Spaightwood Galleries was founded in 1980 in Madison Wisconsin by Andy Weiner and Sonja Hansard-Weiner and moved in 2004 into our beautiful site in Upton Massachusetts (about forty-five minutes west of Boston via the Mass Pike to Exit 11 (I-495 South) then exit at Exit 21-B Upton (the first exit south of the Pike); go 5.5 miles directly to the gallery in the former Upton Unitarian Church on the corner of Highway 140 and Maple Ave [click for views of our new home and exhibition space]). Now almost thirty-five years later we have an inventory of over 9000 works, most on paper, ranging from the late fifteenth century to the present. In the days to come we will continue to add pages (currently we have over 750) and illustrations (currently over 6000) to this site, but the best way to find out what we have will be to e-mail us (email@example.com) or call us for more information (one of the reasons I retired after 35 years at the University of Wisconsin as a Professor of English and an Affiliated Professor of Law was to get caught up; one of the reasons Sonja retired after 28 years at Madison Area Technical College was to make sure I do). By clicking on the link for Recent Exhibitions, you can get a sense of the shows we have put on at the gallery since the end of 2000 when we launched this site. For those who find indexing by show a bit cumbersome to negotiate, we offer a start at a more comprehensive alphabetical listing, divided into artists born before 1800 and those born after. As usual, the presence of a link means you can click through to the image(s) or page(s); the absence of a link indicates that we have not yet photographed the work(s) of that artist in our inventory, but we would be happy to do so on request as time permits. Click for Artists listing. For a profile on Andy and Sonja, the co-owners of Spaightwood Galleries, click here.
Spaightwood usually presents between two to four shows a year. Most of our shows feature works by artists of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, though we also have about 2000 old master prints and drawings in our inventory. In any given year, about 500 works of art appear on our walls. Our recent shows (see below) give a sense of the variety of what we show.
We are currently showing works by contemporary American artists (with a few transplants for good measure). We began our current show with the idea that we would put up a show of contemporary American artists and discovered that we had too many works to fit on the walls (and the floors) of our 4000 square foot viewing space, so we split the show into two parts, one featuring works of art by women, the other works by men, with a common core group of smaller pieces at the entry to the gallery (for a tour of the showstill in progressplease see the two Gallery Tour links above Gallery Tour 1 (not quite done yet) and Gallery Tour 2). The tour of the women's works from the first version of this show can be seen at Womanshow2014.
This two-part show followed an extensive show of works by Pierre Alechinsky, one of the founding members of the COBRA group (the name comes from the cities where the artists involved originally works: COpenhagen, BRussels, and Amsterdam) in 1948, the first winner of the Andrew W. Mellon Prize in 1977 (the Nobel Prize for artists, so to speak), and the Grand Prix National for Painting from the nation of France, his adopted home (Alechinsky represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1960 and France at the Sao Paolo Biennale a few years later). Alechinsky has been recognized in recent years as one of the most significant living the artists. The art market has long noticed his stature: one of his paintings sold at auction about 25 years ago for over $2,000,000 back when a two-million dollar painting was a thing to be marvelled at. Alechinsky was just barely out of his teens when he burst onto the art scene as one of the original members of the COBRA group, and over the years he has emerged as one of the most imaginative and witty artists of our times. Alechinsky fans are everywhere. John Russell, who in 1986-87 devoted three separate columns in The New York Times to Alechinsky, saw him as "a man of strange blameless passions. Decorated invoices, worthless stock certificates, obsolete air-force navigational charts and ancient hand-written archival materials spark his imagination. . . . He has a taste for nature’s upheavals." Carlos Fuentes, the Mexican novelist for whom "the garden is the center of the world," described Alechinsky as a man who "paints gardens. . . . He knows that the history of gardens is the history of all of us. . . . Alechinsky . . . chooses any of the forked paths of the manicured gardens at Blois or Hampton Court and then transforms them, ferociously, into the savage gardens of the primitive mind, the original unity of dream and awareness, reason and imagination, desire and reality." Indeed, it may be that it is his dream of recovering that lost unity that makes him, as The New York Times called him, "a poet of entanglement, [who] resolutely turns the emphasis away from himself, preferring to act rather as historian and referee than as autobiographer. . . . His touch is light, his thought rapid, his view of the world as sharp as it is benign. There is no better companion, and not many who keep us so consistently amused and are so generous with their findings." Alechinsky has had major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art and The Guggenheim Museum in NY, The Museum of Arts, Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh (in 1977, the Year of the Snake), The Palais des Beaux-Arts and the Musées Royeaux des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Vile de Paris and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Boymans-von-Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, Denmark, and museums in Aalborg, Brême, Copenhagen, Darmstadt, Des Moines, Düsseldorf, Gordes, Hanover, Marseille, Metz, Mexico City, Munich, St. Paul de Vence, Toronto, and Zurich.
This show immediately followed a show dealing with current events (even more current at the moment) devoted to pondering artists' views of war: "Studying war contained Goya's complete Disasters of War (80 mixed-media intaglios) plus plate 81, excluded from the original posthumous publication (the King of Spain protected Goya from the Inquisition by having Goya hand over all of the copper plates for the series and it was not published during his lifetime, but first appeared in 1863 in an edition published by the Real (i.e., Royal) Academia, to whom the King had given the plates in 1815. We have a complete set of the fourth edition, published by the Real Academía in 1906 in an edition of 275. Harris describes it as "excellently printed on very suitable papers" and says that "the impressions are generally a little inferior to those of the second edition but are better than those of the third." All editions published during the 19th and 20th centuries only contained the first 80 plates, but in 1958, the Real Academy published a members only edition of plate 81 in a very small edition for members of the Acadaemia: Fiero Monstruo! / Fierce monster! (pl. 81, Harris 201, Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, & Julián Gállego, pp. 140-41, Delteil 200; Hofer translates the title as Proud Monster ). Original etching, drypoint, and burin, c. 1808-1814. A very good impression on Arches paper from a plate excluded from the early published editions (which only had 80 prints) and only editioned in the 20th century (though several trial proofs were printed c. 1870). Sánchez and Gállego suggest that this print sums up the entire series in presenting war as a " 'fierce monster' from a terrible nightmare, devouring humanity with dreadful violence" (p. 141). Our impression is from the first edition published by the Calcografia Nacional in 1958-59 with their seal in the lower left margin; it was presented to the Academicians of San Fernando, in whose possessions the plates remain. The edition was presumably small because a second edition was printed in 1959 in an edition of 110 with the sheets numbered in pencil. (You can see the image here.)
Other works in the show included George Grosz's 16 color lithographs from Ecce Homo (1923; the work was only published once because the Germany Army sued Grosz and won in court, putting a stop to possible future editions and destroying a number of Grosz' plates they found particularly objectional), 27 large mixed media intaglio's from George Rouault's Miserere et Guerre, which Rouault began in 1916, but which was not published until 1948 for obvious political reasons, and Otto Dix's 21 lithographs for the Gospel according to St. Matthew, in which Herod's troops wear SA uniforms, the Temple police wear SS helmets, and Jerusalem is depicted as a city of skyscrapers, those who live in it and mock Jesus wear the fashions of the 1920s and 1930s, and the guards ushering Jesus and his Cross to the Hill of Skulls wear slave-labor guards' clothes.
In the years immediately preceding, we indulged our selves (to be fair, I should have said I indulged myself) with a series of shows devoted to my late 15th-century to mid-17th century obsessions: most recently, we presented Albrecht Dürer and his followers (120 works by Dürer plus works by his pupils, particular Hans Sebald Beham, Georg Pencz, and Heinrich Aldegrever, and his followers, including a drawing by Veronese based upon one of Dürer's Small Woodcut Passion sheets. That show was immediately preceded by a show of 160 old-master drawings, including works by (attributed), the Raphael workshop, Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, Parmigianino, Andrea Schiavone, Veronese and followers, Annibale Carracci, Ludovico Carracci, Giovanni Baglione, Matteo Rosselli, Ercole Bazzicaluva, Baldassare Franceschini called Il Volterrano, Pier Francesco Mazzuccelli, il Morazzone, Odoardo Fialetti, Simone Cantarini, Domenichino, Francesco Albani, Giovanni Lanfranco, Guercino and others, plus works by Bernaert van Orley, Maarten de Vos, Jan Baptiste de Wael, Abraham Bloemaert, Peter Paul Rubens, Philipp Sadeler, Rembrandt's pupil Nicolaes Maes, and other artists of the Rembrandt School. We also showed drawings by Virgil Solis, Hans von Aachen, and Joseph Heinrich Roos as well as drawings by Charles de La Fosse, Etienne Parrocel, François Boucher (attributed), Jean-François de Neufforge, and Mouricault. Immediately preceding that show was the show that inspired it, "Images of Women in old master prints and drawings / Images by women in old master prints and drawings.
2009 was an interesting year for us: we only did 2 shows, one of which ran over until the send of September 2010. The first of these shows was an exhibition of 150 works by Marc Chagall that began in late 2008 and continued until May 2009. The second show, our longest running ever was up for almost 17 months: Breaking the Molds was devoted to prints and drawings by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, the Nabis and the Fauves, and the early 20th-century modernists, including workers in Abstract Art, Cubism, and Surrealism and included works by Pierre Bonnard, Felix Bracquemond, Charles Camoin, Eugene Carriere, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Edmond Cross, Edgar Degas, Sonia Delaunay, Maurice Denis, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Jean-Louis Forain, Paul Gauguin, Alberto Giacometti, Marie Laurencin, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Georges Rouault, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice de Vlaminck, James A. McNeill Whistler, and others. The show also featured drawings, gouaches, pastels, and watercolors by Andre Barbier, Henri- Edmond Cross, Lucien Coutaud, Leonor Fini, Jean-Louis Forain, Nataliya Goncharova, Eva Gonzales, Marie Laurencin, Maximilien Luce, and Georges Rouault and hand-colored prints by Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Mikhail Larionov, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Whistler (12) and Renoir (15) were probably the most represented artists, with large groupings by Berthe Morisot, Matisse (including a large full-face visage and 4 very beautiful early pochoirs), Chagall and Miró (including 5 original pochoirs from the 1930s and 5 hand-painted etchings from the 1940s), and smaller groupings by Edouard Manet (including his beautiful etching of Berthe Morisot in an early impression before cancellation), Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Picasso, Fernand Leger, Georges Rouault, and André Derain. It also marked the first time that we ever included a video (almost 7 minutes long) that introduced the show and what we hoped it might offer viewers as a chance to learn about print quality (by looking at early and later impressions of the same print by Whistler, Renoir, and Cezanne) and to get a sense of how artists worked and played on their way to final versions of works or simply provided multiple explorations of the same theme (Renoir, Picasso, and Matisse). For a video introducing Breaking the Molds: Impressionism to Surrealism (brief video tour by Jenette Restivo and Joel Gardner with audio commentary by Andy Weiner: please click )
The show was also interested in exploring the ways in which stylistic revolutions occur. By the late 1860s, the art world had reached a kind of equilibrium between the Classicists (like Ingres), the Romantics (like Delacroix), and the Realists (like Corot). Students flocked to Paris to study with the masters at the schools, where they learned about drawing, color, and composition and mastered the kinds of subjects they would spend their lives working on. Each year at the annual Salon, artists would submit their works for judgment and the winners would receive medals and the commissions that would set their paths to success or keep them on it. Starting in the early 1870s, this well-regulated system began to fall apart, and over the next 60 years or so, the art world was completely transformed. The Impressionists, who were sometimes praised for their new ways of handling colors, were often mocked for their inability to draw. Their response was to start their own Salon, organized at first by Berthe Morisot, and seek their own audience among those willing to contemplate something off the beaten path. The Impressionists were followed by the Post-Impressionists, some like Seurat, Signac, Henri-Edmund Cross, trying to theorize new rules; others like Gauguin, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Cezanne, bringing a psychological violence to the canvas, trying to remake their viewers. They in turn were succeeded by the Nabis or Prophets, who offered up visions of a brave new world or a braver ancient one, visions of pastoral landscapes like Bonnard’s lithographs for Daphnis and Chloe or Ker-Xavier Roussel’s pastorals of a world in which satyrs and nymphs wandered about in landscapes not unlike those of the French countryside or Vuillard’s depictions of people living within the quiet harmony of well-ordered interiors within the private worlds of their homes or walking through gardens in public spaces open only to those who had escaped the bustle of a busy modern world. Rejecting harmony, the Symbolists began exploring the realities beneath the surface of things. Also rejecting harmony, according to their critics, were the Fauves, the so-called "wild beasts" whose colors set the eye and mind at war with each other, revolutionaries like Matisse, Vlaminck, and Derain, and by Rouault and Valadon, who did not exhibit with the Fauves, but whose works shared the violence of their coloristic vision. The advent of Cubism (here represented mostly by pochoirs by Fernand Léger and featuring a stunning watercolor by Nataliya Goncharova, whose paintings have begun breaking the $1,000,000 mark regularly with a high of almost $10,000,000) threw all artistic rules into question and the arrival of Surrealism (here in the person of early works by Picasso, Chagall, Miró, and Alberto Giacometti from the 1920s and ‘30s as well as a very surrealist watercolor by Lucien Coutaud and a dream vision Head of a Woman by Leonor Fini also done in watercolor) directly challenged the modes of thought and being (“I no longer think therefore I do not exist”?), completely rejecting the dominance of reason and logic of the waking world. Within the original prints and drawings of this show, we will present a visual tour of these many different ways of thinking about art and making art; where possible, especially in examples by Renoir, Morisot, and Cezanne, we will present several impressions of the same work to show how images change when an etching is printed over time and, in the case of Renoir and Rouault, variants of a work to show how artists can think their way through the process of moving from a first conception to a final one. We hope you will join us either in our gallery in Upton, itself a re-imagined exploration of visual space, or online, by browsing through the links on our website to the show.
2008 began with the end of our show of the Masters of Modernity, our largest show ever featuring a total of 179 works by Picasso (30), Matisse (33), Chagall (52), Kandinsky (10), and Miró (41), plus works by Braque (2), Klee, Leger (6), Giacometti (6), and Magritte. For selections from the show, see: The Figure / Artist and Model / Nature / Nature2 / People / People2 / People3 / Music and Dance / Biblical etchings / Chagall's Lithographs for the Bible / Chagall and Paris. Then for something completely different, in March of 2008 we began “Images of Women in Old Master Prints and Drawings / Images by Women in Old Master Prints." The show that wouldn't come off the walls finally came off the walls and the works that were in it are mostly back in their boxes. Our longest running exhibition was also our best selling show ever, but until mid-May 2009 it was time for 160 lithographs, etchings, and mixed media works by Marc Chagall. One of the most dominant artists of the 20th century, Chagall attempted to reshape the way we see and are seen. From his earliest paintings, depicting the ghettoized Russian Jews in their small villages not as prisoners but as free to explore the unknown world of their fantastic visions, to his last works, which meditate on the mysteries of love, artistic creation, and the joys of life, Chagall demonstrates the triumph of the imagination and celebrates its ability to free us from the constraints of daily life. Our current show will feature about 160 original etchings and lithographs dating from the time of Chagall’s return from the Soviet Union in 1922 to those executed close to the end of his extremely long and productive life. We feature a group of his early black and white etchings done at the instigation of Ambroise Vollard for Les Ames Mortes / The Dead Souls and The Fables, executed and printed in Paris from 1923 to 1927 for The Dead Souls (including one extremely rare hand-signed trial proof for one of The Dead Souls scenes) and between 1927-1930 for The Fables (including three hand-painted by Chagall) . In these works, Chagall says both farewell to Russia and hello to the technique of etching; the works vary between the loving if bittersweet emotions of his departure and his joyous discovery of his new medium. We are showing for the first time eleven 1948 etchings printed at the beginning of each chapter of The Dead Souls; these pieces, published in an edition of only 368 impressions, will be offered at the special introductory price of $1000 each until January 1, 2009. We are also including in the show the last page of the table of etchings from Les Ames Mortes which features a scene of Gogol reading a book while Chagall works at an easel on a portrait of Vollard, who commissioned the project but did not live to see it published for the first and only time in 1948. The show includes 36 of the etchings for The Dead Souls and 12 of The Fables, three of which were hand-painted by Chagall (edition 85) and one signed etching (edition 100) as well as 8 of the regular edition of two hundred which were neither signed nor hand-colored, 5 large-format color etchings done in 1957 for De Mauvais Sujets, and three larger-format pieces from later portfolios. The show also features groups of works illustrating the circus, his love affairs with Paris (including some lithographs he made in the 1952 and 1953 after his return from the U.S.), with lovers and artists, musicians, and dancers. Works dealing with Biblical themes represent a large portion of Chagall's oeuvre, and this year we will include 56 of them ranging from the etchings he did between 1930 to 1939 for Ambroise Vollard's proposed Biblemost printed in 1939 (including one gouache Chagall painted on one of the etchings as he worked out the color scheme for the hand-colored impressions to be included in the deluxe suite of etchings for the Bible; we also have available for viewing a few others which we could not fit onto the walls) but not published until 1956 after Chagall's flight from Europe and his postwar return; some completed and printed between 1952 and 1956. Also featured are selections from his sets of brilliantly colored lithographs for Verve in 1956 and 1960 (others not on the wall will be available for viewing), 8 works from his portfolio of large-format lithographs on the theme of the Exodus, and several out-of-series works). We will also be showing for the first time two tampon sec scratch lithographs published in an edition of 10 signed and numbered impressions plus several signed HC impressions, two of which are included in our show. Not included in the show but available for viewing are the complete set of five etchings done in 1926-27 for Maternité as well as four of the etchings done in 1977 to accompany a volume of writings on the Spanish Civil War by his friend, Nobel-Prize winner André Malraux, several additional etchings for the Bible and lithographs for the Bible, the complete set of color lithographs after Chagall's final designs for the stained-glass windows in Jerusalem featuring the twelve tribes of Israel, and many other lithographs done between 1956 and 1981.
In 2007, we began the year with a show featuring the works of Marc Chagall (including about 155 of his prints from 1923 to 1981); for a virtual tour, click here. That show was followed with "Through a Woman's Eyes: Impression through Surrealism, " a show of prints and drawings including works by Eva Gonzales, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Suzanne Valadon, Nataliya Goncharova, Marie Laurencin, Kathe Kollwitz, Gabrielle Munter, Hannah Hoch, Sonia Delaunay, Hilla von Rebay, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Leonor Fini, Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Toyen, and Louise Bourgeois. We followed that with a look at "The Art that Hitler hated: Kathe Kollwitz and German Expressionism," featuring 159 prints and drawings, including over forty works by Käthe Kollwitz plus additional works by Ernst Barlach, Otto Dix, Erich Heckel, Hannah Hoch, Karl Hofer, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ludwig Meidner, Gabrielle Munter, Emile Nolde, Max Pechstein, Hilla von Rebay, Rudolf Schlichter, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Georg Tappert. 2007 concluded with Masters of Modernity, our largest show ever featuring a total of 179 works by Picasso (30), Matisse (33), Chagall (52), Kandinsky (10), and Miró (41), plus works by Braque (2), Klee, Leger (6), Giacometti (6), and Magritte. For selections from the show, see: The Figure / Artist and Model / Nature / Nature2 / People / People2 / People3 / Music and Dance / Biblical etchings / Chagall's Lithographs for the Bible / Chagall and Paris.
2006 concluded with a one-person show devoted to the works of Joan Miró, now generally considered by critics to belong with Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall among the makers of modernity, in which we showed 100 original aquatints, drypoints, etchings, linocuts, and lithographs by the great Spanish Master. Preceding that, we presented a show of works by contemporary American Women artists, featuring works by Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, and many others. Our first show of 2006 featured a large selection of works by Antoni Tapies, whom Robert Motherwell had described shortly before his own untimely demise, as the greatest living artist. In 2005, our first year in our wonderful new space, we experimented, trying out new ways of using our wonderful new large open walls. Our first Massachusetts show featured about 30 prints by Marc Chagall (most from his 1930-1939 Bible etchings and his 1956 color lithographs on the Bible), 10 drypoints by Mary Cassatt, 10 etchings and lithographs by Kathe Kollwitz, prints by Pierre Alechinsky, Antoni Tapies, Joan Miró, and Jules Olitski, monotypes by Jim Bird and Manel Lledos, drawings and paintings by Gerard Titus-Carmel, Manel Lledos, Claude Garache, and Lois Lane.
Prior to our move in November 2004, our very-well reviewed and ever-changing Farewell to Madison show was extended several times as work on the renovation of our new Upton space perhaps inevitably took longer than expected. It included a number of our favorite works and featured prints drawn from our recent acquisition of 100 lithographs and aquatints by Claude Garache as well as a number of recent important acquisitions, including works by Giulio Romano (an early allegorical red chalk drawing of Justice), the only artist Shakespeare ever mentions by name in one of his plays, Rembrandt (four etchings), Eva Gonzales, Manet's only pupil, who died in childbirth at a very early age (An actress with a mask; brush and black ink and wash with white gouache heightening and black chalk on tan wove paper; initialed in chalk upper right recto; signed or inscribed "Eva Gonzalès" verso), as well as recent acquisitions by Motherwell, Tàpies, Miró, Chagall, Alechinsky, and other favorites. For reviews from the Wisconsin State Journal, see here; for a review from The Capital Times, click here; for a farewell interview with former Cap Times Features editor and arts critic Jacob Stockinger, see here.
Preceding that we presented a celebration of the works of Joan Miró, including pochoirs from the early 1930s, his only linocut (from 1938), his first color lithographs, plus drypoints, etchings, aquatints, woodcuts, monoprints, and many other rare and beautiful original prints including a number of large-size lithographs and etchings (three feet x four feet or larger in frames). This show, the next to the last we presented in our Madison Wisconsin gallery before our move to Upton Massachusetts, followed a major 2003 exhibition of works by Marc Chagall, ranging from some of his earliest works (his etchings for Dead Souls, The Fables of LaFontaine, and The Bible, all commissioned by Ambroise Vollard in the 1920s) to a sample of his works in lithography and etchings from the 1950s to the early 1980s. It was preceded by a large selection of drawings ranging from the late fifteenth century to the present which followed our 80th-birthday salute to Antoni Tàpies, Antoni Tàpies at 80: A Retrospective of His Original Prints. Acclaimed by Robert Motherwell as the greatest living European artist, Tàpies’ prints have always been recognized as a major part of his oeuvre, and were celebrated in a retrospective organized by The Museum of Modern Art in 1991 that circulated to a number of museums in the US, Central and South America from 1991 to 1993. Our show included 90 original prints (our inventory includes more than twice as many as were in the show).
Before that we concluded our year of surveys of twentieth-century art movements with a show devoted to Surrealism, Space and Psyche in Play, featuring original prints (and a watercolor) by Leonor Fini, Dorothea Tanning, and Toyen, juxtaposed against a backdrop of works by Jean Arp, Lucien Coutaud, Paul Delvaux, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Stanley William Hayter, Hannah Höch, Paul Klee, Wifredo Lam, Rene Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Germaine Richier, Kurt Seligmann, Paul Wunderlich, and others. It was preceded by Paris and the Spirit of Modernism: Works by Arp, Bissiere, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Suzanne Duchamp, Ernst, Giacometti, Goncharova, Hayter, Helion, Larionov, Laurens, Leger, Lipchitz, Magnelli, Masson, Matisse, Miro, Joan Mitchell, Niki de St Phalle, Picasso, Pignon, Tal-Coat, Tinguely, Bram van Velde, Vieira da Silva, Zadkine, and Zao Wou-Ki (17 January23 March 2003), a follow-up to "Made in France: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings" (October 27, 2002January 12, 2003). These shows followed "The Art that Hitler Hated: Kathe Kollwitz and German Expressionist Printmaking" (July 5-October 20, 2002) and Heroic Poetry: Abstract Art from Miró to the Present: Prints by Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Miró, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, and Antoni Tàpies; prints and multiples by Louise Nevelson, and paintings on paper by Jonna Rae Brinkman.
During the winter of 2001-2002 we presented Images of Women in Old Master Prints and Drawings which explored the varying depictions of women in prints and drawings by a large number of German, Netherlandish, and Italian artists. We also showed Some Light for the Winter of Our Discontent: Etchings and Lithographs by Marc Chagall, which ran during the dark days of the year when we, at least, felt a need for cheering up, a need satisfied by the joy and the color of Chagall's works. 2001 also featured Pierre Alechinsky: The Year of the Snake: Original Prints and Drawings, which ran from 28 September29 October 2001 and was part of our continuing commitment to the graphic works of the COBRA artists. Prior to that we presented Pop Art in the U.S. and Europe, which featured work by Valerio Adami, Joan Gardy Artigas, Richard Avedon, Enrico Baj, Christo, Robert Cottingham, Allan D'Arcangelo, Jim Dine, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, R. B. Kitaj, Nicholas Krushenick, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Lindner, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Phillips, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Saul Steinberg, Andy Warhol, John Wesley, and Tom Wesselmann. Immediately preceding that we presented Drawings from the late 15th century to the early 21st, which continues to demonstrate our interest in both old master and modern/contemporary art. For Kevin Lynch's Capital Times review of the show of July 18th, 2001, click here (Cap. Times Review); for Amanda Henry's 8/11/01 review in the Wisconsin State Journal, click here (WSJReview). It followed our reflections on the 2000 election, "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters": Durer’s Ship of Fools woodcuts (1494), David Deuchar’s etchings (1786) after Hans Holbein’s Dance of Death, Goya’s Caprichos etchings (1799), John Martin’s Paradise Lost mezzotints (1823-25), and Georges Rouault’s Miserere mixed-media intaglios (1922-1928). We spent the first part of the winter exploring Spain and the Spanish tradition in Modern and contemporary art with two shows, "Some things old, some things new: Paintings on canvas and paper, watercolors and gouaches, monotypes, and etchings by Manel Lledos," and Spain and the Spirit of Modernism: Works by Picasso, Miro, Tapies, Artigas, Lledos.
2000 ended with a holiday show of over 130 works by Marc Chagall, The Worlds of Marc Chagall, a show that focused on Chagall's non-biblical etchings and lithographs. In October 2000, we presented a show of over 100 works (most prints) by women artists of the twentieth century, Womanshow 2000: 30 Years of Collecting 20th-Century Art by Women including Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Jonna Rae Brinkman, Mary Cassatt, Louisa Chase, Sue Coe, Sonia Delaunay, Leonor Fini, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Nataliya Goncharova, Nancy Graves, Harmony Hammond, Barbara Hepworth, Hannah Hoch, Margot Humphrey, Savannah Jahrling, Anita Jung, Kathe Köllwitz, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Ellen Lanyon, Marie Laurencin, Georgia Marsh, Suzanne McClelland, Phyllis McGibbon, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Judith Murray, Louise Nevelson, Judy Pfaff, Germaine Richier, Dorothea Rockburne, Joan Root, Susan Rothenberg, Betye Saar, Niki de St. Phalle, Hollis Sigler, Kiki Smith, Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, May Stevens, Dorothea Tanning, Lenore Thomas, Toyen, Rose Van Vranken, Susanne Valadon, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and Emmi Whitehorse. Women artists have long been of major interest to us (Sonja has been teaching a course on Women in the Arts at the Madison Area Technical College for over 10 years). Also part of that interest is the work of an emerging artist, Jonna Rae Brinkman. During September 2000, we presented an extensive collection of over 100 paintings on canvas and on paper by Jonna Rae Brinkman, who recently finished up her MFA at the Pratt Institute in New York City and is already having some success selling to collectors out of her studio. Brinkman has been showing with Spaightwood for over three years (since finishing her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she won the Edward Ryerson Award for painting; two of the winners were in our show. Some of our extensive inventory of Brinkman's very affordable paintings on paper and canvas are available on our very large virtual show).
It succeeded a large show (almost 140 works) exploring the prints of the Fauves, Matisse, Rouault, Vlaminck, Camoin, Derain, and one of their important inspirations, Gauguin. This show related to its predecessor as the French version of Expressionism relates to the German; immediately prior to this exhibition, we showed the works of Käthe Kollwitz and of German Expressionist printmakers (including Barlach, Beckmann, Campendonck, Chagall, Corinth, Dix, Felixmuller, Fronius, Grosz, Heckel, Kandinsky, Kirchner, Klee, Kokoschka, Meidner, Nauen, Nolde, Pechstein, Schlichter, Schmidt-Rottluff, Schott, and Wagner). In turn, it succeeded two other shows exploring some of the art movements spawned in the early twentieth century, Abstract art in all of its variety and a show of works by artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements and some of their artistic heirs; before that we showed over 150 works by Marc Chagall and Joan Miró. During the fall of 1999, we showed prints by the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Prior to that we featured works by six artists, Jonna Rae Brinkman, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Rose Van Vranken, and Emmi Whitehorse. Other recent exhibitions included one-person shows devoted to the works of Pierre Alechinsky, Marc Chagall Biblical Art, Joan Miró and the Cosmos, and the French master, Gérard Titus-Carmel; group shows have featured works by Albrecht Dürer, Old Master Drawings and Old Master Prints, and the artists of COBRA.
In addition to the artists listed above, Spaightwood Galleries also has strong collections of the works of Valerio Adami, Karel Appel, Joan Gardy Artigas, Jim Bird, Claude Garache, John Himmelfarb, Käthe Kollwitz, Wifredo Lam, Manel Lledos, Robert Motherwell, Pierre Tal-Coat, Antoni Tàpies, Wayne Taylor, and Bram van Velde. We are interested in Modern and Contemporary works with strong intellectual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual content: expressionism of various sorts, surrealism, COBRA, and various kinds of gestural art are often featured at Spaightwood; artists who have sought to find ways to accommodate the life of the spirit in a materialistic world like Pierre Alechinsky, Marc Chagall, Sam Gilliam, Wassily Kandinsky, Manel Lledos, Joan Miró, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Dorothea Tanning, Antoni Tàpies, Gerard Titus-Carmel, and Bram van Velde particularly interest us. The human form is another subject we find endlessly intriguing; works by Joan Gardy Artigas, Ernst Barlach, Claude Garache, Alberto Giacometti, Kathe Kollwitz, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Rouault are among our favorites as well.
Look for pages devoted to all of these artists in the near future. We have a number of pages of special offers on selected works by selected artists, including Pierre Alechinsky, Jennifer Bartlett, Louisa Chase, Eduardo Chillida, Helen Frankenthaler, Claude Garache, Sam Gilliam, Karen Kunc, Jacob Lawrence, Philip Pearlstein, Jean-Paul Riopelle, George Rouault, Hollis Sigler, Joan Snyder, Walter Stein, Antoni Tàpies, and Tom Wesselman; look for specials on Ed Baynard, Richard Bosman, Sandro Chia, Susan Crile, José Luis Cuevas, A. R. Penck, Robert Stackhouse, Pierre Soulages, and Zao Wou-Ki. As final after thoughts, we also introduce our first grand-daughter, Jaiden Ariel Weiner, b. 4/21/05, and our grand-son, Zane Weiner, b. 4/26/08, our grand-daughter Jasmine Weiner, our grand-daughter Abby Lou Bono, and our newest grand-son, Calvin Weiner.
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Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.
120 Main Street, PO Box 1193, Upton MA 01568-6193
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The works from Albrecht Durer and the German Renaissance are back in their boxes and the interloper who loped into the place of our show of original prints (and a drawing) by Pierre Alechinsky in celebration of this year, the Year of the Snake in the Chinese calendar has also retreated back into its boxes (mostly). Our meditations on war and its effects by Goya, George Grosz, Georges Rouault, and Otto Dix can be visited in person or scanned by clicking here and here. (Our shows are getting more independent all the time: the Old Master Drawings show simply refused to come down for quite a long time: every time I thought I was ready to unframe everything and put them back in their storage boxes in the gallery, I would see something new (or buy something new!) and need to keep them up just a little bit longer (happily, you can still see them on our website beginning at www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Old_Master_Drawings.html). Three of the drawings insisted on taking part in Albrecht Dürer and the German Renaissance, a show of works by Albrecht Dürer, his students, contemporaries, imitators, and copyists that included 120 woodcuts, engravings, and an etching by Dürer, 14 engravings after Dürer's works (including 6 by Marcantonio Raimondi, of the 33 we have from his engravings after Dürer's Small Woodcut Passion), 27 works by artists who were in his studio (3 woodcuts by Hans Schäufelein, 4 engravings by Georg Pencz and 20 engravings by Hans Sebald Beham), a work by Monogrammist W.S. (sometimes called Wolfgang Stuber) after Dürer's St. Jerome in His Study that substitutes Martin Luther for St. Jerome (according to the British Museum's website, it was may have been done to commemorate Luther's death in 1546), 2 woodcuts by Lucas Cranach, godfather to one of Luther's children (and vice versa), a hand-painted woodcut for one of Luther's translations of the Bible done by the Cranach School), 3 etchings by the Hopfer Family, father Daniel and sons Lambert and Hieronymus, who taught Dürer how to do etchings: a reverse copy by Hieronymus of Dürer's The Satyr and his Family, Lambert's Saul on the road to Damascus, and Daniel's large Crucifixion. We also showed three works associated with the court of Rudolph II, Aegidius Sadeler's Holy Family in a Landscape, based on a a Dürer watercolor that Rudolph owned, and Hendrik Goltzius's 1596 Resurrection from his Passion, in which he attempted to create a new "modern" style by drawing upon the two artists he thought incorporated the best of the past, Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, to form a new model for Northern artists in general and printmakers in particular in creating their own compositions. I'm still working on connecting all of the links, so keep tryingsooner or later, everything will be connected to everything else.
An interlude: in high school I focused on math, the sciences, and history, but my real obsessions were jazz, science fiction and fantasy, and books published by Grove Press (owned, though I didn't know it at the time, by Joan Mitchell's first husband); my reading, outside of required courses, tended to Samuel Beckett's plays and his first two novels. It was through Beckett that I first discovered Bram van Velde (Beckett wrote a short essay in a series on contempoprary artists published by Grove) and then Jean Dubuffet (same series). When I started my undergraudate career, I was a math major; 6 weeks later, I switched to English. I somehow talked myself into a James Joyce seminar as a freshman and read a lot of Melville and Hawthorne, discovering that I found the earlier writers ultimately more interesting. Fairly soon, I discovered 18th-century novels and plays and then 17th-century poetry and Shakespeare. I wrote my honor's thesis on metaphor in Donne's love poetry, and, in my last semester, as I was finishing my thesis, I took a Spenser course and it transformed my life. I went to Princeton to work with Tom Roche because I loved The Kindly Flame, his study of Book III of The Faerie Queene, and though I wrote my thesis on "Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poetry as a Protestant Poetic" and used The Old Arcadia as my example, I was hooked on Spenser and happily got to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses on Spenser regularly during my 35 years at the University of WisconsinMadison (both in the English Department and, additionally, for the last 8 years of my career, also as an Affiliate Professor of Law, codirector of the Project of Law and the Humanities, and co-editor of the Graven Images monograph series of Studies in Culture, Law, and the Sacred) published first by the UW Law School and then by the UW Press (co-edited by me and Len Kaplan, a colleague at the UW Law School, with my wife Sonja as Associate Editor). The same volume also contained my essay on "Madness and the Limits of the Self in Shakespeare's King Lear." All of which is to say, our Dürer show was a long time coming!.
I had arrived in Princeton in 1966, the year Erwin Panofsky, who had long been at the Institute for Advanced Research at Princeton, died, and found myself sampling all sorts of Panofsky events and fell in love with Panofsky's first love, Albrecht Dürer. Contemporary art had a new rival! Colin Eisler gave a lecture on Dürer (though I can't remember whether I saw it on campus or on Public TV) and his focus on Dürer's obsessive drawing and printmaking touched a sympathetic chord (my wife and friends would all agree that I am a fairly obsessive person). At Wisconsin, it soon became clear to me that I needed to learn a lot more about old master paintings and prints; my colleagues in the Art History Department at Wisconsin kindly allowed me to sit on on all of their Renaissance art history courses. Over the years, Professor Gail Geiger, our Italian Renaissance specialist, became a good friend and willing co-conspirator, and Jane Campbell Hutchison, a world-famous Dürer expert who was working on a biography of Dürer, since published by the Princeton University Press, taught me about Dürer and German Renaissance art and published an article about the reception history of Dürer's Melancholia for a volume on Madness, Melancholy, and the Limits of the Self in the Graven Images monograph series of Studies in Culture, Law, and the Sacred. published by the UW Law School and co-edited by me and a colleague at the UW Law School (with my wife Sonja as Associate Editor).
All of these currents come together through Panofsky's insights in the opening of his now classic-study (just canonized by a new edition with a new 18-page introduction by Professor Jeffrey Chipps Smith, that begins, "Erwin Panofsky was the most influential art historian of the twentieth century. . . . Panofsky's research [in Dürer] culminated in The Art and Life of Albrecht Dürer, a truly classic text for the study of art, and, indeed for the study of Renaissance culture" [p. xxvii]). Panofsky's introduction singles out Dürer as the single figure who enabled Germany to step forward into the world of art previously dominated by Italy, the Netherlands, and France: "It was by means of the graphic arts that Germany finally attained the rank of a Great Power in the domain of art, and this chiefly through the activity of one man, who, though famous as a painter, became an international figure only in his capacity of engraver and woodcut designer: Albrecht Dürer. His prints set a new standard for graphic perfection for more than a century and served as models for countless other prints, as well as paintings, sculptures, enamels, tapstries, plaques and faiences, and this not only in Germany, but also in Italy, in France, in the Low Countries, in Russia, in Spain, and indirectly even in Persia" (pp. 3-4). What made Dürer so different from his contemporaries, Panofsky suggests, was that he had a different conception of what an artist could be: "Agnes Frey thought that the man she had married was a painter in the late medieval sense, an honest craftsman who produced pictures as a tailor made coats and suits; but to her misfortune her husband discovered that art was both a divine gift and an intellectual achievement requiring humanistic learning, a knowledge of mathematics and the general attainments of a 'liberal culture' . . . . He loved the company of scholars and scientists, associated with bishops, patricians, noblemen, and princes on terms of almost perfect equality" (p. 7). Over the past few months, I have added new webpages devoted to many of Dürer's contemporaries and will continue working on them. Click here to begin the tour.
For much of 2011 and almost all of 2012, we showed Old Master Drawings from the late 15th Century to the 18th Century, including 158 works by, among others, Raphael, Giulio Romano (the only artist Shakespeare ever mentions by name), and Perino del Vaga, standing in for the early 16th-century Roman School and its offshoots. We also present a small group of Italian Mannerist drawings after Michelangelo or inspired by him, a drawing by Parmigianino, two drawings by Federico Zuccaro, and works by Giovanni Baglione, Baldassare Franceschini, and Il Morazzone (click here for illustrations). While there, you can also visit a beautiful red chalk drawing of a pastoral scene showing a woman and child asleep in a landscape attributed to Matteo Rosselli, who was Il Morazzone's teacher. The Venetian School is represented by two drawings by Andrea Schiavone, a very beautiful presentation drawing by Paolo Veronese, a double-sided drawing attributed to Veronese, one side of which shows Juno sitting on a cloud, the other side of which shows a man kneeling by a large urn. In addition to drawings from these schools or styles, we have a number of pieces showing the influence of Annibale Carracci, his brother Agostino (a drawing after Agostino's engraving after a painting by Veronese and a drawing drawn on the back of one of Agostino's etchings attributed to Odoardo Fialetti which takes the figure of Venus on the engraving and by tracing over it, uses it as the basis for a composition of his own), and their cousin Ludovico, and their assistants, Domenichino, Francesco Albani, and Giovanni Lanfranco, as well as works by their successors in and around Bologna, Guercino, Simone Cantarini, and Pier Francesco Mola. We also include a group of nine red chalk drawings that seem stylistically indebted to the Carracci (click here for a tour). Also included: 28 small drawings done in pen and brown ink by Ercole Bazzicluva (Pisa, 1610-after 1641, Florence) whom Baldinucci described (c. 1681) as "a brilliant draughtsman in pen and ink" and praised his drawings, which are mainly of subjects inspired by his experience of military occupations, hunts, and battles, as "highly accomplished." The later Italian group also includes drawings by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, called Lo Spagnuole, Etienne Parrocel, called Le Roman, and the ever popular Anonymous.
The Netherlandish contingent includes two late 15th-century drawings from a manuscript of the Golden Legend made for someone who did not believe that print had a future (and they may, alas, finally be right about that in our age of eBooks), a drawing from the first third of the 16th-century by Bernaert van Orley, one of the first generation of northern artists to go to Italy during the brief reign of Pope Adrian VI from January 1522 to September 1523; after his return he became court painter to Margaret of Austria, the Regent of the Netherlands, and spent a lot of time designing tapestries. We are also showing a drawing by Maarten de Vos, another visitor to Italy, where he spent some time in Rome before going to Venice, where he worked in Titian's studio before retuning to Antwerp. Once back in Antwerp, he provided over 1600 drawings to print publishers to be made into engravings and provided art for many of the churches that had been denuded during the iconoclastic partings during the 1560s and 50s. We are also showing a drawing by Abraham Bloemaert, another prodigious producer of drawings for prints and the founder of a dynasty of painters in Utrecht. The very prolific Peter Paul Rubens, who spent time in Italy as court painter to the Gonzaga court in Mantua and absorbed as much as he could of the art of the Italian Renaissance before retuning to the north, where he dominated painting for the rest of his life (as well as working for Philip II of Spain and Charles I of England, from whom he received a knighthood and other honors, also has a substantial presence in the show. We are showing one drawing by Rubens, two sketches by Rubens, and two larger works inspired by his work as well as two models of altar-pieces by artists influenced by him. We also have a signed drawing (a very rare animal indeed in an age when most artist did not sign their drawings), by Philipp Sadeler, one of the clan of Sadelers who were prolific engravers and print publishers. Jan, Raphael, and Aegidius Sadeler (Imperial printmaker to Rudolf II) left Antwerp during or after the sack of Antwerp and ended up in Venice. Although, alas, we do not have any drawings by Rembrandt, we do have one by his student Nicolaes Maes which is reproduced in the 10-volume Drawings of the Rembrandt School and another by one of his anonymous followers.
From Germany come drawings by Virgil Solis, Hans von Aachen, another of Rudolf II's court painters, and Johann Heinrich Roos. whose landscape paintings, drawings, and engravings made him the dominant figure in 17th-century German landscape art. We also have two hand-painted woodcuts, one after Hans Burgkmair and one after Lucas Cranach's woodcut portrait of Joshua for the Luther Bible. Perhaps the most interesting French drawings in the show are the twenty-one medium-size chalk drawings by Jean François de Neufforge, (Comblain-au-Pont, near Liège, 1714-1791, Paris). We obtained the group in 2004 from a Belgian specialist in rare books who had purchased a beautiful leather folio containing the drawings and offered them to us. According to an article by Claire Baines in the Grove Dictionary of Art (2000), 22: 925, Neufforge, an architect and sculptor, arrived in Paris around 1738 and studied engraving with Pierre Edmé Babel and architecture with Jacques-François Blondel. Although he worked primarily in the Rococo style, he was also interested in classical sculpture and was aware of his contemporaries, particularly François Boucher (1703-1770). Neufforge's great work was the Recueil élémentaire d'architecture containing roughly 900 architectural engravings, nearly all of which he both designed and engraved (published in several parts in 1757-68 and 1772-1780). According to Prof. Baines, "It is a traditional architect's pattern-book but is of unprecedented scope, containing virtually every type of civic and domestic building then known, including such structures as prisons and lighthouses that had only recently been considered worthy of an architect's attention. In addition, it covers such topics as interior decoration, gardens and methods of construction. In his designs for domestic architecture, Neufforge included models to suit every level of patron, from the most modest to the most aristocratic. The designs draw both on antiquity and the High Renaissance, and the Recueil was extensively used as a source-book throughout the late 18th century." Prof. Baines also suggests that his engraving style was formed while engraving plates for Julien-David Le Roy's book, Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce (Paris, 1758), a work to which he may have been drawn by his interest in classical figures or from which he have become interested in classical figures (like Heraclitos, the weeping philosopher, whose imagined portrait he drew at least twice, once in black chalk and once in red, bordered as if for an engraving. Also part of the exhibition are a several drawings that show classical (Cicero) and contemporary orators which we have hung in couterpoint to a drawing of a Roman king and St. Peter, another famed orator (at least in the opening of the Acts of the Apostles). Also in the show are two groups of drawings by Neufforge, one of fashionable aristocratic women with pearls in their hair or around their necks paired with a coy nude and a woman in a mob cap and the other of which juxtaposes two drawings of a baby (we assume the Christ child) and one of what we think is a drawing similar to Durer's drawing of the figure who appears in his painting of the 12-year old Jesus teaching the elders in the temple along with two drawings of a modestly dressed young woman who would not be out of place in a traditional depiction of the Virgin Mary, either solo or in a group scene.
For more information and an introduction to the Renaissance art of drawings, please see the introductory page to our Old Master Drawings show.
Also featured in this show are "Paintings, Drawings, and Aquatints by Claude Garache" (French, b. 1929), who has been called the first post-modern artist of the nude yet who also embodies a kind of classic faith in the ability of the human body (specifically, the more "universal" human body of the woman) to convey important truths about the place of people in the universe.
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