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  • Jasper Johns Flag (Moratorium)

    In 1969, the Leo Castelli Gallery of Los Angeles commissioned Jasper Johns to produce a poster for the National Vietnam Moratorium. Flag (Moratorium) exemplifies the image that Jasper Johns created to evoke his disgust with America's involvement in the Vietnam War. 

    The war was, to the anti-war folk, so obviously corrupt; marshaling more arguments would be playing a rigged game. They didn’t need more thoughts. They needed a symbol that was so blatant that it was impossible to misunderstand, yet vague enough to lodge in the mind and irritate it. Hence, Jasper Johns produced a flag, but unlike the red-white-and-blue flags he had painted a decade before, the Moratorium flag was distorted, sickly.

    “Initially, it’s a patriotic image,” says appraiser David Weiss, “but we have these disquieting colors. Lurid green stripes seem to reference camouflage, the orange reminds you of Agent Orange. So it’s a very familiar image, but it doesn’t mean the same thing as the red-white-and-blue flags he’d painted before.”

    There are very few stylistic differences between the Moratorium flag and Jasper Johns’ other flags, his targets, or his depictions of beer cans. Other than the color palette, they look the same. But in the context of the Vietnam War, Weiss says, it’s impossible to miss the point. The United States had become sick. It was no longer what it used to be.

    Flag (Moratorium) (1969) by Jasper Johns is an original offset lithograph in colors on wove paper. Flag (Moratorium) is hand signed in pencil and an edition of 64 of 300. For more information about Jasper Johns or Flag (Moratorium), please contact the gallery. Call For Value

    • Roy Lichtenstein Sunrise

      Landscape was one of the first topics that  Roy Lichtenstein turned to following his comic-inspired Pop breakthrough, and one to which he returned with some regularity. He was drawn to clichéd or dated subjects, and the genre of landscape seemed appealingly remote from avant-garde concerns. 

      While landscape seems unlike Lichtenstein's early Pop comic paintings, his painted landscapes were in fact appropriated from the backgrounds of cartoon scenes. Lichtenstein used the same durable halftone dots but here distilled the compositions down to the most basic pictorial elements. The black outlines present in the original lithograph Sunrise disappear, leaving bands of solid color and massed groupings of dots to define the pictorial space—ocean, mountains, sky.

      The image of the sunrise became synonymous with Lichtenstein. It can be seen in the original lithograph Joanna, and even on a dress. In 1965, Lichtenstein's girlfriend at the time asked a designer friend to create a dress inspired by one of Lichtenstein’s sunrises, so that she would have something to wear to the opening reception of the artist’s second solo show at Ileana Sonnabend’s gallery in Paris. “The sun was at the back of the dress, right where my butt would have been. I said to Roy, ‘It’s a sunset on my seat’ — and he said: ‘Let’s be optimistic, and call it a sunrise’.”

      Sunrise (1965) by Roy Lichtenstein is an original lithograph on lightweight white, wove paper. Sunrise is hand signed and is referenced in the Lichtenstein Catalogue Raisonné, Corlett II.7. For more information about Roy Lichtenstein or Sunrise, please contact the gallery. SOLD.

      • Sam Gilliam Ichi

        Early on, innovative artist  Sam Gilliam distanced himself from his figurative roots and embraced abstraction defined by his deft relationship with color. It was the 1960s and his recognition was tempered by expectations of what African American artists should be producing at the height of the civil rights era. 

        “He hasn’t been given enough credit for radicalizing the medium.” Curator Sukanya Rajaratnam said. Undaunted, Gilliam forged on.

        Although not an organized or self conscious movement, one of the most important developments in abstract art occurred in Washington, D.C., and is most often designated the Washington Color School. Gilliam was one of the most influencial  artists apart of the Washington Color School in late 1950s through mid-’70s. Ever the innovator, he took his color-stained canvases off of the stretcher in the late 1960s and presented them in radical new ways: draped across walls and hung from the ceiling in generous, folding layers.

        During this time Gilliam also experimented by taping and pouring colors, folding and staining canvases, and literally folding a still wet canvas against itself to imprint vertical, angular, and axial forms. Gilliam's "quilted" paintings of the 1980s, like this original monoprint Ichi, involved cutting geometric shapes from his thickly encrusted canvas surfaces, and rearranging them on nylon or canvas backgrounds in patterns reminiscent of African American patchwork quilts the artist remembered from his childhood.

        Kurt Mueller, a director at Kordansky Gallery, notes that in addition to being formally innovative, Gilliam’s work has another important element going for it: “undeniable beauty.”

        Ichi (1994) by Sam Gilliam is an original monoprint with screenprint, collage, acrylic, stitching and embossing in colors on handmade paper. Ichi is an edition of 40 and is hand signed in black ink. For more information about Sam Gilliam, or Ichi please contact the gallery. SOLD.

        • Keith Haring Pop Apocalypse Portfolio

          When the late renowned artist Keith Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, he collaborated with author and beat icon William S. Burroughs on the  Apocalypse series, which offers an insight into Haring’s personal struggle with the disease. Though Haring’s themes were often political and social, the work at the end of his life and career took a turn toward the deeply personal. Haring’s work became darker, often showing dead cartoon figures with big X's on them.

           Apocalypse is a series of silkscreens made by Haring in response to an existing text by Burroughs. The poet considered the results of their collaboration to be of "equal weight and purpose...My texts were perfectly understood and perfectly rendered.” 

          The text reads: “Every dedicated artist attempts the impossible, Success will write APOCALYPSE across the sky. The artist aims for a miracle. The painter wills his picture to move off the canvas with a separate life, movement outside of the picture, and one rent in the fabric is all it takes for pandemonium to sluice through.

          Last act, the End, this is where we all came in. The final Apocalypse is when every man sees what he sees, feels what he feels, and hears what he hears. The creatures of all your dreams and nightmares are right here, right now, solid as they ever were or ever will be, electric vitality of careening subways faster faster faster stations flash by in a blur. Pan God of Panic, whips screaming crowds, as millions of faces look up at the torn sky: OFF THE TRACK! OFF THE TRACK!”

          Pop Apocalypse Plate 1 (1988) by Keith Haring is an original silkscreen. Pop Apocalypse Plate 1 from the Apocalypse portfolio is hand signed in pencil and is an edition of 90. For more information about Keith Haring or Pop Apocalypse Plate 1 and the complete Apocalypse Portfolio, please contact the gallery. CALL FOR VALUE.

          • Keith Haring Untitled (Concentric Man)

            Anyone who thinks Keith Haring's art is simple and happy may find something entirely new at another glance. A friend of his once described it like “We think of the figures, and we think it’s really clear. But when we take it one step further, it becomes complicated. It’s never set. It’s always very diverse in meanings and possibilities.” 

            Haring’s subjects, his glowing family of spinning breakdancers, barking dogs, whizzing flying saucers and colorful flowers—gave birth to the sprawling cast of painted characters that now populate the walls of the world’s cities. Energetic figures like Untitled (Concentric Man) or Cup Man in this original screenprint. 

            His was a life of endless energy combined with an urge to create so insistent that the art seems to have tumbled out of him as fast as he could make it. "The only time I am happy is when I am working," he wrote in one of his journals, and elsewhere, "Work is all I have and art is more important than life.”

            Which explains while Haring died in 1990 from an AIDS-related illness at just 31-years-old, he had already secured his place as an art icon and activist. In just ten years, he tackled issues such as sex, birth, death, and war. And during the darkest times of the AIDS crisis, Haring’s figures shone like a beacon with protest, hope, questions, unity, and defiance.

            Untitled (Concentric Man) or Cup Man (1989) by Keith Haring is an original screenprint. Untitled (Concentric Man) from the Kinderstern portfolio is hand signed in pencil and is an edition of 100. For more information about Keith Haring or Untitled (Concentric Man), please contact the gallery. SOLD.