Sunday Papers...The 80s Gallery is in the SF Chronicle!

Posted by The 80s Gallery on January 27, 2012 1 Comment

We recently had the pleasure of working with Bertrand Pellegrin, the founder and director of b. on brand Consulting, LLC. As a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle about Fashion and Design, Bertrand approached The 80s Gallery as a resource for an article regarding the resurgence of 1980's art and design in current interior design. We're excited that Bertrand's article appeared in Sunday January 15th's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, on the front page of the Home & Garden Section!


the full article is available on-line click here

Fittingly, the front page of the article featured a striking image of our large wall relief painting "Asterope" by Gregory Gioiosa from 1988, which is a pop-art depiction of the San Francisco skyline.  In addition to our contribution, Bertrand was able to resource Jason Stein, the associate director of 20th century arts at Bonham's, and Jane Pavitt, the co-curator of the exhibition "Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990" at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

We've had incredible feedback from Bertrand's article "The 1980s Redux: Collectors give oft-derided postmodernist movement a 2nd look."  The 1980's may be coming back in style for some, but for us, it really never left!

Love Living in the 80s!

Patrick Nagel...Turns This Grey Sky to Blue

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 1 Comment

We are spotlighting an original Patrick Nagel Playboy Painting. This original work on board, which measures 13"x9.75", was first published in Playboy Magazine in December of 1983 in the Playboy Forum section.

This is an exceptional example of Nagel's edgy and alluring work that he created for Playboy Magazine. The colors in the original are extraordinary with beautiful line work that can be seen in a couple of the close-up photos.

Hand signed in the lower right hand corner this original is marked on the back with Playboy's stamp, which reads "PLAYBOY'S ARTWORK REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED WITHOUT PLAYBOY'S PERMISSION."

This original is in perfect condition with no signs of age. With her beautifully squared off eyes, subtle tilt of the shoulder and slight aggressive lean in towards the viewer, she projects just as much sex appeal today as the day she left Nagel's studio!

As the interest from fine art galleries grew in Patrick Nagel's original works, his painting substrate evolved from illustration board to the more traditional and accepted fine art canvas. Many of Nagel's canvas works were adapted from earlier Playboy illustrations. The altered background design elements, different color schemes and omission of nudity were the most frequent changes Nagel made from his Playboy paintings to his canvas works. In the case of "Blue Sweater" as pictured below:

  • The Playboy painting on the left contains a yellow geometric shape, where as the canvas painting on the right has a different background shape in a light violet.
  • The Playboy version on the left has a classic Nagel paynes grey background, where as the canvas version on the right has a light blue background.
  • And the most notable change is in the Blue Sweater itself; in the Playboy painting the cut of the sweater drops low exposing her breast, where as in the canvas painting her breast is covered by the cut of the sweater.

Most commonly referred to as "Blue Sweater", the image of the canvas was released in 1992 as an open edition lithograph measuring 24"x18". Pictured below is this poster which has become familiar to many Nagel collectors as it was mass reproduced.

In 2009 Rachel Uffner Gallery held a show titled "Nagel Fades" featuring the photographic prints of Artist Barb Choit and subsequently the artwork of Patrick Nagel. Choit explored the effects of photochemical processes on found objects. She captured the impact of beauty salon materials and apparatuses; chiefly, UV-light-emitting tanning beds on Patrick Nagel’s iconic 1980’s fine art posters. To read more about Barb Choit's show "Nagel Fades" visit the Press Release. Below is an example of Barb Choit's exposure on Patrick Nagel's "Blue Sweater." The finished piece shown at Rachel Uffner Gallery was a Laser Jet Print on Adhesive Paper, Bleach Bath, 2009 digital c-print, measuring 24.75"x18.25" in an edition of 3.

And although it has faded to some...We still Love Living in the 80s

Step by Step...Patrick Nagel Progression Bracelet

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 2 Comments

We are spotlighting a very special Patrick Nagel bracelet produced by Acme Studio from 1988.

Known as "Grunwald", the imagery of this bracelet is rooted in Patrick Nagel's original piece for the promotion of An Exhibition of Serigraphs at The Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at UCLA in 1980.

Below is an image of the original acrylic painting on board that was showcased at the Just Looking Gallery 2007 Retrospective Show. The original acrylic painting on board measured 12" x 15"

First published in March of 1980, this piece was released as a Silk Screened Serigraph Print by Mirage Editions, Inc. Measuring 25" x 17" and printed by Jeff Wasserman, the edition was limited to 250 signed and numbered prints and 1,000 signed in screen (printed signature) prints.

The image was then reformatted and printed as a Progressive Set in April of 1980, as depicted below. Printed as a set of four, each measuring 5 5/8" x 7", this progressive set of images showed the process of the silk screen printing and the layering of colors.

In 1988 the Patrick Nagel Estate paired with Acme Studio to create a series of collectible Patrick Nagel jewelry pieces. Continuing the progressive design aesthetic, Acme created a unique bracelet featuring the progressive development of Nagel's Grunwald piece.

This bracelet from 1988 measures 7.25" long and is composed of 4 uniquely designed pendants, which are color progressions from left to right and each measure 1.375" x 1.125"

The craftsmanship and attention to detail in this bracelet make it an outstanding piece of art and jewelry.

The back of each pendant is marked with the 1983 Dumas Inc Nagel Trade Mark and the Acme Studios stamp.

This bracelet is accompanied by a Certificate Card from the Nagel Estate and Acme Studio, which identifies this piece as number 55 of 1,000 produced. This bracelet is currently being showcased and offered for sale for $295.

Love Living in the 80s

Atlantis is Calling...S.O.S. for Love and Gregory Gioiosa

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 1 Comment

In this post we are spot-lighting two very special pieces from a series of work by artist Gregory Gioiosa.

In the late 1980's Gregory Gioiosa was the artist in residence at The Fresno Art Center and Museum. In 1989 Gregory created an installation in the main gallery of the Museum with a series of work titled "Atlantis is Calling." His asymmetric designs, bright day glow colors, overlapping line work, and brushed metal accents is a bold combination for an individual piece, but when shown together the consistent aesthetics of the series is truly stunning. Pictured below are images that compare the details of the two originals from this series that we're showcasing.

As was befitting with many of his ethereal inspirations, Gioiosa was intrigued by the mythology of the city of Atlantis and it's association with the Pleiades star constellation. In Plato's myth of Atlantis, the island city originated with Poseidon, the Greek god of water. The free flowing brushed metal that is seen in the two images above brings to mind the continual connection between Atlantis and the sea. According to the myth, Atlantis was the most beautiful island in the world, and it's people were the most advanced civilization with unparalleled technologies and modern architecture. The people of Atlantis built engineering feats including aqueducts, roadways and bridges. Gioiosa based the series of work on concentric circles, overlapping grid work and various other structural elements that were representative of the advanced Atlantean architecture. Pictured below are detail images that show Gioiosa's use of circles and patterning throughout both pieces.

After the Museum showcase of this series, Gregory Gioiosa entered Graduate school at the University of California Irvine. While earning his Masters of Fine Arts Degree at UCI, Gregory built upon the wall relief motif from his Atlantis series for the following 2 years. The wall relief work was very successful for Gioiosa and an important part of establishing a collector basis for his work in Southern California. As Gregory Gioiosa has continued to be showcased in galleries throughout the United States, his work has been collected internationally and is included in the permanent collections of several museums.

We're proud to have the opportunity to show these two original works from Gioiosa's 1989 Atlantis series. The image appearing on the left measures 66" tall by 89" long and sits 1.75" reliefed away from the wall. Hand signed, titled "Atlantis Series" and dated "89" on the back, this piece is currently available. The original pictured on the right measures 60" tall by 99" long and sits 2.5" reliefed away from the wall. Hand signed, titled "Atlantis Progression II" and dated "8-8-89" on the back, this original is currently available for $10,000. These large scale abstract wall relief works are exceptional examples of Gregory's creativity and craftsmanship as an artist. The city of Atlantis may be lost to mythology, but it's spirit is alive and well in Gregory Gioiosa's work.

Love Living in the 80s

It's the Lightning Not the Thunder...Ettore Sottsass Earrings

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 1 Comment

We wanted to spotlight a very special pair of Ettore Sottsass Memphis Design Group earrings produced by Acme Studios in 1985.

Titled "Fulmine", which means "Lightning" in Italian, these earrings have a very distinct architectural quality. The center leg of each earring depicts the Fulmine or lightning bolt as it travels from the heavens to it's contact point. The center lightning leg is a soft pink color with bright orange shapes at the ends. The structural design is bordered with blue support columns and is capped with a white ceiling of clouds at the top. Each of the earrings measure 1.5" tall by 1.25" wide. These original Ettore Sottsass Memphis "Fulmine" Earrings are currently available for $150. We love how Ettore's playful design builds on the electric quality of the Memphis Design Group.

Love Living in the 80s

Eyes Without a Face...the lost art of Manuel Nunez' Pioneer Illustrations

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 1 Comment

Working as a commercial fashion illustrator in Los Angeles for the majority of the decade, the 1980's were formidable years for now internationally recognized artist Manuel Nunez. While New York continued to be the center of high fashion in the United States; Los Angeles, with its celebrity driven culture, developed its own art scene. Patrick Nagel's style and imagery inspired a new generation of artists and commercial illustrators. Industries such as custom car and surf, with their highly polished finishes and techniques, were also influencing Los Angeles based artists. This glossy look became known as the “L.A. Look." Working for companies like Nordstrom, Redken, Pioneer, Capitol Records, and Levi in the 80s; Manuel Nunez developed a portfolio of commercial work that perfected the “L.A. Look” and brought him internationally known models and advertising accounts. One of the most striking bodies of work that emerged from this period of Manuel's career was his advertising campaign for Pioneer Electronics in 1986. Looking to promote their electronics as beautiful designs, Pioneer hired Manuel Nunez to develop a series of illustrations that would bring a new perceived level of fashion, design and beauty to their stereo faces. Pictured below are examples of Manuel's original Pioneer illustrations paired with the finished print work as they appeared as posters, ads, brochures and tear sheets.

Pictured above "If You Think This Face Is Beautiful, Wait 'Til You Hear It Sing." Promoting the KEX-900 this ad was released in 1986.

Pictured above "The Most Beautiful Face In The World." Promoting the DEX-77 this ad was released in 1986.

Pictured above "The Most Beautiful Face In The World." Promoting Pioneer's KEH-9020, KEH-6020, KEH-9191 and KEH-5151 in 1986.

Pictured above "The Most Beautiful Face In The World." Created in 1986, Manuel expertly hand illustrated the Pioneer stereo face onto the sunglasses. This poster promoted the DEX-77 in 1986.

Pictured above "The Most Beautiful Sound In Sight." Created in 1986, this ad promoting Pioneer's Maxxial speakers appeared in a 1987 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine.

Manuel's illustrations were arresting, the faces were gorgeous, the technique was flawless, the colors were extraordinary, and the tag lines were clever, but the images were ruined! Manuel's exquisitely rendered eyes were frequently covered in the finished print work. Pioneer had placed images of their stereo faces as sunglasses over Manuel's illustrated faces and speakers as irises in the eyes. By covering the eyes, the images lost the most beautiful part of the artwork, they lost their soul.

Most of the original illustrations from this series were created in 1986, measure approximately 25"x19" and can be referenced on our website. We're proud to showcase a number of Manuel Nunez' original illustrations as these works embody a lost time of art and design. In many ways the tradition and soul of American Illustration was lost with the 1980's. 

Love Living in the 80s

There is a Light that Never Goes Out...1980's Lighting Styles

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 0 Comments

We recently discovered Mirror 80, a design blog that provides great commentary on 1980's interior design. Mirror 80 is the endeavor of Kate Simmons, who draws on a lifetime love of '80s style. Spotlighting various 1980's aesthetics like Floral designs, Southwestern motifs, Art Deco ceramics, and the Memphis Design Group, Kate has created some wonderful posts about how these dynamic styles appeared in 1980's pop culture and how they have echoed through the past 30 years. After connecting with Kate over the past couple of months, we have invited her to write a guest blog for The 80s Gallery. Selecting the unique and broad applications of 1980's Lighting we proudly turn you on to Kate Simmons and Mirror 80.

Electrifying Eighties Lighting

The phrase “80s lighting” may conjure images of brass and etched glass chandeliers, oversized track lighting and strips of dressing room-style bulbs over bathroom mirrors. But dismissing an entire decade of lighting due to a few repetitive choices would be ignoring years of truly interesting pieces. What about geometric flair, nods to design movements such as Art Deco, and statement pieces that mix art with functionality?

Lamps and lighting fixtures from the 1980s can add modern flourishes to a space—pieces from this decade mix well with industrial, mid-century modern and other contemporary eclectic styles, adding a dash of fun and intrigue without committing the entire room to an 80s flashback!

As you hunt for luminous treasures, keep an eye out for:

Pendant Fixtures

80s pendant lighting fixtures were crafted from a variety of materials, including metal and glass. Many pieces from this decade were round or conical in shape, directing the light downward to illuminate functional spaces like kitchen and dining areas.

The metallic fixtures below serve as modern focal points:

Image from The Decorating Book by Mary Gilliatt, an amazing interior design resource written and published in the 80s! Available at Amazon

Pendant factory lighting gives this kitchen an industrial feel:

Image from The Decorating Book by Mary Gilliatt

Rounded Lamps

From wall lights to floor lamps, spherical shapes abounded in the 1980s. The good news: the geometric simplicity of these lights makes them timelessly modern.

A globe-like table lamp in a metal stand makes a sleek, contemporary statement:

Image from The Decorating Book by Mary Gilliatt

A spherical floor lamp sends light upward, spotlighting the collectibles on display:

Image from The Decorating Book by Mary Gilliatt

From sphere to egg—glowing table lamps add a mysterious quality to this 80s-modern living room in a still from Todd Haynes’ film Safe,set in the 1987 suburbs of the San Fernando Valley:

Deco-Style Lighting

Many arenas of 80s style took inspiration from the Art Deco movement of the 20s and 30s. From graphic design to furniture design, hints of Deco glamour emerged. Lighting of the 1980s featured Deco elements, from fan motifs on sconces to sweeping curves on pottery-based lamps.

In fact, affordable 80s ceramic Deco-style lamps are currently a staple at Goodwill stores. Mauve and country blue are popular colors, but if they’re not your cup of tea, keep your eyes peeled for interesting finds in black, white and peach. Some may even feature Lucite bases!

An 80s Deco ceramic lamp reinforces the peach and mint green bedroom color scheme in this still from Todd Haynes’ film Safe:

This Empire State Lamp honors the streamlined magnificence of Art Deco architecture:

1980's Empire State Building Lamp at The 80s Gallery

Neon Lighting

Neon lighting is unmistakably 80s. You may be hard-pressed to find neon in today’s spaces unless featured on a bar sign, which makes a well-incorporated neon piece a true gem.

Ceiling-mounted neon tubing adds modern ambiance:

Image from The Decorating Book by Mary Gilliatt

This pink neon splatter triangle wall lamp merges lighting with wall art:

1980's Pink Neon Triangle Wall Lamp at The 80s Gallery

This neon floor lamp sculpture is by Rudi Stern and Dan Chelsea for George Kovacs. Although the piece was designed in the 70s, its geometric form and violet blue neon tubing can add an 80s touch to a room of choice:

Image Courtesy of Austin Modern

Statement Pieces

Then there are those pieces that demand attention in a room, even without the neon glow! Call them conversation starters, showpieces or works of art, these designer finds will easily take center stage in the spaces they inhabit.

This piece by modern lighting pioneer Robert Sonneman has a minimalist, space-age feel (shown in close-up and even closer-up):

1980's Robert Sonneman Lamp for George Kovacs at The 80s Gallery

The Tahiti Lamp, by renowned Memphis Group designer Ettore Sottsass, showcases the clever use of playful geometry and striking color:


While some prefer chrome to brass and simple to ornate, a well-designed piece that makes a statement can outshine expectations about what will and won’t work when it comes to 80s lighting. Keep an open mind and let pieces speak for themselves. More importantly, don’t be afraid to let an 80s lamp or fixture take center stage!

After all, the 80s were truly illuminating…Kate Simmons Mirror 80

Thank you Kate for making such a wonderful contribution to The 80s Gallery

Love Living in the 80s

Miu Miu: Walking in Memphis

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 15, 2011 0 Comments

After rocking the world of fashion in 1989 with her sleek nylon handbags and her ready to wear collection, Prada designer Miuccia Prada brought a new dimension to The House of Prada in 1992 with the introduction of her designer fashion label Miu Miu. Focusing more on strong color combinations and bold prints, the Miu Miu label has allowed Miuccia to explore new youthful design motifs that frequently contradict the classic lines of Prada. For Miu Miu's 2006 Spring line Miuccia didn't have to look far from her label's home base of Milan for inspiration. Revisiting the patterns and fabric designs of The Memphis Design Group from the early 1980's, Miuccia brought the bold powerful look of Memphis to the runway. Below are images taken from the 2006 Spring line fashion show in Milan, to the right of each image is a sample fabric designed by Nathalie du Pasquier in 1981-1983 for The Memphis Design Group that shows the direct correlation to Miuccia Prada's Miu Miu 2006 Spring line.

Compared next to the green and orange Miu Miu shirt is Nathalie du Pasquier's "Zambia" Pattern

Compared next to the red and green Miu Miu shorts is Nathalie du Pasquier's "Zaire" Pattern

Compared next to the orange and blue Miu Miu dress is Nathalie du Pasquier's "Zambia" Pattern

Miuccia also paired many of her Miu Miu male models with jewelry for the show that were very Memphis in design. The image above shows one of the models from the show compared with the Ettore Sottsass "San Marco" Brooch from 1985.

Walking in Memphis!

We would like to thank Memphis collector Dennis Zanone for the use of his Nathalie du Pasquier Memphis fabric patterns. For available Authentic Memphis Jewelry Designs please feel free to visit our gallery collection page.

Love Living in the 80s

Back to the Future...with Robert Longo

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 14, 2011 2 Comments

Robert Longo recounts to W Magazine "Instead of ripping you off, we want to hire you" said Tomas Maier Creative Director of Bettega Veneta to Robert Longo as he sought to work with the artist on a new ad campaign. Working with the Italian fashion house to bring back the graphic style of his 1980's Men in Cities series for their Fall & Winter 2010 line, Longo and Maier's collaboration brings the timeless appeal of Robert Longo's early 1980's work to the forefront of contemporary fashion.

Above on the left is one of Robert Longo's original Men in Cities charcoal and graphite on paper drawings from 1981, on the right is one of the photographs for the Bottega Veneta ad campaign.

Love Living in the 80s

Patrick Nagel Illusion...The Magic of David Copperfield

Posted by The 80s Gallery on November 14, 2011 0 Comments

A wonderful segment from David Copperfield's TV special "The Magic of David Copperfield". Appearing along with David Copperfield and CJ the Orangutan from the 1981 remake "Tarzan, the Ape Man", appears a larger than life Nagel woman as a prop for David Copperfield's card trick. Enjoy!

Love Living in the 80s

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