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Pierre Alechinsky: The Year of the Snake

Last updated: 4-13-14
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A view of the left side of the gallery showing 4 of the 5 panels plus the end wall. We felt a need to add the works on the floor to those on the walls if for no other reason than because we wanted to see them, but also because Alechinsky is anything but a minimalist. On the contrary, he might better be described as a maximalist who wants to let us see as much as we can and then more, to give us a chance to stretch and sweeten our imaginations. The works on this wall and beneath it go from the early 1960s to the mid 1980s. A walk through the show (or down this wall) would make it clear that Alechinsky tends to think in series at the same time that it would reveal his mastery of the individual work and to see how Alechinsky can make it function within larger groupings. For better views of these panels, please see Gallery Tour 2 (which shows each individual panel head-on and allows the viewer to experience each group of works as a group and then to zoom in on each work for a closer look and then to start moving back to take in larger groups and then to look yet again at individual panels and individual works within the individual panels).
A view of the left wall from the ladder showing some of the 97 works on the walls (and the 22 works on the floor in frames) in Pierre Alechinsky: The Year of the Snake, our current exhibition, a 119-work journey through the prints of Pierre Alechinsky (Belgian, b. 1927), one of the founding members of COBRA, a post World War II combination of surrealism and abstraction. In the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Snake comes every twelve years (and by the calendar this year ends 31 January 2014—our show, however, will continue on until 4 May 2014). For Pierre Alechinsky the Year of the Snake can be an auspicious one. In 1977, also the Year of the Snake, Alechinsky was awarded the first Andrew W. Mellon Prize for Painting and executed one of the prints we are featuring, also called The Year of the Snake. Spaightwood Galleries began in 1980, so we missed our 1977 observance, but by 1989, Alechinsky's Guggenheim retrospective (which had been traveling in Europe for almost two years) had finally come to its end, and Spaightwood presented our first major Alechinsky show and purchased a small oil painting on canvas by the artist. In 2001, we once again celebrated the Year of the Snake with an Alechinsky show, founded upon our acquisition of large numbers of the two pieces published in 1977 to celebrate his Mellon prize and augmented by many more recent etchings and lithographs published by Galerie Lelong. Now, in 2013, as the Year of the Snake winds down to its close, we are presenting our largest Alechinsky show to date. In our Upton space, we can fit more Alechinsky’s on the walls than ever before—97 on the walls (some of them quite large) and more leaning against the bookshelves beneath the walls where the others are hanging—and we plan to luxuriate in lots of Alechinsky's favorite images: Central Park, snakes, volcanoes, maps, gardens, dog-kings, smiling crocodiles and sea monsters, and people existing as best they can in a world that often seems to invite extreme emotional responses. (Sometimes you just want to scream!) Still, the central act of Alechinsky's art is the making of marks on a sheet of paper, on a canvas, on a copperplate, on a lithographic stone: for that is what distinguishes artists (visual or verbal) from destroyers.
top: Premier Acte / Act I. Original color lithograph, 1976. 120 signed and nummbered impressions on Arches paper, of which this is n. 107/120. Image size: 1000x620mm. Mat size: 48x36 inches. Price: $7500.

Bottom left: Seoul 88. Original color lithograph, 1988. Originally commissioned for the 1988 Seoul Olympic portfolio, the work was never actually published because the portfolio went into bankruptcy proceedings. There were supposed to be 300 signed and numbered impressions. We puchased our impressions from one of the creditors, who would sell us works whenever he needed to pay his lawyers. On his last visit he informed us that there had been a leak in the warehouse where the prints were being stored and most of the remaining pieces were damaged. We still have several impressions left, but when those are gone, that is apparantly it. The central image is one of Alechinsky's favorites: a manhole cover (he collects them and uses rubbings of them in some of his large compostions). Image size: 760x560mm. Price: $$250.

Bottom right: Spiral I. Original woodcut, c. 1975. 300 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper measuring 655x505mm of which ours is n. 98/300. A very good impression in mint condition. Woodcuts are rare in Alechinsky's print oeuvre.The spiral or labyrinthine or serpent form, however, is one of Alechinsky's favorites. Image size: 495x362mm. Price: $3250.
The show includes 8 large wall-panels (of which the one above is typical) each containing a selection of works by Alechinsky. Instead of being cramed into a space about 5-1//2 x7-1/2 inches, however, in the gallery each one is hung in a space about 9ft x 9 ft., so there is adequate space for seeing each piece both individually and as part of a larger whole. From top left: Paris (mat size: 42x30 inches), Chicago (mat size: 48x36 inches), Vieux Souvenirs / Old memories (mat size: 42x30 inches); middle row: Bonnet blanc White hat, Comme un gant /Like a glove; Leurs yeux paisables / Their peaceful eyes (mat size: 24x30 inches each); bottom row, Chute blanche / White waterfall (mat size: 32x40 inches), Grenailles errantes (mat size: 32x34 inches) / loose grains (of metal or meal). In the photograph of Paris (top left), the light areas are reflections of our triple window at the opposite end of the gallery. For details on each of these pieces, please click here.
Deuxième Acte / Act II. Original color lithograph, 1976. 120 signed and nummbered impressions on Arches paper, of which this is n. 102/120. Image size: 1000x620mm. Mat size: 48x36 inches. Price: $7500.
From top left:
Serpent. Original color etching and lithograph, 1977. 120 signed and numbered impressions printed at Imprimerie Adrien Maeght and published by Yves Rivière, Paris. Ours is part of a series of five; another one of the series was included in Michel Butor and MIchel Sicard's Alechinsky: Travaux d'impression (Paris: Galilée, 1992), p. 129. The link between serpents and COBRA is probably too obvious to mention. Image size: 620x446mm. Price: $2750.
Sur les douze coups de midi /On the twelve strokes of noon (A. 381). Original color lithograph, 1969. 100 signed & numbered impressions (of which ours is n. 75/100) plus xv artist's proofs. Printed by Imprimerie Clot, Bramsen et Georges, Paris, and published by the London Arts Group. There were also 8 signed and numbered impressions of a second state, about which I can find no details. The work details various occupations, objects, and mindsets appropriate to the activites of the day. Image size: 510x730mm. Price: $4500.
En votre aimable déreglement / In your friendly disorder. Original color lithograph, 1986. 150 signed & numbered impressions on Arches paper, of which ours is n. 89/150. The painter at his easel is one of Picasso and Chagall's favorite themes. However, instead of presenting the artist as a heroic figure, Alechinsky shows the artist working hard at this easel painting on a canvas, imposing his vision not on a blank slate, but on an invoice for things already bought. Image size: 545x355mm. Price: $3250.
bottom row: Crayonnement / crayon drawing (A. 525). Original color lithograph, 1972. 100 signed & numbered impressions on Arches (of which ours is n. 73/100) plus xv artist's proofs. Printed Clot, Bramsen and Georges, Paris. Included in Alechinsky à l'imprimerie (see immediately below for details). Image size: 490x335mm. Price: $3000.
In Octovo / Composition in 8 pages In Alechinsky à l'imprimerie, the catalog of a 1975 Alechinsky print retrospective that included 150 prints (including 18 also featured in our current show) and that opened in Paris at the Centre national d'art et dee culture Georges Pompidou) and then traveled to Marseilles (Le Musée Cantini), Bastia (Palais du Gouverneur), Putteax (Galerie la Defense), Kaiserslauterin, R.F.A. (Centre cultuerel municapal), Brest (Musée municipal), Tours (Musée des Beaux-Arts), Humlebaek, Denmark (Louisiana Museum), Oslo (Sonja Henie-Niels Onstad Foundation), Helsinki (Amos Anderson Taidemuseuo)), Malmo, Sweden (Kunsthalle), Grasse (Maisons des Jeunes et de la Culture), Bordeaux (Musée des Beaux-Arts), Caen (Atelier d'animation), and Long-la-ville (Maisons des Jeumes et de la Culture). The catalogue included a life-size offset reproducion of In Octavo, there folded up into eight sheets that combine to reproduce the whole of our print when unfolded.
Révalorisation / Revaluation. Original color etching, 1972-1981. 60 signed & numbered impressions on old commercial paper mounted on Arches. Sometimes, Alechinsky printed on old interest-bearing bonds, sometimes a full sheet whose coupons were all still unclipped; sometimes on sheets from which some of them have been clipped and the rest remain as a reminder of the transience of financial planning. The moral is clear: Art is eternal; apparently, the same cannot be said for money! Many years ago we sold an impression of this work to Ysehiva University in NY City, who wanted it as a thank-you gift to someone who had just made a large contribution to the Graduate School. Imags size: 411x311mm. Price: $3750.
On floor: Louisiana 1, Louisiana 2, and Louisiana 3. Original color etchings, 1983. 99 impressions on Arches paper of which ours are 85/99, 83/99, and 90/99. In 1975, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, established a permanent Alechinsky Room. This etching is a tribute to the museum done on the occasion of Alechinsky's donation of a number of drawings to the museum. These etchings may be ass close as Alechinsky comes to pure abstraction. Image size: 560x450mm. Price: $4000 each (or $9000 for the set of 3).
Troisième Acte / Act III. Original color lithograph, 1976. 120 signed and nummbered impressions on Arches paper, of which this is n. 110/120. Image size: 1000x620mm. Mat size: 48x36 inches. Price: $7500.
Please check Gallery News and our Spaightwood Galleries Facebook page (link at top of this page) for information about museum shows we have seen, recent acquisitions, and other current information. We hope that this can become our new way to communicate with friends and visitors about the newest happenings at Spaightwood Galleries. To see the contents of every wall in the Alechinsky show, click Gallery Tour 1 and Gallery Tour 2. We have about 120 works in this show; when the Museum of Modern Art did their Alechinsky print show in 1981, they included 85 works. Their collection, however, is nearly 150% larger than ours: we have about 160 works by Alechinsky; they have, according to their website, 246 Aechinsky prints; our show does include over 30 of the works that are also in their permanent collection.

For those of you who might want to revisit our previous show, a meditaion upon war that included the complete Goya Disasters of War, the 16 color lithographs from George Grosz' Ecce Homo, 27 large mixed-media etchings by George Rouault from his Miserere, and 31 of Otto Dix's lithographs for The Gospel according to St. Matthew (which sets the action in the Germany of the 1920s and 30s, showing Herod's forces executing the slaughter of the innocents in the uniforms of the Nazi SA troops, Jesus's arrest in the Garden of Gethsemene by SS Waffen troops, Jerusalem as a modern city with skyscrapers, Jesus's mockers in the clothing of the 1920s and a930s, and Jesus being escorted to Golgotha by a slave-labor foreman with a whip. For a tour of the show, please go to Studying War I and Studying War II. Sometime in the near future, we will be posting links for our recent show of Albrect Dürer's works and those of his pupils and followers and the show of Old Master Drawings that preceded it.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

120 Main Street, PO Box 1193, Upton MA 01568-6193

for questions, E-mail us at sptwd@verizon.net or call 1-800-809-3343 (508-529-2511 in Upton & vicinity).

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, Aegidious 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 trying—sooner 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 Wisconsin–Madison (both in the English Depatment and, additionally, for the last 8 years of my career, also as an Affliliatd Professor of Law, co-director of the Projet 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 Reseach 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 Reniassance 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 contempioraries 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 genereation 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 purgings 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 landsacpe 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.
Keep scroling down: more follows!

The gallery seen from the corner of Main St. (Highway 140) and Maple Ave in Upton.
Wisdom Preaching to Fools (SMS 266.11, Strauss 13v, Hutt 1348, Borer 118). Original woodcut, 1494. A good impression on laid paper from a late 15th century or early 16th century edition showing almost no wear to the block on laid paper with no staining. Image size: 116x83mm. Price: $2500.

The 1511 edition tells us: "Who to wisdom steadily pays heed, / And accordingly directs his every need, / Eternal honor shall be his meed."
Folly and Her Fools (SMS 266.28, Hutt 1365, Borer 135). Original woodcut, 1494. A good impression on laid paper from the 1511 edition. Image size: 116x83mm. Price: $2000.

The 1511 edition tells us: "Folly has lavish retinue, / The whole world joins it, even you, / If you have power and money too."
Venus, Cupid, and Death (SMS 266.06, Hutt 1343, Borer 113). Original woodcut, 1494. A good impression on laid paper from the 1511 edition, the bottom border lines beginning to wear. Image size: 116x83mm. Price: $2500.

The 1511 edition tells us: "My rope pulls many fools about, / Ape, cuckold, ass, and silly lout,,/ Whom I seduce, deceive, and flout."
Albrecht Dürer (Nuremburg, 1471-1528), Agony in the Garden (Bartsch 4, Strauss 48). Original engraving, 1508. A fine Meder a/b impression with traces of burr printed on laid paper with part of a Bull's Head with Flower watermark (the 5-petal flower) not used after 1519. Meder notes that this watermark (#62), is found on first qualtiy impressions only. Signed with the monogram and dated on the tablet lower right. Image size: 115x71mm. Price: $20,000.
Paolo Veronese (attributed), Juno and her peacock on a cloud seen from the rear. Brush and brown ink and wash on laid paper, c. 1570. Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Jacopo Tintoretto dominated the Venetian art scene for most of the 16th century, winning most of the public and religious commissions during that period. The Doges' Palace is particularly rich in work by Veronese. Hope, in Veronese and the Venetian Tradition of Allegory, talks about the distinct meanings of Juno in Venetian ceiling paintings in the 1560s-1580: Juno as Venice's patron (see pp. 409, 410); Juno as the element of air (Hope, pp. 415, 416), and Juno as one of the patrons of marriage (Hope, 419 and plate xxvii [b]). See also Pignatti and Pedrocco 1991, p. 111 (Juno clothed on a cloud with her peacock and a putto); p. 130: Juno, Hymen and Venus on a cloud in the Stanza dell'amor coniugale (in the Villa Barbaro at Maser, c. 1561-62?); p. 224, fig. 143d, Juno and Apollo in the Fontego dei Tedeschi in Venice; p. 230, pl. 149b, where the central figure in Infedeltà [Infidelity] (c. 1576-78) is a half-naked female figure seen from behind and below who shares much of the physicality of our drawing; p. 263, pl. 190, The Trionfo di Venezia in the Salo del Maggior Consilio in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (1579-1582), in which the enthroned figure of Venice is attended by a number of figures, including a crowned female nude seated on a cloud seen from behind and below. Click here for another drawing on the verso with an unidentified collector's mark. Image size: 262x188mm. Price: $27,500.
School of the Carracci, 17th-century, Study of a Cherub. Red chalk drawing on heavy cream laid paper with no watermark. A study of the head and shoulders of a Cherub (it strikes us as too adult to be a little boy). The uneven trimming of the paper suggests that it might once have been a part of a larger composition and may signal that this collection was put together for the assistants in the workshop of an artist successful enough that he needed assistants. Image size: 120x80 mm. Price: $5000.
The Beast with Two Horns like a Lamb (Bartsch 74, Strauss 46, Meder 175). Original woodcut, c. 1496-97 for The Apocalypse. The work draws details from Revelation 13-14 (see below). Original woodcut from the 1511 Latin edition of The Apocalypse. A very good well-inked impression with strong contrasts, and preferable to the 1498 German and Latin editions which Meder describes (Strauss, p. 172) as "brownish, sometmies grey, less distinct" and "not particularly good." Our impression has full borders and margins on all sides. Strauss comments, "If a mystery can be made plausible, then Dürer has succeeded . . . in doing just that. He renders the incredible credible, retains the mysterious, and yet invites the viewers to interpret and understand what is happening. As a means to this end, he has invented a new graphic language" (p. 195). The image draws upon details from Revelations 17-19 (see below). Image size: 392x282mm. Price: $35,000.
Raphael Sanzio (Urbino 1483-1520 Rome), Attributed, Seated figure. Red chalk on old laid paper, c. 1504. Inscribed "Raphael 103" top center; initialed "J. F." in black ink lower left corner. Provenance: letter from Edward G. Hawks, a lawyer from Buffalo NY dated 12/25/1898 to James Dudley Hawks of Detroit MI, describing finding this and two other drawings loosely inserted in a 4-volume set of engravings of Herculaneum (Rome, 1789) with a note on the inside front cover, "Maria Denman–from her affectionate Brother [in-law] and Friend, John Flaxman." Flaxman (1755-1826) was a member of the Royal Academy, a successful sculptor and draftsman; he provided drawings to be engraved by artists (including William Blake) illustrating various texts including the Iliad, the Odyssey, the works of Aeschylus, and the Divine Comedy. Flaxman was in Rome from 1787 to 1794, where he would have had access to drawings by Raphael; Flaxman's own drawings, "unusual at the time for being conceived almost entirely in terms of outline," (Grove Dictionary of Art 11: 162-65; here at 163) might well have made Raphael's drawings of interest to him not just aesthetically but also practically. According to Hawks, he sent this drawing and two others (one of which, The Adoration of the Magi, here attributed to Parmigianino, which Hawks calls the "The wise man's offering," misreading the title written on the verso in Flaxman's hand, "The wise men's offering," we have also purchased) to his brother, "hoping they will afford you amusement and profit." Image size: 136x90mm. Price: call.

On our 27" monitor, this is about life size; for more on this drawing, please click here; for drawings by Raphael's assistants Giulio Romano and Perino del Vaga, please click their names.
The drawing seeems to relate to Raphael's drawings made at Pinturicchio's request (c. 1504) for him to use in his fresco cycle on the life of Pope Pius II in the Duomo in Siena (Vasari, II: 223 [Everyman edition]). In particular, see the 4th fresco, in which the future Pope Pius II, is sent by the Emperor Frederick III to Pope Eugenius IV. The fresco shows Aeneas Silvius kneeling in front of the Pope to kiss his slipper; on either side of the Pope there are five seated clerics wearing robes similar to those worn by the figure in our drawing. In an essay published in The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, Bette Talvacchia uses Vasari's Life of Giulio Romano, Raphael's former chief assistant, to suggest what Raphael's workshop practise must have been like: "In assigning his assistants a more substantial role in the labor-intensive procedure of turning out hundreds of preparatory drawings for frescoes, Raphael initiated them into a rigorous working method, which they perpetuated as independent masters. The process devised by Raphael was to execute preliminary, rough sketches, proceed with further consideration of the groupings and individual figures through studies from life (often garzoni in appropriate poses), and then combine the compositional arrangements with the figural studies to form modelli" (p. 178). Our drawing seems to be just such a rough sketch (perhaps of one of the workshop assistants), to get the feel of a seated figure seen from the side. For a similar use of chalk to outline a figure, see Joannides 1983 #17, upper left. For the Pinturrichio frescoes, see either The Piccolomini Library in the Cathedral of Siena: The History of Pope Pius II in the Ten Frescoes of Pinturicchio (Siena, 1938) or Pietro Scarrpellini, Pintoricchio all Libreria Piccolomi (Milano: Fratelli Fabbri, 1965), p. 22. For additional seated cardinals in similar garb (though in different postures, see p. 38). For a reproduction of one of Raphael's cartoons, see Rhoda Eitel-Porter, ed. From Leonardo to Pollock: Master Drawings from the Morgan Library (NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 2006), pp. 26-27.
Guercino (Bologna, 1591-1666), attributed, St. Paul. Brown chalk drawing on laid paper with no watermark laid down upon a heavy sheet of laid paper with an irregularly-drawn decorated border, perhaps for mounting in an album. St. Paul sits at a desk, writing one of his epistles, the sword of his martyrdom leaning against the table upon which he works; an inkpot sits by his book within easy reach. The same sword is visible in Guercino's large 1644 oil painting of St. Paul in the Cuppini Collection in Verona (see David M. Stone, Guercino: cataloge completo die dipinti [Cantini 1991], n. 188 on p. 203). The elaborately-feathered quill pen that St. Paul uses seems to be, if not the same then at least very similar, although the treatment of the saint is different (in the painting he faces to the left at a 45 degree angle and is much more heavily bearded. David M. Stone, Guercino: Master Draftsman, suggests that most of Guercino's drawings should not be thought of as " 'blueprints' for the style of the paintings they study" but rather that they serve as "intellectual 'time-outs' in which the artist gives himself the freedom to invent, to delve into the istoria, without having to worry about such tedious issues as the size of the canvas, the number of figures he must eventually squeeze into the composition, or even the format of the picture, whether horizontal or vertical" (xxiii). Stone also suggests that the medium for the drawings was often based upon the need to use a technique that offered the most freedom and flexibility in putting images seen by the mind's eye onto the page, noting that Guercino's "preferred drawing medium throughout his life was pen or pen and wash" and his drawings show "the velocity with which Guercino could use his pen to 'attack' his subject on the sheet: the quick succession of pentimenti in the drawing would have been difficult if not impossible to realize in any other medium" (p. xix). Image size: 208x279mm. Price: $50,000.
Ercole Bazzicaluva (Pisa, 1610-after 1641, Florence), Beggar (inspired by Rembrandt?). Original pen and brown ink drawing, after 1630. Drawing on laid paper glued to a larger sheet of laid paper. Baldinucci described him (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." Image size: 57x73mm. Price: $1250.

The drawing is shown slightly larger than life.
Ercole Bazzicaluva (Pisa, 1610-after 1641, Florence), Antique warrior with two swords. Original pen and brown ink drawing, after 1630. Drawing on laid paper glued to a larger sheet of laid paper. Our drawings all came from one collection and may have been trimmed from larger compositions to form a library of poses for the workshop of some unknown artist, perhaps Bazzicaluva or one of his pupils. Image size: 63x34mm. Price: $1000.

The drawing is shown slightly larger than life.
School of the Carracci, 17th-century, Study of a young woman turned to the left. Red chalk drawing on heavy cream laid paper with no watermark. A study of the head of a beautiful young woman, caught in the act of turning to the left. For some suggestive similarities to this composition, see Annibale's Head of a young girl looking downwards in Drawings by the Carracci from British Collections (Ashmolean Museum, 1996), p. 104). The uneven trimming of the paper suggests that it might once have been a part of a larger composition and may signal that this collection was put together for the assistants in the workshop of an artist successful enough that he needed assistants. Image size: 106x92 mm. Price: $5000.

On my 27-inch monitor, this is about life-size.
Bernaert van Orley (Netherlandish, 1492-1542), Susanna and the Elders. Pen and sepia ink drawing on laid paper without a watermark, c. 1530. Image size: 115x82mm. Price: $12, 500.
Nicolaes Maes (Dordrecht 1634-1693 Amsterdam), The Prophet Nathan rebukes David. Pen and brown ink and wash on laid paper, c. 1650-1660. From the roof of his palace, David sees Bathsheba engaging in her ritual purification bath at the end of her period. He sends for her, seduces her, and she conceives a child. Her husband Uriah the Hittite, one of David's captains, comes home, but will not sleep with his wife while his comrades are in battle (and thus making it impossible for David's child to be passed off as his), so David orders Joab to set up a way of getting him killed in battle. After Uriah's death, David then marries Bathsheba. The situation depicted in this drawing is described in 2 Samuel 1-15. God sends the Prophet Nathan to call David back to obedience. Nathan tells David a story about a rich man who kills his neighbor's only lamb to feast a traveller even though he is rich and his many sheep of his own. David condemns the rich man to death only to have Nathan tell him, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites" (7-9). Maes has illustrated the moment when David cowers in fear of the Lord's wrath and repents. Our drawing is illustrated in Walter Sumowski's Drawings of the Rembrandt School, 10 vols. (NY: Abaris Books, 1979-1992), vol. 8, p. 4298-99, catalogue n. 1922x. It has also been published in William W. Robinson, Rembrandt's Sketches of Historical Subjects (1987), p. 256, fig. 22. Image size: 102x160mm. Price: $18,500.
Jean-Francois de Neufforge, Woman with pearl necklace looking down. Red and black chalk on laid paper. Image size: 450x305mm. Price: $4000.
Jean-Francois de Neufforge, Woman with pearls in her hair looking to the left. Red chalk on laid paper watermarked "WM: VANDER LEY" (Churchill 433: after 1724). Image size: 415x320mm. Price: $3500.

The recent history of Spaightwood Galleries

Spaightwood Galleries was founded in 1980 in Madison Wisconsin by Andy Weiner and Sonja Hansard-Weiner and moved in 2004 into our beautiful new site in Upton Massachusetts (about forty-five minutes west of Boston via the Mass Pike; take the I-495 South Exit, then exit at Exit 21-B Upton; go 5.1 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 years later we have an inventory of over 9200 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 700) and illustrations (currently over 6000) to this site, but the best way to find out what we have will be to E-mail us (sptwd@verizon.net) 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 and 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 give a sense of the variety of what we show.
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 Bible–most 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 January–23 March 2003), a follow-up to "Made in France: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings" (October 27, 2002–January 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 September–29 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.
Keep scroling down: more follows!
Joan Gardy Artigas (b. 1938), Homage to Brancusi. Ceramic sculpture, 1983. Size: 280x100x110cm. This work was included in Artigas shows at the Meadows Museum in Dallas (1984) and the Hispanic Institute in NYC (1985). After a sojourn of nearly twelve years in Madison WI, this beautiful sculpture, nearly 10 feet high, is beginning to adjust to her new home in Upton MA at the new Spaightwood Galleries. P.O.R.

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For directions and visiting information, please call. We are, of course, always available over the web and by telephone (see above for contact information). Click the following for links to past shows and artists. For a visual tour of the gallery, please click here. For information about Andy Weiner and Sonja Hansard-Weiner, please click here. For a list of special offers currently available, see Specials.

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