Political turmoil fails to dent another successful New York Asia Week
Huon Mallalieu previews this year’s New York Asian Week
NEW YORK welcomes Asian immigrants: alas, we are unlikely to have any readers in today’s White House to shock with such a headline. However, this year’s Asia Week New York is the largest in the event’s seven-year history, the original 16 dealers having grown to 50, plus five auctioneers and 15 institutions and museums in New York and beyond. Eighteen of the dealers are from abroad, of which half are British.
This New York week is longer than a European version, running from March 9 to 19, but, then, such a range of exhibitions needs the extra time. A comprehensive guide is on http:// asiaweekny.com.
Whether or not those other revered feet walked upon England’s pastures green, Vishnus have left their trace in India— places where they touched the earth are sacred. Londoner Francesca Galloway’s ‘Pahari Paintings from the Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection’ at W. M. Brady & Co, 22 East 80th Street, includes an unforgettable image of Vishnu’s feet (Fig 1) as objects of worship. The soles are decorated in gold with his weapons and symbols associated with the deity: lotuses, a parasol, a flag, a sun, a moon and a fish, among others. It dates from the early 19th century.
The St James’s dealer Littleton & Hennessy is showing at the newly opened 24 E 84th Street branch of a close London neighbour, Daniel Crouch, the map- and bookseller. It has an elaborate, 18th-century, 5in-high vase carved with writhing conjoined dragons in what is known as ‘watermelon’ tourmaline (Fig
5), so called because each piece of the gemstone contains green, red and white. They note that two- (or three-) coloured ‘tourmaline of such vibrance and clarity is incredibly hard to find. The craftsman who made this piece almost certainly worked for the Qianlong emperor, who demanded the most exquisite works of art in porcelain, bronze, jade and other precious stones to be made for his court.’
At 23 ∕8in high, a nephrite jade cup, inlaid with gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds and rubies (Fig 4) in Samira Inc’s ‘Jewelled Arts of Asia’ display would surely be perfect for one’s Fabergé egg. The London dealer, whose
principal specialities are Indian and Persian works of art, is showing at the W. Graham Arader III Galleries, 29, E 72nd Street. This should not be confused with the Arader Galleries at 1016, Madison Avenue, a map and print dealer with an exhibition space in which Walter Ararder will be showing Himalayan art.
Eric Zetterquist, showing at 3, E 66th Street, offers Chinese and Vietnamese ceramics, among them highlights from a distinher guished collection. Although of Chinese extraction, the Vietnamese Ly Dynasty (1009 to 1225) freed the country from Chinese overlordship. Ceramic styles mixed influences from Indian metalware with those of early Song. This 75 ∕8in long oil lamp is modelled and carved as a parrot (Fig 2) with particularly lifelike feathers. It is covered with a finely crackled translucent glaze that pools to a pale green colour and is considered unusually fine.
Priestley & Ferraro from London is showing Chinese and Korean ceramics and works of art in the same building.
A rarity among the Chinese ceramics with Jane Kahan at The Mark Hotel on Madison Avenue and E 77th Street, is a 13½in high black-glazed pearshaped vase with ‘partridge feather’ splashes (Fig 3). It dates from the Northern Song or Jin Dynasties at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries.
Joan B Mirviss, of 39, E 78th Street, has nearly 40 years’ experience as a leading specialist in Japanese arts. She not only specialises in antique ceramics, ukiyo-e prints and paintings, but is also an enthusiastic proponent of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramic art. exhibition, ‘Timeless Elegance in Japanese Art’, covers all these.
As ever with fair and exhibition previews in this column, it should be remembered that items offered for publicity may be sold before the event occurs. I had intended to highlight one of Mirviss’s ‘Eight Views of the Parlour,’ about 1766, by Suzuki Harunobu, but it’s already sold. Instead, we illustrate a 40in by 151 ∕4in scroll painting in ink of Shoki the Demon Queller by Shibata Zeshin, painted in 1886 when he was 80 (Fig 6).
Next week A Salon for the springtime
Fig 1: Devotional Vishnu’s feet. With Francesca Galloway
Fig 4 below left: Inlaid jade cup. With Samira Inc. Fig 5 below right: Rare ‘watermelon’ tourmaline carved vase
Fig 2: Oil lamp in the shape of a parrot. With Eric Zetterquist
Fig 3: Blackglazed vase with ‘partridge feather’ splashes. With Jane Kahan
Fig 6 left: Scroll painting of Shoki the Demon Queller. With Mirviss