Published: October 2, 2001
Poetic Painting: Two Distinguished Private American Collections Unveiled to the Public at Vance Jordan
NEW YORK CITY – Vance Jordan Fine Art, Inc., has announced that in honor of the gallery’s 25th anniversary, its fall exhibition will provide the unique opportunity to view two of today’s most distinguished private American paintings collections.
Entitled “Poetic Painting: American Masterworks from the Clark and Liebes Collections,” the show will feature 20 works owned by Libby and Bill Clark of Hanford, Calif., and 12 from the collection of Gail and John Liebes of Los Angeles, Calif.
The presentation and accompanying catalogues will include works by the following artists: John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase, John La Farge, Thomas Dewing, Abbott Thayer, William Morris Hunt, Dwight Tryon, Emil Carlsen, J. Alden Weir, George De Forest Brush, Dennis Miller Bunker, and Joseph Stella.
The exhibition will run October 29 through December 7 at 958 Madison Avenue.
The exhibition of the Liebes collection has also been organized as a memorial tribute to the recently deceased Gail Liebes. She and her husband John began as collectors of Japanese art before expanding their interests to include American art influenced by Eastern aesthetics.
The couple deliberately collected a relatively small number of carefully selected works, including John Singer Sargent’s striking double portrait of fellow artists Francois Flameng and Paul Helleu, two floral still lifes by La Farge, Dewing’s “Portrait of a Lady,” and diverse works by Whistler in oil, pastel, watercolor, and pen and ink.
Libby and Bill Clark are also known in the art world as distinguished collectors of Japanese art as well as the visionary founders of the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center. In an effort to broaden the scope of the collection, they too began acquiring American paintings.
The grouping of Tryon, Dewing, Whistler, and Thayer is, in fact, congruent to the core collection (now housed at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art) of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), one of the first great American art enthusiasts and later a connoisseur of Asian Art.
The pairing of these paintings with Japanese art is natural, as these American artists were among the avant-garde looking to the East for inspiration. Two-dimensional design, asymmetry, calligraphic imagery, and other formal elements of Asian art were appropriated by Whistler and La Farge, even before the Europeans began experimenting with them.
Featured works of the Clark collection include Chase’s most famous pastel, “Meditation,” Dewing’s mysterious “The Fortune Teller,” Tryon’s delicate “Early Springtime” (which Freer described to its original owner as “an old favorite”), Thayer’s proto-modern “View of Mount Monadnock,” five watercolors by John LaFarge, and a major oil portrait by Whistler.
For information, 212-570-9500.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm