Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Max Estenger @Rumba extended thru Feb. 14

Saturday night's opening at Kimba Hill's rumba space in Santa Monica was a great start to the exhibition of new paintings by Steven Van Nort and me. The show runs through December 12 and the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-6.  Here are some photos from the reception and the installation.
With Steven Van Nort at the opening reception
Yellow and White 2014
Oi-based spray paint on stainless steel and canvas
45 x 36" five panels

Installation view in the white room
Red and White 2014
Oil-based spray paint on stainless steel and wood panel
12 x 24" two panels
Blue (Triangle) 2014
Oil-based spray paint on stainless steel and wood panel
52 x 40" six panels
Red and White 2014
Oi-based spray paint on canvas and stainless steel
36 x 45" five panels
Black (Square) 2014
Oil-based spray paint on canvas and poly-vinyl
54 x 36" three panels
A majestic 8-foot Steven Van Nort painting 
Black and Yellow 2014
Oil-based spray paint on steel and canvas; poly-vinyl over wood
67 x 30" three panels

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Max Estenger Oct. 18-Dec 12 Santa Monica

Max Estenger BLUE 2014
Flashe vinyl on canvas, poly-vinyl, steel
52 x 40" (six panels)
Hey everyone, I wanted to invite all of you to my upcoming show at Kimba Hill's rumba in Santa Monica from October 18-December 12. The exhibition is entitled DIGITAL and will also include paintings by the wonderful LA-based painter Steven Van Nort. Rumba is open Mon-Sat. 10AM to 6 PM in Santa Monica.  http://kimbahills.com/d-i-g-i-t-a-l-opens-at-rumba-on-october-18th/

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Peter Blake Gallery at Downtown Fair, 25th Street Armory

At most art fairs, one is usually fortunate to discover a few good, unfamiliar artists. It is even rarer to discover an entire unfamiliar gallery that delivers the goods. Peter Blake's booth at the Downtown Fair this weekend was a revelation to many of us in New York. Part of the reason is that this is the first time since he opened his Southern California gallery in 1993, he has participated in an art fair in New York. His gallery presents a coherent artistic and curatorial vision and his booth reinforces this by its meticulous and carefully calibrated installation. It is a breath of fresh air here in New York.

His booth features the work of both California and New York artists--including Don Voisine, 2014 Whitney Biennialist Matthew Deleget, John Zinsser, Jon Maarten Voskuil, Stephanie Bachiero, Matt McClune, Maria Elena Gonzalez, and Scot Heywood among others. And judging from the red dots all over the place at Blake's it seems as though collectors have embraced his vision.
Jon Maarten Voskuill
Scot Heywood
Stephanie Bachiero
I will be in Southern California in July and look forward to going down to see the gallery in Laguna Beach where judging from photos it is a spectacular exhibition space. http://www.peterblakegallery.com In the meantime, go check out the booth today and one hopes that Peter Blake's wonderful gallery will be back in NYC more frequently.  Hat tip to LA Gallerist Mat Gleason at Coagula Curatorial for recommending  Peter Blake. Mat's Coagaula Curatorial is here in town at both the Pulse and Downtown fair.
Don Voisine

Monday, May 5, 2014

PULSE NEW YORK May 8-11, 2014

The Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th St. 
New York City

It's going to be a fun art weekend in New York with the Frieze and Pulse art fairs in town.
Look for my work at LA's hottest gallery, Mat Gleason's COAGULA CURATORIAL.


Thursday 9am-8pm
Friday    11am-6pm
Saturday  11am-8pm
Sunday    11am-7pm
Max Estenger RED WHITE BLACK (2014) mixed media 24x12"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Max Estenger New Paintings March 6- March 29

John Molloy Gallery 49 East 78th Street Suite 2B New York, NY. 10075

Tuesday-Friday 11-6; Saturday 11-5; www.johnmolloygallery.com

Blue, White, Blue, Yellow, Orange 2014
Oil-based spray paint on aluminum, and raw canvas
12 x 30” (5 panels)

Blue and White 2013
Oil-based spray paint on stainless steel
and raw canvas; poly-vinyl over wood
45 x 20” (3 panels)

Yellow and White 2013
Oil-based spray paint on canvas and stainless steel
45 x 36” (5 panels)

Blue, White and Fuschia 2013
Oil-based spray paint on stainless steel, and wood panel;
raw canvas, poly-vinyl over wood
24 x 68.5”  (7 panels)

Orange, White, Black and Green 2014
Oil-based spray paint on raw canvas,
artist’s panel, and tin-coated steel
24 x 12” (4 panels)

To view the catalogue click here:  http://maxestenger.com/Pages/Catalogue/index.html

To read Douglas Turner's new profile on Douglas Turner's  The Architecture of Tomorrow:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Max Estenger New Paintings March 6- March 29

March 6-March 29, 2014

Red and Yellow, 2013, oil-based spray paint on stainless steel; raw 
canvas, poly-vinyl over wood,
stainless steel, 36 x 81 inches (7 panels)
John Molloy Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition
of new paintings by New York based artist Max Estenger, from
March 6 through March 29, 2014.  Estenger has been working
with his particular language of non-representational art for the 
past two decades.

In this exhibition, Estenger continues his exploration of 
disparate materials – raw canvas, clear poly-vinyl, aluminum
and wood panels – to create multi-paneled, spray-painted 
works of art.  The new paintings show an obvious refinement 
of Estenger’s process, as well as an unusual dedication to the 
formal strictures within which he has chosen to operate. The 
resulting  interplay of surface, structure and color presents
new formal and conceptual possibilities for abstract painting. 

A fully-illustrated 28 page catalogue will be available in both 

book and digital format as of February 22.

                                      JOHN MOLLOY GALLERY
                                        49 East 78th St., Suite 2B
                                            New York, NY. 10075
                                                  212 249 3020

                                                GALLERY HOURS
                              TUESDAY-FRIDAY 11:00 AM- 6:00 PM
                                    SATURDAY 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SHOCKER Museum Quietly Sells Newman Painting for $105 Million

In 2013, Barnett Newman's work made quite a splash at Sotheby's when Paul Allen sold the exquisite "Onement VI" (1953) for $43.8 million dollars, nearly doubling the price paid for the same painting a decade earlier.  Yet, that record-setting price for Newman was nothing compared to what transpired just a few months ago in Japan when the Kawamura Museum sold one of Newman's greatest paintings "Anna's Light" (1968) an acrylic masterpiece measuring 108 x 240."  There has been NO American press concerning this sale and I discovered it when perusing a recent list of the 20 most expensive paintings ever sold. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/478014947920475135/

First,  a little history. In 1988, the painting was purchased by the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum in Japan from the DIA Foundation (most likely for a million dollars)  and it became a focal point of the Museum's postwar collection since it was installed in 1990. The museum is basically the corporate collection of the DIC Corporation which is in the business of manufacturing liquid inks, lacquers and chemicals and whose slogan is "Color and Comfort by Chemistry." 

For those who never saw the painting in Japan or at Pace Gallery in 1988, the painting was part of the huge Newman retrospective  organized by Anne Temkin at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2002. "Anna's Light" was one of the highlights of that spectacular exhibition and  ironically, nearly 30 years ago in 1985, the painting went  unsold at Sotheby's as a bewildered Annalee Newman sat in the front row.  The New York Times reported on that evening's sale:

Xavier Fourcade, the dealer who purchased Walter de Maria's Minimal work ''Equal Area Series'' for $45,100, said he was not surprised when the Barnett Newman work did not sell. ''It's a very big painting,'' he said. Annalee Newman, the artist's widow, who was sitting beside Mr. Fourcade in the front row, said she expected the painting might not sell. ''It's a museum painting,'' she said with a shrug. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/06/arts/modern-paintings-sold.html

A few years later the DIC corporation in Japan purchased it from DIA. Imagine what that painting would look like at Dia:Beacon today next to Donald Judd and Richard Serra's work, two of Newman's most important acolytes. But I digress.  Apparently, DIC's books have not been looking good and they saw the Newman as a perfect opportunity to pad the financial books by $105 million dollars. Straight from their awkward press release:  http://www.dic-global.com/en/release/pdf/20131004_01.pdf

 Regarding extraordinary profit associated with the sale of a certain painting owned by the company and revision of its consolidated operating result forecast 

The press release refuses to name the "foreign" buyer but states:

 A foreign company approached DIC and expressed an interest in purchasing Anna’s Light. DIC cannot disclose the name of the company due to a non-disclosure agreement with the company. However, based upon the company’s records of important business transactions in its industry, DIC’s interview with the company, as well as corroboration from a third party, DIC has concluded that the company has no dealings with anti-social forces and elements and has a healthy on-going business. As a result of the transaction, DIC believes that Anna’s Light will be properly maintained and managed at its new home. 

The DIC Corporation states that the "purchaser has assured DIC that the work will become available for viewing by the public."  It's obvious that  if a museum had purchased it they would be making that public. So where is "Anna's Light?"  I decided to contact the Barnett Newman Foundation here in New York to find out. The Foundation told me they have "no information on either the new owner or the painting's current whereabouts." Is it destined for Abu Dhabi? Or is it already sitting in some Russian oligarch's pad? Barnett Newman ran for mayor of New York in the 1930s as an anarchist. I wonder what he would have thought of this.

Monday, January 13, 2014


On Sunday, January 5, 2014 I received a phone call informing me that my aunt, Margarita Estenger (1937-2014) aka "Cucucha" to family and friends, had passed away in California just six days shy of her 77th birthday.  Since she was my only aunt, and I have no uncles (and only two first cousins--her children) we were a small but close family. She led a very colorful life that ended with a brutal and thankfully short battle with Alzheimer's.  

She was the life of every party-- reminding me of the Maureen Stapleton character in Woody Allen's Interiors (1978)--with her raucous sense of humor and her virtuoso piano playing at family gatherings. Like many of her generation she left Cuba in 1961, as the promise of revolution turned into the Gulag under the sun. Her first husband fought at the Bay of Pigs invasion and was a captured prisoner. She spent months anxiously awaiting his fate until an agreement was reached between the Kennedy Administration and the Cuban government to free the prisoners. Like my own parents, she moved to Los Angeles after a brief stint in Miami. 

Living in Southern California, she loved going to tv game shows and even made a quick deal with Monty Hall in the early 70s which netted her $50 on Let's Make A Deal (she happened to have  a lemon in her bag). But her biggest TV moment was undoubtedly on June 16, 1975 when she struck gold. On that day, on the CBS Televsion Network Johnny Olsen told her to come on down (butchered her last name actually, it was her second husband's name). She was the big showcase winner on The Price is Right. She won a lot of stuff including a huge camper trailer, a pinball machine and a trip to Jamaica for two. She jumped up and down and nearly trampled her fave Bob Barker. Unfortunately, this was pre-VCR and so all we have is an audio recording though strangely there are full You Tube episodes of The Price is Right from that season and seasons prior and after, so perhaps one day it will surface. She took her daughter to Jamaica and sold everything else.

As stated earlier, she was an extremely gifted piano player as her mom (my grandmother) was a piano teacher but my aunt lacked the desire to pursue it as far as her talents may have warranted. Her unluck in romance (three husbands, three divorces) was made up for by a large and devoted group of friends and the love of her family. She is survived by her brother, my father Guillermo, her two children Henry and Maria and six grandchildren including Jessica whom she raised as her own. Because of the nature of her illness we have missed her for some time, but now will miss her even more. Rest in peace. Services will be held January 17-18. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

As the rest of the country braces for the cold to come, my friend musician and graphic designer Mike Horton took his majestic dog Marlowe out for a stroll on January 1, in Lincoln Park in Los Angeles.