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5 Cards in this Set

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Marc Chagall (1887-1985)


-Chagall is best known for having revolutionized color lithography, a medium that, until his work proved otherwise, was frequently regarded as a mere ‘copyists tool’.


-Some of his lithographs used up to 25 colors or more – far more than the 3 or 4 colors that had been used previously.


-After a lifetime of dedication he is now considered the greatest color lithographer of all time.


-His graphic works are excellent for smart collectors who are looking for quality artwork.


-Chagall believed the artist was a reflection of the “creator.” He believed God’s art is nature and sought to create his own “nature” through his artwork.


-He said, “When I make a painting, I put it up next to a God made object like a flower or a tree, and if it clashes, it is not ‘art.’”


- In 1963, Chagall was commissioned to paint the new ceiling for the Paris Opera, a majestic 19th century building and national monument.


-Though it was controversial to have a Russian Jew paint a French monument, the French press unanimously declared Chagall’s work to be a great contribution to French culture upon the unveiling of the new ceiling.


-Chagall’s art defies classification. He was a Fauvist, a Surrealist, a Cubist and a Symbolist. He was able to take the greatest aspects of all of modern art and create something that inspired happiness worldwide.


-Chagall gives collectors the ability to own special, beautiful artwork that is unlike anything else in the art world.


-Chagall created a lithograph on the last day of his life, March 28, 1985.




Chagall’s Bible Series


-In 1931, art dealer Ambroise Vollard commissioned Chagall to illustrate the Old Testament.


-The series consists of 105 plates – the largest number Chagall had done on a single subject.


-25 years after he began the project the etchings were published by Teriade, Vollard’s successor.


-Pictorially and dramatically, the works are more complex than those found in his previous etchings.


-The Bible Series etchings show Chagall's fluid forms, dreamlike sense of space and unique style.


-Each image becomes one with the event, informing the text with a solemn intimacy unknown since Rembrandt.


-To fully immerse himself in Jewish history, Chagall traveled to Palestine and experience the Holy Land himself.


-He studied their trails, prophecies, and disasters.


-In taking on the task of illustrating the Bible, Chagall undertook one of the most monumental printing projects ever attempted.


-Chagall once said, “Ever since early childhood, I have been captivated by the Bible. It has always seemed to me and still seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time.”


-The Bible Series comprises two volumes: The first volume includes 105 black and white etchings, the second includes the same 105 etchings heightened with watercolour. It is one of the very few major Bible illustrations of the 20th century.


-Chagall used specific colors to convey the emotions and story he chose for each illustration for his Bible series: yellow for close to God; blue for contentment; red for evil; and green for envy.


-The Bible Series is in the permanent collection of: The Haggerty Museum at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI The Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice, France




Quotes: “If we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible [Series], he would be for us a great modern artist,” the celebrated art historian Meyer Schapiro of Columbia University once wrote. According to author of “Chagall and the Bible” Jean Bloch Rosensaft, the watercolor used in the hand-coloring by Chagall was not random but, “enlivened the surface and enhanced the emotional impact of the biblical message.”

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)


-Pablo Picasso is unquestionably the most famous artist of the 20th Century, if not all of history.


-During his artistic life, lasting more than 75 years, he created tens of thousands of works.


-His oeuvre includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, original lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts and ceramics.


-No single artist has had a greater influence on modern art and has changed art more profoundly in the 20th Century.


-Picasso has been described as having lived several lifetimes artistically.


-He created Cubism with Georges Braque and continued thereafter to develop his art with a velocity that is comparable to the pace and dramatic change of the 20th century.


-Picasso became one of the most important original printmakers of all time.


-He was never content to use any media in its purely traditional way, and he revolutionized many of the graphic media he employed.


-Park West has one of the largest collections of hand-signed Picasso graphic works in the world.




The Vollard Suite


-In 1931, Picasso approached art dealer Ambroise Vollard inquiring about purchasing two paintings, a Renoir and a Cezanne. Vollard, as a shrewd business man, offered to give Picasso the two paintings in exchange for 100 copper etchings.


-Picasso agreed to the barter and compiled 97 of his finest etchings to date, and then created 3 portrait etchings of Vollard, thereby comprising the full Suite Vollard.


-The collection of 100 etchings features 5 central themes:


Inside the Sculptor’s Studio


The Battle of Love


The Minotaur and the Blind Minotaur


Rembrandt


Portraits of Vollard


-Picasso’s young lover, Marie-Therese Walter, is a central feature throughout the Suite.


-Picasso was intoxicated by her sensuality and beauty, and she can be easily identified in the etchings by her distinctive broad, Roman nose.


-The works are inscribed by Picasso with the year month and day that he drew the image.


-Writing in the Daily Telegraph Richard Dorment claims that as Picasso took such a long time to create the suite, "the imagery and the emotional register of the prints constantly shifts to reflect Picasso's erotic and artistic obsessions, marital vicissitudes, and the darkening political situation in Europe...


-In the years Picasso worked on the series, fascism spread through Europe, and civil war erupted in Spain.


-These anxieties also found their way into the Vollard Suite, so that by the time you reach the end of the show and the last images of the blind minotaur, you feel that you are in a different emotional universe from the sunlit arcadia you encountered at the show’s beginning."


-In 2004, Park West purchased an extremely rare complete set of Vollard Suite etchings, each of which was signed in pencil by Picasso.


-The complete set is also owned by the National Gallery of Australia as well as the British Museum.




The 347 Series


-In 1968, Picasso created 347 etchings in the span of only 7 months at the age of 86.


-For perspective, consider that Rembrandt, widely regarded for his expertise in the field of etching, created only 300 to 400 etchings in his entire lifetime.


-The 347 series stands as Picasso’s last great achievement in the field of graphic arts.


-The suite is a testament to this man’s genius, both in the skill & quality of the work as well as the sheer depth of his creativity.


-The 347 Series are among the last hand-signed etchings and engravings Picasso ever created, with each of the original plates being etched or engraved by the hand of Picasso alone.


-Individual etchings and engravings from the suite have been sold at international auction at six-figure prices.


-The complete 347 Series is part of the permanent collection of 7 museums and institutions around the world, including:


Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain


National Library of Paris, France


Picasso Museum in Paris, France


Art Institute of Chicago


Peter Ludwig de Colonia Museum


Art Museum of Israel, Jerusalem


The Gottfried Keller Stiftung of Switzerland The content of the suite is equally fascinating.


-Picasso rebelled against the wave of conceptual and theoretical “art” that was the rage in avant-garde circles in the late 1960’s.


-He rejected the notions of “anyone can be an artist, and anything can be art,” -- the rallying cry of the conceptualists.


-Picasso resisted not through words, but through a herculean creativity that pointed the way back to aesthetic beauty, technical brilliance, and the narrative of art history: the building blocks of his life and art.


-Picasso said he was “writing fiction” with his creation of the 347 Series.


-Some say that the suite reads as a visual diary, exploring a playful side of Picasso’s life through depictions of Spanish culture such as carnivals.


-The signed suites present a unique and exclusive collecting opportunity.


-There are only 50 signed examples in the regular edition, and an even more exclusive set of 17 signed artist proofs.

Joan Miró (1893-1983)


-Miró is considered one of the Great Masters of 20th century art, making significant contributions to Surrealism.


-Miró’s complex symbolism and style is based on Catalonian folk art, the art of children, and randomness.


-He was described as “the most surreal of us all” by the founder of the Surrealist movement, André Breton.


-When viewing a work by Miró, you are enticed to let your subconscious mind “awaken” to help shape what you see represented.


-Everyone will see something different in his work depending on their mood and their preconceptions.


-Miró's personality was surprisingly oppositional to his artwork. He was a remarkably modest man and wore dark business suits.


-In fact, before becoming an artist, he worked as an accountant. He was orderly, detail oriented, meticulous and reliable.


-In contrast to his art, there was nothing of the "bohemian artist" present in him at all.


-From 1940 to 1948, Miró returned from Paris to his homeland of Spain, beginning to experiment with many media, including lithography, etching, ceramics, sculpture and the creation of murals.


-He innovated the technique of etching through the use of highly-textured applications of colour, a technique that would later be called carborundum aquatint.


-Miró’s work was the subject of many important museum exhibitions including two at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1951 and 1959.


-In 1956 Miró settled in Majorca, Spain in a studio that eventually was transformed into the Miró Foundation and Museum.


-The Broder Collection Art publisher Louis Broder, active in 20th century France, commissioned artists such as Miró, Picasso, and Braque to create interpretations of literary works, poems, or conceptual ideas.


-In 1956, Broder commissioned Miró to create a series of lithographs referred to as the “Broder Collection.”


-The collection was comprised of the following themes: The Migratory Bird The Perseides Les Lizard aux Plumes d’or (the Lizard with Golden Feathers) The Seers (Les Voyants)


-The Broder Collection lithographs were published in 1970 and 1971 but were not available on the open market for over 30 years until Park West Gallery acquired the entire collection in 2004



Salvador Dali & Destino


-Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí met in 1945 while at a party one evening at Jack Warner's house (of Warner Bros. fame).


-Each had respected the others' surrealist work (for Dalí thought of Disney as a surrealist) and decided to create a short film together.


-Disney had been increasingly interested in collaborations with great artists because, “of his positive experience with Kay Nielson and her beautifully designed sequence 'Night on Bald Mountain' in Fantasia.


-Disney said, “I want to give more big artists such opportunities. We need them. We have to keep breaking new trails."


-Dalí began work on the short film in 1946 and created 22 paintings and over 135 storyboards, drawings, and sketches.


-The film was set to the dreamy Mexican ballad named “Destino” by Armando Dominguez, and Dalí essentially visualized the song’s story of love, loss, and destiny.


-Dalí thought Destino was, "a magical exposition on the problem of life in the labyrinth of time."


-The film is rich in symbolism and explores many of the themes Dali grappled with, including his fear of mortality and the passage of time.


-Despite the collaborators’ enthusiasm for the project, it was shelved after just eight months due to low funds and the anticipated inability to market Destino after World War II.


-More than 5 decades later, while working on the animated feature Fantasia 2000, Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt and Vice Chairman of The Walt Disney Company and Director of Animation at the time, decided to complete the overdue Destino project.


-A team of 25 artists in the Paris-based Disney animation studio worked under the direction of Dominique Monfery to fulfill the Dalí-Disney dream.


-Destino completed is 6 minutes, 40 seconds long. It was released on June 2, 2003, at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.


-Destino is a harmonious blend of evocative Dalí imagery and flawless Disney animation.


-Destino has received the following awards:


Oscar nomination for Best Short Film, Animated (Academy Awards, 2004)


Annie Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short (ASIFA-Hollywood, 2004)


Winner of Special Citation for Restoration (Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, ‘04)


Winner of Certificate of Merit (Chicago International Film Festival, 2003)


Winner of Grand Prix for Dominique Monfery, Director (Melbourne International Film Festival, 2003)


Winner of Grand Prize for Best Animated Short (Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2003)



Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669)


-Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in 1606 in Leiden, Holland, close to Amsterdam.


-He died at age 63 – a relatively long life at the time. In 1623, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam to study with Pieter Lastman, one of the most famous artists in Holland.


-Lastman introduced Rembrandt to the outstanding style of Caravaggio: power, naturalism and magical depths created by light and shadow – also known as chiaroscuro.


-Rembrandt made a living teaching art and through commissioned portraits and paintings for wealthy patrons.


-Rembrandt’s life was wrought with tragedy: Rembrandt married Saskia (daughter of a successful art dealer); they had 4 children of which only one survived.


-After 29 years of marriage, Saskia died. Rembrandt then began a relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels (who was 20 years his junior) who became his devoted companion until her death.


-They had two children of which one survived.


-Rembrandt’s first child died six years before Rembrandt passed away.


-Rembrandt's penchant for ostentatious living eventually led him to financial ruin.


-His poor management of his finances affairs forced him to declare bankruptcy, sell much of his possessions, and auction off his house.


-A large portion of his collection of art and antiques was auctioned to pay his debts.


-His home was also auctioned and he was forced to move with Titus, Hendrickje and little Cornelia to a modest cottage outside of Amsterdam.


-Rembrandt and his Etchings Despite these tragedies in his personal life, Rembrandt worked steadfastly at his art.


-Although Rembrandt is most famous for and made a living with his paintings, his true genius is best portrayed in his mastery of the medium of etching.


-It has been said that Rembrandt would carry around a copper plate the way most artists would carry around a sketchbook.


-Rembrandt is universally regarded as the greatest etcher who has ever lived, and his etchings are unparalleled in their technical achievement and their beauty.


-In many ways, his etchings are some of his most creative and influential works of art he ever produced, making them highly desirable to collectors.


-Whether his subject was a Biblical scene, a portrait or a landscape of the Dutch countryside, Rembrandt's art reflects his focus on the interrelationship between God, nature and humanity.


-Rembrandt is the master of chiaroscuro, a term that refers to a strong, self- conscious juxtaposition of light and shade and resulting in a stunning visual effect in a work of art.


-The technique was initially pioneered by Leonardo da Vinci, further developed by Caravaggio, and finally perfected by Rembrandt.


-Over the course of his career Rembrandt consistently deployed chiaroscuro to produce some of the most visually arresting and psychologically evocative paintings in the history of art.


-Of the roughly 300 plates that Rembrandt created during his lifetime, only 82 are known to survive today.


-The rest, it is presumed, have been lost to history, given the intervening centuries of war, natural disasters, and political and social upheaval.


-A majority of these copper plates that have survived are owned by museums throughout the world.


-Throughout history, various plates were re-touched and reprinted by master craftsmen.


-Releases of impressions from Rembrandt’s copper plates are both rare and historic, and any time a collector has this happen in their lifetime it becomes an extremely historic and exciting opportunity.


-Despite the passage of over 300 years since Rembrandt's death in 1669, the genius of Rembrandt's etchings continues to capture and hold our feelings and imagination.


-Rembrandt's art captivates us because the love, passion, joy, despair, tragedy and triumph that Rembrandt experienced during his lifetime are reflected in his etchings, the medium of art that Rembrandt most loved and used to communicate his art to the people.


-Rembrandt's rich and timeless masterpieces still confront and communicate to us today, and remind us that no artist in history has approached Rembrandt's mastery of etching.


-One never really “owns” a Rembrandt etching.


-One pays for the privilege of being the caretaker of a precious object that has been preserved and protected in many cases for centuries, only to pass it on to future generations.




Millennium Edition


-Over a 10 year period, from 1994 to 2003, Emiliano Sorini and Marjorie Van Dyke created limited editions of 2500 examples of each of 8 images, marking the first time in history that limited edition Rembrandt works have ever been created.


-These 8 works are known as “The Millennium Edition.”


-For the first time in almost one hundred years, art collectors have a limited opportunity to own a collection of eight etchings printed from the original copper plates created by Rembrandt van Rijn approximately 350 years ago.


-Millennium Etching Images:


Bust of a Man Wearing a High Cap; Three-Quarters Right, 1630


The Golf Player, 1654


The Artist's Mother with her Hand on her Chest: Small Bust, 1631


The Card Player, 1641


Landscape with a Cow Drinking, ca. 1650


Christ and the Woman of Samaria among Ruins, 1634


Self Portrait Drawing at a Window, 1648


The Raising of Lazarus: The Larger Plate, ca. 1630