NEW YORK: March 15th kicks off the fifth year of Asia Week New York, the extraordinary eight-day extravaganza that brings to New York a glorious array of prized Asian works of art, displayed in specially-curated simultaneous exhibitions at 43 galleries throughout the metropolitan area. The event draws an international coterie of collectors, curators and enthusiasts from every corner of the globe. Says Henry Howard-Sneyd, Chairman of Asia Week New York 2013 and Sotheby's Vice-Chairman Asian Art, Americas: “Asia Week is a crescendo of events we are proud to bring to New York. They augment the city’s already rich cultural holdings with world-class Asian art exhibitions, many of which might be worthy of display in any one of the city's top-tier museums.”
Asia Week New York unites an illustrious roster of 43 international Asian art specialists—the largest number to date—along with five major auction houses and 17 world-renowned museums and Asian cultural institutions. All work together towards a singular purpose: that of weaving Asian art into the cultural fabric of New York and beyond. “Asia Week New York is a cosmopolitan event,” says Howard-Sneyd, “so it's only fitting that it takes place in one of the world's most cosmopolitan and cultured cities. For discerning, in-the-know collectors, curators, scholars and Asian art enthusiasts from all around the world, it has become an essential destination in March.”
According to Howard-Sneyd, Asia Week New York launches with a private, by-invitation-only reception at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Asia Week New York exhibitions, which are open and free to the public, will reveal the rarest and finest Asian exemplars of porcelain, jewelry, textiles, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, bronzes, prints, photographs and jades, representing artistry, ingenuity and imagination from every quarter and period of Asia. Organized by category, Asia Week New York’s participating galleries are:
CHINESE ANCIENT THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ART
By way of Los Angeles appears Treasured Objects of Contemplation, organized by the Asian Art Studio and on view in the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street, 7th floor. Among the riches is a very rare 17th-century gilt-copper hand-warmer, signed Yunjian Hu Wenming Zhi and dating from the Ming Dynasty. This is the only hand-warmer by the renowned artisan of such unusually large size and shape.
At Dickinson Roundell, Inc., 19 East 66th Street, Dr. Robert R. Bigler proudly cuts the ribbon on Art and Faith at the Crossroads: Tibeto-Chinese Buddhist Images and Ritual Implements from the 12th to the 15th Century. The display is the culmination of 10 years of investigation on the part of the dedicated Swiss dealer-researcher and the first privately organized comprehensive exhibition on this topic. Sixty objects will be on view, most for the first time, including a Ming bodhisattva dating from the second quarter of the 15th century.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc., 724 Fifth Avenue, 10th floor, presents Spring Exhibition of Chinese Art, which possesses a particularly noteworthy objet d'art: a fine late-17th-century Chinese Imperial blue and white quadrangular porcelain vase decorated with scenes and verses from The Ode to the Red Cliff and bearing the very rare Kangxi reign mark. Of the two other known examples, one is in the Shanghai Museum, and the second is in the private collection of an American.
To beguile the eye of discerning Asia Week New York collectors, China 2000 Fine Art, 177 East 87th Street, Suite 601, unveils Recent Acquisitions and Selections From the Gallery Collection, featuring a Jade Scroll Weight from the Yongzheng period (1722-1735). This weight has an unusual characteristic: a secondary purpose as a scroll holder. It is itself designed to resemble the shape of a half-opened scroll, revealing a carved branch of plum blossoms, bamboo and rock.
Contemporary artist Tai Xiangzhou shines fresh light on classical Chinese art forms as evidenced by Magnificence Within: New Ink Paintings, an exhibition of 15 new ink works, three of them in the highly coveted hand-scroll format, at The Chinese Porcelain Company, 475 Park Avenue at 58th Street. Since Tai’s American debut at Asia Week New York two years ago, subsequent exhibitions of his intricate masterpieces have never failed to win applause due to the sheer beauty of his work and dedication to time-honored techniques of Chinese art, with a contemporary twist. All works in this exhibition drew inspiration from a single scholar's rock, which stands a mere two inches tall and will be on view at the show.
Through the auspices of Nicholas Grindley, who divides his time between New York and Beijing, lands a gilt bronze figure of Avalokitesvara, the only piece of sculpture in an exhibition of Chinese Scholars’ Objects at Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, 17 East 76th Street. The 17th-century figure is seated and clad in finely cast robes left open at the chest to reveal an ornately jeweled necklace above the waist-tied dhoti, the borders incised with floral scroll. On the broad face are downcast eyes and crisp features, surmounted by an elaborate tall coiffure and a tiered crown. Originally from the collection of Robert and Jean Shoenberg of St. Louis, Missouri, this was practically the only piece of Chinese art in a collection that included important African and Oceanic art and important modern American paintings. The sculpture has recently been in a private collection in Hong Kong.
Chinese Works of Art & Paintings, presented by Michael C. Hughes LLC at the Mark Murray Gallery, 39 East 72nd Street, 5th floor, has as its centerpiece a rare calligraphy handscroll dated 1849 and bearing the inscription “Imperial Brush,” meaning that the Daoguang Emperor painted it himself. The four large characters, inscribed on a gold-leaf-flecked paper, read Yong Shou Fan Li (“blessed by prosperity and happiness”).
Unfurling a rich array of Chinese snuff bottles, jade and Buddhist works of art is Portland, Oregon's Jadestone. In their exhibition From Curiosity to Devotion, on display at the Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, 9th floor, a star specimen is a fine overlay glass snuff bottle from Yangzhou, China, dating from sometime between 1830 and 1890. This exquisite object stands 2 1/8 inches tall.
Exhibiting at the Mark Hotel, 25 East 77th Street, Andrew Kahane, Ltd. of New York, is pleased to show a selection of Chinese Ceramics from American private collections that are particularly strong in the Song period. One of the less common forms is a small Junyao pale blue-glazed bud-form jar dating from the 11th-12th century, which typifies the subtle refinement of shape and color of monochromes of the period.
Kaikodo LLC at 74 East 79th Street, Suite 14B, salutes Asia Week New York with Welcoming the Spring, an exhibition of traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean paintings and works of art. One of the rarest paintings being offered is a beautifully preserved 12th-century Chinese figure painting of a scholar in a spring garden setting. In addition two contemporary artists will be featured: Luo Jianwu and Zhu Daoping.
At J. J. Lally & Co., 41 East 57th Street, 14th floor, extraordinary vases, wine ewers, tea bowls and other vessels produced during the ‘Golden Age’ of Chinese ceramics will delight viewers at the exhibition Song Dynasty Ceramics: The Ronald W. Longsdorf Collection. Created by an American who began to acquire Chinese art more than 30 years ago, the collection includes examples from some of the most famous kilns of the Song period (960-1279). One highlight is an elegantly carved openwork Qingbai-glazed porcelain censer.
Empress Dowager Cixi was a formidable and charismatic lady who unofficially but effectively controlled the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908. Thanks to Santos-London and its exhibition 16th- to 19th-Century Chinese Export and Imperial Porcelains at the Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street, Asia Week New York participants can clap eyes on a Chinese Imperial porcelain bowl that bears marks indicating that it was made for the storied empress's palace. Dressing this winsome vessel are peonies, branches entwined with wisteria and a myna bird, all produced in opaque enamels and all in the delicate Famille Rose palette.
Chinese Abstraction Now is Martha Sutherland’s focus at her eponymous gallery, M. Sutherland Fine Arts, Ltd., 55 East 80th Street, 2nd floor. No painting epitomizes the title of her show more than “Abstraction No. 4,” 2007, by Zhu Jin Shi, one of the few Chinese artists to practice German Abstractionism during the Cultural Revolution and a living bridge between the China of Mao and the China of now. His painting technique is characterized by highly saturated color and almost impossibly thick impasto.
Headquartered in Brussels at the Sablon, Wei Asian Arts treats Asia Week New York participants to two exhibitions at Trinity House Paintings, 24 East 64th Street, 2nd floor: Devotion and Protection: Miniatures from Mongolia & Buriatia gives prominence to a fine group of miniature thangkas from Mongolia and Buriatia, while Works of Art from Ancient China places a rare Guanyin Bodhisattva Bronze at center stage. It is from Yunnan Province and dates to the 13th century.
Zetterquist Galleries, 3 East 66th Street, unwraps a collection of Jizhou ceramics, mostly from one Asian collection, that were judiciously assembled over the last 25 years. The gallery's exhibition, Jizhou Ceramics Song-Yuan Dynasty, offers a rarefied opportunity, be it in a gallery or a museum setting, to view more than 30 masterworks from the Northern Song through Yuan Dynasties, all originating from a single type of kiln.
INDIAN, HIMALAYAN, AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN WORKS OF ART
Walter Arader Himalayan Art’s gilt bronze figure of the Bonpo deity Kunzang Akhor stands out in his exhibition, Fine Himalayan Bronze, at 1016 Madison Avenue. This 13th-century bronze is, according to Jeff Watt, founding curator of the Rubin Museum of Art, one of the finest known works of Bonpo art and by far the largest known statue, evidencing the characteristic broad shoulders, muscular physique, honey-brown patina, and well-defined toes and fingers unique to the Khasa Malla Kingdom of West Nepal.
Showing at Isselbacher Gallery, 41 East 78th Street, is Art Passages of San Francisco and its exhibition Krishna: The Divine Dalliance. Evoking a particularly compelling allure is the painting “Krishna Watches Radha,” circa 1760. It was painted in the mature Kishangarh style of the mid-18th century and has a wonderful mystical and atmospheric quality.
Direct from Paris alights Galerie Jacques Barrere, offering The Kaufman Collection at Gallery M&M, 34 East 67th Street. One of the highlights is Green Tara, a gilt bronze from Tibet that was created between the 14th and 15th centuries. Aristocratic, athletic and willowy all at the same time, Tara is seated in a position of royal ease with her right leg extended, attired in a noble costume. Bracelets of opulent jewels that adorn her arms, wrists and ankles complete the bewitching effect.
Prahlad Bubbar, here from London, is unveiling Indian Court Paintings: Recent Acquisitions, at 1016 Madison Avenue. Among the many breathtaking offerings is one of very special significance: A work dated 1823 that is an exceptionally rare and arresting example of a painting (depicting a gentleman named Seth Manekchand) in the traditional miniature style but executed in quite a large format at 29 by 21 inches.
The Berlin-based gallery Buddhist Art at the Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street, is putting on display 15 Centuries of Chinese, Khmer and Southeast Asian Art, featuring a 14th-century bronze head of Buddha from the Lanna Kingdom in what is now known as Thailand. Bearing no damage and no restoration, and formerly in a renowned Thai collection, this life-size, museum-quality piece impresses with spectacular detail and patina.
Fine Himalayan and Indian Art Central Asian Textiles will be on view at 1016 Madison Avenue, 4th floor, courtesy of the Brussels-based gallery of Carlo Cristi. Of particular note is the richly saturated Heruka mandala made for the Bardo ritual, the transitional stage time between death and reincarnation. Among the very earliest mandalas known to exist, this one is from the early 13th century and has distinctions not seen in later mandalas.
The London gallery of Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch, Ltd is mounting Indian Painting 1580-1850, featuring Vishnu and Lakshmi Flying Through a Landscape on the Wings of Garuda and landing just in time for Asia Week New York at 9 East 82nd Street, Suite 1A. Artist Achhai Ram of Bikaner, India, created this enchanting miniature watercolor, heightened with gold on paper, sometime around 1675 to 1700. The desert kingdom of Bikaner produced remarkable court painters, and Ram's work is among the best.
Christophe Hioco sails in from Paris with An Amazing Diversity of Ancient Indian Art: Recent Acquisitions of Dong Son and Champa Pieces, on view at 29 East 72nd Street. Among the best objects is an exceptional bronze Vietnamese pitcher with a makara-head spout from the Giao-Chi era, a period lasting from the first century B.C. to the third century A.D. Two similar examples reside in the Brussels Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, in ceramic and bronze respectively.
Gods and Monsters: Recent Acquisitions of Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asia Works of Art is the intriguing title bestowed on the Asia Week New York offerings by Nayef Homsi at 1016 Madison Avenue, 3rd floor. Among the highlights is the “Cult of the Stupa,” a gorgeous 2nd-century carving from the ancient region of Gandhara, depicting a donor figure and a Bodhisattva worshiping at either side of a richly ornamented stupa with a Corinthian capital motif above intertwining snakes and overflowing pots.
Krishna Lifts Mount Govardhan is a compelling and powerful painting among the works in Cherished Gods at Kapoor Galleries, Inc., 1015 Madison Avenue. The circa-1750 portrayal from Basohli, India, depicts Krishna hoisting Mount Govardhan aloft as cow herders and cattle scurry underneath for shelter from the torrential rains brought down upon them by Indra. A magnificent composition rendered by the hand of an unknown master, this painting comes from the collection of the pre-eminent scholar, Dr. Alice Boney (1889-1981).
In an exhibition entitled Jewels from the Asian World at Valentina Gallery Inc., 960 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor, London jewelry specialist Susan Ollemans Oriental Art will offer a top-tier collection of Chinese jewelry that spans the 11th to the 16th centuries, bookended by the Liao and Ming Dynasties. Among the spectacular jewels is an 18th-century navaratna necklace from North India with nine stones, each representing a planet and which, in concert, are believed to bring harmony to the wearer.
The exhibition Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art at Carlton Rochell Asian Art, 121 East 71st Street, touts among its 25 sculptures and paintings “Scenes of Milarepa’s Life,” a late 17th-century Eastern Tibet work that was exhibited in the Rubin Museum’s 2009 presentation of Himalayan art from the prestigious collection of David R. Nalin. Published in the accompanying catalog, the work depicts one of the most beloved figures of Tibetan Buddhism, Milarepa, who was able to overcome the despair of a troubled youth and attain enlightenment as an adult.
In an exhibition organized by London's John Siudmak Asian Art and titled Indian and Himalayan Sculpture, an Andagu plaque takes the spotlight. On display at C.G. Boerner Gallery, 23 East 73rd Street, this rare work in pale yellow phyllite from Burma shows the eight stages of the life of the Buddha and dates from around the 12th or 13th century. It is one of about 20 recorded complete examples, of which several are in American museums, with the rest divided between the Potala Palace in Lhasa and various locations in Burma.
Under the title After Alexander: Works of Art from Hellenized Asia, the Dalton Somaré Gallery from Milan pulls back the curtain on a thematic exhibition featuring 23 Indo-Greek, Greek-Bactrian and Gandharan works of art, all on view at the Pace Gallery, 32 East 57th Street. Among the exemplars of this collection is a spectacular gold wreath with oak leaves created in one of the Greek settlements in Bactria around the 2nd century B.C.
At Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street, London's Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art is mounting an exhibition entitled An Important Group of Sculptures from India and Southeast Asia. Among them is a large terra-cotta head of a Bodhisattva in Hadda style from the 4th or 5th century. The Gandhara head bears a tranquil, dreamlike expression, has wavy, swept-back hair and wears heavy pendant earrings.
Nancy Wiener Gallery presents Recent Acquisitions this year at the Jack Tilton Gallery, 8 East 76th Street. Highlighted here is “Krishna and Radha in a Moonlight Tryst,” an illustration of the famed 12th-century Indian epic poem The Gita Govinda, which recounts the story of the god Krishna’s relationship with his human lover, Radha. This exquisite folio is from the acclaimed circa-1775 series widely recognized for its unparalleled artistic excellence.
A Kubera of black schist plays a starring role at the exhibition Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art, Chinese Snuff Bottles and Japanese Netsuke, originating from the San Francisco-based Xanadu Gallery and on view at the Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street. This item dates from the Pala dynasty in 11th-century India and is an exceptionally fine and very rare carving of the god of wealth and regent of the North.
JAPANESE AND KOREAN ANCIENT THROUGH CONTEMPORARY ART
Gallery Schlesinger, 24 East 73rd Street, 2nd floor, is home to Japanese Art:Pre-Modern and Beyond, brought to these shores compliments of BachmannEckenstein JapaneseArt of Basel, Switzerland. A standout of particularly striking beauty is an ink and color silk hanging scroll signed and sealed by its creator, Chinese and haiku poet Fukuda Kodojin (1865-1944). The verse on the scroll reads: Cold stones in the water/Green pine trees in a deep valley/Two recluses beneath a pair of pine trees/What a good luck: footprints on the stones!
The golden age of ceramic-making in Japan comes vibrantly alive in Chinese Ink/Japanese Clay: The Best of Two Worlds, presented by Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. at Hollis Taggart Galleries, 958 Madison Avenue. The highlights include works by Nagae Shigekazu, Wada Morihiro, Kawabata Kentaro and Nakamura Takuo, whose “Water Jar,” made of stoneware with enamels and gold lacquer, is pictured. Juxtaposed with the ceramics are 30 ink paintings by master artist Li Huisheng.
Present Meets Past: Japanese & Chinese Works of Art & Koichiro Kurita Platinum Photographs is New York-based Carole Davenport’s exhibition at Leigh Morse Fine Arts, 22 East 80th Street, 5th floor. Sublime platinum-palladium photographs by Koichiro Kurita create the backdrop for a selection of traditional Japanese and Chinese works of art. “Round360,” which atmospherically captures nature untouched by man, was executed in 2001 in Boundary Water, Minnesota, using vintage techniques and large-size negatives, Kurita's signature approach to photography.
Quiet renderings in pastel enamels of Mount Fuji rising over huts, pines and a waterwheel: this bucolic tableau decorates a pair of spectacular silver-mounted cloisonné vases, courtesy of Flying Cranes Antiques, Ltd, whose exhibition, Recent Acquisitions: Treasured Artwork from 19th-Century Japan, can be seen in Gallery 58 at 1050 Second Avenue, New York. Presented in 1932 as a 10th anniversary prize from the Horse Association in Nagoya, the foot-tall vases are enclosed in a velvet-covered box with original wood stands and enticingly evidence moriage and musen techniques. They were created by Gonda Hirosuke, a premier cloisonné master.
At Kang Collection Korean Art, 9 East 82nd Street, a selection of paintings, screens and scholars’ objects will be on view under the inviting title Royal Splendor: Decorative Court Paintings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). One of many highlights is an early 20th-century, eight-panel, ink on color paper folding screen from Korea, depicting Books and Scholar Accoutrements. Such screens were used to symbolize knowledge and wealth, particularly during the reign of King Jeongjo (1776-1800), and were found behind the desks of notable men, and of those who aspired to be such.
Hailing all the way from Melbourne, Australia, is Lesley Kehoe Galleries, treating Asia Week New York visitors to Deconstructing Tradition: Contemporary Japan – Maio Motoko & Unryuan Katamura Tatsuo, on view at 41 East 57th Street, 5th floor. Pictured is “Fleeting Moments,” a pair of folding screens, one of eight panels and the other of five, by Maio Motoko. Through a dazzling use of antique silk textile fragments, the artist explores the diverse and momentary constituents of human existence.
Objects Revered: Korean Art from American Collections, presented by KooNew York at the Mark Murray Gallery, 39 East 72nd Street, 5th floor, features choice works assembled by private mid-twentieth-century collectors who lived abroad in Korea. On view are exceptional Buddhist sculptures and paintings dating from the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910), along with a wide offering of unique pottery and roof tiles from the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC~668 AD). Highlights heralding from a private Florida-family collection include a rare Pair of Polychrome Wood Buddhist Attendants and a Gilt Lacquered Wood Seated Buddha. Among only a handful of extant examples to discovered in the West, these three noteworthy 18th/19th century sculptures exemplify the Buddhist devotional ritual for placing sacred texts and objects inside a reliquary statue following its carving.
Concluding its year-long 35th-anniversary celebration, New York-based Joan B. Mirviss Ltd, 39 East 78th Street, has something extra special to spotlight: Seven Sages of Ceramics: Modern Japanese Masters, a ground-breaking exhibition of 40 major ceramic works that showcase the range and depth of seven modern masters of clay whose work is enormously celebrated in Japan but, until now, has remained largely unknown in the West. Pictured is a large vessel with blue enamel glazed banding created in 1976 by Kamoda Shoji (1933-1983), one of the featured artists who drew upon centuries of tradition to create a new vision of “function” through innovative designs that have inspired countless contemporary artists.
Scholten Japanese Art at 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, presents Asia Week New York enthusiasts with The Nightlife: Entertainments of the Floating World, a captivating compendium of images illustrating traditional Japanese leisure activities like kabuki, sumo wrestling and taking tea at a teahouse. The highlight is a lovely small 17th-century six-panel screen that depicts female shrine dancer Izumo no Okuni, who is credited with originating Kabuki Theater, which, ironically, later became restricted to male actors only.
Taisho Period Screens and Scrolls | Contemporary Sculptures by Sueharu Fukami,on view at the Erik Thomsen Gallery, 23 East 67th Street, will feature a stunning pair of six-panel folding screens, which are sure to grab the attention of Asia Week New York attendees. These screens, entitled “Vying Peacocks,” date from the Taisho Period (circa 1929) and are from the masterful hand of Ishizaki Koyo (1884-1947), who used ink and mineral colors on a silk ground with gold leaf to complete these masterpieces of Japanese decorative art. Each measures 67 inches tall by 190 inches wide.
All the way from Kyoto arrives a scroll landscape painting on silk by Nakabayashi Chikkei (1816-1867). It's one of the Selections of Japanese Art that Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art will have on view at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor. The painting, dated 1861, is one of Chikkei's largest works, and in contrast to his other efforts (mostly in ink and in a subdued palette), this one is fully and vibrantly colored.
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To help visitors easily navigate the Asia Week New York's activities, a comprehensive guide with maps will be available at all participating galleries and auction houses, along with select museums and cultural institutions, beginning February 2013 and online at www.AsiaWeekNY.com. For the first time this year, an abridged version of the website will be available in Chinese. For more information, visit www.asiaweekny.com.
Asia Week New York also announces a partnership with China Center New York, which will serve as a gateway for Chinese companies entering the United States and for American businesses seeking new opportunities in China. With plans to operate multifaceted programs on six floors of the iconic One World Trade Center, China Center New York will be comprised of a premier artfully inspired event center, membership club, multiple restaurants and bars, with a state of the art business center and conference facilities. Visit www.chinacenter.com.
Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York.