Wednesday, January 10, 2007

John Singer Sargent's Venice Paintings Coming to NYC

The painting is John Singer Sargent's Gondoliers' Siesta, c. 1904. Next week, an extensive exhibit of Singer's Venice paintings opens in NYC. From there, it goes to Venice. Here's an excuse to visit Manhattan (as if you should need an excuse!).

From the Adelson Gallery website:


New York, NY (Autumn 2006)—John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), one of a few truly international artists of the 19th century, had a love affair with Venice: He traveled there numerous times over 40 years. Adelson Galleries in New York, noted for its expertise in American art and the work of John Singer Sargent in particular, has organized an exceptional loan exhibition, Sargent’s Venice, comprising approximately 60 oils and watercolors painted by the artist from the 1880s until 1913. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from January 19 through March 3, 2007 and then will travel to the Museo Correr in Venice—marking the artist’s first-ever solo exhibition in that city—where it will be on view from March 24 through July 22, 2007.

Sargent’s Venice will be organized as a journey down the Grand Canal, following the artist’s route from a gondola perspective and examining his choice of viewpoints and compositions. A majority of the paintings to be shown are on loan from private collections and have rarely been on public view; several institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, are loaning important works as well.

Inspired by the idea of idea of retracing Sargent’s routes down the Venetian waterways, Warren Adelson, president of Adelson Galleries and the sponsor of the Sargent catalogue raisonné, saw this approach as a means to gather together the Venice pictures that appear throughout several volumes of John Singer Sargent: The Complete Paintings (Yale University Press). “We had decided to write about John Singer Sargent's years of painting in the city that he most loved, and realized that in his long career and in the intervening years after his death in 1925 that there had never been a one-man exhibition of his work in Venice,” Mr. Adelson said. “Sargent's Venice will showcase the range of his painting in oil and watercolor over a span of forty years. It will be the first such exhibition in New York (Adelson Galleries) and, remarkably, the venue at the Museo Correr in St. Mark's Square in Venice will be the first exhibition of Sargent ever held in that magical place.”

John Singer Sargent was born in Florence to American parents and lived most of his adult life in England. Widely recognized as the preeminent portrait painter of his generation, he felt equally at home in Europe and the United States where he painted many of the most notable social and political figures of his day. When Sargent felt the need to escape the demands of his portrait commissions, he traveled to Italy and Switzerland with friends and family to paint (usually out-of-doors) whatever appealed to him. Of the many places he visited over the course of his long career, the allure of Venice surpassed all other destinations and it is where he produced some of his most evocative and masterful oils and watercolors—many painted while sitting in a gondola.

Featured in Sargent’s Venice will be not only pictures of beloved Venetian scenes, such as the Rialto Bridge, the Doges Palace and Santa Maria della Salute, but also scenes of traditional Venetian life including intimate glimpses captured of the interiors of wine shops, residents strolling along the streets, women at work stringing beads, café settings, and more. Among the most recognizable works to be seen will be The Sulfur Match (1882), Gondolier’s Siesta (1905) and Street in Venice (ca. 1882).

Adelson Galleries is uniquely qualified to present the artist’s work in this context. In 1980, Warren Adelson, an internationally recognized authority on Sargent, initiated scholarship on the John Singer Sargent Catalogue Raissoné in partnership with the artist’s great-nephew, Richard Ormond. To date, four volumes of the Catalogue Raisonné have been published by Yale University Press; Volume IV was released in October 2006. The gallery has also made significant contributions to the study of American art through critically acclaimed loan exhibitions and accompanying publications including Art in a Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt (2004-2005), Sargent’s Women (2003), Maurice Prendergast: Paintings of America (2003), From the Artist’s Studio: Unknown Prints and Drawings by Mary Cassatt (2000), Childe Hassam: An American Impressionist (1999) and Sargent Abroad: Figures and Landscapes (1997).

Assisting Mr. Adelson in organizing Sargent’s Venice is Elizabeth Oustinoff, director of Adelson Galleries and co-author of Sargent Abroad. A fully illustrated accompanying book of the same title will be published by Yale University Press in January, 2007, with essays by Mr. Adelson and Ms. Oustinoff as well as by Richard Ormond, co-author of The Complete Paintings of John Singer Sargent (Yale University Press) and former director of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England; Elaine Kilmurray, research director of the Sargent catalogue raisonné project and co-author of The Complete Paintings of John Singer Sargent; William H. Gerdts, professor emeritus of art history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of highly respected articles and books on many aspects of American Impressionism; and Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, professor of Anglo-American literature at the Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and co-curator of the exhibition Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle, organized by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2004 as well as the author and editor of several publications.

On January 17, a gala benefit evening will be held from at Adelson Galleries for Venetian Heritage, Inc., a not-for-profit organization based in the United States whose mission is to encourage and support artistic and intellectual initiatives and cultural exchange between the United States and Italy; to safeguard the Venetian cultural heritage as manifested in architecture, music and fine arts, in Venice and its former dominion; to sponsor exhibitions, lectures and conferences intended to stimulate interest in the urgent and never-ending needs of Venice; and to familiarize people all over the world with the problems of the city. Patron tickets are $150 per person/$300 per couple and Benefactor tickets are $250 per person/$500 per couple. For more information about this special evening, please call 212.439.6800.

Adelson Galleries is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:30-5:30, and will be open on Saturdays during this exhibition from 10-5. The galleries are located 19 East 82nd Street, New York, NY. Tel: 212.439-6800. Fax 212.439.6870.


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Anonymous said...

I had the good fortune to be in New York City with my wife for Valentines Day in 2007 and was able to visit the Adelson Galleries to see the John Singer Sargent Venice Exhibition. It was truly spectacular. I purchased the book associated with the exhibit and have since enjoyed thumbing throught it frequently to recapture wonderful memories of a fabulous art exhibition.