Hirschl and Adler Modern: the contemporary wing of a gallery that spans several centuries and cultures
NEXT WEEK, NEW YORK CITY BECOMES ALIVE WITH ART FAIR MANIA. THE PREVIEW OF THE AMERICAN ART DEALER’S ASSOCIATION (ADAA) ART SHOW AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY TAKES PLACE ON TUESDAY, MARCH 2nd AND THE FAIR CONTINUES FROM MARCH 3rd-8th. WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO PRESENTATIONS OF SOLO, TWO-PERSON AND THEMATIC EXHIBITIONS OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY WORK OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY BY 72 OF THE NATION’S LEADING ART GALLERIES. http://www.artdealers.org/the-art-show/information
ON WEDNESDAY, TO BENEFIT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, THE ARMORY SHOW AT PIERS 92 AND 94, OPENS ITS DOORS. ARMORY ARTS WEEK OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO VIEW A BROAD SPECTRUM OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART AS WELL AS ACCESS TO PRIVATE COLLECTIONS, MUSEUM TOURS AND CULTURAL OFFERINGS. http://www.thearmoryshow.com THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S ARMORY SHOW IS MENAM, AN ACRONYM FOR MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN. OMAR HOLIEF, OF WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON, WILL DIRECT HIS ASTUTE CURATORIAL EYE ON THE CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL AND AESTHETIC PRACTICE FROM, AS HE DESCRIBES IT, “THIS DYNAMIC PART OF THE WORLD”.
AT HIRSHL AND ADLER MODERN’S BOOTH AT PIER 92, LOOK FORWARD TO AN EXCEPTIONAL SELECTION OF ESTABLISHED AND EMERGING REALIST ARTISTS. http://www.thearmoryshow.com/visitor_info/location_and_hours.html .
THE GALLERY AT 730 FIFTH AVENUE (THE CROWN BUILDING ON FIFTH AT 57th STREET) INTRODUCES MARTIN MULL’S VIEW OF AMERICAN LIFE ENTITLED ENDGAME. http://www.hirschlandadler.com/exhibitions_1.html?id=4977
IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG, GALLERY DIRECTOR AND SENIOR VP, ERIC BAUMGARTNER, SHARES THE HISTORY AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE CONTEMPORARY AND MODERN DEPARTMENT AT HIRSCHL AND ADLER. http://www.hirschlandadler.com/
WELCOME, ERIC. ANOTHER SIGNATURE ASPECT OF THE GALLERY IS HIRSCHL AND ADLER MODERN. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS AND ARTISTS’ ESTATES THAT YOU REPRESENT? WHEN DID YOU FIRST ADD THIS MORE CONTEMPORARY PERIOD TO THE GALLERY PROFILE AND HOW DID THE GALLERY DECIDE ON THE STYLISTIC NATURE OF THE WORKS? ARE THEY, AESTHETICALLY, AN EXTENSION OF THE WORKS FROM EARLIER PERIOD FOR WHICH THE GALLERY IS SO CELEBRATED?
Hirschl & Adler Modern is our contemporary art division and has had many chapters. From 1971 until 1975 we represented Fairfield Porter, and then represented the artist’s estate until just last year. Porter still figures prominently in our program: in 2014 we staged Porter retrospectives in our booths at The Art Show (March) and Art Basel Miami Beach (December). While the Porter estate is pretty well disbursed today, we have some exceptional paintings from both individual Porter family members and other sources.
As a gallery that has been intimately involved with Fairfield Porter for well over four decades, we know where most of his paintings reside and can occasionally shake them loose and reintroduce them into the marketplace. But beyond Porter, Hirschl & Adler Modern has built a strong stable of contemporary representational artists, spearheaded by John Moore, whom we have represented since the early 1980s.
While there certainly is compatibility between works by our representational artists and the Galleries’ older works from the 19th and early 20th centuries, our Modern program has never been limited to just representational art. We have long been a moving force in the Outsider Art world, first with Bill Traylor and, more recently, with the work of Edward Deeds, the so-called “Electric Pencil.”
Two years ago, we took on the estate of Stanley Twardowicz, a postwar abstract expressionist who moved in the same circles as de Kooning and Pollock.
One of our most provocative conceptual artists is the sculptor Elizabeth Turk, who moves white marble in unique and seemingly impossible ways. It’s quite shocking to look at her work—abstract curves and marmoreal ribbons—with a chaste white ideal figure from the mid-19th century in the background! It can happen, and only at Hirschl & Adler Galleries. As you can see, it is difficult to label Hirschl & Adler Modern’s program, as it is multi-faceted and constantly evolving, but always striving to represent the best of modern American art of the late 20th and 21st centuries.
HIRSCHL & ADLER IS ALSO AN EXCEPTIONAL SOURCE FOR THE FINEST EUROPEAN PAINTINGS, WORKS ON PAPER AND SCULPTURE. THESE INCLUDE 19TH CENTURY SALON PAINTINGS, THE BARBIZON SCHOOL, IMPRESSIONISM AND POST-IMPRESSIONISM. WHAT IS H&A’S HISTORY IN EUROPEAN ART?
We have placed some major French Impressionist paintings over the years. In 1972, we sold Camille Pissarro’s magnificent view of The Crystal Palace (1871) with private collectors who subsequently gifted it to the Art Institute of Chicago. Two major early water lily paintings by Claude Monet, each called Nympheas: Paysage d’eau (1905 and 1909) were sold in 1981. In 2001, we sold another Monet, Windmills near Zaandam (1871) to the Van Gogh Museum. One of our favorite late-Academic figure painters is the Belgian artist Alfred Stevens (1823–1906); in 1981 we sold Stevens’ extraordinary L’Atelier (1888) to Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, who in 1986 gifted it to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Our European inventory today includes works by Eugene Boudin, Henri Le Sidaner, and an amazing early work by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Entrance to a Roman Theatre (1866), which was owned at one time by William H. Vanderbilt and hung in his mansion on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets, across the street from our gallery.
HOW DO YOU FIND INVENTORY OF 18th, 19th, AND EARLY 20th CENTURY WORK? DO YOU FEEL IT IS LIMITED AS TIME PASSES SINCE IT IS OBVIOUSLY FINITE IN QUANTITY? DO YOU FIND IT INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN WORKS THAT MEET THE CRITERIA OF H&A IN BOTH AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN ART?
Securing great works of art is a growing challenge, but not only for the reasons you suggest. The field is very competitive, and today, many important works bypass the private-gallery sector and head straight to auction. Still, we find great opportunities, and sometimes, the great opportunities find us! We are very good at ferreting out overlooked segments of the American art spectrum and, through scholarship and connoisseurship, restoring these segments to well-deserved positions of importance. Nineteen years ago we dusted off American Neo-Classical white-marble sculpture with our successful gallery exhibition, A Marvellous Repose. Last year, we brought a remarkable collection of paintings, drawings, and collages by the surrealist artist Kay Sage to light and sold every last one of them.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING WORKS THAT HIRSCHL & ADLER GALLERIES HAS PLACED IN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS?
More than forty years have brought an astounding variety of masterworks through the doors of Hirschl & Adler, many of which have been sold by the firm to major museum and private collections. Among them have been Thomas Cole’s grand cycle, The Voyage of Life (1842, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.); Cotopaxi, by Frederic Edwin Church (1862, The Detroit Institute of Arts); George Caleb Bingham’s The Concealed Enemy (1845, Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas); Grand Prix Day by Childe Hassam (1887, Museum of Fine Arts Boston); Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abstraction Blue (1927, Museum of Modern Art, New York); and A Storm in the Rocky Mountains: Mount Rosalie by Albert Bierstadt (1866, Brooklyn Museum, New York).
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, ERIC BAUMGARTNER WILL SHARE HIS ASTUTE VIEW ON THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET AND GALLERY HIGHLIGHTS WE CAN ANTICIPATE IN THE SEASON AHEAD.