Tag Archives: fine art collection

Memorial Day Weekend Sale at Park West Gallery

This holiday weekend, we’re offering artwork by some of the world’s top contemporary artists at unprecedented sale prices. A variety of works will be available, along with a unique selection of contemporary designer jewelry.

 Thursday, May 24th — Our entire collection of contemporary jewelry by international designers will be priced at up to 10% below the gallery sale price.

 Friday, May 25th – Select works by Scott Jacobs, Marko Mavrovich, Linda Le Kinff, and Andrew Bone will be priced at up to 10% below the gallery sale price.

 Saturday, May 26th – Select works by Peter Max, Alexander Chen, Tim Yanke, and Anatole Krasnyansky will be priced at up to 10% below the gallery sale price.

Collections by these artists can be viewed online at http://sales.parkwestgallery.com. Knowledgeable art consultants are ready to assist callers toll-free at (800)-521-9654 ext 4 or (248)-354-2343.

Collectors can also browse the Sale Collection in person at Park West Gallery, located at 29469 Northwestern Highway in Southfield, Michigan. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm and Saturday 11 am – 6 pm.

Spring 2012 Fine Art Sale Online at Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery Spring Sale Collection

Spring 2012 doesn’t officially begin until March 20, but it’s never too early to start seasonal re-decorating. Not to mention gift-giving occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduations are just around the corner.

With all of that in mind, the Park West Gallery Spring 2012 Fine Art Sale is now being featured online. Offering more than 500 works of fine art, high-end designer jewelry, sports memorabilia and animation, there’s something for everyone and every special occasion.

The Sale Collection can be viewed online at http://sales.parkwestgallery.com. Knowledgeable art consultants are ready to assist callers toll-free at (800)-521-9654 ext 4 or (248)-354-2343.

Collectors can also browse the Sale Collection in person at Park West Gallery, located at 29469 Northwestern Highway in Southfield, Michigan. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm and Saturday 11 am – 6 pm.

From the Streets of Paris: Nineteenth Century Lithographs, Nightlife and the Development of Modern Advertising

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“Louis Valtat (Delteil; Stella 38)” (1919) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Park West Gallery Collection.Many have heard of the Belle Époque, the innocently idealized period in Paris before World War I, but few realize how much really happened during this time. The Industrial Revolution was in full steam and divisions in social classes were quickly changing, bringing about modern nuances in our lifestyles that we’ve kept up through today. By looking at 19th century French lithographs, you can trace the development of the beginning of modernism in Paris, spreading throughout the world.

The Rise of the Middle Class
Especially with the recent prevalence of Occupy Wall Street in the media, our own demographics are on the minds of millions. Maybe we don’t think of our society in terms of traditional social classes, but it’s a topic of interest nonetheless. What does that 99% really look like?

In Paris, before the nineteenth century, people generally lived in the countryside, spread out over rural areas. There was barely a middle class at all and the upper and lower classes hardly interacted. In the midst of the Industrial Revolution, there was an increase in the use of the railroad between Paris and the countryside, making traveling to the city more affordable and frequent. Because of the improved technology and, later, Haussmannization (the expensive renovation of Parisian streets and buildings by Baron Haussmann between 1853 and 1870), people were moving to the city in droves, setting up bakeries, groceries, small shops, and businesses. These small business owners defined a new social class division called, le petite bourgeoisie. Many others trained to be doctors, lawyers, and other white collar professionals, beginning the largest growth of the middle class in history.

More Time, More Money
Paris was filling to the brim with a quickly growing population of working-class people. The entire middle class (upper and lower tiers) were working hard during the week, earning more money than ever before. This new experience, having money to burn, created new capitalist desires, bringing about the advent of the weekend. Suddenly, people had the ability to take time off at the end of every week. They had money to spend and public transportation (the railway) to get them out of the city. Nights and weekends became a time of leisure, spending money at cafes and theaters, and on weekend trips.

With this growing market for leisure, venues began to advertise more than ever, catering to a working-class society that sought ways to brighten their day-to-day lives. Plus, entertainment was only part of this new consumerism. Households began to spend significantly more money on food and household products, hosting numerous guests at weekly dinner parties. Advertisements began to spotlight food and alcoholic beverages suitable for entertaining. Think: origins of the salad oil and advertisements for chips and beer (although Chandon and salad oil are a bit more elegant).

Advertising & the Culture of the Café
Parisians were suddenly living within a voyeuristic society, spurred by ballerinas, circuses, boating and horse races – an endless supply of entertainment. With all these options, venues and retailers began advertising their shows and products, showcasing anything from brands of cognac to plays at a theater. Bicycle manufacturers catered to their leisurely new public, portraying the mobility of the weekend lifestyle that each person desired. With an increase in literacy and a pressing need for advertising, the lithographic process was perfected, one of the city’s first forms of artistic pulp culture. Below is an example of a similar American lithograph advertising the Richards Brothers Wild Animal Shows in 1900.

Vintage Poster, Richard Bros./Wild Animal Shows, c.1900. Park West Gallery Collection.

From Outside In: Jules Cheret and the “Cherettes”
Jules Cheret (1836-1932) is occasionally referred to as the “father of modern lithography” because of his three stone process of printing. Before this time, each color had to be printed separately, very carefully. With Cheret’s new process, printers could print any color through a combination of three stones and transparent ink.

C“La Femme Nue” by Pal (Jean de Paleologue, 1860-1942). Park West Gallery Collection.heret’s often large-scale lithographs became incredibly popular for their bright colors and provocative subjects. His lithographs usually advertised themes of Parisian nightlife (theater, alcohol, and dancers) through depictions of scantily clad women, dubbed “Cherettes.” These women were used to promote an idealized lifestyle, saturated with the glamor of the new Paris.

The female images became so popular that other artists began copying Cheret’s style. Lithographs were rising as an artistic medium and artists of fine art began testing the waters at print houses. People were tearing artists’ lithographs off the sides of buildings, taking them home to frame and place on their own walls.

Between 1890 and 1900, Cheret capitalized on the idea of publishing artists’ lithographs as saleable portfolios. The “Maîtres de l’Affiche” (Masters of the Poster) were sold as packets of small-scale, 11 x 17” works, created by well-known contemporary Parisian artists. Ninety-seven artists worked with Cheret’s print house, Chaix, to create these small-scale works for people’s homes, printed on a heavier, more durable paper that would last longer than the mass-produced advertisements. Furthermore, the word “affiche” means more than simply a poster. It refers to the art of the people and of the streets, a different tone than the connotations of mass production that the English word “poster” implies.

Developing Style in a Progressing Age
Like every great artist, each developed his own style, drawing from or pushing against artists before him. For Cheret, it was the Rococo. His effeminate, vivacious figures fell neatly along the eighteenth century florid and graceful style, highlighting playful and fluid pastels.

Like the Impressionist painters working at the end of the nineteenth century, commercial lithographers began to develop their own styles, drawing from the newly popular Japanese prints with their heavy outlines, flat perspective, and bright planes of color (see Toshihide’s example below). Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was an artist straddling the line between commercial and fine art, developing works that easily bridged the gaps between his advertisements and paintings.

“Actors (Diptych)” (c.1890) by Toshihide. Park West Gallery.

Lautrec was not the only artist to work in both commercial and fine arts, either. Alphonse Marie Mucha (1860-1939), nicknamed the “Father of Art Nouveau” is known for doing the same. His commercial lithography was famous for his signature depictions of long, fluttering hair, which he transferred to his few, but significant, decorative panels. For Mucha, everything was about beauty, so the coinciding style of Art Nouveau (originally named “Mucha Style”) had no commercial or intellectual message, solely founded on aesthetic principal. This didn’t mean that Art Nouveau wasn’t applied to advertisements, however, because it was. Art Nouveau was all-encompassing, seamlessly connecting fine art with architecture, furniture, jewelry, fashion, and interior decoration, defining an entire visual identity between 1890 and 1910. By 1900, Mucha was one of the most famous commercial artists in the world. He created pieces for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, designed to position Art Nouveau as the style of the twentieth century. Mucha worked in many different media, as well, like his jewelry below.

“Snake Ring (Gold/Rubies)” by Alphonse Marie Mucha. Park West Gallery Collection.“Flower Brooch” (1995) by Alphonse Marie Mucha. Park West Gallery Collection.

The “father of modern advertising”, Leonetto Cappiello (1875–1942), was the first artist to tug on the subconscious to sell his products. By using a solid black background and singular, intense characters, he was able to link a brand to an idea without showing the product itself. Advertising mogul, Leo Burnett, would expand on this idea in the 1930s, arguing that subliminal advertising like this created visual triggers to sell the product.

Premier Fils, Beverage Poster (c. 1936) by Robys (Robert Wolff). Park West Gallery Collection.

Then and Now
By the time the twentieth century approached, heavy cultural stereotypes had been created. An idealized body image for women came out of Cheret’s lithographs, something western culture has yet to shake. Our consumerism, from food and beverages, to fashion, entertainment and travel, follows us everywhere. Advertisements of every medium – from historic lithographs to print ads and digital campaigns – shed light on the journey of our capitalist society.

But it’s not all bad! The really great advertisements and illustrations turn a mirror on their audience that provides insight and a new perspective through design, humor, and intelligence – without the tricks. Great ads provide an enlightening social commentary – advertently or inadvertently – of the culture from which they were produced. And who does a better job of questioning the world than the artist?

Today, artists and advertising still go hand-in-hand. (Forgive the corny analogy, but…) like Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent, thus the artist is an art director. They are the same, living in different environments. In fact, the majority of fine artists have begun their careers as commercial artists, quite often as illustrators and graphic designers. Norman Rockwell is a wonderful example of a commercial artist using his magazine covers as social commentary. Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, and Man Ray, also worked as commercial artists. Others like Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein have been incredibly influenced by popular advertising, pulling its subject matter into their work.

Many of the artists you’ll discover at Park West Gallery have a relationship with commercial art and design, either as an initial career or simply inspiration. Check out Alfred Gockel, Peter Max, Misha Lenn, Leslie Lew, or Tim Yanke and you’ll realize that these artistic superheroes demonstrate that their art is both beautiful and interpretive, reflecting the changing culture in which we all live.

A variety of nineteenth century lithographs are available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. For more information, please visit www.parkwestgallery.com.

Valentine’s Day is Really May 3rd, and Other Strange Truths About the Holiday

Secret Marriages, Medieval Poetry, and Why Valentine’s Day is actually May 3rd

Lenn, Misha. Sketch 7/ "Nostalgia for the XX Century" Series. 2002. Park West Gallery Collection. February 14, 2012 has arrived! Couples everywhere are planning their big night out while singles are prepping their Chinese take-out menus and Netflix queue. But no matter what, on this romance-tinged Tuesday evening, love will be in the air.

But was this always the case? Has this been such a loaded holiday throughout history? Or is this a day, as they say, “invented by the greeting card companies?”

We’ve consulted the Internet, the vast (and occasionally reliable) wealth of digital information and want to convey a bit of history this Valentine’s Day. We were happily surprised by what we found.

Jacobs, Scott. Caymus by Candlelight. 2006. Park West Gallery Collection.One. There are quite a lot of Saint Valentines and their stories aren’t always so romantic. According to History.com, the most popular legend of Saint Valentine was about a 3rd century Roman priest that performed secret marriages for young lovers. Emperor Claudius II had outlawed marriage, stating that single men made better soldiers. Valentine was imprisoned and sentenced to death. Before he died, he is rumored to have written the very first “Valentine” to the jailor’s daughter, signing it “From your Valentine.” Others’ stories recall tales of dissident priests that were burned at the stake, bishops that were able to cure blindness, a priest who cured the blind jailor’s daughter, a bishop that was beheaded after helping soldiers escape from prison… They’ve all begun to meld together, as cultural legends do.

Rembrandt & His Wife Saskia. Etching on laid paper after an etching by Rembrandt van Rijn (Bartsch 19). Park West Gallery Collection. Two. Valentine’s Day is actually May 3rd. This one’s our favorite. According to Henry Ansgar Kelly, Director of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, there’s a reason why lovebirds and flowers feel out of place in February. In his book, Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1986) Kelly states that Valentine’s Day was first romanticized by Geoffrey Chaucer, the medieval poet famous for his Canterbury Tales. In 1381, Chaucer was employed by the court of King Richard II of England. King Richard announced his engagement to Anne of Bohemia on May 3rd after a competitive courtship. One year later, Chaucer wrote The Parliament of Fowls (a poem about springtime love comparing the mating of birds and humans) to lovingly commemorate their first anniversary. Connecting the anniversary with a feast day (the customary thing to do), Chaucer mistook Saint Valentine of Genoa for the more widely celebrated Saint Valentine of Rome, commencing Genoa’s May 3rd feast day as a date for romantic celebration. By the year 1400, Chaucer’s poetry had completely popularized the connection between Saint Valentine’s feast day and his romantic imagery (he wrote three more poems with this theme). However, the rest of Europe was widely unaware of Saint Valentine of Genoa and the day of celebration shifted from May 3rd to February 14th, the feast of Saint Valentine of Rome. This was the first time Valentine’s Day had ever been celebrated with romantic gestures, beginning Chaucer’s legacy of romantic imagery in literature, music, and visual art.

Raad, Lucelle. Secrets. 1997, Park West Gallery Collection.Three. Roses really are red and Violets really are blue. When we were in elementary school making googly-eyes at the one we’ve had a crush on since first grade… what did we write?

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Ice cream is sweet
And so are you!

…or something along these lines. Unless maybe you were the next Ezra Pound or Gertrude Stein as a kindergartner, a total literary genius. But for the rest of the world, our poems looked like this. Where did they come from, these red roses and blue violets? According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951), the first version of this children’s poem appears in Joseph Ritson’s Gammer Gurton’s Garland, or the Nursery Parnassus (London, 1784):

The rose is red, the violet’s blue
The honey’s sweet, and so are you
Thou are my love and I am thine
I drew thee to my Valentine
The lot was cast and then I drew
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

However, Edmund Spenser’s epic poem, The Faerie Queen (1590), provided the original lines:

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

And now you know. Sappy mothers and childhood crushes everywhere owe Edmund Spenser and Joseph Ritson a round of applause for providing them with literary fodder for centuries to come.

So if your search for true love comes up short this Valentine’s Day, just remember the immortal words of Shakespeare: “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
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Fine artwork by Lucelle Raad, Scott Jacobs, Misha Lenn, and Rembrandt van Rijn is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. To learn more about these and other Park West Gallery artists, please visit our Discover the Artists page and begin your exploration.

Make This an Extra Special Valentine’s Day

"True Love" by Leslie Lew, Park West GallerySay “I Love You” with Unique Gifts & Timeless Treasures

Flowers are romantic, candy is sweet, but why not say “I Love You” in a different way this Valentine’s Day?

The Park West Gallery Collection features fine jewelry from high-end designers as well as a variety of heart-themed artworks by popular contemporary artists.

Park West Gallery, Valentine's Day
Remember: Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, Feb. 14!

For more information, please call Park West Gallery Sales toll-free at (800) 521-9654 x 4 / int’l (248) 354-2343 or email sales@parkwestgallery.com.

Japanese Woodcut Print Collection at Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery is excited to offer for sale an impressive collection of 19th Century Japanese Woodcut prints created by more than 25 different talented woodblock artists. Following, we present a few collection highlights along with a bit of art history behind the prints. 

"Actors" (1859), Toyokuni III, Park West Gallery, Japanese Woodcut printsThe majority of prints in the Park West Gallery Japanese Woodcut Collection were created during Edo period Japan (1615-1868). Known familiarly as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” these images traditionally portray “worldly pleasures and earthly delights,” a type of escape that dealt with the frustrating ancient divisions of class between Japanese nobles and warriors.

Historically, many in the warrior class had been able to accumulate vast sums of money, often much more than many of the nobles. But due to strict class definitions, this didn’t matter and they were seen as second tier. Thus, ukiyo-e, the “floating world,” was born as a place controlled by and patron to the warrior class (and those interested), an area where they could revel in their “earthly delights.” Common forms of entertainment were elaborate tea houses, the company of courtesans and geishas, and Kabuki Theater.

"Actors" (1865), Yoshitaki , Park West Gallery, Japanese Woodcut prints"Actors and Bijin" (1845), Shibakuni, Park West Gallery, Japanese woodcut printsWhile many ukiyo-e show everything from geisha and landscapes to tea houses, the most famous prints depict scenes from the Kabuki Theater. The theater acted out stories deeply engrained in Japanese history, tales that were fantastic and supernatural, mythological or the aggrandized lives of historical figures. Each story was easily recognized by their audience and the Kabuki actors went to extreme lengths to convey the most dramatic, exaggerated expressions and poses that they could.

At the height of this drama, the actor would freeze, holding this powerful facade. Each actor had his own signature trait, such as how long he would hold his pose, the comedic way his hair was worn, his family crest or the colors in his costume. Woodblock prints of this period usually depicted specific actors, recognizable by these features.

"Genre Print" (1880), Yoshitoshi, Japanese woodcut prints, Park West Gallery"Actors" (1815), Toyokuni, Japanese woodcut prints, Park West Gallery

Likewise, in Kabuki prints, not only were the actors easily recognized, but so too were stories they acted out. Artists would take the most dramatic pose from an actor’s repertoire and freeze it on a woodblock forever, making sure to include telling marks of who the character was. Having the character hold something symbolic or depicting them in the midst of their most notorious moment were common ways in which the artist clued the audience in to what was happening.

Finally, when Japan opened up their trade routes to Europe in 1868, renowned artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Whistler, and Van Gogh became known collectors of these prints, often bringing aspects of the woodblock style into their own artwork. From the use of sharp perspective, line and color, to the study of the middle class’s entertainment, without ukiyo-e, Impressionist art would have become something else entirely.
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To learn more and inquire about the Japanese Woodcut Collection offered by Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea, please visit http://sales.parkwestgallery.com.

Yaacov Agam, the Rembrandt of Our Time

A modern-day Galileo, the 21st Century Rembrandt — as an innovator and artist, Yaacov Agam is often compared to historical men of genius like these.

Most recently, Israel’s best watched news broadcast, Channel 2 News, profiled Agam and his many achievements. From the ongoing restoration of his Fire and Water Fountain in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square, to the re-installation of his work in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to the future Agam Museum in Rishon LeZion, don’t miss this fascinating look at the “Father of Kinetic Art,” Yaacov Agam.

*Exclusive artwork by Yaacov Agam is available for purchase through Park West Gallery and its cruise art auctions at sea. Visit the Park West Gallery Yaacov Agam Fine Art Collection →

Park West Gallery Celebrates 42 Years [The Oakland Press]

The Oakland Press, Albert Scaglione, Park West Gallery

Park West Gallery founder’s lifelong mission takes him on 42-year journey

The Oakland Press (July 27, 2010) — Art is inspired by everyday experiences and returns to the people through words painted with a brush.

Park West Gallery in Southfield is celebrating its 42nd anniversary and has been named “The Official Best Art Gallery in Michigan 2011” by the “Official Best Of” travel TV program.

Park West is a family-operated business. Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione is very hands-on and manages the gallery with his wife, Mitsie, and four children, Nicky, Marc, John and Lisa. He attributes the longevity and success of the gallery to hard work and dedication.

Park West Gallery has 23 exhibition galleries and houses art from distinguished artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Anatole Krasnyansky, who designed the outside of Park West Gallery. It also houses art from Michigan artists Dominic Pangborn, Tim Yanke and Marcus Glenn.

Park West Gallery’s Greco-Roman architectural design gracefully leads visitors through its hallways, revealing breathtaking art, including jewelry at every turn. The open exhibit space allows visitors to become lost in another world, intensifying the pleasures of art with simplicity of setting…

Continue reading the full article: “Park West Gallery founder’s lifelong mission takes him on 42-year journey”