[Press Release] Famed Artist Itzchak Tarkay Dies at 77

Itzchak Tarkay, Park West GallerySouthfield, Mich. — World-renowned artist Itzchak Tarkay died unexpectedly Sunday, June 3 after emergency heart surgery. He was 77. The Israeli artist was visiting metropolitan Detroit as the featured guest at a collector’s event hosted by his dealer Park West Gallery. Tarkay spent his last hours doing what he loved most – sharing his artwork with his fans and collectors. He is survived by his sons, Adi and Itai, and their families.

Itzchak Tarkay was born in 1935 in Subotica on the Yugoslav-Hungarian border. At the age of 9, Tarkay and his family were sent to the Mathausen Concentration Camp by the Nazis until Allied liberation freed them a year later. In 1949, his family immigrated to Israel and was sent to the transit camp for new arrivals at Beer Yaakov. They lived in a kibbutz for several years and in 1951, Tarkay received a scholarship to the Avni Art Academy. There, he studied under the artist Schwartzman and was mentored by other important Israeli artists of the time such as Mokady, Janko, Streichman and Stematsky.

Through his painting, watercolors, drawings and limited-edition works of graphic art, Tarkay was able to reach more than 100,000 collectors worldwide. His studies of women, landscapes and other Israeli-inspired imagery were unique in late 20th Century art and although they clearly bore the indelible stamp of his Israeli roots, they also exhibited the influences of Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Braque and Vlaminck.

During the last 8 years, Tarkay created his art in an atelier in Israel which also housed studios for Israeli artists Yaacov Agam, David Najar, Yuval Wolfson and Mark Kanovich. On December 15, 2010, a painting by Agam sold at auction for $698,000 at Sotheby’s New York, the highest price ever paid for the work of an Israeli artist. Tarkay was the only artist to paint a work together with Agam. Tarkay and Agam created two paintings together, which were each signed by both artists.

For more than the past 20 years, Itzchak Tarkay was exclusively represented by Park West Gallery of Southfield, Michigan. Park West Founder and CEO, Albert Scaglione said of the artist, “Tarkay was a kind and sensitive man, a loving father, and a gifted and talented artist who loved to paint and constantly worked at his art. The many artists who knew and worked with him, the many collectors he touched, the great many friends he had and the family he cared for will all miss him. He left a very special mark in the world of art by sharing his gifts with so many. His imagery has become a part of our public consciousness.”

For media inquiries only, please contact media@parkwestgallery.com.

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13 Responses to [Press Release] Famed Artist Itzchak Tarkay Dies at 77

  1. benny quartarone says:

    What a shame great man to speak with rest in peace

  2. Pam And Clay Keeling says:

    What a shock it is to find out that our beloved artist has gone. We love his work that has that has truly given us my h joy. Tarkay’s influence will live on his incredible works.

  3. Roberta Gerlach says:

    Terribly sad news. Tarkay, of blessed memory, was an amazing artist and will be missed.

  4. Ian and Terry Penman says:

    We will cherish our memory with Tarkay since we met him on a cruise a few years ago. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family as well as The Park West family. Ian and Terry Penman

  5. John & Shirley Avina says:

    We have known and collected Tarkay’s art for many years. We love his unique style and how he played with color. He was a truly great artist and a Park West friend.

  6. Karen Rice says:

    We were blessed to share a VIP cruise with Tarkay in March 2012. His work was the first serigraph that we collected many years ago. Now we have many Tarkay’s and will cherish them forever!Thanks to Park West for the opportunity to meet these renowned artists and memories that will last a life time. He will be missed.. He truly was an amazing artist! Our prayers go to his family.

  7. We are so distraught at the loss of Itzchak Tarkay. Every wall in our bedroom is covered with his work. He will be missed around the world.

  8. Burl says:

    Very sad. He surely will be missed.

  9. Jim & Doris Worrell says:

    We were also blessed to share a VIP cruise with Tarkay in April 2012. We had lunch with him and David Najar. He will be missed by many, but his art will live on forever!!

    • Randy and Mazy Matuschewski says:

      We too were on that cruise. Felt very honored to have met Tarkay and purchas a painting of his. When I opened my painting I sat down to admire and enjoy the tears of memory and adoration that I experienced. Thank you for the opportunity that the Art Cruise gave us

  10. Doris & Jim Hyland says:

    What a blessing to be with Tarkay the very night before he got sick, but what a saddness at his passing. I think I might have the very last pictures taken of him. I will value that, and getting a chance to talk to him the night before.

  11. Paul Tartanella says:

    I have reproduced Tarkay’s Beautiful women into Needlepoints and they turned out BEAUTIFUL! Soirry to hear of his death. I have a reproduction number 1 of 45 of “Cafe Roma” but don’t know when it was produced, the year. Haven’t seen it anywhere, but have looked all over for it. If you have any information on “Cafe Roma” please email me at paulcsrr@verizon.net

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