Master Drawings New York 2014

Master Drawings New York 2014

NEW YORK January 26, 2014 ~ We headed to the Upper East Side to have a look at Master Drawings New York 2014, a collaborative art show of 26 international dealers presenting the latest master drawings on the market in a fifteen-block stretch of galleries on the Upper East Side plus Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

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It’s really fascinating to see these master drawings because they are studies for paintings and frescos. The drawings give you a look into the artist’s conception. Sometimes there is a progression of drawings that show how the artist’s thinking developed. The last and likely most valuable drawing is the one closest to the final artwork.

Master Drawings New York is attended by collectors and especially museums. You can tell who the buyers are because they don’t chat and closely study the art. Most know exactly what they are looking for.

Mattia and Maria Novella Romano

Our first stop was the exhibition of Mattia and Maria Novella Romano exhibiting at Trinity House Paintings. Mattia and Maria are the fourth generation of a famous family of art dealers in Florence, Italy. Their gallery is Simone Romano e Figli.

Mattia and Maria’s great-grandfather, Salvatore Romano (Italian, 1875), was an important dealer for European and American museums. In 1946, he gave the Museum of Medieval Art to the city of Florence. The family tradition continued with their grandfather Francesco and their father Simone.

The exhibition’s signature piece is an 1831 Francesco Salghetti-Drioli from Dalmatia, now Albania, but once part of Italy. The subject is Hector scolding Paris from the Iliad. The scene was painted by Tommaso Minardi and Francesco Hayez and these were probably Salghetti-Drioli’s inspiration. The drawing is from Salghetti-Drioli’s time in Rome. Most of his work from this period has been lost. Mattia and Maria explained that it would be a valuable acquisition because Salghetti-Drioli had historically been overlooked, but is now gaining recognition by collectors.

We also liked a Ubaldo Gandolfi drawing of “Jupiter with Eagle.” The work is from Mattia and Maria’s grandfather’s collection. It’s likely the final study for the “Jupiter” fresco that still exists in the Sala dell Zodiaco of the Palazzo Malvasia in Bologna, Italy. You cannot buy the fresco in the Palazzo, but you have have the drawing of it.

We asked what it was like growing up surrounded by so much beauty. Maria explained that they grew up with the musty smell of antiques and incense (from antiques in churches). Every Sunday when they were children their parents would take them to a museum. When they were finished their parents would say, “Let’s see it again” to the children’s dismay. But now Mattias and Maria appreciate what their parents passed to them.

Elena Climent at Mary-Anne Martin

Master Drawings New York is part of Old Masters Week in New York, a very old-fashioned, respectable and buttoned-up art event, but as gallery director Kaeli Deane explained, “We like to do something different for Master Drawings.”

This year, the gallery showed Mexican artist Elena Climent: Drawing with Light, an exhibition of 20 digital drawings done on an iPad and printed as giclée prints.

The New York-based artist does still-lifes that incorporate elements of Mexican culture. The exhibition showed the finished prints next to iPad slideshows in which the artist captured her creative process.

The prints have a luxurious feeling of fully-saturated water colors. Somehow Climent manages to capture the light she draws with and put it into the prints. It’s an entirely new way of looking at a very traditional art form.

José de la Mano, Madrid

José de la Mano is one of the leading art dealers of Madrid. Most of the art he showed was filled with a heavy Spanish heart, though some was playfully sensual. The most important piece in the show was a small drawing by Spanish master Alonso Cano. Cano was a priest and when they needed funds, he would make a drawing to sell.

This is all Latin art, but shows the breadth and depth of the Latin experience.


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