Fine Art

Fine art has always been one of Natasha’s primary passions. She was fortunate to have fine art education all her life, from learning basic drawing under her father’s patient and precise hand, to participating in diverse and thriving fine art programs throughout public elementary school and prep school, to minoring in studio art and art history in college. Natasha always knew her interest in and appreciation for fine art outweighed any talents, so she has sated that aesthetic yearning by covering major museum and gallery openings. To commission any fine art writing, please contact Natasha. Follow my Forbes beat here.

I cover fine art, and the business of fine art. Follow me on Forbes.

A multiple-award-winning journalist, I’ve held top editorial roles at The Associated Press and Dow Jones. A former student of literature, studio art and art history with deep working knowledge of finance and business, I explore the global art markets and cultural analysis. My reviews of major museum and gallery openings have been published in major newspapers and media platforms worldwide.

Andy Warhol exhibit includes old favorites, new insights (AP)

The 25-foot long “Camouflage Last Supper,” one of Andy Warhol’s last and most personal works, floods a full wall of a room on the fifth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The massive acrylic and silkscreen mural captures the artist’s seemingly contradictory piety and irreverence. It’s one of more than 350 works on display in the largest retrospective of Warhol’s prolific career in nearly 30 years. (Read Full Article)

Unmasking James Ensor (Forbes)

The first comprehensive retrospective of avant-garde Belgian artist James Ensor’s work carves a colorful and multi-textured path through Expressionism, Symbolism and Surrealism. Along the way, masks reveal more than they hide, and allegorical light and skulls vie for dominance in grotesque and grand images that subvert the social, political and religious sensibilities of the late 19th century. On display are about 120 paintings, drawings and prints, mostly from 1880 to the mid-1890s. Organized chronologically, the exhibition lacks Ensor’s highly regarded “Christ’s Entry Into Brussels in 1889″ (painted in 1888) but fills the void by delving deep into the myriad styles and themes of a prolific career. Born in Ostend, Belgium, in 1860, Ensor lived in that tony resort town, which, replete with beaches, spas and a casino, influenced much of his work until his death in 1949. (Read Full Article)

Exhibit traces de Kooning’s stylistic transformation (AP)

The broad pastel strokes of Willem de Kooning’s later works convey a vibrancy and vitality typical of an artist in the prime of his career.The exhibition, which highlights five decades of de Kooning’s career with 36 paintings, was curated by David Whitney, who has written books on Jasper Johns, David Salle and Andy Warhol. Four paintings from 1988 – the last year featured in this show – are meant to be seen first, allowing the viewer to witness and explore de Kooning’s stylistic transition from 1946. “It’s a room that glitters and has an exuberance and shows an exquisite master at work,” Ealan Wingate, gallery director, said. The paintings from 1988 “have an idiosyncratic muscularity.” (Read Full Article)

A revealing look at Picasso’s last years (AP)

From simple pen-and-ink drawings of nude women to a colorful and elaborate felt pen-and-ink rendering of two men ogling a nude woman, a sketchbook filled in a week reveals a mature Pablo Picasso at work. The 26 works from a 1970 album of drawings and watercolors are on display for the first time. They offer an intimate look into the art and thoughts of Picasso less than three years before his death at age 91.”Picasso: The Berggruen Album” opened Monday at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York (in cooperation with the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco). It runs through June 26. The full book from the collection of art dealer Heinz Berggruen was carefully unbound for framing, and will be reassembled for sale at $3.5 million. Such sketchbooks are very rare, as most belong to the Picasso family, said David Nash, the gallery owner. (Read Full Article)

Modigliani show explores painter’s complex cultural identity (AP)

Amedeo Modigliani portrays poet and sometime painter Max Jacob with sharp, jutted features. He paints Jacobs with one glittering, crosshatched green eye and one blank eye to reveal the spiritual bond between the two men. The oil on canvas “Portrait of Max Jacob,” from 1916, also shows how Modigliani incorporated cubism into his already eclectic and unique expressionist style, and the likeness of Jacob with a large head, donning a top hat, white shirt and checkered tie, also hints at Modigliani’s sculptures. Such portraits with elongated facial features are a stylistic and subjective departure from the female nudes for which the Italian-born Jewish artist has become best known. (Read Full Article)

Lichtenstein Brushstroke Exhibited (AP)

A serene, abstract landscape with a single bonsai tree peering out from one corner is displayed opposite a busy canvas of frantic squiggles and crisscrosses melded with thicker lines in a frenzy of bold colors. The two paintings by Roy Lichtenstein could not appear to be more different, yet both manipulate a central theme used throughout his career _ the brushstroke. The first major survey of Lichtenstein’s work since his death in 1997, “Brushstrokes: Four Decades,” at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery, focuses on the brushstroke technique in his paintings, drawings and sculptures. (Read Full Article)

Whitney Museum Commissions First Solo Exhibition by Banks Violette (AP)

The white skeleton of a church glows in the darkness while distorted music plays, imagining a storm that foretells of war. Emotions, perceptions and attitudes fluctuate for the viewer as the music changes and as the sculptural installation is seen from different angles. “Banks Violette: Untitled,” the artist’s first solo museum exhibition, is on display through Oct. 2 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The museum commissioned the project by Violette, whose work was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Untitled is designed to be an interaction between the artist and musician Snorre Ruch, and the audience. (Read Full Article)

Ruscha had photographer’s eye (AP)

Light pours onto the word “quit” spelled out in cursive letters that appear to be molded from white ribbon, carefully displayed at an angle and captured against a background of varying gray tones. Despite its photographic quality, the black-and-white “Quit” is gunpowder and colored pencil on paper. The 1967 drawing by Ed Ruscha is among more than 200 Ruscha works from the past four decades on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art.”Cotton Puffs, Q-tips, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha” runs through Sept. 26. “Ed Ruscha and Photography,” featuring more than 100 original prints — many never published and on public display for the first time — runs concurrently at the Whitney.(Read Full Article)

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings’ includes 140 drawings by Armenian-born artist (AP)

Arshile Gorky spent three weekends in 1942 at the rural Connecticut farm of fellow artist Saul Schary, staring closer and closer at the landscape until the apple orchard before him transformed into patterns and lines. Gorky immersed himself in those surroundings, translating the images imprinted into his mind onto a series of drawings that culminated in his most abstract work. The 42-by-52-inch (107-by-132-centimeter) pastel on paper “Apple Orchard” (1943-1946) came to influence other artists and works, such as Willem de Kooning’s 1946 oil on paper, “Fire Island.” The two works share similar abstract shapes and lines intersecting on a mustard-colored background. (Read Full Article)

Art That Spans the Pogroms and the Avant-Garde (AP)

Twenty meticulous portraits–including three of the artist at different ages–make up the detailed, classical painting of the synagogue in the Polish town where artist Maurycy Gottlieb was born. Next to it hangs another work by Gottlieb, a giant oil on canvas. The work depicts Jesus in a synagogue surrounded by Polish Jews. The paintings are among some 70 works by 21 artists on display at the Jewish Museum through March 17 in an exhibition titled “The Emergence of Jewish Artists in Nineteenth-Century Europe.” “Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur,” on loan from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and “Christ Preaching at Capernaum,” from the Polish national gallery in Warsaw are being displayed together in public for the first time. (Read Full Article)

Hello, Dali! (AP)

A white, round moon with a pensive face floats in deep blue water, surrounded by lush green mountains and a soothing blue and teal sky. “Luna a la Calanque de Culip” (“Moon Over Culip Cove”), an oil on wood board landscape, was painted around 1914 by a young Salvador Dali, who was perhaps only 10 at the time. The work reveals the artist’s early feel for surrealism. An original watercolor of the Manhattan skyline at night is part of the “Dali in Manhattan” exhibit now showing in New York. More than 500 works owned by or loaned to Los Angeles gallery owner Bruce Hochman, including sculpture, several paintings, lithographs, etchings and engravings, are on exhibit and for sale during a two-week period. Such misplaced moons reappear � with or without faces � as prominent images throughout the prolific master surrealist’s body of work, which includes more than 300 oil paintings, 1,100 drawings and 1,700 graphic works created over seven decades. (Read Full Article)