By: Sheila Gibson Stoodley
Last year at this time, New York’s Asian art community was scrambling to deal with the cancellation of the International Asian Art Fair, which had become an Asia Week draw to match the auctions at the major houses. But so much is happening during 2010’s Asia Week, which takes place March 20–28, that it’s possible to forget that the fair has not returned.
On March 16 the Asia Society Museum will open an exhibition on how Buddhist pilgrimages influenced Asian art, which will run through June 20; it will appear alongside a show on the art of ancient Vietnam that opened in February and continues through May 2.
Asia Society’s Asia Week activities also include promoting and publicizing the offerings of 10 participating museums and 20 galleries. Chief among the latter is Cynthia Volk of New York, whose exhibit Precious Objects: Chinese Ceramics in Context will display a prancing Tang dynasty horse atop a piece of Art Deco furniture.
The six-member Japanese Art Dealers Association will offer two shows from March 20–23 at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion/Ukrainian Institute at 2 East 79th Street, one on humor in Japanese art and a broader exhibition that will include armor, prints, screens, lacquers and a hanging scroll attributed to Hokusai.
Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Doyle will all hold Asian art auctions during the week. Doyle goes first on March 22; Christie’s has scheduled five sales from March 23–26 that cover virtually every corner of the Asian continent, from India to Southeast Asia to China, Japan and Korea; Sotheby’s will sell Chinese works on March 23 and Indian and Southeast Asian art on the 24th; and Bonhams will offer Japanese art on March 25. Highlights from the Christie’s sales will include an Imperial zitan wood and stained ivory table screen and stand from the Qianlong period (1736–95), estimated at $200,000–300,000; Sotheby’s will have an undated Bada Shanren ink-on-paper work, Two Mynas on a Rock, for $400,000–600,000.
The Asian Art Dealers of New York, an alliance born last year in the aftermath of the cancellation of the Haughton fair, returns at double strength in 2010. Its participants have increased from 16 to 30 dealers, who will mount exhibits in New York during Asia Week. New York dealer Joan Mirviss will host the first U.S. solo show by Japanese porcelain sculptor Nagae Shigekazu. “He stands apart in how he handles porcelain,” says Mirviss of Nagae.
Jiyoung Koo of Koo New York, who launched AADNY with Mirviss, will display a work from the reign of the last monarch of Korea: four panels of an eight-panel chinyon-do screen that was painted in 1902 to mark his 51st birthday banquet, almost certainly the last of its type produced under the Choson dynasty. Koo has priced the screen at $400,000.