Peter Max (American, b. 1937), drawing on verso of Serendipity menu, signed and dated 1971. A true find for any art collector, this incredible drawing and inscription by Pop Art/Neo-Expressionist legend Peter Max was created on the verso of a menu for the historic New York City restaurant "Serendipity" (still known for its famous frozen hot chocolate - listed on this menu for a whopping $1.50). The composition of the drawing features a Surrealist landscape inhabited by a tiny figure running across the groundline with a flower in hand, flowers that are larger than this figure above him at the lower end of a grand hillside, a seascape beyond with sailboats to either side of the hilltop, with an angel standing at the peak and holding a staff. In the skies above are several flying angels surrounded by stars and birds who inhabit rays of the sun - and making a most dramatic impression, a huge profiled head overlaps the sun. Finally, Max's inscription at bottom left reads, "For Susan - Love Always Peter Max - 1971 N.Y.C." The piece is set in a red double-sided floating frame, so that both the drawing and menu are visible. Size: 26.5" W x 18.75" H (67.3 cm x 47.6 cm); 32.75" W x 25" H (83.2 cm x 63.5 cm) framed
A definition of the restaurant's namesake "Serendipity" at the left side of the menu reads, "… the art of finding the unusual, or the pleasantly unexpected by chance or sagacity …" Indeed Max's artwork on this menu fits those tenets of Serendipity to a tee!
Peter Max rose to fame in the 1960's as a visionary Pop artist and developed a dynamic form of Neo Expressionism. His famous Cosmic '60s style presented a striking form of painting that emphasized line and employed a Fauvist command of color in otherworldly transcendental themes. Some rightfully argue that Peter Max revolutionized visual art of the 60's the way that the Beatles innovated music during that memorable decade. In addition to being an accomplished artist, Peter Max is an environmentalist as well as a human and animal rights activist, oftentimes creating works for these causes. Furthermore, Max has devoted a branch of his oeuvre to patriotic freedom pieces with his Lady Liberty and the American Flag paintings (one of his Lady Liberty compositions is available at Artemis Gallery as well).
Serendipity is a historic New York City restaurant founded in 1954. According to the restaurant's website, "Serendipity has been enchanting millions of patrons since its inception. It's an enchanting place where artists got their inspiration and actors fulfilled their cravings. Beginning with Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in the 1950's continuing with a celebrity following that includes Cher, Candice Bergen, Melanie Griffith and Ron Howard, the restaurant continues to attract the newest crop of hot young celebrities such as Beyonce, Ryan Reynolds, Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. In addition, the restaurant has been the setting of three major Hollywood productions, One Fine Day (1996) with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, Serendipity (2001) with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, and Trust The Man (2005) with Julianne Moore and David Duchovny." (https://serendipity3.com/history/)
Provenance: ex-private Los Angeles, California, USA estate collection
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