With exhibitions at over 10 galleries, a collaborative exhibition held by the five members of the Japanese Art Dealers Association, auctions at two houses, the opening of Japan Society’s Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945, and the sold-out symposium at the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting, The Dragon and the Chrysanthemum: Collecting Chinese and Japanese Art in America, Japanese art has once again had a strong presence in Asia Week.
“The great variety of Japanese art, from pre-historic through today, was on view during Asia Week 2012,” said Leighton R. Longhi, president of the Japanese Art Dealers Association (JADA). “It was very gratifying to see over two dozen curators of Japanese art, numerous art historians, and scores of collectors come to New York for Asia Week and take part in the wealth of offerings – curatorial, scholarly, and commercial – that were available. JADA once again had sales to major museums, and this year we were especially pleased to end Asia Week working with collectors previously unknown to us.”
“I would also like to extend JADA’s congratulations to the Asia Week New York organization, whose gallery participants together shed new light on the remarkable and dynamic field of Asian art overall, and to Asia Society on the success of its gala benefit,” Mr. Longhi added.
Gallery Exhibitions by JADA and Its Members
JADA 2012: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association, a collaborative exhibition among JADA’s five members, brought to the market exceptional examples of screens, paintings, scrolls, prints, lacquers, fine ceramics, and tea ceremony accoutrements ranging in date from around the 1st century B.C. to the 19th century.
Sales highlights included include the circa 1780 Herb Gatherers in the Mountains by Yosa Buson (1716–1784), which shows Buson at his full artistic maturity with a range of pointillist and short brush strokes laid over fields of color in certain passages of the painting.
Other sales included a clay jar from the Yayoi period (ca. B.C.300 – A.D.300) that presents a remarkably elegant design from the most prosperous and refined years of Yayoi culture, exhibited by Mika Gallery. Keisai Eisen (1790-1848), Beauty with Her Hair Down, a hanging scroll from the Edo period (ca 1835), is one of only 37 known paintings by the artist, is the largest and perhaps most important work of his mature period, and it, like the Buson, was sold by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art.
Porcelain works that sold included a Hizen ware, Kakeimon type dish with lid, the sage Rokō riding on the back of a tortoise (exhibited by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art) and a fine pierced hexagonal dish with a design of peonies (Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. Oriental Fine Art).
Among other works sold were two gold lacquer writing boxes (Erik Thomsen Asian Art), and numerous woodblock prints from the 18th and 19th centuries including, after the exhibition closed, Katsushika Hokusai’s Clearing weather, South wind (Gaifu kaisei), also known as Red Fuji (Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art).
Overall, the galleries in the exhibition sold works of art for a total of $2.7 million, and with post-exhibition sales eclipsed $3 million. Attendance for the five-day show, which was held at the Ukrainian Institute of America from March 17 to March 21, 2012, was 1,960, up 10 percent over the previous year.
JADA Member Gallery Exhibitions
In addition to the collaborative JADA 2012, three members of JADA held exhibitions at their individual galleries. Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts presented Kokon Biennial: Spring ‘12, which featured a 14th century star Mandala, among six carefully selected works. Each sold, realizing an aggregate total of nearly $1 million. Erik Thomsen Asian Art, in Japanese Paintings: Screens and Scrolls from the 17th through the 20th Centuries, an exhibition that spanned four centuries, sold, among other works, a Rimpa-school screen and a screen with plovers over ocean waves by Suzuki Kinji (b. 1911). The exhibition at Koichi Yanagi continues through April 10, 2012, and that at Erik Thomsen continues through April 27, 2012.
Six galleries affiliated with JADA also held exhibitions during Asia Week. Bachmann Eckenstein, of Basel, reported strong sales, as did Carole Davenport, of New York, London Gallery, of Tokyo, Scholten Japanese Art, of New York, and The Art of Japan, of Medina, Washington.
In addition to the gallery exhibitions, Bonhams held an auction of Fine Japanese Works of Art on March 20, 2012, which realized $1.49 million, and Christie’s held an auction of Japanese and Korean Art on March 23, 2012, that totaled $1.73 million.
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