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Major Alberto Vargas Retrospective Opens at the San Francisco Art Exchange
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- A major retrospective of Alberto Vargas’ original artwork opens November 13 at the San Francisco Art Exchange. The exhibition is celebrating two important anniversaries: Twenty-five years since SFAE brought Vargas artwork to the art market for the first time with a world retrospective in 1985, and the 50-year anniversary of the first monthly appearance of Vargas’ artwork in Playboy magazine. Vargas’ watercolors were published as a full page in each issue of Playboy magazine, virtually every month from 1960-1975. It has been 70 years since the first time a Vargas painting ever appeared in print, under the name “The Varga Girl,” in a 1940 issue of Esquire magazine.

Sixty works of art, representing every period of Vargas’ career from 1919 to the 1970s, will be on display. The multi-million dollar retrospective includes rare paintings and drawings from the Max Vargas Estate, original artworks provided by the Playboy Collection, art from several private collections, and a number of valuable limited edition lithographs.

“The exhibition will not only display the diverse talent of Alberto Vargas and the beauty of his work, but will immediately make apparent his skill as a fine painter,” said Jim Hartley, co-owner of San Francisco Art Exchange. “His technical ability with watercolor will amaze those who have never viewed his original paintings in person.”

One of America’s most famous artists, Vargas’ career began in earnest in 1919 when he was employed by Florenz Ziegfeld to paint portraits of the stars who appeared in his Ziegfeld Follies. In the 1930’s, he worked with Fox, Paramount and Warner Brothers during the Golden Era of Hollywood. World War II found his “girl-next-door” paintings traveling with American GI’s in the form of his famous pin-ups that appeared in the pages and calendars of Esquire magazine. Service members copied them onto their aircrafts, jackets and ships, adopting them as good luck emblems.

San Francisco Art Exchange | Jim Hartley | Alberto Vargas |

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