Master Drawings New York 2010
Preview: Friday January 22, 4pm to 9pm
Galleries open: Saturday January 23 through Saturday January 30 Saturdays 11am–5pm Sunday January 24, 3pm–7pm Mon–Fri 11am–6pm
Telephone enquiries: +1 212 755 8500
For the fourth year Master Drawings New York will bring together a distinguished group of dealers from Europe and the United States to exhibit in Upper East Side galleries during “Old Master Week,” the period in late January when Sotheby’s and Christie’s hold their auctions of old master drawings, paintings, and sculpture. This is an heady occasion when collectors, curators, and dealers can gather to seek out discoveries at the auction houses, admire the dealers’ offerings, see exhibitions at the Met, the Frick, and the Morgan Library, as well as to catch up with friends and share insights and gossip. Last year the enterprise was a surprising success, given the dismal economic climate. If many things seem uncertain and there remain many reasons to be apprehensive, the climate in this rarified world should be more propitious this year. What’s more, in the old master world one is dealing with more-or-less known artists and works, and there is less speculation than in contemporary art. This is also—let’s not forget—an opportunity for newcomers to the small but very pleasant world of master drawings to become acquainted with these extremely knowledgeable experts and to view a sample of their taste on the walls.
This year the number of participating dealers has grown to 22. As far as I know, two distinguished East Side Galleries, the Jill Newhouse Gallery and Didier Aaron, are new to the event, and two private dealers from the West Side, Richard Berman and Monroe Warshaw, are also newcomers, as well as the Addison Gallery of San Francisco and the José de la Mano Galería de Arte of Madrid—a most welcome opportunity to get to know the work of a dealer somewhat off the beaten track for most American collectors and curators.
I’ll begin uptown, especially since one of the most important of the dealers, Jean-Luc Baroni, is showing at Carlton Hobbs on East 93rd Street, a good twelve blocks uptown from Jill Newhouse, the northernmost of his colleagues. Last year Baroni presented the most impressive display of all, inculding a splendid study of St. Peter in black and white chalks on blue paper by Savoldo, who is extremely rare as a draftsman, and a freer and livelier version of Jacques-Louis David’s Portrait of Général Baron Claude Marie Meunier, of which a more formal alternate now hangs in the Clark. His current offerings will include a vivid, unfinished pastel portrait by Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1736–1808) of the sculptor Antonio Canova.
Jill Newhouse will show a selection from the respected collection of Dr. Curtis O. Baer, who passed on last year after a long and outstanding collecting career. (Click here to access the catalogue.) His tastes included the twentieth century as well as old masters, obscure artists like as well as the likes of Max Beckmann, Théodore Rousseau, and Fernand Léger. Beckmann’s bizarre and witty Birdplay was inspired by a trip to the Rockies in 1949, after he had emigrated to the United States.
Margot Gordon Fine Art and Crispian Riley-Smith will be showing at the Shepherd & Derom Galleries on 79th Street. Margot Gordon is well known for her fine Italian drawings, while Mr. Riley-Smith’s interests include botanical studies, British watercolors, as well as Italian and French old masters. His exhibition will feature a large pastel landscape, A Mill beside a River, by Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808), the Lyonnais painter of atmospheric scenes and chinoiseries, who worked as far afield as Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Warsaw, and London.
Lowell Libson is one of the great specialists in British watercolors. One can expect to find an extensive array of this work at Mitchell, Inness, & Nash. (Click here to access the catalogue.) José de la Mano, exhibiting at the Arader Gallery across the street will offer visitors a chance to make an acquaintance with Spanish drawings, an area all-too-little studied outside of Spain and France, where Lizzie Boubli of the Louvre has done outstanding research.
Things begin to get intense in the lower 70s. No fewer than nine dealers will be showing between 74th and 72nd Streets. Monroe Warshaw (showing at the Alexander Gallery) works out of his apartment on Riverside Drive and sells mostly to museums. He is especially interested in Netherlandish and German drawings of the 16th and 17th centuries, but also in Italian work. In addition to sheets by Jacques Stella, Georg Aberl, and Hinrich Degener, he will be showing a handsome study of angels by Isidoro Bianchi, an immensely talented and versatile artist from Campione, near Como, little known before the past twenty years or so.
Richard Berman, a specialist in Italian drawings, will also have a Julio Gonzales, as well as a fine Passeri and an elegant finished study of Christ and the Samaritan woman by Pierre Parrocel, an especially interesting artist from Avignon, who ran an important studio in his time, but who is little known today. This splendid sheet is a perfect example of the superb work that can be found, if you explore the provincial masters of the reign of Louis XIV.
Mary-Anne Martin had one of the most impressive exhibitions last year, with her rich holdings of Rivera, Siqueiros, and other twentieth century Mexican artists of the highest importance. This year she features Comiendo Chapulines (Eating Grasshoppers), a drawing by Francisco Toledo (b. 1940), a haunting vision of birds devouring the insects deux à deux.
Trinity Fine Art, in keeping with their traditional breadth, will have a wonderfully broad show, including sculpture, as well as drawings. There will be a remarkable Christ on the Cross by Richard Cosway, an intensely spiritual drawing made for the artist’s private contemplation, as well as a scagliola work (a sort of faux pietra dura made of a highly polished plaster of powdered selenite) by Don Pietro Belloni (Florence 1695-circa 1760) of A Group of Orientals watching a Piper and a Monkey playing a Violin. Few of these fragile works have survived; hence this is a fascinating rarity.
Joan Nissman and Morton Abromson will be showing a richly textured pen and wash study of St. Petronius by Ubaldo Gandolfi, among their usual fine group of sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian drawings. In the decorative arts gallery, L’Antiquaire & The Connoisseur, along with their own decorative drawings, Mia Weiner will show a brooding pen and wash study of a river god by Salvator Rosa, as well as an exquisitely elaborated Annunciation by Giacinto Gimignani (1606-1681).
Stephen Ongpin consistently stands out for his uncompromising eye and the range of his interests, which extend from the Italian and German Renaissance to Post Impressionism to early twentieh century representional artists. This year there will be some surprises, as he forges out in a new direction, closer to the present.
James Mackinnon will have superb British drawings and watercolors in the congenial setting of Clinton Howell Antiques, including a study by Pugin of the Eton College Library. Stiebel’s exhibition highlights a large watercolor, “Marriage Ceremony at a Military Encampment,” by Charles Parrocel (1688 – 1752), the more famous cousin of the Pierre Parrocel mentioned above.
As we approach the end, Didier Aaron will supplement their magnificent eighteenth and early nineteenth with an impressive collection of drawings shown by the Addison Gallery of San Francisco. Among these are important Italian, Dutch, French and British works, including a more finished version of Hamilton’s pastel portrait of Canova. There is an important Pintoricchiesque sheet, as well as richly atmospheric landscapes, by Doomer, Towne, Turner, Palmer, and Caillebotte.
David Tunick is showing a magnificent, sweeping landscape with herdsmen, cattle, and sheep dominating the foreground. Close by, Dickinson, Thomas Williams and Andrew Wyld (W S Fine Art) will show their exhibition. Williams is a generalist with a foundation in the Italians, while Wyld specializes in British landscape. (for his catalogue click here) Simon Dickinson himself sports an alluring gouache on a girl’s head by Kees van Dongen.
As I survey the variety of what I have seen that will be on view, I can more easily see a blessing in the relentless shrinkage of the supply of drawings on the market. At fairs and in exhibitions the old masters grow fewer and fewer, while the range of interesting, even compelling work from later periods and the New World becomes a more exciting extension of traditional taste. This should attract new collectors to the fold and stimulate experimentation among the seasoned.
List of Participants and Key to Map:
1 Didier Aaron, Inc., 32 East 67th Street
2 Addison Fine Arts, Exhibiting at Didier Aaron, Inc., 32 East 67th Street
3 L’Antiquaire & The Connoisseur Inc., 36 East 73rd Street
4 Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd, Exhibiting at Carlton Hobbs LLC, 60 East 93rd Street
5 Richard A Berman, Exhibiting at C.G. Boerner, 23 East 73rd Street
6 Dickinson, 19 East 66th Street
7 Margot Gordon Fine Art, Exhibiting at Shepherd & Derom Galleries, 58 East 79th Street
8 Lowell Libson Ltd, Exhibiting at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 1018 Madison Avenue
9 James Mackinnon, Exhibiting at Clinton Howell Antiques, 150 East 72nd Street
10 José de la Mano Galería de Arte, Exhibiting at: Arader Galleries 1016 Madison Avenue
11 Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, 23 East 73rd Street
12 Jill Newhouse Gallery, 4 East 81st Street
13 Nissman, Abromson Ltd, Exhibiting at Praxis International Art, 25 East 73rd Street
14 Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Exhibiting at Mark Murray 39 East 72nd Street, Suite 4c
15 Crispian Riley-Smith, Exhibiting at Shepherd & Derom Galleries, 58 East 79th Street
16 Stiebel Ltd, 252 East 68th Street
17 Trinity Fine Art Inc., 23 East 73rd Street
18 David Tunick Inc., 19 East 66th Street
19 Monroe Warshaw, Exhibiting at Alexander Gallery, 942 Madison Avenue
20 Mia N Weiner, Exhibiting at L’Antiquaire and The Connoisseur, 36 East 73rd Street
21 Thomas Williams Fine Art Ltd, Exhibiting at Dickinson, 19 East 66th Street
22 W· S Fine Art Ltd, Andrew Wyld, Exhibiting at Dickinson, 19 East 66th Street
[23 Sotheby’s New York, 1334 York Avenue
24 Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza]