Le Shoppe Auction House’s August 1st Art & Design Auction Features Detroit Creatives Including Artworks by Charles McGee

June 27, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Keego Harbor, MI (June 27th, 2024) – Le Shoppe Auction House unveils an incredible collection of items with a focus on modern to contemporary design. The auction will host over 300 items ofrare and iconic art and design in the form of original paintings, lithographs, serigraphs, etchings, mixed media pieces, glass, sculpture, world artifacts, lighting, ceramics, and modern furniture.

Le Shoppe Auction House presents a collection of artworks by beloved Detroit artist Charles McGee, including original prototypes.

This auction will include 4 artworks by Charles McGee featuring an early oil painting on board from the estate of the Van De Keere family in Metro Detroit. This is a painting from McGee’s time at the College of Creative Studies. Van De Keere’s father was also an artist and was in the same artistic circle as McGee. This is a rare figurative subject matter with a bright jewel-toned color palette. A unique opportunity to collect a one-of-kind painting for Detroit collectors.

Le Shoppe Auction House is also excited to present 3 early McGee prototypes from the estate of Jack Butler a well-known Detroit creator, ceramicist, and graphic designer. Butler was CEO and Founder of Butler Graphics, Inc which operated on the 22nd floor of the Fisher Building. In the 1980s to 2000s, Butler became the “go-to” graphic designer. This landed Butler graphic design contracts with NASA, Henry Ford Hospital, and the city of Detroit. In the 1990s he began
collaborating on philanthropic art projects, including the initial People Mover Mural Project. During this time, he became friends with many Detroit creatives, which included Charles McGee, Glen Michaels, Lester Johnson, John Glick, and Susan Goethel Campbell to name a few.

Butler worked with McGee for over a decade to visualize the artist’s two-dimensional drawings as finished 3-D sculpture via computer generated vector graphics. This was during the period when McGee was creating large installations in Detroit including the largescale relief sculpture “Regeneration” at Henry Ford Hospital.

Butler remembers McGee as being fearless with a keen curiosity and always had a yearning to learn more. McGee said, “I am mandated by nature to do this, to make art.”

The wall sculptures offered in Le Shoppe Modern’s auction are the first prototype of this design. Butler explained, “Once we had all the pieces, McGee would cut them out in cardboard, put them together and trace them so he could put his composition together. McGee would then trace out the final project. I would take McGee’s composition, scan it in, and together we would digitally make the lines thicker with multiple copies layered. Screen on top of a screen with multiple layers. When we printed them, McGee decided to print them in multiple colors. I always liked the black & white version.” Butler had the sculptures displayed outside in his transcendent Japanese garden complete with a running koi pond. Butler said, “The sculptures are made of polycore/aluminum veneer with uv inkjet b&w outdoor signage paint. The material used can last over 100 years in direct sunlight. McGee always wanted to be innovative and push for the new, which I loved.”

Charles McGee (1924-2021) was a beloved Detroit artist, professor, and creator. McGee is in the permanent collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and was named the Eminent Artist at Kresge Foundation in 2008. He also has several large-scale public works in the city of Detroit including murals, installations, and sculptures. In 1968, McGee curated Detroit’s first group show of black artists and seven artists were selected: James Strickland, Lester Johnson, Robert Murray, James King, Jr., Charles McGee, Harold Neel, and James Lee. The “Seven Black Artists” exhibition became a historic cornerstone for the contemporary art scene in Detroit. McGee said, “I think the reason for making art, or at least for my trying to make art has to do with trying to create a better world. Making it so that one does not have to discriminate between the haves and the have nots.” During his artistic career, McGee has exhibited in dozens of exhibitions from the 1960s to the
2010s. Today his legacy continues. Currently, on display at The Shepherd in Detroit is a retrospective exhibition of McGee’s artwork curated by Library Street Collective which opened May 2024.

Also, included in Le Shoppe Modern’s auction will be original artworks by Glen Michaels and Susan Goethel Campbell. These are also from the collection of Jack Butler.

Many other items will be available as well including original architectural drawings from Minoru Yamasaki, rare modern furniture designs, and contemporary art including works by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol.

The live auction will take place online via LiveAuctioneers on August 1st.

The catalog will be live by July 15th.

All items can be previewed in person at:

Le Shoppe Modern
3325 Orchard Lake Road
Keego Harbor, MI 48320
Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm