GeorgiaOKeeffe-JimsonWeed1GeorgiaOKeeffe-Sotheby'sIn describing Lot #11 of today’s American Art Auction at Sotheby’s, the program reads: “In Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (from 1932), O’Keeffe transforms the poisonous into the sublime.”

When the bidding was over, the amount on the board was $39,500,000 ($44,400,000, with fees for Sotheby’s).

Photographs: Stephen Wise

ConchaYToro-DonMelchorConchaYToro-Enrique (2)The Wine Spectator announced its Top 100 Wines of 2014 on Monday. Topping the list was Dows 2011 Vintage Porto, an unusual choice with few if any bottles available. Dows has already released the 2012. But coming in at #9 was a favorite of ours, Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Don Melchor, which is available at Zachy’s for $125, as of last night (while supplies last).

Don Melchor Technical Director (Winemaker): Enrique Tirado Santelices


BordeauxUnderOneRoof2014BordeauxUnderOneRoof2014aThe recent Bordeaux Under One Roof event in NYC highlighted some of the fine wines from Bordeaux in the $20-40 price range.

We liked the Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte, “Les Hauts de Smith” 2011 (Red & White); Chateau de Landiras 2010; Clos Magne de Figeac 2010; and Chateau Tour Seran 2011. For a few more dollars the Chateau Latour Martillac Cru Classe de Graves 2005 is worth it.

BarbarianWomenAs seen on Madison Ave., November 16, 2014

SalonArt&Design2014aSalonArt&Design2014hSalonArt&Design2014dSalonArt&Design2014eThis year’s Salon Art & Design, at the Park Avenue Armory, has brought together 55 galleries from around the world and runs through November 17.

Some of the important items at the show include: a sofa by Karre Klint, a painting (top) by Giorgio De Chirico, and the Red Billet Armchair by Gerrit Rietveld (1924).

HavelALifeRemnickZantovskyTwenty-five years ago (Nov. 17)  the peaceful Velvet Revolution brought an end to Communist rule in the former Czechoslovakia, and led to play right and dissident leader Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) becoming President.

Mr. Havel’s former Press Secretary, Michael Zantovsky, is out with a book that some are calling the definitive biography of Havel. He was interviewed about the book by David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, before an audience last evening at Bohemian Hall in NYC.

Mr. Zantovsky described Vaclav Havel, as “a hero for what he has done,” but also as a flawed man filled with “guilt and doubt,” who made mistakes but was committed to telling the truth.

When asked why Havel supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq? Zantovsky said “because Havel trusted the American President.”

The American people and the world are learning there is no future in trusting American Presidents—who are guided more by Bolshevik values than the truth. Ironically, it’s the American leadership that has become Bolshevik (collapsing societies) in recent years, with the Russians (and Czechs) more Jeffersonian.

In his conversation with Mr. Zantovsky, Mr. Remnick suggested that the Czech Republic’s post-revolution success was an “outlier”, and that other countries in the region, especially Russia (and Putin) have disappointed. Later LE asked Mr. Remnick why he was down on Putin? He responded with a question: “I should be high on him?” LE then suggested that the U.S. government has done more harm in the world than Putin and Russia in the last 25 years. Remnick closed with: “It’s a longer conversation,” and left.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Sotheby's-RothkoMrsPaulMellonThe 43 Masterworks from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon (1910-2014) were all sold at Sotheby’s last evening. Two paintings by Mark Rothko were featured in the Collection, including Yellow, Orange, Yellow Light Orange (1955) which sold for $36.5 million.

In 2012, another Rothko painting Orange, Red, Yellow (1961) sold for $87 million at a Christie’s auction (the addition of Red was worth an extra $50 million).

Given that American Abstract Expressionist Art has long been used by the CIA and U.S. State Department, as a tool (weapon) in U.S. foreign policy, it’s fitting that this post falls on Veterans Day. Mr. Rothko took his own life in 1970.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Christie'sAmericanArt2014Christie'sAmericanArtAmerican Art Auction at Christie’s — November 19, 2014

Photographs: Stephen Wise

CarNYC-Mustang2014USMC2014United States Marine Corps Birthday – November 10, 1775.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

GeorgiaOKeeffe1GeorgiaO'Keeffe-CallaLillies1924 (2)GeorgiaOKeeffe-JimsonWeed (2)In 1916, when Alfred Stieglitz was presented with charcoal drawings done by a young Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), he exclaimed: “finally a woman on paper!”

Ms. O’Keeffe’s independence, personal struggles, and unique aesthetic made her a symbol of the “new woman,” according to art critic Barbara Rose in 1967.

With gender neutrality de rigueur and pernicious in America today, Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work are as relevant as ever.

There are several New York art auctions scheduled for the coming days, that include major works by O’Keeffe, among them: Calla Lilies-1924 at Christie’s Nov. 19 (middle), and Jimson Weed-1932 (bottom photo) at Sotheby’s, Nov. 20.

Photographs: Stephen Wise


Stephen B. Wise


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