Art and About in New York - Wall Street Journal

The joie de vivre of the artists and art experience in real-time

From Wall Street Journal— Words by NOELLE NEWELL , May 9, 2019

New York hosts numerous art fairs from the prestigious Armory Show exhibiting exceptional modern and contemporary art; Art on Paper, with paper based art, Scope, showcasing cutting-edge contemporary art, to the Affordable Art Fair, and more. These fairs not only offer a temporary brick and mortar presence for the virtual galleries, they give the art lover a chance to see a wide range of art under one roof, to meet the gallerists, and maybe even the artists they represent themselves. The fairs are certainly more rewarding than looking at a website. In addition, one can appreciate the technical skill of an artist in real-time and the unspoken dialogue between the viewer and the art work that is best experienced face to face. 

Laurence de Valmy

At opening night at Scope, I met with Laurence de Valmy where she was represented by the Kahn Gallery, London. As an emerging artist, Laurence’s work pays homage to the world’s foremost artists and their works of art in a playful way that is apropos for today’s social media dominated era. She recreates renowned works of art as if the master painters were sharing their latest creation on Instagram. 

Laurence brings to light the collaborative relationships of artists in her Post series HER and HIStory such as impressionist artists Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, and the abstract expressionist couple Lee Krassner and Jackson Pollock. Women artists have been portrayed as shadowing their male counterparts but they should be thought of as equals. 

Imagine if Mary Cassatt’s painting Little Girl in a Blue Chair in 1878 was accepted by the World Fair Jury and exhibited. Degas had advised her on the painting, he supplied the model, and gave her the dog which is in the original painting, and thus it appears that the only reason she wasn’t accepted by the World Fair Jury was gender-biased. Nevertheless, the painting is a testament to Cassatt’s and Degas’s spirited friendship.

We tend to think of master artists living in a vacuum, and perhaps like a piece of art on a pedestal. Laurence takes the artists off the pedestal by making them seem as contemporary artists sharing and connecting on Instagram. Her paint work reminds me very much of one of her favorite artists, David Hockney. Laurence may appropriate an art work, yet she reimagines it and makes it her own, and stretching her technical hand as in her work Rodin where a sculpture is reinterpreted as a painting. Laurence’s art work is an upbeat commentary on social media, and her website connects one to the history of the original works of art she draws from. In essence she is teaching art history in a fun inclusive way. Laurence is originally from France, and she now works and resides in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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