GLORIA VANDERBILT, JAPANESE, 1973-1980
Published by: Chromacomp Inc. (Jackson Lowell printer)
Decades ago, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt made a name for herself as one of the most successful and famous jeans and clothing designer in the world, but nowadays she is perhaps best known simply as the mother of Andersen Cooper, her far more famous son. But many people don't realize Ms. Vanderbilt studied at the Art Students League in New York, and since the 1950s, she has also been a successful and accomplished exhibiting artist, and her colorful, intricate and whimsical limited edition prints like this one, entitled "Japanese" have attracted quite a loyal cult following of collectors.
According to the artist, the present work was part of a series of lithographs she made between 1973 and 1980. We acquired it directly from the collection of Jackson Lowell, the owner of Chromacomp, the premier fine art printing house in the 1970s, which printed Vanderbilt's works, along with those of David Hockney, Erte, Robert Natkin, Andy Warhol, Jay Rosenblum, and many others, in the mid 1970s.
Gloria Vanderbilt's Artist Statement:
Often my images are channeled in dreams which find expression in my paintings often in a narrative quality which has been shuffled around in the kaleidoscope of my imagination
to find themselves in colors and patterns that sustain me.
Memory is also a driving influence, memories I absorb and reinvent to changing effect because I have changed but do not want to let them go. Color too intoxicates, inspires, so does the beauty of a person, who has something I can’t quite catch. They become muses which I become obsessed to define, reveal something of their mystery.
Joyce Carol Oates – the beauty of Burne-Jones painting. The darkness of her hair crinkling in a halo around the tenderness, the compassion, the intelligence of her face.
Amy Hempel – her mysterious beauty – the cloud of shimmering hair cascading around her as a cloak to protect the pureness of her spirit which runs through her
bloodstream like crystal water.
Aurelia Thierree – she moves on strange planes that girl – her catlike beauty, her delicacy, her strength. Will I ever be able to capture it?
Carol Matthau who I have painted again and again. Aurelia who knew Carol remarked upon seeing “Carol and her Rose Garden,” “What was most peculiar was to recognize her intimately, but yet as it translates into a different language. She was familiar still, visceral even, and yet she had entered Gloria’s world. Carol – her presence is in it, in a different form. But it is her. Which is what defines a work of art, I suppose – you feel it is personal and familiar."
But most of all my inspiration is appetite for life – Mary Oliver’s poem comes to mind, “Messenger” begins, “My work is loving the world.” As Amy Hempel has said, it is “a poem of the miraculous in the everyday…‘which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.’ How fascinating it is to find what influences and inspires, what is filtered out and becomes flotsam winding ‘somewhere safe to sea,’ and yet is never lost because it has found life in a story, a painting, a song
Signed and numbered in pencil on the recto, from the limited edition of 300.
Provenance: Collection of Jackson and Eunice Lowell, owners of Chromacomp, Inc., New York