The first official opening of the Gallery 928 over the weekend at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village unveiled a never-before-seen here exhibit of modern to contemporary art masters.
The gallery's "Modern to Pop & Beyond" exhibit feature smore than 50 pieces by late 20th Century artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, LeRoy Neiman, Peter Max, Ian Hornak and Scott Kahn among others.
Gallery 928 opened its doors to visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday for a special reception that included food, wine and live music as well as the artwork valued at more than $20 million.
"We're bringing a diversity of work to the gallery for a cohesive exhibition that covers some of the greatest artists that worked in the later 20th Century," said curator Eric Spoutz. "Our objective is to make it accessible to the public and everything in the gallery is available for purchase."
Spoutz and his wife, Natasha, visited the Westin Resort in the past and that led to a permanent residency.
"We were impressed with the resort property and the community," said Spoutz. "We noticed that between Sarasota and Naples there was a void here. We have galleries on Floridas east coast, but no galleries were displaying this kind of work by the artists we represent. We are delighted to be here and excited about the future."
Spoutz is an art historian and museum exhibition curator and has curated shows in his home state of Michigan, Chicago and New York as well as two to three exhibits a year throughout North America.
He has assembled an exhibit of Modern, Abstract Expressionist, Pop and Contemporary masters to be displayed at Gallery 928 through Jan. 2, 2015.
There are five pieces by Jackson Pollock, recognized as one of the most historically and financially significant artists in world history having had single paintings sell for up to $140 million.
For the first time in a commercial setting, the abstract photography by leading 20th Century photographer Herbert Matter some of which Pollock used as inspiration for his revolutionary drip painting series.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the works by Pollock, Matter and Arthur Charles will be donated to Sea Research Foundation.
The largest painting on paper, which is 10 feet in length, created by Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline will be on display as well. Kline has had individual paintings sell for up to $40 million.
Early in the reception, the award winning documentary "My Life is Black and White" about the life and work of celebrity photographer Jack Mitchell will be presented by acclaimed filmmaker Craig Highberger. Mitchell's 20-piece exhibit includes photographs of iconic figures such as John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Alfred Hitchcock, Meryl Streep, Andy Warhol and others.
"We plan to host at least one event a month and tie them to helping charities and organizations in this region," said Spoutz. "We also will host lectures and educational seminars."
Gallery 928 will be open to the public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment, through the end of the Modern to Pop & Beyond exhibit.