Still Life Lives!: The Art of Lynn Veitzer and Michael Siegel

Lisa N. Peters

Lynn Veitzer, "Flourite Sanctum," 2010, oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 31 inches

Lynn Veitzer, "Flourite Sanctum," 2010, oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 31 inches

Still Life Lives! Spanierman Gallery is showing the work of ten still-life artists working today.  In this age of virtual reality, their paintings take a stand, making us aware of our continued connection to physical objects and their sensuous materiality.

Among them are Lynn Veitzer and Michael Siegel, whose works are featured here.

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Lynn Veitzer received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and studied at the New York Academy of Art.  In 1998 she became part of the Water Street Atelier in Brooklyn.  She uses the medium of still life to consider the cyclical nature of the physical world, creating sensuous multi-layered and witty images that reflect the influence of the art of the old masters and of the Surrealists, such as René Magritte and Joseph Cornell. While referring to certain cultural understandings, her images evoke a sense of mystery.  The artist states: Read the rest of this entry »

Annual “Art by Choice” at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Frank Bowling

FRANK BOWLING (b. 1936), "Resting," 2010, Mixed media on canvas, 25 x 31 inches, Signed, dated, and inscribed on stretcher: 2010 Frank Bowling “Resting”

Spanierman Gallery associate director Christine Berry will be in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 28, 2010 at the Mississippi Museum of Art for their annual exhibition and sale, Art by Choice.

Pictures by Spanierman Modern artists Frank Bowling, Jasmina Danowski and Clifford Smith, as well as by Spanierman Gallery artists Lyell E. Carr, Yin Yong Chun, Sarah K. Lamb and Immi Storrs will be on view and available for purchase. Read the rest of this entry »

Noteworthy Events

In the Gallery and Beyond

Teo Gonzalez, Drawing 237

Teo Gonzalez, "Drawing 237," 2010, mixed media on paper, 12-1/4 x 12-1/4 inches, signed, dated and inscribed on verso: "Teo / Drawing 237 / 2010"

IN THE GALLERY:

Spanierman Modern: From March 23 to April 24, 2010 Spanierman Modern will present Teo González, an exhibition of twenty-two new works in oil and mixed media on canvas and paper by the Spanish-born artist, who moved to the United States in 1991. While retaining his minimalist approach, González’s new work represents a conscious shift in his art. According to the artist, “After eighteen years of attempting to control weather and physics, I decided to take a year off to step back and think of how to make my work more efficient. After a few months I realized that I had to change the process. I decided to eliminate the drops and to paint them instead. This has been a fascinating twist for me.”

A catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes an interview with the artist and color illustrations of eight works in the exhibition.

Please Note: an opening for the artist will be held Tuesday, March 23 from 6 to 8 pm. Read the rest of this entry »

From the Archives: A Letter from Gershon Benjamin

Katherine Bogden
Back in 2007-8 I had the great pleasure of assisting with the exhibition and catalogue for Over Seven Decades: The Art of Gershon Benjamin.
From a research standpoint, this was no small undertaking. Benjamin and his wife Zelda left behind no less than nine boxes of (previously unsorted) archive materials, which included everything from reviews clipped from newspapers and magazines to personal letters, professional correspondence, photographs, sketches, award certificates, legal paperwork—and the list goes on.

Although sorting and organizing this material was a tremendous amount of work it was also immensely rewarding. Besides helping us trace Benjamin’s steps from his time in Canada through his New York years and up until his death in Free Acres, New Jersey in 1985, these documents helped answer our more abstract questions: what went on in the mind of the artist, beyond the brush?

Benjamin’s letters read like windows through the canvas, giving both tangible evidence of his inspirations (such as the Greek sculptures he discusses below) and what he was after in his work—in Benjamin’s case he was always trying to capture the essence of the object (or as you’ll read in his letter, the “soul”).
I found the letters between Benjamin and Zelda particularly interesting for a number of reasons:

A New York Gallery – Spanierman Gallery, LLC

Some time ago, there was quite a wonderful little shop called Old World Antiques on 57th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues here in New York City. It was presided over by my great uncle Fred Spanierman, who left Vienna in 1902. Nearby was the old Savoy Art and Auction Gallery. Founded in 1928 and presided over by my father, Samuel Spanierman, it was located at 5 East 59th Street and later moved to 50th Street across from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

And now, I, myself, preside over Spanierman Gallery, LLC, located at 45 East 58th Street, right between those old memories.

For more than a half century, Spanierman Gallery, LLC, has been dedicated to dealing in the finest American art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In September of 1994, the gallery moved from 50 East 78th Street (its home for almost thirty years!), to a luxurious new location at 45 East 58th Street, directly across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel. With 12,000 square feet of space, the gallery presents exhibitions of the highest quality, including loans from museums and private collections and works from our own holdings.

Please stop by and visit us during your next stay in New York.

Ira Spanierman

Annie Gooding Sykes

Walking through Five American Watercolorists, I was reminded that watercolor is a surprisingly demanding medium, despite its seemingly effortless—when done well—results.

Although all five artists included in the show handle the medium adeptly, Annie Gooding Sykes is perhaps my favorite. In viewing her striking body of work it becomes apparent she had an exceptional ability to handle the intricacies of the medium.

She was also a remarkable woman.

Even by contemporary standards, she had it all: an extensive education, successful career, supportive husband, and two daughters. She traveled widely (in North America and Europe), was revered by her peers, successfully sold her work, and was a supporter of numerous organizations, many of which promoted the recognition of woman artists. Impressive all the more, Sykes was born in 1855.

Mending Nets (pictured here) is my favorite work in the exhibition. Our research suggests it was painted in Nonquitt, Massachusetts, where the artist’s family had a summer home. The picture shows two groups of figures, yet the composition is dominated far more by the presence of color—or absence there of—than by figural elements. I can’t help but wonder if the muted colors hint at another side to Sykes, one drawn more to soft blues and grays than the heartening reds, yellows and greens so often found in her work.

To my eye, with such a vague foreground, the artist’s position in the scene seems in question—is she on the docks? On a boat? Looking on from a building’s porch? Like the color, the artist seems both present and absent, simultaneously. As a viewer, I find myself feeling similarly—taken in by the scene but aware the moment has come to pass.

As a woman myself, I feel a sort of collective pride when viewing these pictures for Sykes was extremely successful during a period which was incredibly trying for women artists.

It’s been nearly eight decades since her death, yet in Five American Watercolorists Annie Gooding Sykes once again holds her own; she is the only woman represented.

Katherine Bogden 

Theodore Robinson’s “The Red Gown”

THEODORE ROBINSON (1852-1896)
The Red Gown (His Favorite Model)
ca. 1885, oil on canvas
75-1/2 x 38-1/2 inches

Carol Lowrey
During the years I’ve worked in the research department at Spanierman Gallery, I’ve had ample opportunity to explore one of my favorite subjects––the American painters who worked in France during the late nineteenth century. Many of them were impressionists and one of the most interesting and influential was Theodore Robinson (1852-1896). Robinson holds a special place in the stable of historical American artists represented at the gallery: his work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions and he’s the subject of a forthcoming catalogue raisonné by Sona Johnston and Ira Spanierman.

Adam Lehr “Niagara Falls” and Howard Russell Butler “California, Moonlight”

Our director, Ira Spanierman, would like to take you through a quick video tour of the current exhibition Summer Selections, showing works priced from $4,000 to $25,000.  Ira also shares his thoughts on Adam Lehr’s Niagara Falls (1880) and Howard Russell Butler’s California, Moonlight (ca. 1905-1926).

(Trouble viewing? Click to view on YouTube)

Please leave us your own comments and observations on the Lehr and Butler paintings. Ira would love to hear your thoughts as well.
Summer Selections ends September 26th. Stop in to see its final week!

An American Art Blog by Spanierman Gallery, LLC

Welcome to The Spanierman Gallery Blog, a supplemental forum to our website that will provide you with information on American art through a variety of media and encourage dialogue.

Some post topics will include:

–video discussions and interviews with Ira Spanierman who began his career in the art world in his father’s auction gallery in the 1940s. He has a vast and perhaps unmatched body of experience and knowledge of American art and the New York art world as it has unfolded over the decades. Ira’s observations on art, based on his years of looking deeply and developing a rich appreciation for artists and their achievement, have always drawn a following, which we hope to share with a broader audience. (See Ira’s past video discussions on YouTube.)


–research in progress, in which our research and archives departments will share the perplexing and intriguing problems that arise in cataloguing and placing works of art in their proper context.

–interviews with contemporary artists whose work we are exhibiting at Spanierman Modern.

–links of interest and relevance to the gallery’s holdings and exhibitions and information on exhibitions, events, and lectures that we feel you might enjoy.

–thoughts and advice from our staff on such topics as handling a work of art, framing, photography, and keeping track of auction activity.

We are pleased to receive and respond to any questions, inquiries, or suggestions.

Spanierman Gallery, LLC
Servicing the fine arts community for over half a century.
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