By: John Dorfman
The small, clubby world of drawings enthusiasts gets more expansive this month as galleries all over the Upper East Side of Manhattan open their doors for Master Drawings Week, New York. Introduced in 2007 as an extension of Master Drawings Week, London (launched in 2001), the event involves New York galleries mounting special shows as well as hosting shows by local private dealers and colleagues from the U.K. and Spain. A total of 22 dealers will participate this year, from Jan. 23–30, up from 18 in 2009. A feast for collectors and curators, the event includes drawings from the past five centuries and is timed to coincide with the Old Master sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
New York dealer Richard Berman, one of seven newcomers this year, will show a drawing in black chalk highlighted with white chalk on beige paper, Christ and the Samaritan Woman (circa 1707–10) by Pierre Parrocel, for which he will be asking $14,000. The sheet is part of a series on the life of Christ of which other examples are in French collections. “This one is beautiful, and Parrocel is relatively rare to find,” says Berman. Among the moderns, he will have a 1936 Julio Gonzalez drawing, in ink, watercolor and wash that relates to the sculptures the Franco-Spanish artist was doing at the time. It will be priced at $35,000. Berman will be exhibiting at the gallery of C.G. Boerner.
Another newcomer, Jill Newhouse of New York, will have a Max Beckmann Birdplay (1949), a pen and India ink over charcoal from the collection of Curtis O. Baer. One of the founders of Master Drawings, London, Crispian Riley-Smith from Yorkshire, England, will exhibit at Shepherd & Derom Galleries, featuring Dutch drawings and watercolors such as Woodcutters by Vincent Vinne.
London and international dealer Dickinson Fine Art will spotlight Femme au chapeau (1908), a signed Kees van Dongen gouache on paper that is almost certainly a study for his painting Stella in a Flowered Hat, in the National Gallery of Ireland. The drawing dates from the period of Van Dongen’s first association with Matisse, Derain and Dufy. “It’s obviously a great date for a Van Dongen, being a Fauve work,” says Dickinson’s Emma Ward.