Long-Sharp Gallery presents Silver, Gold, and Bold, an exhibition in three parts, each defined by the widely varied practices of the exhibited artists, at December fair week’s premier fair Art Miami.
Featuring rare works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein in addition to pieces by contemporaries Thalen & Thalen, Gino Miles, Chris Bracey and David Spiller, Silver, Gold, and Bold invites viewers to explore a history of modern art through the eyes of some of the generation’s greatest—from decades past to present—all of whom re-contextualized their respective mediums in profoundly personal ways.
Silver, Bold, and Gold begins with Thalen & Thalen—Rob and Jaap Thalen, a Belgium-based father-and-son duo primarily working with sculpture and, in keeping with the exhibition’s title, pure fine silver (999/000). Born in 1954, Rob, a trained silversmith, began his arts career in the Netherlands in 1982, joined in 2005 by his son Jaap, who studied architecture. Thalen & Thalen, who’ve exhibited internationally for the past several years, shape their metal of choice into objects that look simultaneously majestic and sensuous, mirroring the feel of silver itself. One of their featured sculptures, Touchable, does indeed look touchable, almost soft. Their piece, nicknamed “Tiny”, is made especially for Art Miami. Gino Miles, too, transforms metals into wondrous shapes, sculpting stainless steel into massive, towering structures. He will display his pieces, Crescendo, at the fair.
The exhibition’s Gold takes the form of the iconic works of Picasso, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. A watercolor and charcoal sketch by Picasso, crafted in Paris in 1901, will feature alongside selections from Lichtenstein’s modular drawing series. Warhol’s Portrait of Olga, one of only two ever created, depicts Olga Berde Mahl—who owns the painting’s pair. As an expression of gratitude, Warhol painted Mahl, the real estate agent who sold Warhol and printer Rupert Jasen Smith their last studio on Watts Street. Mahl effectively became one of the only women Warhol documented outside of a particular celebrity circle. The two went on to develop an acquaintanceship. Also on display: Warhol’s painting, Jon Gould. Still relatively new to the market—Long Sharp introduced the work in 2014—Gould, a wealthy Paramount executive, became the artist’s romantic obsession in the 1980s.
The show’s brightest components: Chris Bracey and David Spiller, both equally bold in content and form. Neon artist Bracey passed away last year at the age of 59, leaving behind Art is Never Finished and The Artificial Fascinates Me, which will be on view at Art Miami. Deemed the Master of Glow, his reclaimed neon works, which he built in the workshop he named God’s Own Junkyard, have become iconic. Similarly, 72-year-old Spiller is eponymous in his own right. Spiller, who still paints on the floor of his studio, incorporates excerpts of popular catchphrases, lyrics, and poetry, juxtaposing the text with recognizable cartoon characters or highly structured shapes. Distilled sentiments of larger references, they are often equally humorous and poignant.
- Chris Bracey, The Artificial Fascinates Me
- David Spiller, Close Your Eyes
- David Spiller, Imagine
- Gino Miles, New Orbit
- Gino Miles, Wanderlust
- Thalen and Thalen, Touchable
- Thalen and Thalen, Landscape Cone
- Chris Bracey, Art Is Never Finished