format, is at auction houses and museums all over the country. Much of his work frequently sells for tens of thousands of dollars and is revered by both art lovers and critics alike.

A Guide to Dale Chihuly’s Artwork

If you’re the owner of any blown glass artwork, or ever even stopped to watch a glass blowing demonstration, then you have Dale Chihuly to partially thank for that. His unique glass artwork first started in the 1960s has been a big contributor to the revitalization of the use of glass in the art world. Here is a brief overview of the impact that Chihuly has had on the industry over the years.

The Artistic Academic

Unlike a lot of other prominent artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, Dale Chihuly pursued an extensive formal education, with most of his majors being artistic in nature. He developed a passion for glass work early on, and it actually earned him the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant in 1968. Chihuly has since toured the world in both a teacher and student role, always focusing on the world of glass.

Becoming a Teacher 

Chihuly’s actual career as a glass blower was significantly affected in the late ’70s due to a series of accidents which resulted in him being permanently blinded in his left eye and having his right shoulder dislocated. This forced Chihuly to step into a teaching role instead of an artistic role, which he found to be a good fit for him. As a teacher, Chihuly has led teams of artists in creating his and their artistic visions.

Great Glass Works

The creations brought to us by Chihuly and his team can be seen in many auction galleries in Dania Beach and all over the world. It is reported that as of 2004 the total sales of these artworks had brought in over $29 million.

Over the past 60 years, Chihuly’s artwork has birthed many significant pieces that challenged the art world’s view on the line between crafts and art. One of these pieces is the 1975 “Navajo Blanket Series” which included Navajo blanket patterns painted onto sheets of glass.

His later works involved the transformation of glass into unique and unusual shapes. A great example of this is his famous “Chandeliers” series that started in 1992. Some of the entries in this series featured glass blown into the shape of flowers, snakes, and other intricate items.

Chihuly’s work, especially his later stuff, is instantly recognizable due to the vivid colors used and often elaborate displays of glass forms. His work is even responsible for setting world records, with his 2000 Jerusalem exhibition holding the record for most visitors to a temporary artwork display. These accolades have made Chihuly a household name in the art world, and have helped challenge the art community’s view on the importance of glass work.

A Guide to Cartier Jewelry

They say perfection takes time, and Cartier sure has had a lot of that. This world renown jewelry company was first established way back in 1847 in Paris. Throughout the years it spread throughout Europe, and actually became the official jewelry provider for King Edward VII (quite the sponsorship to have, especially back in the day). By 1917, the company had officially expanded to the United States where it remains a powerhouse jewelry company to this day. Here is a brief overview of what makes Cartier and its jewelry such a key player in the industry and a highly sought after item selling at auctions in Dania Beach and all over the world.

Catering to Celebrities

One of the most sure fire ways to get your product in the eyes of millions of people is to get celebrities to publicly wear them. That way their vast group of adoring fans will have their eye on your product, whether they know it or not. This is something that Cartier realized early on and was able to successfully accomplish. Their jewelry has been worn by several major public figures over the last 150 years, including King Farouk of Egypt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly, among others.

The Clock Connoisseurs 

Cartier was quick to dominate the watch industry early on in their career. The jewels incorporated into their ornamental clocks were considered by many to be some of the best around. In fact, their jewels were so popular by the early 20th century that at the coronation of King George V, 19 of the tiaras worn in the ceremony were Cartier products. Other later clock products from Cartier, such as the “Tank watch” in 1917 and “The Egyptian Temple Gate Clock” in 1927 would make massive waves in the jewelry market, and the Egyptian clock would later go on to sell for $1 million at auction.

Significant Styles

Without a doubt, one of the most popular products from Cartier is their clocks and watches, but over the years they’ve also caught the public’s attention with their unusual and commonly recognized style of other jewelry. One of their signature styles is the panther theme jewelry that was first created in the 1920s. It was slow to gain popularity but became big once the Duke of Windsor requested a panther themed brooch for his wife.

 Another one of their majorly popular styles is the 1920’s tutti-frutti themed jewelry that was the result of Jacques Cartier taking a trip to India in search of jewels. Several decades later, the “love” collection from the ’60s and ’70s became massively popular and was promoted by many famous couples.

How to Spot Real Wooden Antique Furniture

It’s a frequent sight to see wooden furniture being sold at antique auctions at places like Dania Beach and all over the rest of the world as well. Another common place to find old wooden furniture being sold is at garage sales. Some of the furniture found at these garage sales looks just as old and ornamental as the items being sold at auction. Therefore it stands to reason that someone might wonder how to tell the difference between old furniture being sold for $50 and old furniture being sold for $10,000.

From Dusty to Desirable

A good place to start is by distinguishing the difference between something that is just old and something that is a priceless antique. While there is no industry definition of when an item crosses over and is no longer just old, some of the standards used are that the item needs to be at least 100-150 years old. Technically speaking though, an antique is any item with extra value assigned to it due to its age.

What to Look For

When trying to distinguish the authenticity of wooden furniture, a good place to start is by examining the type and condition of joint used to fasten the fixture together. This is really handy for any item with drawers in it, as these can be easily taken out and examined. What you’re looking for is a dovetail joint, which has been used in furniture since before the 19th century.

Just as important as the presence of a dovetail joint is the condition of it. Any joint from a piece of furniture that’s supposed to be from the 19 century or older will have been done by hand. This will result in slightly unequal and uneven joints in the same project. If the lines seem perfectly straight and equal, then there’s a very good chance that item was made sometime in the 20th century or even later.

The type of wood used is another great indicator of age. Much older valuable pieces will often involve the use of at least a couple different types of wood. This is due to the fact that using a valuable wood on inner or bottom pieces was financially illogical since those areas would be seldom seen. If you examine the furniture and notice different woods on the bottom, then it’s a likely sign that it’s quite old.

The last big thing to look for when determining age is general wear and tear. No item that was built 150 years ago survives this long without incurring some pretty significant wear and tear in the commonly used components of it.

What to Expect at an Auction

Auctions have been a worldwide phenomenon for many decades now, with thousands of people attending in person every year and thousands more online. There’s a variety of these events, with some of the main ones involving houses, cars, storage units, and art. If you’ve never been to one, either online or in person, then this article is the perfect place for you to begin as it describes what you can expect from a typical auction.

What You’ll See

Let’s begin with a breakdown of the typical items and people you can expect to see present. The auctioneer is the person who starts, stops, and runs all of the sales. They determine the flow of the sales and act as the MC of the entire event, with many of them utilizing the typical fast-talking speech that you’ll see in movies and tv show recreations.

In the auctioneer’s hand, you’ll often see something called the hammer, which is exactly like the gavel that a judge will use and acts in the same way. Once it strikes the podium, that declares the official end of the bid.

A paddle might also be present, although there are some places which opt not to use these. If they are present then each spectator will be given one, and they’re meant to indicate that you are placing a bid on the item currently up for sale.

What You’ll Hear

When it comes to the terms that are used during these events, some people can get confused. One of the main terms you’ll hear that might be unknown to some attendees is the term “lot”. Lot means the item that is currently up for bidding. If the auctioneer says the term “cosigner” this means the individual or group that is responsible for giving the item up for sale. The last common term you might hear is “appraisal” which is the value that the organization hosting the event has assigned to the item or lot.

What You’ll Do

There’s a fairly straightforward process that you can expect to see attending a live auction somewhere like Dania Beach. A preview event will be held before the selling begins, where spectators have the opportunity to closely examine each item behind a glass box. Afterward, the auctioneer will bring each lot onto the stage individually and a bidding session will begin on that item. The auctioneer will take bids placed by spectators until no one offers to top the current highest bid, at which point the bidding will stop and the item will be sold to the individual who placed the highest bid. This process repeats until all the items have been bid on, at which point the event is over.

A Guide to Tiffany & Co. Jewelry

An American born company, Tiffany & Co. (originally known as “Tiffany, Young and Ellis”) was founded in Brooklyn in 1837. Its focus began as a stationary and fancy goods store but had shifted primarily to jewelry by 1853. It didn’t take long after that for Tiffany & Co. to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the fashion accessory industry. Here is a brief overview of how Tiffany & Co. developed its now iconic brand and made itself a prized possession at events such as jewelry auctions in Dania Beach.

The Art Nouveau Movement

During the second half of the 19th century, Charles Tiffany brought the company to unprecedented heights, with Tiffany & Co. being awarded several accolades in the industry and publishing its first edition of their now famous catalog known as the “Blue Book”. However, the company really began to make artistic waves when Charles’ son Louis obtained the position of Design Director in 1902.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a jewel aficionado and he immediately began making his creations, which were directly influenced by the Art Nouveau movement that occurred between 1890-1910. This movement replicated the beauty of patterns commonly found in nature. This heavy influence can be easily spotted in Tiffany’s early work since the majority of it was in the shape of flowers. His creations were often of a chunky nature, with extremely colorful and busy patterns. This nature pattern was later echoed by famous Tiffany & Co. designer Jean Schlumberger in the 1950s.

Diversification

By the 1960s, Tiffany & Co. had begun diversifying into other U.S. areas of importance such as trophy design, since which they have been responsible for the design of the NFL Vince Lombardi trophy, NBA Larry O’Brien trophy, and several different batches of championship rings for a variety of teams. They also rose their brand to new heights when they were commissioned to create President Lyndon B. Johnson’s official china.

Throughout the years the company expanded into other areas such as perfumes but always kept the main focus on their jewelry brand. It’s through the collaboration of the Tiffany & Co. brand with other mainstream artists such as Andy Warhol and Paloma Picasso that the company has been able to keep their brand relevant and on top even to this day.

Significant Styles

Two of the biggest aspects to Tiffany & Co. products are the nature theme, which has remained recurring every since its introduction to the company in the early 1900s, and the attention to detail that is put into each and every one of their designs. Details like the soldering of links in bracelets and necklaces, the precision stamping of the metal, and the perfectly set diamonds and jewels, are what makes the brand so recognizable in the fashion accessory industry.