DAN ROSE DRAWINGS, which was designed by Dan Rose in collaboration with the graphic designer Laurie Churchman and published in 2018, won an AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts, Philadelphia) award in June 2019 which came as no surprise. This is the most recent of an array of impressive artistic forays in different genres, some of which I’ve personally witnessed, and, in some cases, been lucky enough to write about or actually be a part of.
I am very pleased to announce some exciting changes at New York Arts—or, rather, the restoration of a program included in our initial mission statement. There it said that New York Arts would "no longer be only a critical arts journal, but a sponsor of exhibitions, concerts, and other performances." This began with an invitational event combining a showing of old master drawings and a concert of baroque music (Bach, Handel, Telemann, et. al.) played by Paula Robison, Kenneth Cooper and others in the Fabbri Mansion (House of the Redeemer) on the Upper East Side. There followed another multi-disciplinary event, a reading of poems by W. B. Yeats, Lloyd Schwartz, Senior Editor at New York Arts, one of America's outstanding poets, who has done extensive research on Yeats, with traditional Irish music for flute and fiddle in conjunction with an exhibition of Michael Miller’s views of the Irish landscape, monuments, and people at the Centerpoint Gallery in Chelsea. Back at the Fabbri Mansion, there was an admirable recital by Stephen Porter on the mansion's Grotrian-Steinweg (ca. 1900), entitled "Late Style," with works by Debussy, Beethoven, Chopin, and Schubert.
Between the limits of the discipline, as it is taught in graduate schools, and the structure of museological functions, exhibitions of drawings usually adhere to a restricted range of formats, which, while continuing to be viable for institutions and the public and useful for scholars in the field, can be felt as constricting for those who conceive and execute them. The scope of drawings exhibitions can be determined by time and/or place (stylistic categories), or an artistic personality (monographic), or collection ("Treasures on Paper from..."), and perhaps a few others. When a curator is faced with such a project, he may may find himself wrestling with an urge to break the mold and create something new.
Bernini Sculpting in Clay
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
October 3, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
February 3 – April 14, 2013
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) dazzled his contemporaries and dominated …
Knowing the Salon du Dessin at first hand, and contemplating its 2012 iteration, I find myself thinking back on on the world of master drawings as it was when I first entered it in 1980 and how it has changed over the years. Attended by over 13,000 people in 2010, the Salon is a large, public event which spans five days. It brings together the larger part of the world's curators, scholars, collectors, and dealers in the field in a busy, but rarely overcrowded public space, the Palais de la Bourse. One can survey the available stock at the dealers' stands, attend conferences, lectures, and guided tours, visit exhibitions at the Bourse and at Paris museums, as well as satellite enterprises around the Hôtel Drouot, where drawings can be had at auction, and further afield. There is a wealth of opportunities to learn about drawings, as well as to collect them. In 1980, no one thought that a fair of this size might ever exist in the field, and in its early years, during the 1990s, no one ever thought it would grow to these dimensions.
The crowds begin as one approaches the rear of the building: a long line, snaking back on itself contains those hopeful of gaining one of the 500 tickets on sale each day; further on, is a smaller queue of the luckier ones who had snapped up all the online tickets during the first three days of sale. Overall, the crowds are well behaved—for this is England—and approach their goal with good humor and a touch of the spirit of Dunkirk as they descend upon the National Gallery’s runaway success, Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan. It is not a large show, only some sixty paintings and drawings, but then Leonardo only began a score of paintings in a career spanning four decades. Of those paintings, fifteen autograph works survive, and four of these are generally deemed incomplete. To assemble almost every surviving painting from Leonardo’s Milanese period in London is a notable achievement, and these works are supplemented by others associated with his followers and sometime collaborators in the most sustained period of productivity in the artist’s life.