MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

MARC CHAGALL Born in Belarus in 1887, Marc Chagall tapped into several major styles, including Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism and is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Chagall studied at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts in St. Petersburg, and then moved to Paris in 1910. Here, he developed his innovative and poetic approach under the influence of the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Fauvist pictures he saw in Paris museums. After mounting his first solo exhibition in 1914 in Berlin, he returned to Vitebsk, Belarus, and became stranded by the outbreak of World War I. Nevertheless, he continued painting and married Bella in 1915. He returned to Paris with his wife and daughter in 1923.

Marc Chagall died in Saint-Paul de Vence, France, on March 28, 1985, leaving behind a rich legacy as a major Jewish artist and a pioneer of modernism.

24 x 30 in.
The Yellow Sun
20 x 24 in.
Paysage Bleue
lithograph in colors
20 3/4 x 26 3/4 in.
The Rabbi of Vitebsk (The Praying Jew)
etching and aquatint in colors on Chine-collé on Japan Paper
27 5/8 x 21 in.
A Sequestered Garden
original lithograph in colors
23 3/4 x 20 in.
Plate 8, Anacreon
lithograph on Arches
22 x 17 1/4 in.
The Artist's Family
lithograph in colors
24 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.
Plate 11
original color lithograph on lightweight paper
16 1/4 x 12 1/4 in.
Paysan au violun (Peasant with a Violin)
lithograph on Velin d'Arches paper
14 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.
Le Cirque M.505
16 3/4 x 12 3/4 in.
Spring Day
original lithograph in colors
14 7/8 x 11 in.
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The Wildenstein Catalogue Raisonné of Monet paintings offers a note on this painting: “During his second stay in Pourville-Varengeville, Monet painted the customs’ officer’s cottage several times and from various angles. This general view shows it overhanging the Gorge du petit Ailly." Monet spent six months in this part of Normandy in 1882, and the cabin in this painting was one of his favorite motifs to revisit. It appears in eighteen paintings from that year, and another dozen from a later trip to the area in 1897. His fixation with this house on the hill later became a habit of working serially – each canvas a singularity registering a unique guise yet set sequentially and in direct relationship to other works within the series. Monet circumambulated and painted the cabin from so many angles that as a group, the paintings are not as clearly recognizable as a series as the celebrated grain-stacks, Rouen cathedral, or poplar series. Still, it is a fixed and iconic element that reappears in many of Monet’s paintings from this period.
<br>Japanese woodblock prints were a life-long source of inspiration for Monet, and this piece in particular draws upon Hiroshige's "Utsu Mountain, Okabe," c. 1833. This print is part of a series called “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō,” which documented scenic views from the major road that linked the shōgun’s capital, Edo, to the imperial one Kyōto. Monet amassed an extensive collection of woodblock prints – many of which are still on view at Giverny.


The stands are: 32 H x 19-3/4 W x 19-3/4 D in.
<br>Rat: 27 7/8 x 12 7/8 x 20 7/8 in.
<br>Ox: 29 1/8 x 20 1/8 x 16 7/8 in.
<br>Tiger: 25 7/8 x 14 7/8 x 16 7/8 in.
<br>Rabbit: 27 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 18 7/8 in.
<br>Dragon: 35 7/8 x 18 1/8 x 25 7/8 in.
<br>Snake: 27 7/8 x 14 1/8 x 6 3/4 in.
<br>Horse: 29 1/8 x 12 1/4 x 22 in.
<br>Ram: 25 1/4 x 20 7/8 x 16 1/8 in.
<br>Monkey: 27 1/8 x 12 7/8 x 14 7/8 in.
<br>Rooster: 24 x 9 x 16 7/8 in.
<br>Dog: 25 1/4 x 14 7/8 x 18 7/8 in.
<br>Boar: 27 1/8 x 16 1/8 x 20 7/8 in.
<br>World-renowned Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei is a sculptor, installation artist, architectural designer, curator, and social and cultural critic who has been exhibiting his work internationally since the late 1990s. His artistic practice is inextricably linked with cultural engagement and willingly crosses barriers between different media—cultural, artistic, and social. It was perhaps his detention from 2011 until August 2015 by the Chinese government that brought his views to the greatest audience. Ai Weiwei now lives in Germany and continues to create new works and uses his significant international profile to promote artistic and personal freedom.
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Blood Cinema is an elegant and interactive masterwork of steel and acrylic by Anish Kapoor. The artist’s most notable works are grand-scale public installations that explore perception, captivating and challenging viewers worldwide with iconic public installations such as Chicago’s Cloud Gate (2006) and in his well-known glass and mirror pieces. Resting on the floor like an oversized lens, Blood Cinema warps the viewer’s perspective and distorts its environment through ethereal shades of red, epitomizing Kapoor's capacity for viewer immersion.


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Shortly after his major retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941, Salvador Dalí parlayed the idea of accumulated, or “flowering,” eyes into a grand oil and tempera painting for the set of his 1944 ballet Mad Tristan. In this painting from the same year," Les Yeux Fleuris," Dalí depicts three rows of four eyes with long lashes and a tear dropping on a brick wall backdrop. Eyes appear in Dalí paintings, sculpture, and jewelry throughout his career — as late as the 1981 painting Argus and, most notably, in paintings Dalí made for the dream sequences of the film Spellbound directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


Tom Wesselmann’s supercharged colors mirror popular advertising while the lounging female forms allude to Western art history’s classic figurative motif. A wonderful example of this synthesis is the 1997 painting 1962 Plus 35 Nude Sketch II. Here, the reclining woman’s eyes are barely visible beneath the surface of the paint, yet her lips are a bold red with a thick black outline. The hyper-sexualized presentation of the female body seems to address the consumer culture of Post War America – the commoditization of the flesh. Wesselmann’s dazzling paintings bring together elements of art historical tradition and 1960s imagination, creating a singular style.


"San Loretto" (2008) references a story from the Catholic faith, in which the house of the Holy Family was miraculously transported out of Nazareth for protection during the Crusades. The story appeals to Anselm Kiefer's distinctive visual themes of ruin and renewal, depicting the great effort of carrying the structure to Italy while speaking to the destruction of the Crusades. The buildup of fragments and rubble on San Loretto coalesces into an image of a bird, which combined with the title and its layers of meaning, suggests the figure of a dove and even the Holy Spirit. Kiefer has said, “People think of ruins as the end of something, but for me they were the beginning. When you have ruins you can start again."
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American painter John Marin set up his studio in Paris where he drew upon ideas from both the Post-Impressionists and the budding Modernism of the early 20th century. Championed and supported by renowned gallerist Alfred Stieglitz and photographer Edward Steichen, Marin returned to the United States, bringing with him the avant-garde European style of painting that he rooted in the natural landscape. Marin made annual trips to Maine, inspired by its coast and landscape. In Cape Split, Maine, Marin captures the stark ruggedness of the seacoast.


Larry Rivers is considered by many to be the father of the Pop Art movement.  In Rivers's 1980 work "Beyond Camel," we see a slightly out of focus Camel Cigarette pack, an item from consumer culture Rivers has appropriated to create a critique of commoditization and consumer culture. Rivers would have certainly been aware of the work of Stuart Davis and his 1921 painting, "Lucky Strike," depicting a flattened pack of cigarettes. Rivers interprets his subject with a Pop Art perspective; however, the imagery is almost larger than life, and the brand image is presented as a subject unto itself.  
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Andy Warhol's portrait of Dorothy Blau highlights the close ties between them and is evidence of how each pushed the other. Blau was a close friend of Andy Warhol and a pillar of the art scene in Miami. She has the rare distinction of being a repeated subject in Warhol's work as he created portraits of her two times, three years apart. This red canvas presents a younger Blau in her first Warhol portrait in 1983.
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Jim Dine was an American Pop artist whose work meditated on objects with childlike appeal to find a universal and nostalgic language. Dine’s robes are among the most recognizable images to have emerged from his long and illustrious career. They were first shown at Sidney Janis gallery in the fall of 1964 – this is one such example. Double Silver Point Robes is a large-scale mixed media assemblage. The work is executed in silverpoint – a technique that utilizes a piece of silver as a drawing instrument over a specially prepared ground by which it oxidizes over a period of months to create a warm brown tone. The two joined canvases feature blocks of wood in place of where the heads should be and a hanging wood element that moves in response to air currents.


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<br>“Samurai Tree - Invariant Gold 2” (2005) is part of the “Samurai Tree” series, the genesis of which was an exploration into the geometry of the circle in drawings Orozco produced on graph paper before 2004.  
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Deborah Butterfield is an American sculptor, best known for her sculptures of horses made of objects ranging from wood, metal, and other found objects. The 1981 piece, Untitled (Horse), is comprised of sticks and paper on wire armature. The impressive scale of this piece creates a remarkable effect in person, presenting a striking example of Butterfield's celebrated subject matter. Butterfield originally created the horses from wood and other materials found on her property in Bozeman, Montana and saw the horses as a metaphorical self-portrait, mining the emotional resonance of these forms.


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Guenther Uecker and his avant-garde contemporaries experimented with monochromatic color, light, materiality, and repetition. For Uecker, this experimentation manifested in his noteworthy nail-covered canvases. The 1984 piece, Poesie der Destruktion – Poetry of Destruction – presents a tumultuous arrangement on a neat square background. The swarming bed of nails evokes a forceful action with violent connotations. Black and orange swaths of oil paint undulate on the rough surface beneath the exterior of hammered and bent metal. The composition suggests wreckage, yet it lives in the context of artistic creativity, urging the viewer to observe the coexistence of creative and destructive forces.


Brightly colored geometric paintings by Peter Halley address the rigid organization of social space through visual representations of cells and conduits. Eulogy (Commission), a 2004 piece at a grand scale, presents the neon-colored forms that characterize his work. The piece incorporates Roll-a-Tex, a material most often used as cheap surfacing for suburban homes or motels, a comment on the commoditization of domestic life.


A leading artist of the Arte Povera movement in the 1960s and '70s, Jannis Kounellis challenged the traditional media of art making. His work often incorporates natural or everyday materials, installation, or performance. Untitled (2014) is a unique example of his sculptural work in iron, canvas, and enamel. A common thread in his work is a sense of isolation experienced in contemporary society, combining elements of the past and the present to address memory, detachment, history, and loss. Kounellis once explained, “[art] must be born of historical necessity: that is, it must be of a historical situation and constitute the indispensable language of that moment.”


Richard Prince is one of the most influential names in contemporary art. Prince is part of The Pictures Generation, a loosely associated group of artists who appropriated mass media imagery to examine and question issues of stereotypes, cultural tropes, and the constructed narrative of images. Prince and The Pictures Generation helped to usher in post-modernism in art.
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Bay Area artist Roland Petersen’s Luncheon is an oil on canvas from 1961, a critical year for his best-known Picnic series. His work from this period is characterized by thick impasto and rich color. Profoundly influenced by studies with Hans Hoffman, Petersen experimented with abstraction, here blending abstract and figurative styles. Painted when Petersen was 35 years old, Luncheon lies within a timeframe that includes his sold-out one-man show in 1962 at Staempfli Gallery, New York, his solo show at Esther-Robles in Los Angeles, and the Guggenheim Fellowship that afforded the opportunity for study in Paris.


More than an artist, Theaster Gates also works as curator, urban planner, and project facilitator. From sculpture to painting, installation to public projects, Gates’s works are hubs in which to question labor and commodity while also bringing to the fore people and things that are often unseen and unheard. Convex Concave takes custom-made bricks that Gates had previously used for Black Vessel for a Saint at the Walker Art Center and repurposes it into a painting-like sculpture that references minimalist artist like Sol LeWitt, the labor of making bricks, and the original context of the bricks for the installation at the Walker.


Mel Ramos is best known for his paintings of superheroes and female nudes juxtaposed with pop culture imagery. Ramos’s Peek-A-Boo portfolio is a well-known series by the artist, positioning the viewer to observe the pin-up girl figures through a keyhole shape surrounded by black. The series is noted for the confident and direct gazes of its subjects as well as the commentary it provides on the sexualization of a traditional art historical motif: the nude female figure. Alongside fellow Pop artists like Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and friend Roy Lichtenstein, Ramos provided a visual language for audiences to understand and experience the proliferation of commercial images that exploded in post-war America.


Ross Bleckner is a celebrated American painter whose works reference loss, memory, and change such as explorations of the cell during the AIDS epidemic or in response to his father’s cancer diagnosis. The 1965 MoMA exhibition that brought Op Art to the fore, The Responsive Eye and included artists Richard Anuszkiewicz, Tadasky, and Francis Celentano, had a profound influence on him as an artist. This painting, like his other immersive, large-scale works, elicit a powerful, hypnotic, dizzying effect. Aesthetically pleasing, Bleckner’s canvases explore perception – visual, emotional, physical, time. Bleckner is part of the same generation of and friends with Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Eric Fischl, and Peter Halley, all of whom returned painterly technique to the canvas.


Richard Tuttle is a seminal American postminimalist artist. Tuttle’s work is conceptual and meditative, crossing the boundary of sculpture, painting, and poetry, and often challenging the viewer. Untitled (Cloth and Paint Work #2) from 1973, a pivotal period in the artist’s career, evokes the earlier minimalism of his career while pushing towards material-based conceptual art. In the work he pays homage to Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. Textiles, as in this piece, play a large role in his oeuvre and become sites on which to focus performance, engagement, and meaning.


Ed Ruscha is one of the most distinguished American artists due in part for his explorations of the symbols of Americana and the relationship between language and art. The End is a cinematic theme that the artist used in the 1990s and 2000s, appearing in paintings, prints, and drawings – notably the 1991 large-scale painting at the Museum of Modern Art. Addressing the passage of time and obsolescence, Ruscha makes use of an antiquated typeface and an old cinematic tradition of using text in film. The concept of ephemerality is enhanced by the words themselves, The End, and the nature of the medium itself; considered futuristic when it was developed in the 1960s, the laser technology for holograms also creates a sense of impermanence as the images change with the viewer’s movement. While there is innate movement in the shifting words and images, these holograms also represent a full stop – a transitory moment frozen in time.


Irving Norman was an American painter whose works examined modern civilization and the human condition. Norman conceived his paintings as public works that bore witness to history and systems of power. He was influenced by his experiences as a Polish immigrant, as a defender of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, and as an observer of the conflicts in the 20th century. The Palace has been exhibited at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University, and Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington D.C. Heather James is proud to represent the estate of Irving Norman.


Stanton Macdonald-Wright was a co-founder of the Synchromism movement, which combined abstraction and intense color. He was influenced by ideas that the qualities of color were connected to the qualities of music. He stopped painting this way in the 1920s, but his work experienced a revitalization in the 1950s, following a retrospective of his work at LACMA. Inspired by the renewed interest, Wright began producing works with increased passion; these works were considered Neo-Synchromism. La Gaîté is a phenomenal example of this period in Wright’s career, showcasing the brighter colors and larger canvases he favored during his personal renaissance.


Franz Kline was a central figure in American Art until his death in 1962. Close friends with Jackson Pollock and the “Cedar Tavern” group, Kline would help make New York City the epicenter of post-war avant-garde art in the 1940s and 1950s. Broad, gestural abstractions dominate the artist’s work. Those abstractions range from small, eloquent studies (such as the present work) and grow in scale to some of his monumentally scaled oil on canvas works, such as “Monitor” (1956) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.  Kline tapped into the unconscious; his work portrays the free-flowing and impromptu moment. “Untitled” (1951) was in the artist’s collection until 1960, just two years before his death. Smaller-scale works of comparable quality can be found in museum collections worldwide. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has a similar drawing on newsprint: “Untitled” (1951).


Contemporary American artist George Condo coined the term “artificial realism” to characterize the figures that appear in his work – often described as a combination of European Old Master painting and American Pop art. Condo has defined the term as the “realistic representation of that which is artificial.” Known for figures that are often grotesque or fractured, Condo creates art that is both Contemporary and rooted in art historical tradition, drawing inspiration from Cubism or, in this case, reaching back to ancient Greece. In an uncommon work of sculpture, Condo imparts his distinctive style to the face of a Mycenaean archetype, the goddess figure.


Ed Moses was a prominent figure in the Los Angeles art scene for nearly 70 years. He first exhibited in 1949 and was part of the original group of artists from the Ferus Gallery in 1957 – fellow Cool School artist Ed Ruscha also had his first solo exhibition there in 1963. The large scale and tryptic formation of “Franco-Del #1 & #3” from 2006 is rare for Moses. The piece is executed in earth tones of browns, grey, black, rust and pine green. Always working with process and experimenting with materials as a painter, Moses has been critically lauded for his bold composition and innovation.


Donald Sultan’s Black and Blue from 2008 fits comfortably within both Pop art and Minimalism. The work is a sly reference to Warhol as if a polarized negative image of the Pop artist’s iconic Flower series. Working with unconventional use and application of paint, Sultan vacillates between abstraction and representational art, but always maintaining strong contrasts and powerful, simple statements. Sultan describes his work as "heavy structure, holding fragile meaning." Sultan’s work is represented in the permanent collections of many major museums in the United States and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.


"Purple Tree" from 1936 shows the genesis of the artist's evolution into total abstraction. One of a series of Casein works on panel completed in 1936, the present work is fully documented and recorded in the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné. "Purple Tree" shows Hoffmann's "push/pull" color theory, where he placed warm and cool colors side by side. Hofmann was an influential instructor for Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Frank Stella, Lee Krasner, and Louise Nevelson (among many others).  
<br>The 2019 exhibition "Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction" at the University Museum in Berkeley, California, featured 70 works and showed the evolution of Hofmann throughout his career.


After producing a large cycle of works known as Contrasts of Forms, which infuse abstraction into genres of landscape, still life, and figure, Leger In the mid-1920s, was associated with the French formalist movement called Purism, which sought to strip Cubism of its decorative aspects. This is when he created Profil, Vase et Clef, adopting flatter colors and bold, black outlines in his work. From this point forward on, his art was essentially figurative. Profil, Vase et Clef was exhibited at Galerie Beyeler in Basel and illustrated in the catalog, and the provenance also includes Galerie Louise Leiris and Galerie Seroussi in Paris.


American artist Robert Rauschenberg helped to revolutionize art in the 20th century through his assemblages incorporating found objects and pop culture. For the Hoarfrost series, Rauschenberg used solvent to transfer images from newspapers and magazines to unstretched fabric. Hoarfrost is a kind of lacy film made up of minute, needle-like ice crystals. Rauschenberg evoked the transience of the hoarfrost by printing newspaper and magazine pages on overlapping layers of delicate fabrics. Other pieces in this series are in the collections of The Guggenheim, MoMA, SF MOMA, the National Gallery of Art and Tate.


Carl Andre is an American artist who helped pioneer minimalist sculpture and was the husband of famed and celebrated artist Ana Mendieta. This is a classic text piece from the early 1960s and is typical of his poems which are composed by selecting individual words from source texts, and then ordering them on the page according to simple and self-evident criteria, which, in this case, is by alphabetical listing. Aviator Charles Lindbergh deep fascinated Carl Andre whom he returned to as a source for his poetry. This work with its structured repetition like his famed sculptures reflect the minimalism and post-minimalism emerging in the 1960s and the 1970s including fellow concrete poet Christopher Knowles.


Celebrated Hassel Smith moved through different styles over his long career including Abstract Expressionism, his “Measured” series, and Gestural Abstraction. This painting comes from his “Measured” period in which paintings encompassed geometric shapes and numbers on grids. Smith finds rhythms in the paintings through the intervals and sizes of the shapes. Among his friends were Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko. Smith lived in the Bay Area of California before moving to the UK, settling in Cornwall and Bristol. Heather James is proud to represent the estate of Hassel Smith.


Paul Wonner is one of the most celebrated artists of the Bay Area Figurative movement, along with David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, and his partner William Theophilus Brown. The Bay Area Figurative Movement was a loose collection of artists that broke away from the dominant and overly-influential style of abstract expressionism, pushing considerations of what is modern away from abstraction once more onto the body and figuration. This painting comes from Wonner’s period in which he adopted the crisp realism of Dutch Baroque still life painting, populating his works with objects from everyday contemporary life. Acclaimed for his expressive figurative paintings and distinctive style of still life painting, Wonner had numerous solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and his works are held at major museums throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Heather James is proud to partner with the Crocker Art Museum to represent the estate of Paul Wonner and William Theophilus Brown.


William Theophilus Brown, along with his partner Paul Wonner, is one of the most celebrated artists of the Bay Area Figurative movement, along with David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn. The inspiration to take chances and to try new mediums is evident in Brown’s works including his fearless examination of nude forms, bold colors, his shifts from sensual form to precise architectural landscapes, and even his experimentation during his last decade with collage and pure abstraction. This painting is a great example of Brown’s draftsmanship in its careful but bright study of the seated figure. Brown ran through many artistic circles and included among his friends, Samuel Barber, Igor Stravinski, Paul Hindemith, André Previn, Mary Sarton, Christopher Isherwood, and Don Bacardy. Heather James is proud to partner with the Crocker Art Museum to represent the estate of Paul Wonner and William Theophilus Brown.