Chicago International Art, Antique, and Jewelry Show

Chicago Art Show, April 24 - 28, 2014

Chicago International Art, Antique, and Jewelry Show, one of the most anticipated events of the season will make its annual return to the Navy Pier, Festival Hall A, April 24-28, 2014. With over 100 international dealers, the 2014 show will boast an enviable selection of art, antiques and jewelry and will draw tens of thousands of private collectors, museum curators, investors and interior designers who are eager to view and purchase some of the most unique and coveted treasures in the world.

Flip through our exhibition below:

Chicago Art Show 2014, Masterworks Fine Art presentation

Masterworks Fine Art will be showcasing a curated selection of works by 20th century Modern Masters, including an exclusive viewing of our extensive Picasso ceramic collection. With several exhibits featuring our finest offerings of Picasso, Chagall, and Miró.

Come visit us at booth 1208.
Show Schedule:
Private Preview Party: Thursday April 24  5 pm -8 pm
General Admission:
Friday April 25 11 am – 7 pm
Saturday April 26  11 am – 7 pm
Sunday April 27  11 am – 7 pm
Monday April 28 11 am – 4 pm

TICKETS: Contact us for free tickets to the Opening Night VIP Preview or for regular day tickets.
PLACE:

The Navy Pier
Festival Hall A
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

We will be posting live from the show so be sure to visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/masterworksfineartgallery to see all the excitement!

Masterworks Fine Art at the Palm Beach Show, President’s Day Weekend

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, and Antique Show

Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, one of the most anticipated events of the season will make its annual return to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 14-18, 2014. With over 180 international dealers, the 2014 show will boast an enviable selection of art, antiques and jewelry and will draw tens of thousands of private collectors, museum curators, investors and interior designers who are eager to view and purchase some of the most unique and coveted treasures in the world.

Masterworks Fine Art will be showcasing a curated selection of works by 20th century Modern Masters, including an exclusive viewing of our extensive Picasso ceramic collection. With several exhibits featuring our finest offerings of Picasso, Chagall, and Miró, we will also feature exceptional works by Matisse, and Warhol.

Come visit us at booth 1115.
Show Schedule:
Private Preview Party: Friday February 14  6 pm -10 pm
General Admission:
Saturday Feb 15  11 am – 7 pm
Sunday Feb 16  11 am – 7 pm
Monday Feb 17  11 am – 7 pm
Tuesday Feb 18 11 am – 6 pm

TICKETS: Contact us for free tickets to the Opening Night VIP Preview or for regular day tickets.
PLACE:
Palm Beach County Convention Center 650 Okeechobee Blvd. across from City Place in West Palm Beach

We will be posting live from the show so be sure to visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/masterworksfineartgallery to see all the excitement!

Masterworks Fine Art at the LA Art Show January 15-19, 2014

LA Art Show

The 19th Annual Los Angeles Art Show is the West Coast’s most comprehensive art experience, with 3 distinct sections: Modern & Contemporary, Historic and Traditional Contemporary, and Fine Print. LA Art showcases the highest caliber galleries enhanced by exceptional programming and special exhibitions.

Masterworks Fine Art will be displaying exceptional works by our 20th century Modern Masters. Featured mainly, will be a selection of our Picasso Madoura ceramics. We will also exhibit works by Chagall, Miro, Matisse, H. Moore and many more Masters.

Come visit us at booths 628 and 630.

Show Schedule:

Wednesday 15th, 7pm – 11pm (VIP Reception)
Thursday 16th, 11am – 7pm
Friday 17th, 11am – 7pm
Saturday 18th, 11am – 7pm
Sunday 19th, 11am – 5pm

We will be posting live from the show so be sure to visit our Facebook page at:

Picasso and His Owls

Michael Sima’s Portrait of Pablo Picasso

It is no secret that Picasso had a fondness for owls. They make appearances in every medium that the artist touched. Just as the artist surrounded himself with his most infamous inspiration, women, he did so with his feathered friends, even adopting a small injured owl that he kept in his studio.

A favorite theme of both Picasso and his collector’s, the owl motif has recurred prominently throughout the artist’s prolific oeuvre, but perhaps in no other medium is the spirit and whimsy better conveyed in the ceramic medium. Decorative yet expressive, Picasso’s ceramic owls manifested in a variety of formats, ranging in shape, size, and coloration. With his playful approach, he embraced the innate qualities of the avian breed to transform simple vases, plates, tiles, and bowls, in zoological beings teeming with vivacity.

An approach Picasso often enacted in his creative endeavor was to transform the standard Suzanne Ramie vases that were easy for the artist to access. Simple flower vases were used as the template for many of his works. Knowing that the vase came first in his artistic process, one can imagine Picasso using the vases curves to guide his brushstrokes. Despite the minimal shape, these owls are adorned with gestural and painterly details animating each piece with its own personality and artistic interest.

While he did sometimes decorate the vases and maintain the shape, Picasso also created his own shapes of ceramics. Throughout the 1960s he utilized a vase design that would become one of the most liked and iconic shapes seen in his work. The design deviates from the standard of a traditional vase in a number of ways. This turned vase tapers in at the top and base, creating an amusing appearance of a bulbous bellied owl. Protruding at a downward angle from the center of these works is a cylindrical structure, creating the impression of a fluffy feathered tail.

While Picasso’s owls appear in many different variations, the artist’s steadfast infatuation with the curious creatures reads throughout his work. With features as expressive and bold as his caricature-like drawings, the owl is undeniably a fitting muse. In the private world of Pablo Picasso, author David Douglas Duncan, indulges that perhaps Picasso’s affection for the owls was mutual: “there was an aloof screech owl that lived on an unused potter’s wheel in the studio. Only burning stares greeted anyone other than Picasso. For him he clicked his beak in a cheery, brittle way and did a curtsying dance on his perch until the Maestro let him sit on his finger (Duncan 87)”.

Symbols of wisdom, imagination, and mortality, Picasso’s owls represent the artist’s creative output, and his adoration is evident. The public too shares in this esteem for Picasso’s beloved bird. Art and Antiques Magazine note the astonishingly high auction result from the Christie’s London, “Madoura Collection Rakes in $12.5 Million at auction”, during the sale a world record of $1.1 million for one ceramic. We forsee this incredible medium to continue its popular demand.

Picasso “Owl Jug, 1955″  available at Masterworks Fine Art Gallery

Please visit our Picasso ceramic collection

Works Cited:
  • Duncan, David Douglas. The private world of Pablo Picasso. [New York, N.Y.]: Harper & Bros., 1958.
  • McCully, Marilyn, and Eric Baudouin. Ceramics by Picasso. Paris: Images Modernes, 1999.
  • Picasso and ceramics. Quebec City: Museé National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 2004.
  • “Picasso Ceramics: Madoura Collection Rakes in $12.5 Million at Auction.” Art Antiques Magazine. Aug. 2012. Sheila Gibson Stoodley. 18 Jan. 2013 <http://www.artandantiquesmag.com/2012/08/picasso-ceramics/>.

Magritte, this is Not….

A man of deception and form, Magritte excelled at depicting his subconscious. His art is witty, thought provoking, and risqué but perhaps most are not aware of his time spent away from Surrealism for which he is most well-known. Magritte described his own works as “visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”

Magritte "The Emergence" Color Lithograph

Magritte “The Emergence”
Color Lithograph

Magritte himself was a mystery. Trying to cope with the suicide of his mother his whole life, he turned to art as form of expression and Surrealism as the gateway to what he wished was reality and what really was. Having little commercial success as an artist, he worked in advertising which afforded him creative experiences that were brilliantly reflected in his art. After working for so many decades as a Surrealist, in 1943 his art would begin a journey that would take him through several artistic discoveries.

1943-44 began his “Renoir Period” in which his works were impressionist. This came about as a reaction to his feelings of alienation and abandonment that came with living in German-occupied Belgium. In 1946 he renounced the violence and pessimism of his earlier works by signing the Surrealism in Full Sunlight. Although his “sunlit” Renior styled paintings began in 1943, all of his work was not impressionist. At the start of 1947 Magritte was painting in both his realist style and his impressionist style. From 1947–48, the works in his “Vache Period” were provocative and a crude Fauve style. During this time, it is interesting to note that Magritte supported himself through the production of fake Picassos, Braques and Chiricos. Later he even expanded into the printing of forged banknotes during the lean postwar period proving that he had true range of artistic skills. At the end of 1948 however, having experimented enough, he returned to the style and themes of his pre-war surrealistic art.

Magritte "Golconda" Color Lithograph

Magritte “Golconda”
Color Lithograph

In just a few short years Magritte had quite the artistic adventure, and returned to Surrealism because that was how he could best express his world and vision. In contrast to most Surrealists, Magritte is not abstract or dreamlike; he constantly presents you with an illusion wrapped in reality, or is it reality wrapped in an illusion?

There is something for everybody in Magritte’s works which is why they have transcended time. As MoMA’s current “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938″ exhibition and Masterworks own at Inn Kensington shows, the mind of a master such as Magritte is never at rest; “The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”

 

 

 

Beyond the Canvas: Picasso’s Lithographs

 

Picasso "Zeitgenössische Malerei aus den waadtländischen Sammlungen, 1971" Color Lithograph

Picasso “Zeitgenössische Malerei aus den waadtländischen Sammlungen, 1971″
Color Lithograph

Lithographs are a special medium all their own in the art world. Referenced as many different names depending on the specialist, there is no denying the pull they had on major 20th century artists such as Chagall, Matisse, Monet, Miró and Picasso. Seen as a new form of experimentation and expression, the lithograph played an important role in the artist’s ability to produce their art in large numbers while challenging their artistic technicality and creativity. Picasso’s art is a stunning symbol of creativity and ingenuity and although his oeuvre ranges from paintings, ceramics, glass, linocuts and etchings, lithographs are his enduring legacy.

“He looked, he listened, he did the opposite of what he had learnt- and it worked,” Mourlot, the famous publisher and printer, once said of Picasso’s lithography skills. It worked because he tried to understand from his very first time the real nature of lithography. A printmaking process where the design is drawn or painted on a flat surface of a stone with a greasy crayon or ink; the design is then chemically fixed onto the stone with a weak solution and in printing, the stone is flooded with water which is absorbed everywhere except where repelled by the greasy ink. Oil-based printer’s ink is then rolled on the stone, which is repelled in turn by the water-soaked areas and accepted only by the drawn design. A piece of paper is laid on the stone and it is run through the press with light pressure, the final print showing neither a raised nor embossed quality but lying entirely on the surface of the paper.

Picasso "Jacqueline at the Easel, 1956" Color Lithograph with Pochoir

Picasso “Jacqueline at the Easel, 1956″
Color Lithograph with Pochoir

Such dedicated craftsmanship and skill is required for this long and tedious process, that once the work is printed there is no editing it like one can with other mediums which is what some people say attracted Picasso to the medium: the presentation of truth. In his lifelong quest to transmit his thoughts and secure his legacy, Picasso sought out lithography and had such a respect for the craft and curiosity for the material that he was dedicated to creating masterpieces in the medium.

From the beautiful portrait Jacqueline at the Easel, 1956 to the hauntingly poetic Femme au Corsage à to the elegant Fleurs 1958 to the colorful Figure au Corsage rayé, 1949 to the playful Football, 1961 his lithographs are vast and diverse, and that is due to his dedication. The artisans that surrounded him for years in the workshop have remarked how it was a true passion for him. Working long hours and being ever the perfectionist, he was friendly, entertaining, and bit crazy. A man whose work was his own and was not to be retouched, every little detail was important and put there for a reason.

Picasso "Flower (Fleur), 1961" Color Lithograph"

Picasso “Flower (Fleur), 1961″
Color Lithograph”

Lithography, like all artistic mediums, call for the artist’s most complete form of expression, creativity, and pressure.  Unlike others however, it involves an aspect of craftsmanship which conditions the artist as it requires many stages and is fixed. This is the ultimate representation of Picasso as a person and artist. A man who strove to challenge himself in new ways as he was never satisfied with the beauty that he surrounded himself with because there was always more waiting to be released from inside. When asked what difference there was between his choice of mediums, Picasso replied they were all different, but what one was searching for in all of them was always the same.

 

The Editions and Conception of Picasso Ceramics: Collaboration, Experimentation, and Faith in Art

At Masterworks Fine Art, we are fascinated by the variety and extent of creativity that has been achieved with Picasso ceramics. It can be enlightening to study the process in which Picasso worked with the Madoura Studio, but it would be overly simple to say that he only worked in one consistent manner. The experimental nature of this master artist and the exciting and malleable material of clay make the editions of Picasso an intriguing and even mysterious process.
Most often, the artist would use Suzanne Ramié’s pieces as his canvases. Sometimes the original form was left relatively similar, but transformed by the artist’s expressive and whimsical decorations. In other instances Picasso used a heavier hand in the transformation by gouging with a knife into the soft wet clay of a freshly thrown plate or pitcher, perhaps even taking the initiative to pinch and stretch the form distorting Suzanne Ramie’s simple standard shapes into anthropomorphic creatures, and expressive faces drawn with flexible strips of fresh earthenware defined in low relief. In other instances the artist would use scraps of discarded kiln furniture or failed pieces to make his own innovative creations.
To comprehend his process and participation with the Madoura workshop, one can compare it to how the fine artist works with a master printmaker. A Picasso lithograph would be conceived through a symbiotic relationship not unlike the relationship Picasso had with the Madoura Pottery Studio. Experimenting and craftsmanship had to work in a balance in order to achieve the desired visual outcome. While it is true that he worked with the master ceramicist, he never learned how to use the potter’s wheel. Just as Picasso’s manner of working developed around the nature of the ceramic, the Madoura studio responded to the artist in order to adapt the best procedures for curating the Edition Picasso ceramics. These methods are described below:

Pablo Picasso ceramic, Face with Ruff

Pablo Picasso ceramic, Face with Ruff

1. The Original Stamp: Part of or the entire work is produced through the utilization of a wood or linoleum block engraved by Picasso himself that is typically used for printmaking on paper. (p. 23, Ramié, Alain) A visual marker of this method can be the distinct indentation and border surrounding the particular “original stamp”.

2. The Original Print: A mold is created from Picasso’s original piece (the matrix). A clay impression is taken from this mold. (p. 23 Ramié, Alain) This process is easy to visualize especially in works that have been printed with the engobe pad as shown in the work below. The black areas showing a clear illustration of the raised surface. The wet clay responds to the negative matrix of the mold to recreate Picasso’s rendering with superb precision and accuracy.
Pablo Picasso, Woman’s Face, 1968 -1969

3. Authentic Replica: Using careful notes the work was recreated by hand. These works are marked by a particularly painterly quality. (pg. 23 Ramié, Alain)

As with printmaking, the works must be approved to be included as a part of the edition, and the methods of editioning are often combined to achieve different desired effects. At Masterworks Fine Art of East Bay of the Greater SF Bay Area, we love providing our clients with useful information. Included with every purchase are details from the documentation which provide specific catalogued information and history. With an extensive library at our facility, we take pride our research and strive to educate ourselves in order to assist our clients’ needs.

Cited Sources:

  1. Ramié, Alain. Picasso, Catalogue of the Edited Ceramic Works 1947-1971, Vallauris, 1988.
  2. Ramié, Georges. Picasso’s Ceramics. Trans. Kenneth Lyons. New York: The Viking Press, 1976.
  3. Ramié, Georges. Ceramics of Picasso. Barcelona: Ediciones Poligrafa, 1985.
  4. Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. Picasso & Ceramics. Québec: Édition Hazan, 2004.