Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Painting Of Roosevelt Island Estimated To Be Sold For Up To $20 Million - Christie's To Auction Edward Hopper's Blackwell's Island

According to the NY Post:
An Edward Hopper painting of New York City's Roosevelt Island is coming to auction where it's estimated to sell for up to $20 million.

"Blackwell's Island" will be offered May 23 at Christie's. The large-scale oil has never come to auction before...
Here's more on the paintings of Edward Hopper's New York from the National Gallery of Art.


CheshireKitty said...

Edward Hopper was a wonderful painter. A rather strange guy (but then again, which fine artist isn't) but a wonderful painter. This work should fetch a high price at auction as the art market has been buoyant even through the recession.

Nicolas Robine said...

Is it the Octagon's building on the left or is it representing building now demolished?

William Sinclair said...

Hopper painted at least two paintings titled Roosevelt Island. This one was painted in 1928, several years after the Island had been renamed Welfare Island. Guess he liked the earlier name better. Would be nice if we had something of similar quality in Motorgate, which has been described as "...........a showcase of our artistic community for years to come." Doesn't that make you smile?

CheshireKitty said...

That's quite a dis, William.

Question: Is Motorgate better or worse with the murals? I think the murals improve the space - plus they convey something about community spirit on RI since they were executed collectively on RI Day, a day that is supposed to commemorate the RI community. Even if they're "imperfect" or "slapdash" they convey a sense of energy, and the fun the participants must have had painting them. It's like ballet vs. folk dance. Of course ballet is high art vs. folk dance which is accessible to anyone. The two art forms can't be compared - yet some might prefer putting aside considerations of "perfection" and trying to join the dance.

Motorgate is an interesting space with or without the murals, but it was always a filthy space, until the past RIOC pres, Leslie Torres, arranged for some of the windows to be power-washed. Even so, alot of the built-up grime and pigeon poop remains. RIOC must figure out a comprehensive cleaning/maintenance schedule/plan for Motorgate - so that let's say they invite the power-wash company back to re-scrub the place once or twice a year.

The only sort of "permanent" art projects that could be installed at Motorgate would be the sort that are installed throughout the subway system - ceramic/tile pieces, or metal fabrications - anything totally rugged and impervious to vandalism and graffiti, or, pieces that from which graffiti can be easily removed without affecting the art work. RIOC could interface with the MTA about their art in the subways program, or, maybe a program of art for Motorgate that plays off the solar disc at the subway station could be commissioned from the same artist that executed that piece.

We also are directly across the river from Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Center. RIOC could reach out to either/both cultural institutions to either commission works (from Socrates-affiliated sculptors) or obtain works on a loan basis from Noguchi Museum. If anything of value was ever loaned to RIOC for exhibit in Motorgate, then the space would need to be carefully guarded, however, which would require the posting of a PSO, or at least a desk in the facility where a RIOC employee could sit during business hours to answer questions about the work, give out brochures and so forth. Since Motorgate cannot be closed/locked then security would need to be round the clock.

Another option would be inviting entries to a redesign competition - or at least how could Motorgate be transformed so as to make it more attractive. Cleaning is one aspect of improving it; after it's cleaned and after the mural show is over, then you still have the vast, empty, "industrial" space of the lobby/atrium. Artists/designers could come up with ideas of cheap/durable ways to transform it - through a program of graphic design, or something that might be done with the unused, perpetually broken escalator and the unused office at the top landing of the escalator. Why not paint the various levels of the lobby the colors of the spectrum, starting with blue on the first floor and ending with red on the top floor - with the intermediate spectrum colors on each floor in between - thus giving an unforgettable look to the space through the windows of the atrium. Or, each floor could have a program of murals/graphics under thick plastic/Plexiglas fastened to the wall with heavy rivets giving a history of the island - starting with the Dutch on the first floor on up to Four Freedoms Park & so forth on the top floor. In this way, Motorgate is more than just a gateway for vehicles - it becomes a site of explication on a giant scale, of RI history. Of course, these are just 2 ideas ... there are many other things that could be done with the space, and doubtless there are many designers/artists that could come up with other, and better, ideas.