An on-line news service devoted to museums and exhibitions in New York City and vicinity. John Hammond, Editor Emeritus • Jonathan Slaff, Publisher • copyright © 2007
Sanford Smith's WORKS ON PAPER
At the Park Avenue Armory
By Glenn Loney
The Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue
Artist postcard. Jeff Koons, 2006. Oil on board. 28 x 42 inches.
The various Benefits & Dealers' Shows at the Park Avenue Armory open & close in a weekend. Once they are over, most of them are not even History, unlike the Great Blockbuster Museum Shows.
Nonetheless, there are often some impressive artworks or antiques on offer at these sales. The recent Sanford L. Smith Works on Paper was one of the best of these in recent years.
The Art of Arthur Syzk: Illuminations or Cartoons?
One Astonishing Find for your correspondent at the Armory was an effectual celebration of the amazing artwork of Arthur Szyk. During World War II, I'd often admired his magazine-covers and Patriotic Posters.
What made these so very special was the infinite detail Szyk lavished on his Cartoonish Casts of Characters. Although his images of Fascist Monsters like Goering, Goebels, Mussolini, & Hitler lampooned them hilariously, the colorful details had the qualities of Medieval Illuminations!
A pious & learned Jew, desperately trying to arouse American awareness of the Nazi Genocide of the Jews in Europe, Szyk used his brilliant talents and fertile imagination to focus attention on this evil in major American publications. He was also an earnest advocate for the State of Israel.
But his pen & brushes even more often served the Cause of American Freedom and the Brotherhood of Man. Unfortunately, his death at only 57 was hastened by the stress of a completely unjustified Investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities!
Irvin Ungar is the man to see--or phone--about Szyk's Life and Artworks. At his Historicana booth, I bought a copy of his impressive Justice Illuminated: The Art of Arthur Szyk. And he gave me the colorful five-fold brochure of Szyk's Anti-Nazi Mural at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
If you want to know more about Arthur Syzk--including the prices his remarkable drawings & paintings are now commanding--you can contact Ungar at Historicana in Burlingame, CA, and even join the Arthur Szyk Society! [Burlingame is between San Francisco & Palo Alto, if you are going out to The Coast anytime soon! Phone: 650-343-9588/email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Postcard Artists by Jacques Moitoret
At Francis M. Naumann's booth, my eye was caught by some colorful postcards--fully suitable for mailing. But I wouldn't dream of putting stamps on these! Instead, I've already put them in my favorite photo-album
And what's the reason for this unseasonable hoarding? On each card is a compelling portrait of a famous Modern Artist, with a Seminal Artwork behind him.
Here's Piet Mondrian; there's Pablo Picasso. Andy is in front of two silk-screened Jackie Kennedys. Dali's in front of a limp watch dripping from a dead tree.
You can mail these to impress your friends. Or you can keep them for parties, to embarrass enemies with on-the-spot Art-History Quizzes. I thought one image was Rauschenberg, but, no, it was Jasper Johns!
If you cannot afford Jacques Moitoret's original oil-paintings reproduced on the cards, you can surely afford a packet of the actual cards! Send them or keep them, but call Naumann for more info: 212-472-6800.
Other Booths: Other Brochures & Catalogues
It's good to have Twentieth Century Masters, from Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art.
And Miklos Suba, from James Graham & Sons, for Suba is an almost unknown New York City artist who made some charming drawings and watercolors of city-architecture. Indeed, his pencil-studies for a ''Fire-Escape'' and for ''Under the El Tracks'' show wonderful draftsmanship that almost suggests those Escher puzzles, so unusual are the perspectives.
Other captivating brochures and catalogues were garnered from Galerie Sabine Vazieux/Paris, Battledore/Kingston/NY, Worthington Gallery/Chicago, Susan Teller Gallery/NY, Hill-Stone/NY, & Jörg Maaß/Berlin, with a very handsome small booklet for Die Brücke…