Tag Archives: Morris Shapiro

Patriotic Artwork Presented to Family on Military Makeover

After hard work and home renovations, the Military Makeover® team welcomed the Phinizy family to their new South Florida home. The military family stepped inside to find beautiful new appliances, refinished wood floors and their very own Park West Gallery art collection.

“It’s so fulfilling to have the opportunity to bring art into people’s lives who probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity before,” Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro said.

Park West Gallery was proud to join the award-winning producers of Designing Spaces® on the mini-series Military Makeover. Throughout the show, Military Makeover serves a deserving military family by completely overhauling their home. This season, Military Makeover thanked veteran Billy Phinizy for his service as an Army combat medic in Afghanistan.

To help make the Phinizy’s house a home, Park West Gallery added the finishing touches with artwork from Peter Max, Norman RockwellRomero Britto and Tim Yanke. Park West Gallery’s master framer also custom-framed several photos as well as an American flag presented to Phinizy upon his retirement.

In recognition of Billy Phinizy’s service, Park West Gallery gifted the Phinizy family with several patriotic works of art:

Artwork from Peter Max’s 9/11 Series

Peter Max 9/11 art

“God Bless America – With Five Liberties” (2001), Peter Max

Max uses the Statue of Liberty as an icon in his 9/11 Series. To adorn the Phinizy family’s walls with eye-catching artwork, Park West Gallery presented the family with 2 of the 6 unique variations in Max’s series.

Custom Tim Yanke “Yanke Doodle”

"Yanke Doodle" (2016) Tim Yanke

“Yanke Doodle” (2016) Tim Yanke

To personalize the Phinizy’s home, Yanke created a custom “Yanke Doodle” specifically for the military family. The “Star-Spangled Banner” is written across the colorful flag, creating a multi-layered work of art that adds a patriotic pop to the room.

Norman Rockwell’s “A Pictorial History of the United States Army”

"A Pictorial History of the United States Army" (2012) Norman Rockwell

“A Pictorial History of the United States Army” (2012) Norman Rockwell

Rockwell’s patriot artwork offers a classic interpretation to the Phinizy family’s new art collection. The painting’s serious nature speaks to the solemn reality of war, a reality Phinizy experienced first-hand as an active military member.

“I Love This Land” Romero Britto

Romero Britto

I Love This Land” (2014) Romero Britto

Britto’s “I Love This Land” is a heartwarming tribute to the freedoms United States citizens experience because of military sacrifices. The colorful, three-dimensional artwork adds a warm glow to the Phinizy family’s newly-remodeled home.

Watch Military Makeover airing on Lifetime TV® Friday at 7:30 a.m. EST/PST. Check out artwork from well-known artists in Park West Gallery’s Holiday Sale Collection online.

Park West Gallery Presents the New Anatole Krasnyansky Book to the Hermitage Museum

Written by Park West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro

krasbook 002I recently had the privilege of presenting a copy of the new Anatole Krasnyansky book to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Nearly 80 Park West collectors accompanied me to this momentous event in July—all part of a special art collector’s cruise hosted by Park West aboard the Celebrity Constellation. The Hermitage’s Head Administrator Svetlana Suprun and Administrator Lidia Komissarova were there to accept the book on behalf of the museum.

Anatole Krasnyansky, a Ukrainian-born American artist, worked at the Hermitage as a young architect. Several illustrations of his projects appear in the new 349-page hardcover book, published by Park West Press. The book chronicles Krasnyansky’s life and artwork, with an introduction written by me and an article by noted art historian, Eleanor Hight, Ph.D. It also includes a fully-referenced catalog raisonné of the artist’s graphic works, spanning over 35 years.

I was honored to write the introduction to the book, and to have it accepted into the library of one of the greatest museums on earth is an amazing privilege and high point of my career. I am so happy for Anatole Krasnyansky, who has worked tirelessly his entire lifetime creating his artwork, and who now has this further accolade added to his impressive accomplishments.

Pictured with Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director (center), are the Hermitage’s Lidia Komissarova, Administrator (left), and Svetlana Suprun, Head Administrator(right), among a group of Park West collectors.

Pictured with Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director (center), are the Hermitage’s Lidia Komissarova, Administrator (left), and Svetlana Suprun, Head Administrator (right), among a group of Park West collectors.

The “Krasnyansky” book is now available for purchase through Park West Gallery and may be ordered by calling 1-800-521-9654 x 4.

American Art Awards 2013: Call for Entries

american art awards

Announcing the 2013 American Art Awards!
By entering the annual competition, an artist’s works will be seen and judged online by prestigious galleries located throughout the United States. This year, Park West Gallery was chosen once again to represent the state of Michigan. In August, a total of 25 esteemed galleries will vote on art images entered by emerging artists nationwide.

“Park West is the epitome of what a gallery can become. The collection and offerings are incomparable on a global scale. It is an honor to be affiliated,” said Thom Bierdz, President of the American Art Awards and also known to millions worldwide as Phillip Chancellor III on “The Young & The  Restless.”

“We at American Art Awards so appreciate their professionalism and trained eyes voting on the fifty categories of online art by undiscovered artists that we send them in August. Since I am an actor and painter, I’ll put it this way: An actor’s greatest opportunity is to audition for Steven Spielberg. An artist’s  greatest opportunity is to have Park West see their art. Park West is not only a  thriving business, it is a philanthropic American business model, which puts much effort into discovering and helping others to achieve.”

American Art Awards is serious about launching new artistic talent, with contest results distributed to over 30,000 galleries, collectors and artists.


For submission guidelines and more information, please visit www.americanartawards.com.

Exploring the Art of Charles Lee

“I have had many hardships as an artist, but nothing has been able to stop me. As long as I have life in me, I will paint.” —Charles Lee

Charles Lee. "Autumn Music I" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.By Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director

Imagine a virtuoso musician, who has such command over his instrument that he can play a Bach fugue, flow effortlessly into a galloping jazz improvisation, segue into a blistering rock guitar solo and end up with some hip-hop on a beat-box and turntable. This is the artist, Charles Lee, in a nutshell.

Lee is another artist, whom I like to call the “Aesthetic Olympians” of our time. He and the others are pulling back hard on the pendulum of beauty, skill, visual eloquence, and uplifting and inspiring content, which have been essentially shunned by the elitist art world in favor of philosophical definitions of what is and isn’t art — “newness,” shock and novelty replacing quality.

It’s easy to be seduced by the sheer loveliness of Lee’s imagery, into believing his works are mainly decorative. They are not. They are rooted in a reverence for the art of the masters and an accumulated fluency honed by decades of hard work and discipline. Each of his paintings is a vehicle for the multiple sensations of metaphor and poetry, expressed through the visual impulses of a practiced hand, eye, heart and mind. He’s filling a void in the world for an art that can speak to the many, not only the select few. And yet for those who wish to take time to contemplate the deeper merits of his art, rewards do also await.

I was first struck by the extraordinary number of styles in which he works. But style can be deceptive. Good art cannot survive through style alone and herein lies one of Lee’s great abilities: to maintain a wide range of diverse styles and approaches with consistent artistic caliber. Behind each work is a rigorous artistic statement. And, he is able to maintain a fluency and consistency of myriad visual elements and devices which overlap and appear throughout all of his styles.

Charles Lee "Adjustment II" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.Consistent Elements in Lee’s Art

Most easily seen at first is Lee’s advanced use of color. He is as equally proficient with earthy, golden-brown tonalities as he is with bright and sunny colorations. He uses black fearlessly (few artists do, some not at all) and his colors, although comforting and controlled, are carefully arranged to ease the viewer gently into his compositions.

He employs interesting textures in most of his paintings. The surface of the canvas allows him another mode of expression, and he is acutely aware of surface even in his delicately painted “studies” of women’s faces and nudes. Many of his canvasses feature thick impasto emulsions applied to the canvas with palette knife (he told me the technique is his own guarded invention). These push the eye to the very front of the picture plane and serve as a means of “framing” the subject and creating a spatial context for the viewer.

Lee is also keenly aware of pictorial (also known as “plastic”) space in his paintings. Whether depicting a realist subject and creating an illusionist representational space, or layering spatial planes as Picasso did in his cubist manipulations, it is clear that he possesses a mastery of defining pictorial space and can marshal any number of approaches to express his intent.

In his purely abstract paintings, which conjure associations with the color field painters and abstract expressionists, one sees areas “tearing” into the space, like caverns and undulations of pulsing color atmospheres, advancing and receding. These are very advanced compositional devices at work in his paintings and they are not accidental. Rather, his fluency with form and composition allows him the luxury of calling up any number of approaches as a means to an end with each chosen subject or style.

His brushwork is deft, confident and advanced. It is particularly noticeable in the realist subjects, including his landscapes, seascapes and images of women in interiors. In these works he marshals a skilled application of color and is able to model his volumes and surfaces through shadow, light and color temperature.

The final measurement of an artist’s ability may be found in his drawing. It is the basis and the backbone upon which all of the other elements of a good painting must rest. Lee’s drawing skills are enviable and can be appreciated in his delicate studies, his complex and dramatic abstractions and observed throughout his entire range of figurative imagery. He is clearly in possession of facile and expressive drawing skills.

Charles Lee "Golden Time" (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.Exploration and Creative Drive

I am a devoted fan of Picasso’s art. I have studied the man and his art for most of my life and I have rarely met an artist who did not mention Picasso’s name when asked about his/her artistic heroes and inspirations. Like Picasso, Lee is a probing, questioning and exploring artist with a powerful creative and artistic drive at the core of his motivation.

It was said that Picasso created “fractal” art — each image giving birth to dozens of other images all springing and expanding from one into another. A similar process is at work in Lee’s art. He clearly has developed defined approaches as he navigates through his various styles, but each approach is also a repository for many of the same painterly and compositional ideas he is spreading through all of his imagery. They overlap each style and re-emerge as precise visual devices, such as sections of piano keys and contours of musical instruments, metallic applications, heavy textural emulsions added by palette knife, strong lighting contrasts and color juxtapositions, among others. These serve to reinforce his distinct personality and allow the viewer confronted with any number of variations of style, to recognize at the same time, the “mark” of Charles Lee.

I once asked him about the many styles in which he paints and about his varied approaches and techniques, which I found so unusual in one artist. He replied, “I am hungry. I am artistically greedy. I want to cover it all — styles, approaches and techniques.”

Images above: Charles Lee, “Autumn Music I” (2012); “Adjustment II” (2012); “Golden Time” (2012). Park West Gallery Collection.
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American Art Awards Selects Park West Gallery as 2012 Michigan Judge

american art awards, park west gallery

The American Art Awards annually selects the country’s top galleries as contest judges. This year, Park West Gallery was chosen once again to represent the state of Michigan. In August, a total of 25 esteemed galleries will vote on art images entered by emerging artists from all over the country.

“This is a group of galleries anyone would be proud to be associated with,” said awards host Thom Bierdz, best known for his role as Phillip Chancellor III on the popular CBS program The Young and the Restless. “They excel in different areas. We have the largest galleries in the nation here, some of the top-sellers, some of the most innovative, and some of the most reputable. Some sell Picasso’s, some champion undiscovered artists. In August, all these established gallery eyes will see every piece of art submitted.”

Gallery Director Morris Shapiro will be judging on behalf of Park West Gallery for the fourth year in a row.

“What the American Art Awards gives artists, as well as a few cash prizes, is validity,” said Bierdz. “These artists can forever add to their resume that 25 of the best American galleries voted their art a winner. This is an important credit.”

Winners will be named in each of 55 categories, ranging from painting to sculpture, and some will be awarded cash prizes. All entries must be received by July 31, 2012.

For more information, including contest submission guidelines, please visit www.americanartawards.com.

‘Rembrandt in America’ at the North Carolina Museum of Art

On loan from Park West Gallery, Rembrandt’s “Millennium” etching, “Self Portrait Drawing at a Window,” is now on view at the “Rembrandt in America” exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Rembrandt in America, North Carolina Museum of Art, Park West Gallery, Millennium etchings In June of 2009, Park West Gallery and the family of its founder and CEO, Albert Scaglione, placed on loan eight original Rembrandt copper plates along with a set of the etchings printed from them (known as the “Millennium” editions), to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. NCMA was chosen for this loan as these eight copper plates and 70 other surviving Rembrandt copper plates had been deposited on loan there years ago after they were purchased by Dr. Robert Lee Humber in 1938.

The “Self Portrait Drawing at a Window” etching from the Park West loan is now on display and featured in the current exhibition, “Rembrandt in America” which runs until January 22, 2012 in the East Building Meymandi Exhibition Gallery. The eight original copper plates have been installed since 2009 in the Circle of Rembrandt Gallery in the West Building and are regularly there on display. NCMA and its fellow organizers, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, according to its exhibition announcement, “Have assembled a diverse yet representative group of pictures highlighting issues associated with the collecting and connoisseurship… of Rembrandt paintings in America.”

“Park West was delighted to bring the ‘Millennium’ copper plates back to Raleigh and the museum was delighted to receive the loan,” said Morris Shapiro, Park West Gallery Director and the individual who hand-carried the plates from the printer’s studio in New York to the museum in 2009. “It was one of the highlights of my career to bring these historical treasures from the hands of the master printer who had printed the ‘Millennium’ edition, and place them back into the hands of the museum from where they had rested for so many decades. It’s wonderful that so many people have had the opportunity to view the original copper plates and now to see this important etching in this exhibition.”

› For more information on the “Rembrandt in America” exhibition, visit http://ncartmuseum.org/exhibitions/rembrandt, or to download the exhibition gallery guide [pdf] click here.

› For more information on the “Millennium Edition” etchings and the Park West Gallery Rembrandt Collection, visit http://rembrandt.parkwestgallery.com.

Park West Gallery Welcomes American House Senior Living Community

American House, Tim Yanke, Park West GalleryArtist Tim Yanke with two American House residents.

Park West Gallery recently hosted a day of art enrichment for the residents of American House Senior Living Community. Michigan-based contemporary artist Tim Yanke generously volunteered his time to visit with the guests and inspire them through a presentation of his art.

The seniors were  with fascinated by Yanke’s vibrant, abstract paintings and the unique language of symbolism so prevalent throughout his work. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed learning about the artist’s creative process, as well as sharing their thoughts on topics such as the influence of technology on contemporary art.

American House, Tim Yanke, Park West GalleryPark West Gallery Director Morris Shapiro welcomes the crowd and introduces the artist.

American House, Tim Yanke, Park West GalleryTim Yanke autographs catalogs of his work for the seniors.

“THANK YOU all for another wonderful event.  All of our residents were truly enriched by the experience and I know will talk about it for weeks and months to come,” said American House Director, Betsy Pilon.

“Our thanks to Tim Yanke for his participation as well as his kindness to our residents and his willingness to share his passion with us. Abstract art really opens the residents up and the questions, comments and reactions to the artwork shows just how important this type of program is for our seniors.  You truly are doing a wonderful thing by opening up Park West Gallery to us and we very much appreciate it.”

This was the second event of its kind between Park West Gallery and American House; earlier this year, residents enjoyed an artist lecture featuring Dominic Pangborn.

Park West Gallery is committed to art enrichment and community outreach, having donated thousands of new items of clothing, works of art and books to charitable and educational organizations nationwide. To nominate a charitable organization in your community that would benefit from the Park West Gallery CARES philanthropic initiative, please send your submission to pwgcares@parkwestgallery.com.

September Thoughts: Reflecting on 9/11 and Public Art

Written by MORRIS SHAPIRO, Park West Gallery Director*

9/11 series, peter max, park west galleryAs the month of September draws to an end, it seems inevitable that we reflect back on the apocalyptic events that took place on the 11th day of this month in 2001, and our perspective now, ten years later.

I was in New York on the ten year anniversary of September 11, and spent that morning at the studio of Peter Max with a group of Park West Gallery collectors.

Max, as everyone probably knows, is the American artist most associated with raising funds for various 911 relief funds by selling his American-themed imagery through his website and donating his proceeds. He also painted a portrait of each firefighter who perished at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and gave the paintings to the surviving family members.

Being there with Max, all of us with our individual memories of where we were that day, and taking it all in, was riveting and emotional. The city itself was on alert and there was a palpable collective consciousness of poignancy, edginess and melancholy permeating.

Another significant event which took place the weekend I was there was the opening of the September 11 National Memorial, first privately opened to the families on the 11th and officially to the public on September 12.

9/11 National Memorial

Designed by Israeli-American architect, Michael Arad, the monument consists of two square pools tracing the outline of where the towers once stood. These will eventually be flanked by 400 trees surrounding them. I didn’t visit the memorial, but as I observed all the media attention surrounding it, while being so close by on that day, I couldn’t help but reflect about public art and how it still retains a powerful attraction to us even in our current overly media-drenched and instantaneous society.

Art historian Nigel Spivey in his seminal book and video series, “How Art Made the World” (Basic Books; 2006), calls attention to the notion that art was the pathway to much of human technology through the millennia. He cites the probable cause of the invention of agriculture (where Homo sapiens abandoned hunting and gathering) as mankind’s need to stay in a singular location. He needed to invent the technology of growing his own food to achieve this goal, and the reason—to be in proximity of “public art” and the desire to be in its presence and to plumb its spiritual mysteries.

Even now, some 60, 000 years later, a work of art left open to everyone’s eyes who passes by, large and scaled to the enormous urban architecture which frames it and resonating with a shared meaning, can still hold our attention and move us in ways that nothing else can match. Our past is linked to our present. The mythology of our own time is communicated to us for reflection, contemplation and even perhaps, as in the case of the September 11 Memorial, healing.

It is comforting to know that as enlightened occupants of the 21st Century, we are still linked to the collective and embedded need for art to speak to us, just as it has done since the dawn of our consciousness. And just as it will always do no matter what befalls.

* To read more by Morris Shapiro, visit his blog: Who Killed Art?

Image credits:
– “God Bless America I, Detail Ver. 1 #4” by ©Peter Max, 2011.
– Artist’s rendering of the 9/11 National Memorial (via http://www.911memorial.org).

Park West Gallery has enjoyed a relationship with Peter Max since the 1970s, and is the artist’s largest and longest-running dealer in the world. Peter Max fine art is available at Park West Gallery cruise art auctions throughout the world or may be purchased through our gallery in Southfield, Michigan. Browse selections from the Park West Gallery/Peter Max Collection online →