Long-Sharp Gallery presents "Politics, Peace and Passion," a tightly curated exhibition launching at SCOPE Art Show during Miami’s preeminent international art week. Slated for December 4 – 9 in a monumental 100,000 sq. ft. pavilion, the Fair, in its most ambitious edition to date contemporaneous with Art Basel Miami Beach, will become home to the gallery’s unique collection. In a museum-style format, “Politics, Peace and Passion” (Booth D19) will explore the influence of renowned 20th century masters on a group of contemporary artists who, in a very personal way, continue to question the political and aesthetic issues of their environment and incorporate these concepts into their work.
Helmed by Rhonda Long-Sharp – highly respected in the global market of rare, authenticated art - Long-Sharp Gallery’s debut at SCOPE Art Show will feature William John Kennedy, sculptor Gino Miles and multi-media artists David Datuna and Constance Edwards Scopelitis, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Datuna, the highest selling artist of SCOPE 2011, joins Long-Sharp Gallery on the heels his highly successful show, “Emblem and Image,” in New York; and Constance Edwards Scopelitis, represented artist since 2010, will make her first mark in Miami at the influential fair. Original and hand-signed works by the modern masters will underscore the thematic connections inherent in this group of artists.
“Politics, Peace and Passion”
Though Warhol and Lichtenstein were less overtly political than many artists working in the 1960s—and certainly the Pop artists would likely not have emerged with such intensity without the Abstract Expressionists’ emotional response to war and politics—the reigning Pop artists developed a new language with which to comment on the world-changing events of their day. Haring and Basquiat epitomize the youthful, politically-charged artist of the 1980s, coming of age in the early days of HIV/AIDS. Datuna (born in Tbilisi, Georgia and residing in the United States since 1999), whose celebrated constructions define a new form of Pop Art, explores the sources and meaning of cultural identity, presenting his conceptual iconography within a political and commercial context. Constance Edwards Scopelitis embodies all three elements of this exhibit, with influences ranging from current events to Greek mythology. The Indiana-based artist, who typically works in series, combines painting the human form and cutting edge technology to narrate stories inspired as much by the upcoming 2012 presidential elections as her conviction that the U.S. should be all-inclusive, tolerant of ethnic diversity.
Inextricably linked to politics and passion, especially in post-1960s America, peace is exemplified by Indiana’s first ever - and extremely rare - limited edition of his iconic LOVE: a 5’ x 5’ felt banner produced in 1966. Since the 1970s, working in both enormous and small dimensions, Gino Miles has been inspired primarily by 20th Century European masters such as Moore, Manzu, Modigliani and Marini. Miles distills his love of the classical figure and objects found in nature, working with a spare and contemporary language that embodies the definition of peace.
Passion truly encompasses each of the artists in the exhibit, but is best personified by Picasso and Warhol. No two artists are more revered, prolific and mystifying in one way or another to people around the world. And, finally, a passion that was literally kept in a box for nearly 50 years before finding its way to the art market, William John Kennedy’s recently published archive of 1960s photographs that capture a glimpse of Warhol and Indiana on the cusp of fame, reveal an exceptionally playful side of the two artists (who are often noted for their dispassionate demeanors) at a time when life-altering world events unfold around them. Symbolizing the bridge between modern and contemporary, Kennedy’s passion during his early years as a fine art photographer guides these extremely rare images on their own path to fame.
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