Frames and Stretchers recently had a fantastic vintage canvas from Brazilian modernist painter Alfredo Volpi in the studio. It arrived with some small condition issues due to age and we were entrusted with re-stretching and re-framing the delicate work. All original vintage materials were used including stretcher bars, frame and even nails. Stascia did a brilliant job giving fresh new life to the mid-twentieth century work.
Framing the Alfredo Volpi painting with vintage materials
Alfredo Volpi was one of the most significant painters of Brazilian modernism. He was born in Italy, but moved with his family to São Paulo with his family at the age of two. He began painting around the age of twelve and moved from a naturalist style through expressionism and was briefly associated with the concretist movement of the 1930s. He eventually developed his own distinctive style using geometric abstract forms and colors. He also traded oils for the ancient traditional medium of tempera.
Details of the canvas before and after re-stretching
In the 1950s he created works based on the façades of houses, but in the 1960s he developed his signature "bandeirinhas" or “small flags” series. The flags are based on those used in Brazil during the annual Festa Junina, a type of Midsummer celebration. He used the stylized flag forms to create vibrant, colorful abstract works. The small reddish geometric form in the painting we worked on identifies this piece as one of the “bandeirinhas” series.
Detail of the painting showing the "bandeirinha" and artist's signature on back
During his career he participated in the second São Paulo Art Biennial and won the Grand Prix for Brazilian painting. More recent twenty first century exhibitions have shown that although he was self-taught he was influenced to some degree by other great modernist painters like Josef Albers. His use of tempera also shows that he had knowledge of historical painting techniques and materials. With works at auction realizing upwards of half a million dollars, Volpi is clearly positioned in history as one of the most important Brazilian painters of his generation and it was an honor to work with his art.
Stascia with the finished framed painting
Edie Nadelhaft's work is fun, deep and ultimately the type of art that you take your time consuming. The Manhattan based contemporary artist is known for her oil paintings as well as her sculpture. We framed a few pieces from her "Better Living Thru Chemistry" sculpture series. The frame was built using our signature black maple, floated over museum board using rice paste and Japanese paper and finished off with museum glass for clarity. They were purchased for the Ford Foundation collection.
A Piece from Edie Nadelhaft's "Better Thru Chemistry" series framed at Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.
Better Thru Chemistry is a series that humorously points out correlations between social media and direct to consumer marketed pharmaceuticals . In Edie's press statement she says, "the work pokes fun at the alternately amusing and depressing correlations between the two phenomena as both are enlisted to over - simplify the human condition and expedite contentment with a familiar recipe of instant gratification and seductive packaging." Better Thru Chemistry is just one series in which Edie explores the physical world and the human experience. In her series, "Flesh" she paints extremely detailed close ups based off of digital pictures taken of her hands, palms, and lips. She focuses on how the development of technology allows us to view details that are naked to the eye through a simple cell phone. In this way, our physical humanity is both more visible and also quickly fading in favor of a more digital imprint.
A piece from Edie Nadelhaft's "Better Thru Chemistry" series framed at Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.
Edie has shown her work all over the United States at many art fairs and galleries. Her most recent show was at the Lyons Weir Gallery in New York. A few others are Postcards From The Edge-William Scott Gallery, Surface Tensions - Lyons Weir Gallery Art Miami, The New York Affordable Art Fair - Art Star, and Summer Salon with Sikkema Jenkins. To find out more about Edie's work and upcoming exhibitions, check out her website. As always, you can see all of our completed projects on our Instagram and read more in depth on the blog.
A piece from Edie Nadelhaft's Flesh series.
Firelei Baez's work is so uniquely regal that it instantly transports you to another world when you view it. Her unconventional usage of objects like hairy fur and flowers to fill familiar silhouettes creates a nostalgic environment that would otherwise not exist. We recently framed one of her massive pieces and we were amazed by her meticulous style.
Erick with the completed Firelei Baez.
We floated this piece using Japanese paper hinges and rice paste over acid free museum board backing. Next we chose a custom gold gothic moulding and finished off with museum glass for the glazing. The gold and yellow tones complemented each other perfectly.
Man Without a Country (aka anthropophagist wading in the Artibonite River) 2012
As a Dominican-American artist, Firelei does make allusions to the immigrant experience in the US. However, her otherworldly aesthetic takes center stage with an explosion of soft translucent colors, flower filled skin and full womanly bodies that carry an air of warm elegance. She creates her multi-genre pieces on paper, often mixing paint washes with hand drawn images. In an Artsy editorial, writer Jared Quinton summarizes one of her many diaspora allusions; "Báez channels the long history of ornamentation and fashion as acts of resistance among women of the African Diaspora. She embodies this connection quite literally through her intensive artistic labor, uniting their struggles with those of today."
Her emphasis on vehicles of femininity and beauty are clean, moving and refreshing for the viewer. Firelei received her BFA from Cooper Union, her MFA from Hunter College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2008. She had a solo show called Bloodlines at PAMM and is currently showing Bloodlines at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Recently, she also had an installation for the Future Generation Art Prize. Currently, Firelei is represented by the Lyle O'Reitzel Gallery in New York City. To see more of her work check out her Instagram and Artsy. To see what else we're working on, follow us on Instagram or stop by the shop for a quote.
This year's Whitney Biennial lands at a controversial time in the US. Occupy Museums, a group borne out of the Occupy Wall Street decided to focus on debt as a theme this biennial. They had a call for Debt Fair art submissions that culminated in choosing 30 artists to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial. Included in their debt theme was a special call for Puerto Rican artists affected by the Puerto Rican debt crisis. The selected artists were:
Occupy Museums's mission is to call out economic and social injustice propagated by institutions of art and culture. They aim to reinforce the idea that art is not a luxury. The 2016 announcement of Puerto Rico's inability to pay back it's debt was not a total surprise, as unemployment and foreclosures had been rising on the Island. However, the citizens are left with most of the consequences for the debt. For the Debt Fair, Occupy Museums talks about the number of American artists who gradate from MFA programs in debt and what that means for the future of art. To learn more about the artists included, check out their links above. For further information about the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis this Huffington Post article is a good place to start.