Asia Week New York Galvanizes Asian Art Collectors and Connoisseurs
With A Thrilling Profusion of Museum-Quality Exhibitions
NEW YORK: March 10th kicks off Asia Week New York, the extraordinary ten-day extravaganza that animates New York with a glorious array of prized Asian works of art.
Originating from every corner of the Asian continent, the artworks will be shown throughout Manhattan by international Asian art specialists starting March 10 through March 19. In the museum-quality presentations by 45 galleries, art lovers can take in the rarest and finest examples of painting, sculpture, bronzes, ceramics, jewelry, jade, textiles, prints and photographs from all over Asia.
“Each year at this time, just as the flavor of spring arrives in the air, another phenomenon electrifies the atmosphere of New York: Asia Week!” exclaims Lark Mason, Chairman of Asia Week New York 2016 and owner and founder of iGavel Auctions. “And each year, in-the-know aficionados look forward to this 10-day event with great expectation. And why shouldn’t they? Asia Week, now celebrating its seventh anniversary, is more exciting than ever.”
Organized by category and region, here is a roundup of the not-to-be-missed exhibitions by the participating galleries:
ANCIENT/AND OR CONTEMPORARY INDIAN, HIMALAYAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART
WALTER ARADER HIMALAYAN ART
A Tibetan sculpture from the late 15th century or the early 16th is historically significant in that it represents a portrait likeness of Palden Dorje, abbot of Ngor Monastery from 1478 until his death in 1482. The inscription in verso provides us with not only the name of the lama, Palden Dorje, but also with the name of the disciple that commissioned the bronze, Kunga Chogden. Inscriptions with this level of historical information are exceedingly rare, making this work an “anchor piece” with safely attributable dates around which other sculptures of similar style can be dated. See it at the exhibition of Chinese and Himalayan Art, 1016 Madison Avenue.
Claiming special recognition at Sacred Images from Nine Centuries at Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street, is a 15th or 16th century bronze from Tibet. It represents the Bon deity Nampar Gyalwa and mesmerizes with silver and copper inlaid eyes and is very finely cast. The statue is important both because of the rare iconography of Nampar Gyalwa and because of the excellent quality and detail that is unusual in a Bon bronze.
In an untitled oil from the 1960s, artist Francis Newton Souza — the first of India’s modern painters to gain recognition in the West — depicts a nude female, her hand on her breast, her gaze fixed unashamedly straight ahead. It is typical for Souza women to proclaim their sexual inhibitions, and this model’s reflective expression calls to mind the artist’s intimate familiarity with the depiction of courtesans and dancers on temple walls. This painting makes a strong statement in Masterpieces of Indian Modern Art: Rare and Seminal Works of the 20th century, 41 East 57th Street, Suite 708.
GALERIE CHRISTOPHE HIOCO
Don’t miss the red sandstone Shiva Bhikshatana from the 10-11th century at New Acquisitions in Indian Art and Himalayan Art, Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue. The Shiva is very finely carved and adorned with various necklaces, and it depicts the deity in the form of the beggar Bhikshatana (literally, “wandering for alms”).
Off the market since being secreted away in the 1930s, A Youth in Persian Costume, circa 1630-40, comes from the collection of Otto Sohn-Rethel, a German artist who lived in the first half of the 20th century. In the early 1930s Sohn-Rethel visited India, where he acquired a group of Indian paintings, including this one. It is part of Indian Paintings & Courtly Objects: Recent Acquisitions 1400-1800 at W.M. Brady & Co. 22 East 80th Street.
NAYEF HOMSI ANCIENT ART OF ASIA
A superb figure of a 2nd-century Atlas made of gray schist enchants viewers at Nayef Homsi’s Recent Acquisitions, 7 East 75th Street, No. 1A. The figure of the Atlas was part of the Hellenistic influence on Gandharan art, most likely introduced during the 30 years when Alexander the Great’s armies occupied the Gandhara region. The Atlas, of course, supports the world, and in Gandharan art, Atlas figures were carved at the lowest register of a stuppa to literally support the entire stupa complex.
The Churning of the Ocean, ascribed to Mahesh, belongs to a series of ten Avatars of Vishnu. Painted circa 1750-1775 in opaque watercolors heightened with gold and silver, the artist shows all the gods assembled to perform a task necessary in order to recover Amrita, the nectar of immortality, from the depths of the ocean. It is one of the most dazzling works in Amrita: Nectar of Immortality, 34 East 67th Street, 3rd Floor.
RENAUD MONTMÉAT ART D’ASIE
A black stone Buddhist sculpture with polychrome decoration circa 16th century is a typical example of artworks at the time in Tibet in that it exhibits archaic strength. The artist captured the wild energy of the god very clearly yet a little roughly. Make sure to spot it at Indian and Himalayan Works of Art, at Dickenson Roundell Inc., 19 East 66th Street.
TENZING ASIAN ART
A superbly cast gilt-copper alloy figure of Pagpa Chenrezig (Padmapani-Lokeshvara) from around the 13th century reveals the confluence of Tibetan and Nepali artistic production, and is a fascinating objet d’art at Sacred Realms: Buddhist Bronzes and Paintings From the Himalayas at Dickinson Roundell Inc., 19 East 66th Street. The workmanship displays features typical of Newari craftsmanship-a solid casting of the figure highlighting a slender waistline and tapering limbs. The composition of the jewelry and the almond-shaped eyes and beak-like nose are beguiling.
Attributed to Mihr Chand and painted around 1780 in Lucknow, India, Ladies Celebrate Holi on a Pleasure Pavilion is an exceptional opaque watercolor with gold on paper. From the Polier Album, made for Antoine Polier, a famous Swiss resident of Lucknow, in the Kingdom of Awadh during the late 18thth century, it is the highlight of Indian Miniature Paintings and Masters of 19th Century Photography: Recent Acquisitions at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue.
A standout at Art of India, Tibet, and Central Asia at the Leslie Feely Fine Art, 33 East 68th Street, 5th floor, is a very fine sandstone sculpture-Uma Mahesvara-representing Shiva and Parvati with their children Ganesh and Skanda as a divine family. Shiva’s best attendant Bhringi is dancing in front of the group, amid Nandi the bull and other attendants. It dates from the Pratihara period, India (8th-9th century).
OLIVER FORGE & BRENDAN LYNCH LTD.
“Bhils Hunting Deer at Night” by Faizullah steals the spotlight at Indian Paintings from the Heil Collection, 9 East 82nd Street, Suite 1A. The circa-1770 opaque watercolor with gold on paper, signed in nastal’iq script, displays the tradition of connoisseurship of night-scene pictures, and the intriguing subject matter is skillfully encapsulated by tribal hunters dressed in leaf skirts depicted capturing their prey under a full moon and starlit sky.
A lifetime portrait of the Fifth Dalai Lama with mineral pigments on silk hangs in prominence at the Navin Kumar Gallery, 24 East 73rd Street, Suite 4F. Painted in central Tibet between 1638 and 1662, it is a monumental masterpiece-one of the largest extant thangkas painted on silk. The composition, style, and the exquisitely individualized portraiture are not only a rare example from the 17th century of the New Menri style, but also indicate that the painting may be the work of master artist Choying Gyatso.
SUE OLLEMANS ORIENTAL ART
The showpiece of Jewels from Asia, 23 East 73rd Street, 7th Floor, is a large inscribed gold ring in Dieng style from central Java and dating from the 9th or 10th century.
CARLTON ROCHELL ASIAN ART
An image of Paramasukha Cakrasamvara, one of the most iconic images of Tibetan art, presents the best qualities of the genre: the bold use of color, strong composition, finely delineated lines, large scale and powerful subject. Not only is the painting of the finest quality, but it is in a remarkable state of preservation, given its age, and it is the box to be checked when you visit Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art at121 East 71st Street, 2nd Floor.
Kashmiri sculptors of the medieval period were very adept at carving miniature images and shrines that were produced for household and portable use. Mostly what has survived in stone is fragmentary, and usually there is facial damage. Thus, it is remarkable that this 8th-century four-sided miniature Vishnu shrine has recently come to light, and it is on display as part of Indian and Himalayan Sculpture, C.G. Boerner Gallery, 23 East 73rd Street.
A lavish 7th-century image of the Bodhisattva Lokeshvara in a fresco testifies to the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road and the elegance of its cosmopolitan art. This enthralling work commands special notice as part of Recent Acquisitions of Dalton Somaré Gallery exhibiting at Vallois America, 27 East 67th Street, 2nd Floor.
Since fewer than ten examples of a Pala four-sided Buddhist shrine have come to light, it is difficult to know how popular they once were, but they may have been privately commissioned by donors who gifted them to monasteries. See one of these unusual creations, made in the 10th century, in a show of Recent Acquisitions, 49 East 74th Street, Suite 2A.
ANCIENT AND/OR CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART
BERWALD ORIENTAL ART
Transitional Treasures and a Selection of Works from the Tang to Qing Dynasties at 3 East 66th Street, No. 8B, encompasses a 50-year period that saw the decline and eventual fall of the Ming dynasty. A noteworthy highlight is a brush pot depicting a Daoist paradise. Standing slightly more than eight inches, the pot is unusual, perhaps even unique, in that it has three related scenes, whereas most pots show only one scene.
RALPH M. CHAIT GALLERIES, INC.
Based on an archaic Shang dynasty ritual bronze form, this venerated Chinese archaistic bovine gong vessel from the 16th or 17th century makes a strong impression in the Spring Collection of Chinese Art at Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc., The Crown Building, 730 Fifth Avenue, 12th floor. Of the Song type (although possibly Ming), the interior has an inscription that says, “Precious Wine Vessel Made by Su.”
CHINA 2000 FINE ART
An ink and color on paper work by Zhu Qizhan titled Autumn Gourds draws attention at 177 East 87th Street, Suite 601, in Select Paintings of Zhu Qizhan on the 20th Anniversary of his Death. A symbol of mystery and magic, the gourd has been called the universe in a nutshell, and Master Zhu (1892-1996) captured these with a radiance and brilliance that invigorates and transforms the subject matter.
FITZGERALD FINE ARTS
Jade Mountain, an ink-on-silk painting from 2012, beautifully couples symbolic myths and legends with a stylized naturalism of the Western Chinese landscape. It is a unifying focal point of the exhibition Practice and Medium on view at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue.
GISÈLE CROËS SA
One of the oldest musical instruments in China, bronze nao bells are rarely, if ever, on the market. However, there is a stunning example from the late Shang dynasty (circa 1600-1050 BC) at Masterworks from the Chinese Past at Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue.
NICHOLAS GRINDLEY WORKS OF ART LTD.
A tiny 17th-century stone ovoid-shaped stone water pot carved in the form of a lotus leaf commands attention at the exhibition at Hazlitt, 17 East 76th Street. The leaf is curled up on itself to form the washer and is carved with two crabs, one climbing up the side and a larger one within. The water pot was owned by the late Ian Wilson, an eminent scholar of Chinese art.
MICHAEL C. HUGHES LLC
The extraordinary clarity of the material employed for a rare massive rock crystal vase and cover from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) is the primary reason it is not to be overlooked as part of the exhibition, Chinese & Korean Art, held by Michael C. Hughes LLC at the Shepherd W & K Galleries, 58 East 79th Street. If it were not for the clear coldness of the material and the occasional, though barely visible, misty inclusions, one might assume this vase is made of glass-or pure ice! It is astonishing that such an uncompromising stone could have been so cleverly manipulated by the lapidary.
ANDREW KAHANE, LTD.
A rare early Chinese gilt bronze figure of a striding dragon from the late Six Dynasties-early Tang Dynasty, 6th-7th century, from a prominent New York collection, is included in Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at The Mark Hotel , 25 East 77th Street. It is possible that the dragon was created for the Daoist tou longjian ceremony, but the two pierced scroll elements to be used for attachment make it more likely that it was a vessel support.
A Ming dynasty porcelain abacus from the early 17th century is one of the rarest works of art this gallery, currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, has ever offered. Produced in China for the Japanese market, it is a type that appears to be unknown in any major museum East or West. Collectors will have the opportunity to cast their eyes on it at the exhibition Embracing Antiquity, 74 East 79th Street, Suite 14B.
Made in 18th century, a longevity woven textile from China engrosses discerning collectors at Chinese and Japanese Paintings and Textiles at the James Goodman Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, 8th Floor. The gallerist knows of only one other related textile, and it is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum. In both instances, the weavers were able to re-create the look of calligraphic Chinese written characters in spite of the grid-like nature of a woven textile.
J.J. LALLY & CO.
A Shang dynasty (circa 1600-1027 B.C.) jade blade is one highlight of the 75 jades in Ancient Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Han, 41 East 57th Street, 14th floor. Although shaped exactly like the bronze blades used by soldiers in battle, jade blades were never used in warfare. They were precious symbols of power and status, used in court ceremonies and buried in tombs. Similar jade blades are in museums in China and around the world, but large examples in fine condition are rarely seen on the market.
M. SUTHERLAND FINE ARTS LTD.
The two large hanging scrolls entitled Floating Without End are masterpieces created by Hung Hsien (aka Margaret Chang). Painted in Chicago in 1970, the forms are abstracted visions of water and rocks realized on paper in ink and mineral pigments as if caressed by the artist’s brush.This piece, and the others in this exhibition Hung Hsien: A Retrospective, represent the golden years of Hung’s painting career and can be seen at 55 East 80th Street, 2nd Floor.
PHOENIX ANCIENT ART
Decorated with 10 monkeys, a bronze buckle from the Western Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-9 A.D. is one of the most well preserved of its kind. And it couldn’t hurt to note that this Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey. The buckle is spotlighted as part of Glories of China, 47 East 66th Street, Ground Floor.
Capturing the viewer’s attention in the exhibition Early Chinese Ceramics with Selections from the Feng Wen Tang Collection is a Longquan celadon vase with bamboo neck sitting on a straight foot rim. It was created during the Southern Song Dynasty, 1127-1279 A.D and can be viewed at 3 East 66th Street, Suite 1B.
ANCIENT AND/OR CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ART
A collaboration of Ikeno Taiga(1723-1776) and his wife Gyokuran (1727-1784) produced a breathtaking vertical summer mountain landscape, in ink and color on paper. The limited use of color gives warmth to the roughness of the mountain landscape, and it is a key element of Japanese Art-Pre-Modern and Beyond at Gallery Schlesinger, 24 East 73rd Street, 2nd Floor.
An early Japanese Gigaku mask of the drunken Suikoju from 8th-10th century Nara, carved of paulownia wood with remnants of original gesso and pigments, commands attention at Carole Davenport’s exhibition of Iconic Masterworks/Japan & Asia at 22 East 80th Street at the fifth-floor gallery of Leigh Morse. Very few masks of this vintage exist in Western collections, but they do populate Japanese museums. Gigaku is the earliest Japanese comic dance drama, one that was transplanted from China and Korea in the 7th century. Its popularity waned by the 12th century to be supplanted by the Bugaku theater.
DAI ICHI ARTS, LTD.
In Seductive Beauty: Masterpieces from Japan, 18 East 64th Street, a tall stoneware Oribe vase covered with spirals that call to mind early spring young buds is the star attraction. It was created in 2002 by 75-year-old Suzuki Goro, who has been likened to Picasso by more than one critic in Japan.
For more than a quarter century Masatoshi Izumi was Isamu Noguchi’s right-hand man. Kyusoku (“Rest”), a mixed-media 2010 sculpture, presented by Mr. Izumi, provides a setting for looking upon spaces between the seven pieces of broken Japanese granite while sitting upon old black pine beams. Experience the power of stones and this possible 21st century transferable meditation garden of Kyoto’s Ryoanji, at Koichi Hara’s gallery exhibition, Word of Mouth for 35 Years, on view at the Tambaran Gallery, 5 East 82nd Street, Ground Floor.
LAURENCE MILLER GALLERY
A beautiful distillation of a uniquely Asian viewpoint, Toshio Shibata’s Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, 2013, at first seems to break from the tradition of his photographs of evolving and altered landscapes. A visit to Contemporary Photography Asian Perspectives, 20 West 57th Street, Third Floor, will affirm that this striking photograph still embodies the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi and that Shibata reveals a visual grace in structures that are commonly considered inelegant, and in so doing changes the way we view our everyday world.
JOAN B. MIRVISS, LTD.
Ono Hakuko, an artist who lived from 1915 to 1996, created Kinrande, a floral-patterned covered porcelain water jar around 1985. Hakuko paved the path for Japanese women ceramists with her mastery of gold leaf on porcelain. It is only one masterpiece among nearly fifty vessels by over thirty artists included in A Palette for Genius: Japanese Water Jars for the Tea Ceremony, 39 East 78th Street, 4th Floor.
Crafted by the youngest artist in Japan to become a Living National Treasure (at the age of 51, in 2014), Imaizumi Imaemon XIV painted a covered porcelain jar with grapes and flowers, which embrace bold graphic renderings of allegorical iconography. The work also shows off the traditional techniques developed by his family over generations. It can be seen at Kōgei: Contemporary Japanese Art at Dalva Brothers, Inc., 53 East 77th Street.
SCHOLTEN JAPANESE ART
In their exhibition Ukiyo-e Tales: Stories from the Floating World at 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, Scholten Japanese Art is showcasing woodblock prints from the 18th and 19th centuries and calling special attention to an exceptional work by Suzuki Harunobu (circa 1724-70), who is credited with bringing together all of the elements that launched what we recognize today as ukiyo-e. One of the finest Harunobu prints in this show, Fashionable Snow, Moon and Flowers: Snow, circa 1768, depicts an elegant courtesan accompanied by her two kamuro (young girl attendants) and a male servant holding a large umbrella sheltering her from falling snow.
GIUSEPPE PIVA JAPANESE ART
The pine tree (matsu) occurs frequently in Japanese art and is symbolic of longevity and stability of character. It is also thought of as a good omen and is associated with fidelity and loyalty in friendship. A beautiful writing box decorated with a moon behind a pine tree from the 19th century steals the show as part of Japanese Art and Antiques at Adam Williams Fine Art Ltd, 24 East 80th Street.
Yoshio Okada is the Japanese contemporary lacquer artist who best combines traditional craftsmanship with an original contemporary aesthetic, and his work is highly sought-after by private collectors and museums. A dry-lacquer box with maki-e gold lacquer decor and inlays of gold foil and abalone shell, entitled Box with Moon and Clouds, is one of his foremost triumphs to be experienced at Taisho Screens and Contemporary Lacquer, 23 East 67th Street, 4th Floor.
HIROSHI YANAGI ORIENTAL ART
Both hands of a striking standing sculpture that is a part of Recent Acquisitions at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue, have thumb and index figures adjoined in forming the raigōmudra. This iconographic feature identifies the work as a depiction of Amida Nyorai. The elongated, slender eyes, as well as the small nose and mouth imbue the sculpture with an intensity and forcefulness that make this an artwork not to be missed.
ANCIENT AND CONTEMPORARY KOREAN ART
KANG COLLECTION KOREAN ART
In First Wind (2013/2015), Ran Hwang, a rising star in the contemporary Asian Art world, skillfully displays her signature use of buttons to construct an intricate and mystifyingly beautiful representation of an iconic Korean Palace. Make sure to see this tour de force in the exhibition Korean Contemporary Paintings and Decorative Arts, 9 East 82nd Street (between 5th and Madison Ave), Third Floor.
ABOUT ASIA WEEK NEW YORK
The 2016 edition of Asia Week New York offers an overflowing schedule of gallery open houses; auctions at Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, iGavel and Sotheby’s; exhibitions, lectures, symposia and special events.
To celebrate the Asia Week festivities, a private invitation-only reception, jointly hosted with the Department of Asian Art of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will take place there on March 14.
A comprehensive guide with maps will be available at participating galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions, and online at asiaweekny.com.
Affirming the strength of interest from Chinese-speaking buyers, a Chinese version of the website is available at cn.asiaweekny.com.
Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c) 6 non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York.
ABOUT THE HOTEL SPONSOR
The Asia Week New York Association has announced that The Surrey, New York City’s only Relais & Châteaux hotel, is the official hotel sponsor for the ten-day round of exhibitions, auction sales, and lectures. Asia Week New York attendees will receive exclusive rates from $395 per night (for a minimum of five nights) at The Surrey using promotion code ASIAWK or phone 888-419-0052.
The Surrey, located at 24 East 76th Street, is owned and operated by Denihan Hospitality Group. An intimate hideaway to the stars of the 1920s, it currently operates more like a glamorously re-imagined Beaux Arts townhouse than hotel. Its location provides cultured guests direct access to Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and top fashion houses, restaurants, and art galleries on Madison Avenue, yet the hotel’s discreet service allows for calm personal space for a “Privately New York” experience. The Surrey offers an extensive art collection, world-class dining by Café Boulud, the atmospheric Bar Pleiades, Cornelia Spa and a Private Roof Garden. Its 189 exquisite salons and suites were created by Lauren Rottet, accommodating celebrities, style-icons and art aficionados the world over. For information and reservations, visit www.thesurrey.com.