The 2015 edition of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK, from January 24 – January 31, promises to be the best ever. More than thirty of the world’s leading dealers are coming to New York City to offer for sale master art works in pencil, pen and ink, chalk and charcoal, as well as oil on paper sketches and watercolours, created by iconic artists working in the 16th to 21st centuries. Each exhibition is hosted by an expert specialist and many works on offer are newly discovered or have not been seen on the market in decades, if at all.
In addition, Margot Gordon and Crispian Riley-Smith, co-founders of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK, are delighted to announce that John Marciari, the new head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, (www.themorgan.org) will provide the introduction for the 2015 MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK brochure. (See separate JOHN MARCIARI release attached)
Highlights at the 2015 edition of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK include….
- A major rediscovered masterpiece by Sir Joshua Reynolds, listed as missing since 1905, and a star attraction at the exhibition of London gallery LOWELL LIBSON LTD. “’Dionysius Aeropagites’ has only been known from an 18th century engraving,” according to Libson. It depicts Reynolds’ favorite model, a street mender from York, George White. The painting perfectly communicates Reynolds’s ambitions as a history painter shortly after the founding of the Royal Academy.” Painted in emulation of an Italian old master, the powerful head was published shortly after its completion and given the title identifying the sitter as a follower of St. Paul. Libson is also featuring works by William Blake, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Jones, Samuel Palmer, Simeon Solomon and a fascinating group of British portrait drawings of the 1830s and 1840s depicting Queen Victoria, Talleyrand, Chopin and Paganini. Plus Sir Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington’s nieces and J.M.W. Turner’s Alpine tour watercolor, The Val d’Aosta.
- Returning exhibitor DAVID TUNICK is showing a major gouache by Fernand Leger, Les Constructeurs of 1950, publicly shown only once before at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971. The definitive study for the painting of the same subject in the Sonja Henie-Onstad Art Centre Museum in Oslo, it last was on the market in 1980. Tunick says, “We were very pleased that the executors of the estate handling the Leger chose to go with us instead of the auction route.”
- Gunther Gerzso’s “Surrealist Sketchbook” is among the star attractions at MARY-ANNE MARTIN FINE ART. The hardcover sketchbook is a work from the artist’s estate and has never before been exhibited. It includes 55 original drawings mostly done in the carbon transfer technique some with frottage and many augmented with pen, India ink and colored pencils. Some are experimental, reminiscent of Miro and Matta, others depict pre-Columbian clay fertility figures in Surrealist settings. Plus seven sketches related to well-known paintings from his Surrealist period, such as a portrait of Benjamin Peret. Martin also is showing a group of drawings by Frida Kahlo made between 1928-1946 including an academic study of a Greek Mask, two political drawings representing Kahlo’s “redesigns” of the Statue of Liberty, and a tender portrait of “Tonito” Frida’s nephew, Antonio Kahlo, drawn c1940.
- A small group of noteworthy David Cox watercolours MARTYN GREGORY is bringing to New York includes a very large one that is completely fresh to the market. Gregory says it is interesting as it is made on several sheets of the “Scotch” paper Cox used later in his career, which he had carefully pieced together to make a much larger sheet. It is a fascinating watercolour which shows Cox working on grand scale, mastering one of his favourite subjects: Betwys-y-Coed in North Wales. Gregory is also showing 18th and 19th century British watercolours including Richard Parkes Bonington’s The Ruins of Chateau d’Harcourt near Lillebonne, a pencil and watercolour dating to 1821-22 when Bonington made his first tour of Normandy, a 1793 watercolour by British artist William Alexander showing Chinese Barges of the first British embassy preparing to pass under a bridge, led in 1792-4 by Lord Macartney, and a highly detailed wash drawing, John Hood’s The East Indiaman Essex in three positions.
- First time exhibitor at MDNY, ERIC GILLIS FINE ART, is showing a top-quality selection of 19TH century French drawings including an outstanding Seurat work of 1881-82 that once belonged to Paul Signac, The Reader, and a very rare group of drawings from the finest late 19th century Belgian artists, including examples of symbolism and expressionism. Exceptional among these are works by Leon Spilliaert, such as Bird of Prey, and Henry van de Velde, whose Two Haymaker Women which will be among the highlights.
- DALVA BROTHERS are also exhibiting at MDNY for the first time, showing a collection of small scale graphite drawings by William Trost Richards (1833-1905) depicting plant studies, rocky shorelines and pastoral scenes from the 1850s through the 1860s, among them views of Atlantic City and Maine.
- Italian drawings by Domenico Piola and Orazio Samacchini take center stage at CHRISTOPHER BISHOP’s exhibition. Piola, a Genovese artist of the 17th century, drew Angels with Doves presumably for a fresco in the Palazzo Rosso in Genoa. Bishop says The Adoration of the Magi by Orazio Samachini, the late 16th century Bolognese artist, is an exciting find as it is a completely unknown drawing preparatory for a painting which was recently discovered and auctioned off at the Dorotheum in Munich.
- PANDORA OLD MASTERS is showing interesting political drawings by Giovanni Costetti (1874-1949) of Hitler and Molotov. The recto, The Mask, from 1939, shows them when they signed the non-aggression pact, and the verso, The Face, from 1941, portrays Hitler and Molotov when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union.
- Among important 20th century artists being featured at the BARBARA MATHES gallery, you will see Agostino Bonalumi’s 1971 Progretto, a mixed media on paper, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s Badnes, Cercles et Lignes, dating to 1932.
- London specialist STEPHEN ONGPIN FINE ART always manages to acquire new-to-the-market works by the most iconic names in fine art including Edgar Degas, Thomas Gainsborough, Adolph Gottlieb, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley, Wayne Thiebaud and Odilon Redon. This year’s exhibition won’t disappoint as Ongpin is showing Gainsborough’s Travellers Passing Through A Village, Klee’s Night impression of a Southern Town, Degas’s A Seated Young Woman Plaiting her Hair, Matisse’s Standing Female Nude, Munch’s Rocks on the Edge of a Sea, Paul Signac’s Still Life with a Bowl of Fruit, Wayne Thiebaud’s Ice Cream Cone and Redon’s A Face in the Window.
- New exhibitor PRPH RARE BOOKS is offering an album of 70 uncensored 16th century drawings after Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. The original figures depict genitalia and other “lewd” elements which were later censored and painted over at the Church’s direction. These were generally unknown until the restoration of the work in 1980-84. They are bound in 18th century calf and were in the collection of Count Leopold Cicognara (1767-1834), the leading Italian art historian of his time. PRPH is also showing a highly important complete set of 50 engraved fortune telling cards (Northern Italy 1465) by the Master of the ‘Mantegna’ Tarocchi – E-series, rebound in 18th century cartonnato.
- SIGRID FREUNDORFER FINE ART is showing a wonderful selection of contemporary watercolours by American artist Scott Kelley (b. 1963). They were inspired by the “Legends of Gluskap”, the cultural hero of the Wabanaki, the five tribes of Maine, where Kelley lives. His heartfelt depictions of bears, rabbits, beavers, and deer, portray Gluskap’s relationship with animals, their importance to mankind, his teachings on how to live together, and how to live with nature.
- London dealer GUY PEPPIATT brings over wonderful British works including artworks by one of the most important British topographical artists of the late 18th century, Edward Dayes, whose Carlsbrooke Castle Isle of Wight, dating to 1788, is featured at MDNY. Also featured is a William Callow R.W.S. watercolour A Spring Day at Florence from San Miniato, dating to 1882, and Thomas Rowlandson’s pen, ink and watercolour,The Mid-day Rest.
- PIA GALLO is offering a Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) Study for the Figure of Scylla in pen ink and wash that is a study for the painting Glaucus and Scylla at the Brussels Musee des Beaux Arts. The drawing was once owned by Queen Christina of Sweden. Also showing splendid, hand-painted, fan-shaped gouaches with views of the Gulf of Naples that were meant to be folding fans. Fans and hand screens are known since 3000 B.C. Folding fans – predominantly a fashion accessory – became popular in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards. These two individual fans are made from natural vellum, hand-painted by an anonymous artist. The fans here are not folded nor are they mounted and date from probably around 1800. They show Romantic views of the most frequently visited sights in the Bay of Naples by travelers on the Grand Tour. Villa di Pompejo” (Villa of Diomedes). Gouache on natural vellum. Veduta del Sepolcro della Sacerdotessa Mammia a Pompejano.
- New York dealer L’ANTIQUAIRE AND THE CONNOISSEUR is showing Daniel Dumonstier’s (1574-1646) black chalk and pastel A Portrait of a Young Woman in a Ruffled Collar. Dumonstier retained his celebrity undertaking portraits under the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XII. He was renowned for his prodigious memory and gallant and humorous repartee. He was the appointed painter to King Louis XIII who granted him land and titles.
- CRISPIAN RILEY-SMITH of London has titled his exhibition, “Flights of Fancy: Birds and Animals by Aert Schouman and his contemporaries in 18th century Holland.” On view are six Aert Schouman watercolours, including five from the collection of the late Lord Fairhaven, and four watercolours by Abraham Meertens. Plus master drawings by Bandini, Benso Hackert, Zuccarelli and Van Goyen.
- MARGOT GORDON FINE ARTS is staging a show titled “Five Centuries of Faces and Figures.”
- LAURA PECHEUR is showing Hendrick de Clerck’s 1570-1629 monogrammed Lamentations and Cornelis Schut’s 1597-1655 The Abduction of Europa.
- MIA WEINER is showing a selection of important works such as Gaetano Gandolfi’s Studies of Two Angels, preparatory for the flanking angels in the 1780 altarpiece “Immaculate Conception” in S.M. Lambarun Coeli, Bologna. She also offers a charming red chalk drawing by a student of the Carracci closest in technique to Annibale, drawing a fellow student or perhaps himself as he works from model sheets of facial features made by Agostino. Plus Filippo Lauri’s Allegorical Figures Frolicking in the Flowers in gouache, Jan Van Kessel’s watercolour of Butterfly, Moth, Rose and Spring of Gooseberries, Salvator Rosa’s Study of a River God for The Dream of Aeneas,” a study for the same figure in a painting at the Metropolitan Museum. A number of 19th century landscape oil sketches and watercolours by Northern European and Italian artists such as Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner’s A Beautiful Water Carrier, which Weiner says is a stunning example of the artist’s work, and Daniel Israel’s large scale Portrait of a Bearded Man, as strong as any German sheet of the period.
- VAN DOREN WAXTER exhibition is titled Emil Nolde and Die Brucke and includes works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde. Nolde’s Meer, also titled Welle, dates to 1926 and Kirchner’s 1912 watercolour and pencil is titled Gerda mit Tanzer.
- LEONARD HUTTON galleries showing Fernand Leger study for“La Gare,” a 1918 pencil on paper.
- MIREILLE MOSLER is showing artworks spanning five centuries including works by Zacharias Blijhooft, Pieter Holsteyn II, Francois Bonvin, John Constable, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Willem van den Berg, Leo Gestel, Jan Sluyters, Jan Toorop and Jacobus van Looy. The earliest 17th century drawings exhibited are a group of 15 small animals and insects that once belonged to a larger album in the possession of the Earl of Arundel 1585-1648 known as “The Collector Earl.” John Constable’s 1810 “En plein air” East Bergholt depicts the surroundings where he grew up. A Francois Bonvin Study for Le Couvreur tombe dating to 1877 is a recently rediscovered study of a now lost important Salon painting of the same year.
- JILL NEWHOUSE gallery is showing a selection of works by Georg Sand, Pierre Bonnard, Theodore Gericault, and others. Only one other similar study for Bonnard’s 1893 Study for Conversation is known and it is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Newhouse says the sense of flattened space and perspective for which Bonnard is known is evident in this drawing, and the entire scene is a whirl of tight, energetic marks. Bonnard created the lithograph with the intent of having it published in the weekly satirical magazine L’Escarmouche but the magazine was only published from November 1893 to January 1894. On the verso of the present drawing appear studies of a robust stranding man and a woman singing, figures which evoke the theater and cabaret performances that Bonnard loved to depict. The George Sand watercolor and collage dates to 1855 and is titled Aristolocha Pistolochia. Sand was a watercolorist as well as a writer, much in the same vein as Victor Hugo.
- LES ENLUMINURES is offering the French translation by Charles Bonin of Jerome, Letter LIV to Furia, on the Duty of Remaining a Widow, with a full-page frontispiece miniature showing St. Jerome giving his epistle to a messenger, illuminated by the Master of Spencer 6. It dates to 1500-1510. Also being exhibited is Catherine D’Amboise’s own copy of Complaint of the Fainting Lady against Fortune with 8 large miniatures by the artist of Paris, Mazarine MS 978 (P. Merevache?), dating to 1525-30; the Francois Fortin Hours Use of Lisieux and Rouen in Latin and French with 11 miniatures, by a follower of the Master of the Echevinage of Rouen, dating to 1480; and a Noted German Hymnal, Nonnenarbeitern [Nuns’ Work], dating to 1460-80.
- NISSMAN ABROMSON is featuring a selection of artworks from the 16th century including Aurelio Luini’s (1530-1593) “Studies of God the Father,” a chalk and ink, as well as a mixed media work from the 20th century, Uberto Bonelli’s (1909-93 “Aerial View of San Marino.”
- New exhibitor MONROE WARSHAW is showing a beautiful Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1500-59) pen and ink titled “The Holy Transfer” 314 x 280mm.
Founded in 2006 as a way to draw upon and buttress the presence of collectors and museum officials during the important January art-buying events, including the Old Master auctions and The Winter Antiques Show, MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK has become an important part of the winter art scene in its own right, attracting the most influential dealers not only in New York but in England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain who each stage a themed exhibition in more than two dozen Upper East Side galleries between East 63rd and 93rd Streets.
MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK has received critical acclaim for orchestrating a showcase for fine art works that cut across the full range of styles, centuries, mediums and genres, and for providing greater accessibility to fine art at price points that range from several thousand dollars to several million.
New York Old Masters specialist Margot Gordon, who organized the first MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK event in 2006 says, “We are delighted to see how well known MASTER DRAWINGS week has become as it has matured, with probably the most diverse array of representative artworks created between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries presented in both a lively and informative manner.
“People who love master drawings understand that each stroke of the pen or pencil represents the very first creative spark of the artist. You are being invited to enter the artist’s mind and share his passion. No other art form quite expresses an artist’s creativity as well as a good drawing.”
London drawings dealer Crispian Riley-Smith coordinates New York’s week-long event as well as its sister event during London Art Week each July. He says, “By agreeing to coordinate their exhibitions during a single week in galleries on New York’s Upper East Side, the world’s most respected dealers in master drawings have made it easier for both private and institutional clients to see the newest items on the market from the very top tier of specialists. For individuals interested in learning more about the quality and range of drawings on offer, there’s simply no better way to expose yourself to the very finest examples during a single week each year.”
Over the years both founders of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK have seen that visitors are “surprised to see that not all our drawings date to the early centuries. We have member dealers who specialize in modern and contemporary works too. From illuminations drawn during medieval times, to preparatory studies for iconic masterworks by artists of the renown of Raphael, Titian, and Gainsborough, to sketches by Picasso and Miro, and wonderful modern and contemporary drawings. What visitors love is that they can enjoy the full range of drawing options in the course of an afternoon visiting a handful of East Side galleries.”
To make MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK as comprehensive as possible, each dealer puts his or her individual stamp on their own exhibitions. They invite and entertain their private and museum clients as they like but also stage a Private Preview for clients the day before MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK officially begins. In 2015 that will be Friday, January 23, from 4 to 8pm.
London dealer Stephen Ongpin says, “Having participated in MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK since its inception, I have found that it has become one of the most important events of the gallery's calendar. In previous years drawings have been acquired from my exhibitions at MDNY by several American and European museums, as well as a significant number of private collectors. The range of works shown at MDNY, covering five centuries of drawings, watercolours and oil sketches, is one of its great strengths, and during the week the participating galleries become meeting places for curators, collectors and scholars, as well as, of course, all lovers of drawings.
Connecticut dealer Mia Weiner adds, “Crispian has been a thoughtful and excellent organizer and there was never a better venue for me as a drawings dealer.”
Each year noted experts on the subject have contributed the introduction to the MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK brochure. The introduction to the 2015 brochure has been written by John Marciari, the newly appointed Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Department Head of the Morgan Library & Museum. Previous contributors include artist Eric Fischl; William Griswold, former Director The Morgan Library and Museum, New York; Cara Dufour Denison, Curator Emerita Drawings and Prints at The Morgan; Rhoda Eitel-Porter, former Curator and Department Head, The Morgan Library; Isabelle Derveaux, Curator Modern and Contemporary Drawings, The Morgan Library; Rick Scorza, Thaw Senior Fellow Morgan Drawing Institute; and Margaret Holben Ellis, Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation and Director, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and Director, Thaw Conservation Center Morgan Library & Museum.
The 2015 MDNY brochure is available at www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com in November.
If You Go
2015 MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK
Private Preview Friday, January 23, 2014 from 4 to 8 pm
Open to the public Saturday, January 24 – Saturday January 31
Monday to Saturday 11am - 6pm
Sunday 25 January 2pm - 6pm
Tuesday 27 January Open until 8pm