Tenth Annual Master Drawings NY Slated for January 23-30

NEW YORK  August 6—The Tenth Annual MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK week (www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com) will take place January 23 through January 30, with a Preview scheduled for Friday, January 22, at 30 leading art galleries on the Upper East Side’s “Gold Coast’ in New York.

Timed to coincide with New York’s major January art-buying events, including the Old Master auctions and The Winter Antiques Show, over the past decade MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK has given top dealers from the US as well as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy an opportunity to show their newest acquisitions to the largest assembly of drawings scholars and patrons to gather in New York each year.

Originally conceived as an annual walkthrough, the tenth iteration of MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK has grown into a ‘must see’ event, receiving strong support as its range and influence has grown each year. 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.

Critics applaud the fact that the most respected drawings dealers show important pencil, pen and ink and chalk, pastel and charcoal drawings, as well as oil on paper sketches and watercolours from the 16th through the 21st centuries.

New exhibitors in 2016 include Allan Stone Projects, (www.allanstoneprojects.com) a New York gallery founded in 1960 that has enjoyed sustained success mixing established artists with emerging and mid-career artists.  Its exhibition is titled “Process and Presence: Mastery in Drawing” and includes figurative, landscape, still life and abstract works by prominent artists such as Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Wayne Thiebaud, Franz Kline, and Gaston Lachaise; the 130-year old Kraushaar Galleries, (www.kraushaargalleries.com) a highly recognized fine art source for important American art of the first half of the 20th century, as well as selected contemporary works; and Decouvert Fine Art  of Rockport, MA, (www.decouvertfineart.com), specialists in French and Italian works from the 16th to 20th centuries.  Also returning to MDNY in 2016 is Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, (www.mamfa.com), an East Side gallery dedicated to the promotion of Mexican and Latin American art.

At MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK the artworks on view cut across the full range of styles, centuries, mediums and genres and provide pricing options that are attractive both to seasoned and new collectors.

New York Old Masters specialist Margot Gordon and London dealer Crispian Riley-Smith collaborated to organize the first the New York event in 2006 and are delighted to see how well it has matured, with top tier dealers offering an incredibly diverse array of artworks from both legendary and less celebrated artists.   A number of participating dealers also exhibit each July at a sister event, the annual LONDON ART WEEK, where Old Master auctions and museum exhibitions also vie for the attention of visiting museum officials and art patrons.

Margot Gordon says, “Drawings hold special appeal to art collectors.  There are many different forms -- from rapid sketches the Italians call “schizzi,” or first thoughts called “primo pensiero,”  to studies and finished works in their own right.  You are invited to enter the artist’s mind and share his passion on a very personal level.  It’s a strong motivator to those who love art.  What’s more, with such a wide range of offerings, and appealing prices, drawings are often the most accessible option to collectors seeking access to an artist’s process.”

Crispian Riley-Smith adds that "The backbone to the success of MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK is the continued support of our fantastic exhibitors who each year manage to find amazing drawings and make incredible discoveries, as well as curating interesting and stimulating shows. The interest from the public grows in this sector with new clients discovering this exciting field, and we are fortunate to enjoy the continued support of loyal clients.

“MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK has become popular with both private and institutional clients because it makes it convenient to see a number of exhibitions from the very top tier of world dealers in a single area of the city, and close by other venues they need to visit.  For those 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.”

London dealer Stephen Ongpin says, “I have taken part in every edition of MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK, and each year seems to be better than the previous one. I mean this not only in terms of the increasing number of private collectors, museum curators, scholars and lovers of drawings who visit my New York exhibitions each year during the week of MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK, but also in the number of sales I have made during that period. There is something special about having the opportunity each year to exhibit and discuss a wide variety of drawings with like-minded people who are equally passionate about the special allure of these often intimate insights into an artist’s creative process. Together with London and Paris, New York has long been one of the centers of the drawings market, and an event like MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK  - despite the cold weather and often record snowfalls that seem to accompany the week! - only adds to that reputation.”

For the January, 2016 event, Stephen Ongpin plans a show of Italian drawings, “Renaissance to Futurism: Italian Drawings c.1500-1920” comprising about thirty drawings by artists working in Italy, ranging in date from the first years of the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century, and will showcase drawings by a mixture of well-known artists and minor masters. He says, “Many of the drawings come from private collections, and have not been seen on the market for many years.” Among the earliest Italian drawings in the exhibition is a small but moving pen drawing of the Virgin and Child by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio of c.1500 and an important drawing by Perino del Vaga depicting a scene from the life of Julius Caesar, datable to the 1520’s.

Returning dealer Mia Weiner of Old Master Drawings  in Connecticut says, “The 10th anniversary of MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK is a tremendous achievement. Dealers work hard to bring the best drawings they can muster and present them in an atmosphere conducive to their particular exhibition styles. That each show is unique in material as well as gallery design has been a delight for countless collectors and museum curators/directors.”

Weiner is bringing a group of stunning watercolors from the late 19th century including one of its greatest proponents, Giacinto Gigante, with two differing examples of his prowess; as well as two extraordinarily detailed watercolors by Luigi Bazzani, of Pompei. 

Dealer Monroe Warshaw  is staging a show titled Drawn to Mythology  with a collection that goes beyond the best known Greek and Roman examples, and dates from the 16th to 20th centuries.

Margot Gordon admits that, “Some visitors to our shows are surprised to see that not all our drawings date to the early centuries.   We have several dealers who specialize in 20th and even 21st century works.  In fact, our members display everything from medieval illuminations to preparatory studies by Raphael, to minimalist art and signed Picasso sketches.   We particularly love the fact that curators, museum patrons, private collectors and the press all get to see the newest market offerings of each form at one time.  It’s a model that works similarly well with our sister event in London.”

Riley-Smith says “With our format, dealers get to put their individual stamp on their own exhibitions and can entertain their private and museum clients as they like.  We stage Private Previews for our clients the day before MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK officially begins.  This year that will be Friday, January 22, from 4 to 8pm.”

With such a wide range of options on offer, Gordon and Riley-Smith point out that drawings and watercolours represent a wonderful collecting opportunity, especially to those forming a new collection.  Price points range from several thousand dollars to several million.  The www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com web site offers details on participating dealers and their specialties, and suggestions on how to work with a dealer to build a collection.

In previous years, noted experts on the subject have contributed to the brochure, including John Marciari, the head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York, artist Eric FischlWilliam Griswold, former Director of The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; and Cara Dufour Denison, Curator Emerita Drawings and Prints at The Morgan. Cara Denison says, “Master Drawings New York is an indispensable event for lovers of drawings.”

The Introduction to the 2016 MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK brochure will be written by Colin Bailey, the recently appointed Director of The Morgan Library & Museum.  Bailey is the former director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and previously spent 13 years at New York’s Frick Collection. Colin Bailey is a highly regarded specialist in 18th century French art and a recognized authority on the work of Pierre-August Renoir.  He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from the University of Oxford.

Margot Gordon says, “We are thrilled to have Colin Bailey write the Introduction to our Tenth Anniversary MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK brochure. His reputation as both a scholar and someone who has staged important and impressive exhibitions, gives him a unique perspective on the appeal of drawings.  We truly welcome his insights and know that people attending our exhibitions will learn a great deal reading what he has to say.”

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