your money, your life, your choice | California, cars, CO2

California, in so many ways, could learn from the US Northeast. 

To reduce CO2 and and greenhouse gas emissions from cars, a continuing and increasing issue in California and elsewhere, cities need data—ways to accurately measure emissions, pinpoint sources, and monitor change over time; cities need to know how much CO2 they are producing and reducing.

A tool called ACES (Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions System) was developed in response to the requirement for data by researchers at Boston University and Harvard. ACES offers finely-grained maps of CO2 emissions, with a resolution of 1km2, totaled hourly.

As we know, per our atmosphere – the air, its particular mix of gaseous elements, and its temperatures, together vital to life, inclusive of human, animal, and plant – CO2 and other greenhouse gases are an issue, in many ways.

California has “targets” to meet by the year 2020 for limiting the greenhouse gases associated with the driving that people do on a daily basis. The approach to greenhouse gases associated with the driving that people do on a daily basis has a heightened level of complexity in California. Driving a car, rather than availing oneself of public transportation such as a subway, metro, or bus, is a norm that people are highly unwilling and actually afraid to examine and rethink. The many localities within the state have made limited investment in public transportation in significant part because taking such modes of transportation is largely considered to be beneath the dignity – whether personal, social, or professional – of and compromising to anybody with a sense of self esteem.

While the “hope” has been that climate emissions might be curbed largely by promoting regional planning of denser development along transit lines ( S.B. 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, a landmark 2008 deal, with the California legislature recognizing the critical role of integrated transportation, land use, and housing decisions to meet state climate goals), the California Air Resources Board 2018 Progress Report released in November documents that driving of cars has skyrocketed statewide during the years following the recession of 2008 – 2009 through 2016.

A “key finding of this report is that California is not on track to meet the greenhouse gas reductions expected under SB 375 for 2020, with emissions from statewide passenger vehicle travel per capita increasing and going in the wrong direction” (page 4) and “emissions from the transportation sector continuing to rise despite increases in fuel efficiency and decreases in the carbon content of fuel” (page 5).

Top air quality officials in California state they currently have no way to fully assess whether regions from San Diego to Sacramento are on track to meet 2020 targets for reigning in greenhouse gases associated with daily driving. While “greenhouse gas emissions considered under the SB 375 program reflect carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions only from light-duty passenger vehicles” (page 21, footnote 22), the California Air Resources Board 2018 Progress Report states, “SB 375 passenger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions reductions cannot be directly measured because greenhouse gas emissions come from many sources” (page 21).

Air board officials said that while they tracked the key metric of vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, available statewide through fuel sales, that same information wasn’t available regionally. Without that, officials say there is no consistent way to extrapolate greenhouse gas emissions from driving for each region.

There’s no unifying way to bring it all together and say ‘You’re at this particular performance metric,’” said Nicole Dolney, chief of the air board’s transportation planning branch. “Our hope was that we would have VMT data that we could rely on, but it wasn’t there.”

So what might California learn from ACES?

For cities to cut down CO2, they need to know how much they are producing and reducing. Most cities get rough estimates with “carbon calculators” that account for the size and population of a city, electricity used, and an estimate of how many cars zip (or crawl) through the city streets.

“The calculation would be fine except for all those cars. Cars are the hardest part of the emissions equation to quantify. They are moving all the time at different speeds, and there are different cars on the road at different times of day.”

“There are other factors to consider. There’s the make of the car, of course: a Toyota Prius gives off less CO2 than a Chevy Silverado. There’s also the speed; most cars give off the least CO2 when cruising in a “sweet spot” between 40 and 60 miles per hour.”

(Conor Gately, co-developer of ACES; PhD, Geography and Environment, Boston University, 2016; lead author on a study examining cities, traffic, and CO2, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in April 2015.)

ACES (Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions System) has been developed by Lucy Hutyra of Boston University and Conor Gately, now a postdoctoral associate working jointly at Boston University and Harvard. A tool for measuring and mapping CO2 emissions, ACES offers finely-grained maps of CO2 emissions, with a resolution of 1km2, totaled hourly, is relevant and could be helpful to the cities and the state of California.

Cities have the political will to change emissions, and they have policy levers to pull,” says Lucy Hutyra, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) associate professor of Earth and environment. And because cities are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the United Nations, their actions matter. But to take effective action, cities need data—ways to accurately measure emissions, pinpoint sources, and monitor change over time. And so Hutyra and her colleague Conor Gately have developed a tool called ACES, for Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions System, that offers the finest-grained maps of CO2 emissions in the Northeastern US to date, with a resolution of 1km2, totaled hourly. The tool, funded by NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System and detailed in the October 12, 2017, issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, could provide valuable data to cities nationwide.

‘The goal was to take the finest grained, most local data possible and build a ‘bottom-up’ inventory,” says Gately. The research team started by divvying up the sources of emissions on a giant whiteboard. “We did every sector of emissions of CO2,” he says. “Roads, residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, power plants, airports, marine ports, shipping, and railway.” The group searched for data from 2011, scouring every source they could find: city and country records, household fuel estimates, EPA databases, hundreds of traffic sensors located around New England. All of these data, when combined with the amount of fossil fuels consumed in the region (gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, coal and natural gas for power generation), allowed the team to calculate CO2 emissions for all of the major sources. The team then calculated emissions for every hour of the year.

Gately, working with a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is now expanding ACES to cover the entire continental United States and meeting with government, scientific, and policy stakeholders to help create a core set of methods and data products.”

DARTE might also be helpful. DARTE, the Database of Road Transportation Emissions (Conor Gately, Lucy Hutyra, Ian Sue Wing) is available for free download from the Harvard Dataverse

Funded by grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy (DOE), Gately has developed a more precise way to tally CO2 emissions from vehicles. He used 33 years of traffic data to build the Database of Road Transportation Emissions (DARTE), which displays CO2 data for the contiguous US on a finer scale than ever before—a one-kilometer grid. (He hopes to add Alaska and Hawaii later.) Available for free download, DARTE could change the way cities and states measure greenhouse gas emissions.

The science is coming together to bring us very fine measurements in a way never possible before,” says Lucy Hutyra, an assistant professor of earth and environment and a coauthor on the PNAS study. Hutyra says that DARTE complements NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, which is collecting global data on atmospheric carbon dioxide. “We need good bottom-up data to match what we’re measuring looking down from space. That’s what we need to really advance greenhouse gas policies.”


2018 Progress Report: California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act,” California Air Resources Board, November 2018

Regions across California likely off the hook for 2020 caps on greenhouse-gas emissions from driving,” Joshua Emerson Smith, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 November 2018

Poor forest management: Trump oversimplifies state’s fire problem,” Readers React, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 November 2018

A Fine-Tuned Map for CO2,” Barbara Moran, Boston University Research, 26 October 2017

A New Map for Greenhouse Gas,” Barbara Moran, Boston University Research, 10 April 2015

Gately, Conor, K.; Hutyra, Lucy, R.; Sue Wing, Ian, 2015, “Cities, traffic, and CO2: A multi-decadal assessment of trends, drivers, and scaling relationships“,, Harvard Dataverse, V6


Amazon selects New York & Arlington, VA for HQ2 ・people, mass transit, sustainability

Amazon has selected New York City (the Long Island City neighborhood of the borough of Queens) and Arlington,Virginia (the Crystal City neighborhood, across the Potomac from Washington, DC) for its HQ2.

In agreements with the local and state governments, Amazon stipulates that the two locations will house at least 25,000 employees each. The new sites will require $5 billion in construction and other investments.

Direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes (mass transit) at site has been a core preference of Amazon, stipulated in the Amazon HQ2 RFP.

Significantly, Amazon’s HQ2 RFP stipulates that it will develop HQ2 with a dedication to sustainability:

Sustainability: Amazon is committed to sustainability efforts. Amazon’s buildings in its current Seattle campus are sustainable and energy efficient. The buildings’ interiors feature salvaged and locally sourced woods, energy efficient lighting, composting and recycling alternatives as well as public plazas and pockets of green space. Twenty of the buildings in our Seattle campus were built using LEED standards. Additionally, Amazon’s newest buildings use a ‘District Energy’ system that utilizes recycled heat from a nearby non-Amazon data center to heat millions of square feet of office space – a system that is about 4x more efficient than traditional heating. This system is designed to allow Amazon to warm just over 4 million square feet of office space on Amazon’s four-block campus, saving 80 million kilowatt hours over 20 years, or about 4 million kilowatt-hours a year. We also invest in large solar and wind operations and were the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2016.

Amazon will develop HQ2 with a dedication to sustainability.

Of the cities selected, Emily Badger of The New York Times observes:

Tech companies feed on highly educated and specialized workers, specifically dense clusters of them where workers and companies interacting with one another are more likely to produce new ideas. Washington and New York, as it turns out, are two of the most highly educated regions in the country, with already large pools of tech workers.

Drop a big Amazon headquarters into Washington or New York, and economists expect the 50,000 workers there to be more productive than if the same 50,000 jobs were dropped into Indianapolis. Simply putting them in New York, near so many other tech workers, increases the likelihood that Amazon invents more services, connects to more markets, makes more money.

Those added benefits are so strong, economists say, that it’s worth it to companies like Amazon to pay more — a lot more — for office space and employee salaries in New York City.

‘If you are in the business of making new things — whether it’s a new product, or a new way of delivering things, or a new service — and it’s something that is unique, and it keeps changing and it needs updating, the most important factor of all is human capital,” said Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s not like making soap, or like making textiles.’”


Amazon HQ2 RFP

Amazon Announces New York and Virginia as HQ2 Picks,” Karen Weise, Technology | The New York Times, 13 November 2018

In Superstar Cities, the Rich Get Richer, and They Get Amazon,” Emily Badger, The New York Times, 7 November 2018

It’s your money ・ Hurricanes, flooding, fires. Buying a home?

It’s your money. ・ Hurricanes, flooding, wildfires. Buying a home? Approach your investment with care and due diligence.

Buying a home involves an enormous amount of money, and few people do it often enough to be experts. Given the realities of climate change, the process is now set against a backdrop of radical uncertainty about the very ground you will live on and the air you will breathe.

Given all that, you owe it to yourself to call on every dispassionate expert you can find and grab all available data on any risk you are taking on.”

There is a case for optimism here, where the world comes together and manages to turn the (rising) tides. So if you are a positive thinker or can afford a big loss, by all means bet one of your biggest assets on that possibility.

Otherwise, ask yourself this: Just how much more science and weather will it take before ever larger numbers of people decide to settle in or retire to places that pose less risk? And once they do, do you want to be trying to unload your property in a danger zone so you can afford to join them?

You’re Buying a Home? Have You Considered Climate Change?”, Ron Lieber, The New York Times, 2 December 2016

Research and understand highly pertinent issues such as those that follow below. Examine flood zones, flood insurance, fire zones, and the term Wildland Urban Interface (WUI, indexes the conversion of wildland to developed territory).

In the context of wildfires, a cornerstone of risk evaluation is a metric called the Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI. WUI indexes the conversion of wildland to developed territory. WUI indicates an explosion in wildland development over recent years.

According to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) measurement framework, the conversion rate from wildlands to urban development has grown to 4,000 acres per day or close to 2 million acres per year.

The explosion in WUI development increasingly puts homeowners, firefighters and communities at risk of wildfire – a risk that is only growing across the United States as the globe warms and aridification worsens. Since the 1980s, large fires in Northern California have increased by 60 percent. Some forests in the Pacific Northwest have seen a 5,000 percent increase in annual burned land

According to the  2017 Verisk Wildfire Risk Analysis, more than 2 million of the 4.5 million homes at high or extreme risk of wildfire are in California.

We should start by learning which regions are most at risk. Many people assume that most WUI lands fall in the western states. The large eastern and southern states have the most land in the WUI. In 2016, Kansas and Oklahome saw over a million acres burn – that’s an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island. 

The so-called “fire season” has continued to lengthen over the past several decades, and that, since 2000, climate change has been attributed to adding 9 additional days of high fire season. The environmental context facing designers and developers is thus increasingly risky.

We Should Plan Homes to Minimize the Threat of Wildfires,” Jesse M. Keenan and Alice Hill, Newsweek, 21 October 2017

Services & infrastructure

Sources & uses of municipal services such as flood- and fire-prevention, -recovery, and related maintenance services.

How much does the locality (village, town, county, parish, state) pay for public services such as roads, pumps, fire services, drinking water, sewage, etc. Where does the money come from. 

Sources & uses of flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery service funds

How are flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery services financed and funded. How long will flood- and fire-prevention and -recovery services be affordable. How is “affordable” defined.

Home-purchase finance

If you plan to finance a purchase with a mortgage, examine how banks and insurance companies are currently managing flood- and fire-prone properties in their portfolios. What are the trend lines? What steps are being taken by banks and insurance companies vis a vis such properties to protect their balance sheets over the long term.


Examine how insurance companies are managing flood- and fire-prone properties in their portfolios. What are the trend lines? What steps are being taken by insurance companies vis a vis such properties to protect their balance sheets over the long term.

What are current premiums? Is the appropriate insurance provided by private companies, by the government? How much will you receive in case of a disaster? Will you receive the full market value of the damaged property?

Sources & uses of energy

Energy matters. Know sources and uses of energy. A house designed and built for low energy unit intensity offers multiple advantages.

Sources, uses, costs, & quality of water

Water matters. Know sources, uses, costs, and quality of water.

Building materials

Building materials and construction matter. Know how and of what materials the house is constructed. Is the house built for fire resilience? Is the house built for flood resilience?

Access & transportation infrastructure

Access matters. How is the neighborhood served by transportation. Can you get to work / school / the doctor’s and dentist’s office / the grocery store and shops / all those important places by foot, bike, bus, train? Must you drive a car? (Think of the CO2 emissions that are exacerbating both the floods and the fires.) Are there multiple lines of access? One road?

Climate change

Research climate change and its effects in your geographical area of interest.

A team & teamwork matter

Develop a team of experts, whom you can trust and consult and with whom you can work together, in your geographical area of interest.

As you delve into these questions, here are links to articles, and there are many more, that provide information, insight, perspective and links to further sources of information.


You’re Buying a Home? Have You Considered Climate Change?”, Ron Lieber, Your Money | The New York Times, 2 December 2016

Flooding Risk Knocks $7 Billion Off Home Values, Study Finds,” Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, 25 August 2018

Your coastal property has already lost value to sea rise. This site can tell you how much”, Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 25 July 2018

Fire Weather Outlooks (updated daily), NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, Fire Weather Outlooks

Why does California have so many wildfires?”, Kendra Pierre-Louis, The New York Times, 9 November 2018

Forced Out by Deadly Fires, Then Trapped in Traffic,” Jack Nicas, Thomas Fuller, Tim Arango, The New York Times, 11 November 2018

Jesse M. Keenan in Newsweek: time is now to evaluate design risk, enhance resilience against wildfires,” Travis Dagenais, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 24 October 2017

We Should Plan Homes to Minimize the Threat of Wildfires,” Jesse M. Keenan and Alice Hill, Newsweek, 21 October 2017

North Carolina, Warned of Rising Seas, Chose to Favor Development,” John Schwartz and Richard Fausset, The New York Times, 12 September 2018

Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate,” Ian Urbina, The New York Times, 24 November 2016

Underwater. Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate,” Union of Concerned Scientists, 2018

Del Mar stands firm against ‘planned retreat”, Phil Diehl, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2018

Can Miami Beach survive global warming?”, David Kamp, Vanity Fair, 10 November 2015

Rising seas, distressed communities, and ‘climate gentrification’: Jesse M. Keenan talks Miami in Vice, Scientific American,” Travis Dagenais, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 14 August 2017

California Today: Now Comes the Insurance Challenge,” Mike McPhate, The New York Times, 11 October 2017

Climate change and commercial real estate: How resilient is your portfolio?” Jeffrey Kanne, Carlos Madex-Madani, Sam Bendix, Institutional Real Estate, Inc., 1 June 2017

Settling post-catastrophe insurance claims: What agents should know,” Bernice Ross, Inman, 5 September 2017

High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises,” Erika Bolstad, Scientific American, 1 May 2017

Wildland-Urban Interface: Key Issues,” L. Annie Hermansen-Báez, Jennifer Seitz, and Martha C. Monroe, Joint product of InterfaceSouth of the Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry, Southern Research Station, U.S. Forest Service and the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Published March 2009.

Key findings from the 2017 Verisk wildfire risk analysis,” Arindam Samanta, Verisk, 12 July 2017

The Wildland-Urban Interface in the United States,” Susan I. Stewart, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Evanston, IL (, Volker C. Radeloff, Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Roger B. Hammer, Department of Sociology, Oregon State University

Art Basel ・ Joan Mitchell

Reports from this year’s Art Basel indicate how well the works of artist Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) are performing.

Joan Mitchell’s “Composition” of 1968, is reported to have been sold by gallery and dealer Hauser & Wirth to a European collector for $14 million.

Marion Maneker of Art Market Monitor suggests the “sale was arranged before the fair and concluded upon viewing.”

Nate Freeman of Artsy reports the following market-oriented observations:

“‘It was obviously a time for a correction in perception, and in price, for her – as with a lot of women.'”

Iwan Wirth, co-owner, Hauser & Wirth

“‘When you have a strong market force, the prices change – shortly, we’re going to see $20 million to $30 million Mitchells.'”

Brett Gory, co-founder, Lévy Gorvy

Gorvy observes that Mitchell (who spent much of her life in France) has long been collected by the Germans and Swiss.

“‘The new interest is everywhere else – we’ve been showing her in the Basel art fair for years…. There’s a hunger in the market. She’s being recognized as one of the greatest Abstract Expressionists, and it helps that now there’s all this interest in art made by women.'”

Howard Read, gallery co-owner, Cheim & Reid 

“‘I think they could be $30 million or $50 million. If Franz Kline can be, why not Joan Mitchell?'”

John Cheim, gallery co-owner, Cheim & Reid



At Art BaselOpening, a Pair of $14 Million Joan Mitchell Sales Shows Surge in Market for Women Artists,” Nate Freeman, Artsy, 12 June 2018;

Art Basel Sales Report,” Marion Maneker, Art Market Monitor, 12 June 2018


#art #artmarket #artbasel #joanmitchell #abstractexpressionism #contemporaryart #postwarart #collection #collector #collectionsmanagement #newyork #london #zurich #vienna #oslo #amsterdam #dubai #hongkong #seoul #tokyo #luxury #architecture #design #realestatedevelopment

Hans Hofman ・pictorial space & the hidden inherent laws of the picture surface.

Across time, space, and generations, the magic and spirit of Hans Hofmann, teacher to many, continues.

A composition of warm and vivid hues, geometric blocks of color, a surface that is rich in both visual and textural details, highlighting the materiality and thickness of the paint and the flatness of the canvas.

“Into Outer Space,” Hans Hofmann (oil on panel, 1957), at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA (Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 1971)

Action painter? Abstract expressionist?

“While critic Robert Coates first used the term Abstract Expressionism in his review of Hofmann’s 1946 solo exhibition at the Mortimer Brandt Gallery in New York, histories of postwar American art, have always focused on the youth, vitality, and uniquely American experiences of the generation of artists who matured in the 1940s.”

Lowery Stokes Sims, former Curator of 20th Century Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and organizer of the exhibition of 1999, “Hans Hofmann at the Metropolitan Museum of Art“.

Hofmann does not fit the narrative of such postwar histories. Born in 1880, Hofmann immigrated to the US from Germany in 1932 when in his fifties, developing a new style and creating a whole new body of work in his seventies and eighties.

During the course of his life Hofmann was a contemporary of and acquainted with Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and the Delaunays (both husband and wife). He had a lifelong interest in nature, science, music, poetry, and science. He crossed more significant barriers, national and aesthetic, than almost any other twentieth-century painter.

He was never a follower, nor an expressionist, fauvist, a cubist, or a surrealist.

I am often asked how I approach my work,” Hofmann wrote in 1962 on the importance of the act of painting.

“Let me confess: I hold my mind and my work free from any association foreign to the act of painting. I am thoroughly inspired and agitated by the actions themselves which the development of painting continuously requires….This seems simple but it is actually the fruit of long research”

H. Hofmann, “Hans Hofmann on Art,” in Art Journal, Vol. 22, Spring 1963, p. 18; quoted in Lot Essay, Hans Hofmann, “Auxerre,” Lot 36B, Christie’s, Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, New York, 13 May 2015

William Chapin Seitz, the first scholar to receive a PhD from Princeton University in the field of modern art (it took him more than a year to convince the Princeton art history graduate committee that the work of living artists was a topic worthy of graduate study) and formerly Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, organized the 1963 MoMA exhibition, “Hans Hofmann”.

Dr. Seitz observes,

“When one looks back at the years after 1945, when the “New American Painting” was taking form, it is apparent that one of its aesthetic determinants was the desire felt by many artists to incorporate in their work tendencies of style and feeling previously thought to be contradictory. Both the temper of Hofmann’s mind and his supranational development led him in this direction.”

It has been said that Hofmann is an “automatic” painter; he has also been called an “action painter” because of his direct enactment of emotional content. Yet his automatism has never been mere psychic catharsis, his activity is never purely physical, and his fury, like his delicate lyricism, is that of nature as well as himself. And even in the most passionate of his works the adjustment of formal relationships can be as precise as in the compositions of Mondrian or Malevich.”

Hofmann admired Mondrian for the purity of his abstract structure. He admired Kandinsky — whom he once called an “anti-plastic” painter — for his automatism and fluid color.

The architectural basis of his own painting derives from a study of Cezanne, and from cubism, yet (at least in his representational paintings).

By synthesizing such diverse materials, Hofmann developed his own metier: the unhampered autonomy of lines and planes; the elevation of color to a primary means; the maintenance of clear “intervals” between color planes; the preservation of physical gestures in pigment. He cast aside the dross of systematic perspective, tonal modeling, literature, and illusionism.”

Hans Hofmann with selected writings by the artist,” William Chapin Seitz, The Museum of Modern Art, 1963

Believing in the innate integrity of the pictorial space, Hofmann theorized the “push and pull” within a painting, describing how he used balance and contrast between colors and forms to create pictorial dynamism. Rejecting the traditional practice of creating depth through graduations of tone, Hofmann created space without denying the flatness of the picture’s surface.

Hofmann wrote in a late essay,

“Pictorial space is an aesthetically created space and is as such as real as nature. Its reality is based on the reality of the hidden inherent laws of the picture surface.”

H. Hoffman, quoted in S. Hunter, Hans Hofmann, New York, 1963, p. 44.


Hans Hofmann with selected writings by the artist,” William Chapin Seitz, The Museum of Modern Art, 1963.

Hans Hofmann,” September 11 – December 1, 1963, The Museum of Modern Art

William C. Seitz: Defending the Modern,” The Museum of Modern Art

Hans Hofmann at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” April 13 – October 17, 1999,

Hans Hofmann at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” exhibition catalogue, Lowery Stokes Sims, 1999.

“Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale,” Lot 36B, Hans Hofmann’s “Auxerre,” Christie’s, New York, 13 May 2015, Lot Essay

“Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale,” Lot 20B, Hans Hofmann’s “Lava,” Christie’s, New York, 15 November 2017, Lot Essay

#art #artmarket #arthistory #history #hanshofmann #science #physics #pictorialspace #modernart #postwarart #contemporaryart #picasso #braque #delaunay #matisse #mondrian #malevich #jacksonpollock #actionpainting #abstractexpressionism #met #metropolitanmuseumofart #moma #museumofmodernart #christie’s #germany #newyork #sanfrancisco #london #berlin #oslo #vienna #milan #dubai #hongkong #seoul #tokyo #architecture #design #luxury #urban #urbanliving #realestatedevelopment

“Let’s create some strange and weird things.” – 元永 定正

Let’s create some strange and weird things.” – Motonaga Sadamasa

Sadamasa Motonaga (元永 定正, 1922-2011), a founding member of Japan’s post-World-War-II crucible of abstraction, the Gutai Art Association (具体美術協会 Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai), reaffirmed the Gutai artists’ use of “all possible techniques and materials in their creations”.

Motonaga mastered the use of spray painting techniques while in New York on a grant from 1966 to 1967.

In the 1970s he created lively and varied two-dimensional images, a modern take on the Ukiyo-e characteristics of Japan’s Edo period, selecting organic and mobile qualities, some from everyday life, as visual elements.

The artist once observed how

“this type of form and colour execution is inspired by nocturnal views from Mount Rokko near the city of Kobe, Japan.

“The neon light that outlines the mountains’ contours appears as if in a dreamscape and renders an effect of motion.

“The painting style of hard-edged, clear flowing lines in a twisting form exhibits a human-like appearance but has the dynamics of water, like a coiled up or continuously rotating and extending organism that leads the viewer’s gaze to wander along the arc of the curve.”

Sadamasa Motonaga’s “Tapa Tapa” sold at Christie’s Hong Kong in November 2015 for nearly five times the high estimate.

Explore the work of Sadamasa Motonaga during this week’s Art Basel at Natalie Seroussi and at Tokyo Gallery+BTAP (Beijing Tokyo Art Projects) (東京画廊+BTAP).


See: “Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Same),” Lot 35, “Tapa Tapa“, Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 November 2015.



#art #artmarket #arthistory #sadamasamotonaga #gutai #japan #tokyo #kobe #mountrokko #natalieseroussi #tokyogalleryBTAP #contemporaryart #abstraction #collection #collector #newyork #london #oslo #vienna #milan #dubai #asia #hongkong #artadvisory #artconsultancy #interiordesign #design #architecture #realestatedevelopment

Liu Wei (劉韡): “Sandwiches No. 13” (oil on canvas, 2015)

Born in Beijing in 1972, Liu Wei (劉韡) graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou in 1996.

Manhattan-, Hong Kong-, and Seoul-based gallery Lehmann Maupin describes 劉韡‘s work:

Liu Wei “explores 21st century socio-political concepts such as the contradictions of contemporary society and the transformation of developing cities and the urban landscape.

“In many of his sculptural and installation works, he uses found materials that are re-contextualized to draw new meanings out of the materials from which they are made.”

Liu Wei’s works are exhibited and collected globally. Institutional and private collectors include Seoul’s Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; the M+ in Hong Kong, and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

Examine Liu Wei’s entire œuvre. This work documents an eye and sense for the universal appeal of line, color, and composition.

Lehmann Maupin is highlighting Liu Wei’s work during this week’s Art Basel.

Look for the extraordinary “Library V-II” (books, wood, and iron) of 2015-2018.

See: Liu Wei, Lehmann Maupin

#art #artmarket #arthistory #liuwei #beijing #hangzhou #lehmannmaupin #newyork #miami #london #berlin #zurich #vienna #oslo #milan #dubai #hongkong #seoul #tokyo #collection #portfolio #tangibleasset #collector #leeumsamsungmuseumofart #leeumsamsung #M+ #rubellcollection #architecture #design #interiordesign #fashion #urban #urbanliving #modernization #luxury #line #color #abstraction #realestatedevelopment

Liu Wei (劉韡): “Sandwiches No. 13” (oil on canvas, 2015)

Born in Beijing in 1972, Liu Wei (劉韡) graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou in 1996.

Lehmann Maupin describes 劉韡‘s work:

Liu Wei “explores 21st century socio-political concepts such as the contradictions of contemporary society and the transformation of developing cities and the urban landscape.

“In many of his sculptural and installation works, he uses found materials that are re-contextualized to draw new meanings out of the materials from which they are made.”

Liu Wei’s works are exhibited and collected globally. Institutional and private collectors include Seoul’s Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (리움 삼성미술관); the M+ Museum for Visual Culture in Hong Kong; and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

As you research Mr. Liu’s work, examine his entire œuvre. This work documents an eye and sense for the universal appeal of line, color, and composition.

Lehmann Maupin will highlight Liu Wei and his work during next week’s Art Basel in Basel 2018.

Look for the extraordinary “Library V-II” (books, wood, and iron) of 2015-2018.

Lehmann Maupin, by the way, with a gallery in both Manhattan and Hong Kong and a space in Seoul that is open by appointment, is doing superb work.

See: Liu Wei, Lehmann Maupin

Gutai masterpiece ・ Sadamasa Motonaga’s “Work 145” of 1964

Art Basel opens in Switzerland next week.

London-based Alexandre Carel, former Christie’s Paris wunderkind, Stanford MBA, summer intern in real estate at New York-based, global investment firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts; KKR manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds),

and Paris-based gallery Natalie Seroussi are collaborating to curate a booth

exploring post-war Asian and European abstraction.

Carel and Seroussi’s catalogue “Lands of Abstraction,” prepared for their Art Basel joint exhibition, explores abstract movements that arose almost simultaneously in Asia, Europe, and the United States – all of which “matured in parallel to one another.”

Among the many masterpieces on view will be Sadamasa Motonaga’s almost nine-foot “Work 145” of 1964. Asking price: $5 million.

Sadamasa Motonaga (元永 定正, 1922-2011) was a founding member of Japan’s Gutai Art Association (1954-1972).

His “Work 145” of 1964, last shown in New York at the Guggenheim Museum during the 2013 exhibition “Gutai: Splendid Playground,” reflects Gutai’s deep connection to nature, the process of art making, and life-affirming rationale

Carel and Seroussi write:

“Literally translated as ‘concreteness,’ Gutai’s intention was to impart life to matter and reach pure creativity.

“To artists such as Sadamasa Motonaga …, this goal could only be attained by way of a deep connection between the artist’s hand and his spirit.”


  1. Massive Motonaga Stars at Carel & Seroussi Booth at Art Basel,” Marion Maneker, Art Market Monitor, 5 June 2018;
  2. 2) “Lands of Abstraction,” Natalie Seroussi Galerie, Paris & Alexandre Carel, London, Art Basel Highlights, June 2018



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Henri Matisse: “Flowers and Ceramic Plate” (oil on canvas, 1913)

Dear to the heart and collection of Frankfurt, Germany’s Städel Museum, Henri Matisse painted “Flowers and Ceramic Plate” (“Blumen und Keramik”) using oil on canvas in 1913.

While lovely to our eyes now, Matisse was then not only enjoying color but also experimenting with radically new, in the European aesthetic, perspectives, some well-practiced and well-received in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Japan, and making their way into Europe via trade.

Like Picasso and Braque and their contemporaneous alignment of reduced objects into a shallow space using multiple vantage points (“cubism”), Matisse renders objects placed in close proximity to each other from different vantage points and perspectives.

The flowers are painted as viewed from a side perspective. The ceramic plate is painted as viewed from above.

As the Städel Museum points out:

“This new form of beauty gives preference to the surface over spatial depth and was highly controversial at the time.

“That means the end of the spatial illusionism European painters had worked so hard to perfect over many centuries.”


See: “Henri Matisse: Flowers and Ceramic Plate,” 1913 (oil on canvas), Städel Museum



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