Master Drawings New York (MDNY) returns to the Upper East Side for its twelfth year from Saturday, January 27, 2018 to Saturday, February 3, 2018, at a time when all eyes are on the Old Masters market.
Still the pre-eminent international showcase for fine drawings, even as its purview extends for the first time to paintings and sculpture, a reconfigured MDNY showcases art from the 15th to the 21th centuries. Twenty-one art dealers will participate (ten are new to the show) including Agnew’s and Naumann Fine Art, Colnaghi, Anthony Grant and Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. The individual exhibitions will extend from 54th to 93rd Street.
“MDNY is an essential event on the annual arts calendar,” says Crispian Riley-Smith, chief executive of Master Drawings New York Ltd. “Coinciding with the Old Masters auctions in New York City, our exhibiting dealers serve collectors, curators, museum directors and market specialists who come to the city every January. The week-long event also appeals to novices who want to learn more about a fascinating segment of the art field and even become collectors in their own right. It’s an ideal opportunity for them to learn from some of the leading experts in their field by visiting these small, stellar exhibitions.”
The Academy Mansion at 2 East 63th Street is once again the centralized location for visitor orientation and public programs as well as a key exhibition.
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS: An Uptown Stroll
A stroll uptown by way of Master Drawings New York’s exhibitions begins on Manhattan’s West Side at Anthony Grant Inc., a new, New York-based exhibitor in the show. Here, visitors will see Cy Twombly’s "Some Flowers for Suzanne" (1982), a large lyrical scrumble of oil paint, wax crayon and pencil on paper that enters the market from a private collection, where it has resided since its creation. Also from a private collection is Brice Marden’s "Souvenir de Grece 12," a large collage on paper created as part of a famous suite executed between 1974 and 1996.
Two blocks northeast, on Fifth Avenue, Findlay Galleries of New York City will offer several important drawings in its first year in the event, including Winslow Homer’s "The Breakwater" (1883), which was once part of the collection of Thomas B. Clarke. Its evocation of sparkling sunshine, light blue foaming waves, and rosy-cheeked beauty pays homage to the rustic fishing village of Cullercoats, England, where the artist retreated for a few years in the late 1880s in escape from New York and London society. Also on offer is Marc Chagall’s "Le Cirque" (1941), a large and exceptionally well-preserved gouache, one of only two works painted by the artist in his first year in the United States.
In its first presentation at MDNY, New York’s Davis & Langdale Company draws on its unrivalled expertise in the oeuvre of the Anglo-French artist Gwen John to feature a well-documented gouache, watercolor and pencil drawing last exhibited 30 years ago. The title says all: "Profile of a Bourgeois Couple" (c. 1910s). The gallery also brings a rare watercolor by the American artist Charles Prendergast, who painted much less prolifically than did his brother Maurice. Charles is best known, in fact, for his idiosyncratic painted and gilded wood panels and the picture frames he made for the elite art market. "Frieze of Figures, Florida" (1946) depicts four kerchiefed black women, seemingly locked together in the connecting rhythm of arms, legs and skirts and a garden rendered in bright yellow, orange and greens. Both of these drawings come to the market from private collections they entered by descent.
In the Academy Mansion on East 63rd Street, Christopher Bishop from Norwalk, Connecticut, will present an exhibition focused on a single drawing: a double-sided, preparatory drawing by Jacopo Pontormo for the lost fresco cycle at Villa Castello (c. 1537). This exhibition, entitled Jacopo Pontormo’s Astrological Allegories for Villa Castello, explores the connections of this drawing to astrology and the struggle for political survival of the 19-year-old Cosimo I after the assassination of his cousin Alessandro and the ensuing Florentine civil war. Bishop’s findings reveal for the first time the fruits of the artist’s five-year seclusion in the loggia at Castello.
Trezza, the gallery founded by James Francis Trezzath , mounts its special exhibition at Trinity House on East 64th Street. Impressionist and Modern European Works on Paper will feature, among other works, Pierre Matisse’s "Femme Assise" (ca. 1944).
Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London, sets up shop at Dickinson Roundell on East 66th Street to offer 70 drawings from the 16th to the 20th century. The presentation’s tour-de-force is the product of three years of research and acquisitions: a mini-exhibition pairing six drawings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo with six by his son Giovanni Domenico. Also of special interest is one of Lucian Freud’s largest known drawings and, as an example of an Old Master drawing meant to stand on its own, a pen and brown ink drawing signed and dated (1680) by the Flemish artist Godfried Maes. "The Head of Medusa" must have served as a rather extraordinary calling card for the artist, who created designs for tapestry workshops, publishers and house decorations: densely hatched lines conjure Medusa as a malevolent force whose snaking coils metamorphose into snarling, baying dog-like creatures.
This year, from its New York headquarters on East 67th Street, Didier Aaron features Francois Marius Granet’s "Communion" (1836), a large pen-and-ink drawing notable for the mastery with which the artist evokes the luminance of light cast by torches within a spectral stone interior. For nearly a century, Didier Aaron has been selling major works of art to museums and collectors: here, the firm reintroduces a major French artist who sealed his reputation at the Salon of 1819 and went on to secure a number of royal commissions.
Two floors up from Didier Aaron at Taylor | Graham, the works on view will include an impressionistic watercolor, “Un Vue de Paris,” in which Jean Dufy envisions Paris in fresh, quick washes of orange and yellow, framed at the bottom by the upward tilt of a row of blue trees and a hard-charging black car. Down the block, Mireille Mosler, Ltd. presents in its gallery Jacob Jordaens’ “Three studies of a young woman” (above right), a marvelously intimate study from life created at a time when the market called for a natural, rather than mannered, style. Dendrochronological analysis indicates that the oil on panel was painted c 1615.
Manhattan-based, veteran drawings expert David Tunick assembles an array of drawings, including a double-sheet watercolor by the English artist John Robert Cozens inscribed, "Cypress in the Garden of the Franciscans near eight hundred years old" (1782). The sketch, documenting a marvel of the grand tour in Salerno, was made shortly after the departure of the artist's patron, William Beckford, for Marseilles. A member of the retinue noted that Cozens was now "a free Agent and loosed from the Shackles of fantastic folly and Caprice."
The venerable, London and New York firm Colnaghi marks its first year at MDNY by unveiling a significant rediscovery—one of three known versions of "The Crowning by Thorns" painted by Orazio Gentileschi between 1610 and 1615. Because the painting has been in the same Italian family for, at the minimum, several generations, its display in New York allows a new generation to see how Gentileschi imagined the dramatic moment—with protagonists bathed in luminous reds, blues and yellow ochres, surrounded by deep shadow.
Découvert Fine Art of Rockport, Massachusetts, returns to MDNY with Masculine Observed, 16th to 20th Century, a consideration of the ways in which men have been portrayed in Western art. A highlight is Jean-Antoine Gros’ "Combat de Nazareth" (1801), a virtuosic ink sketch seemingly executed in a feverish set of quick and emotive strokes, then submitted to a competition held at Napoleon Bonaparte’s request. Praise from Eugéne Delacroix and Théodore Géricault likely helped Gros secure the commission--perhaps they saw the drawing as did another commentator of the day, who described it as the "origin of romantic painting."
Kraushaar Galleries, based on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, presents an intensely personal drawing from the early days of Dorothy Dehner’s career, a period that is still less understood than her later years. The surreal "Balloon Ascension #3" (1949) reflects a range of influences, from Dehner’s past as a serious dancer to the emerging abstract movement in New York and the avant-garde scene in Paris. The dream-like drawing was made during the last years of Dehner's marriage to the sculptor David Smith.
From London, Guy Peppiatt Fine Art Ltd., a specialist in British drawings and watercolors, brings a selection of works that includes a pair of gambling scenes by Thomas Rowlandson. In one, dated 1818, two comely ladies appear to be cleaning the pockets of a gentleman in a game of cribbage; and, in the other, a pair of unsavory looking characters seem to be divesting an anxious young gentleman of his purse with the roll of the dice. Other drawings of exceptional interest in the exhibition are two watercolors: "Sunset on Boar’s Hill, Oxford," by William Turner of Oxford (likely painted in the 1840s or 1850s), and "View on the Devon Coast," by Samuel Palmer (likely 1848 or 1849).
James Mackinnon, London, assembles a group of European drawings, watercolors, oil sketches and paintings from 1780 and 1880 for a special showing at Arader Galleries on Madison Avenue below 79th Street. Among the highlights to be seen is “A wine-grower’s cellar in Touraine,” 1824, by Gaëtan Cathelineau (above left). Nearby, at Shepherd Gallery, Wienerroither & Kohlbacher presents an exhibition on the theme of Viennese Modernism that includes "Seated Woman" (1916), an Egon Schiele pencil drawing of a woman, seen from behind, as she adjusts her garter belt and stockings (above right).
Three notable exhibitions are located on East 80th Street: Martyn Gregory, London, presents Hilda May Gordon: A Colourist Abroad, a gathering of approximately 50 watercolors and gouaches by a globetrotting Englishwoman whose six-year-long peregrinations around the globe in the 1920s are legendary. Hilda May Gordon’s drawings were coveted by the likes of maharajahs, kings and queens in her heyday; today, collectors prize them as powerful evocations of a by-gone world, created with brio and detail. Cade Tompkins Projects of Providence, Rhode Island, exhibits in MDNY for the first time. The sole contemporary dealer on the show’s roster brings works on paper by gallery artists, including "Montauk Cliffs, Rocks" (above center), a recently executed watercolor by Nancy Friese, an artist who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. The London-based Agnew’s and Naumann Fine Art jointly present a Parmigianino entitled "Three studies of a nude female figure" (1503-1540) (above right), as one highlight among other museum-quality works in an exhibition at the Otto Naumann Gallery.
One block up, Jill Newhouse Gallery presents in its space Henri Fantin-Latour’s masterful charcoal study for his 1885 lithographic illustration from Schumann's Manfred. By bringing to the fore one of the artist's imaginary compositions, a lesser known facet of his oeuvre, Newhouse's intimate showing of 19th-century French drawings illuminates the surprising affinities with Symbolism in Fantin's art.
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art of London and Leeds holds its first MDNY exhibition, Important European Terracottas, at Carlton Hobbs at 60 East 93rd Street. Highlights include an early character head by Antonio Canova, which the artist created during a seminal period in his career before he moved from Venice to Rome, and a recently rediscovered terracotta model for an allegorical representation of Winter by the Venetian Baroque master Giovanni Bonazza.
Friday, January 26 | 9 am
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A private, early hours viewing of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by a conversation with Carmen C. Bambach, curator of Italian and Spanish drawings, and Ashley Dunn, assistant curator of French 19th-century drawings and prints, about the drawings of Michelangelo and Rodin.
Monday, January 29 | 11 am
New-York Historical Society
Behind-the-Scenes: Exclusive viewing of the dedicated Audubon Gallery with Roberta J.M. Olson, curator of drawings, followed by a discussion of the innovative techniques pioneered by Audubon. Attendees will be able to examine a separate selection of these national treasures without glass in a study room. Alan Balicki, chief conservator, library, will explain the complex conservation treatment of one watercolor and also demonstrate the cutting-edge display case for the double-elephant-folio edition of The Birds of America.
Tuesday, January 30 | 4:30 pm
Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street
In "2017 in Review: Editors’ Choice," members of the editorial board of the scholarly quarterly journal, Master Drawings, will reflect on the notable exhibitions, articles, and discoveries of the previous year.
Programs have limited capacity. Tickets will be available on Eventbrite.
MDNY 2017 EXHIBITIORS
Exhibitors in 2018 (21) | New this year (10) *
Agnew's* and Otto Naumann Ltd *, Cade Tompkins Projects*, Christopher Bishop Fine Art, Colnaghi*, David Tunick, Inc., Davis & Langdale Company*, Découvert Fine Art, Didier Aaron Inc, Findlay Galleries*, Anthony Grant Inc.* Guy Peppiatt Fine Art Ltd, James Mackinnon, Jill Newhouse Gallery, Kraushaar Galleries, Martyn Gregory, Mireille Mosler, Ltd, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Taylor and Graham Gallery*, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art*, Trezza*, W & K, Wienerroither & Kohlbacher
Masters Drawings New York, the pre-eminent event for drawings on the calendar of art lovers, began as a casual gallery crawl during the Old Masters auctions and The Winter Antiques Show in New York. Since its founding in 2005 by Margot Gordon, an Old Masters specialist based in the city, and Crispian Riley-Smith of London, the week has grown into a highly anticipated occasion.
Date: Saturday, January 27, to February 3, 2018
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm daily, except Sunday, 2 pm to 6 pm
Opening Preview: 4 pm to 8 pm, Friday, January 26, 2018
Master Drawings New York may be visited online at http://www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com/
MDNY 2018| EXHIBITORS | LOCATION
Agnew's & Otto Naumann Ltd. | 22 East 80th Street
Anthony Grant Inc. | 17 West 54th Street
Cade Tompkins Projects | at Victoria Munroe Fine Art, 67 East 80th Street
Christopher Bishop | at the Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street
Colnaghi | 38 East 70th Street
David Tunick | 13 East 69th Street
Davis & Langdale Company | 231 East 60th Street
Découvert Fine Art | at Lois Wagner Fine Arts, Inc., 15 East 71st Street
Didier Aaron | 32 East 76th Street
Findlay Galleries | 724 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor
Guy Peppiatt Fine Art | at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue
James Mackinnon | at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue
Jill Newhouse Gallery | 4 East 81st Street
Kraushaar Galleries | 15 East 71st Street
Martyn Gregory | at Leigh Morse Fine Arts, 22 East 80th Street
Mireille Mosler, Ltd. | 35 East 67th Street
Stephen Ongpin Fine Art | at Dickinson Roundell, 19 East 66th Street
Taylor | Graham | 32 East 67th Street
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art | at Carlton Hobbs, 60 East 93rd Street
Trezza | at Trinity House, 24 East 64th Street
W&K, Wienerroither & Kohlbacher | at Shepherd, 58 East 79th Street