Asian art

Asia Week in the galleries

From Shang to the present, Asian art in all its diversity

Tang ceramic Sculpture (19 to 31 March)

For his fifth annual exhibition in New York, London dealer Guiseppe Eskenazi is featuring 14 world-class Tang ceramic sculptures. Here in New York, Mr Eskenazi’s offerings usually sell out on opening night with several pieces going to institutions: this year should prove no exception. Yes, there are the graceful court figures of women but Mr Ezkenazi presents truly distinctive examples like two females and an infant that with its tender gestures makes the grouping a rarity. Another extraordinary work depicts a woman astride a kneeling camel while nursing an infant.

Eskenazi at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022, +1 212 421 3292, fax +1 212 421 0835

Ancient China: music and ritual (20 March to 8 April)

On hand are bells and other objets related to music as J.J. Lally showcases superlative archaic bronze bells from the Shang Dynasty to the early Western Han Dynasty. These rarities could not be more distinguished in terms of their sculptural beauty and technical casting. Be certain to see an unusually large Eastern Zhou example . which was an important object of power and ritual. Used to honour ancestors, the bell bears a magnificent patination and deeply incised decoration. Also on hand is a small bronze figure, its robe delineated with gold and its body modelled with a sensitive gestural quality, dating from the fifth century. Prices are from a modest $10,000 up to six figures.

J.J. Lally 41 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022 +1 212 371 3380, fax +1 212 593 4699

Delicate Divide: the art of the Japanese screen 21 March to 21 April

For the first time in close to decade, there is Japanese screen exhibition and it is a splendid one. Katherine Martin, who honed her skills at Sotheby's, has marshaled close to one dozen examples from the Tosa and Rimpa schools dating from the early 17th to the early 20th centuries. From the Kanei period, there is superlative genre screen featuring Okuri Kabuki, the female founder of the celebrated form of theatre. This published example is finely detailed and covers virtually every walk of life: samurai, courtesans and monks in the style of Iwasa Matabei. The brilliant coloration and attention to textiles is riveting. "This screen is truly rare and actually the first one of its kind I have seen in New York," says Ms Martin. Also on view is a large pair of screens dedicated to the seasons: the spring/summer one features chrysanthemums in profusion of ground mother-of-pearl. The depth of this example, which is attributed to Sotatsu, is dazzling.

Scholten Japanese Art 63 East 66th Street, New York, New York 10021. +1 212 585 0474, fax + 1 212 585 0475 . u A Natural Selection (9 March to 28 April)

Kaikodo focuses on the depiction of animals in various media with some 50 examples from a Neolithic jar to 15th-century imperial Chenghua porcelain. Certain to amuse are a glazed Tang dragon and hare zodiacal figures with the most haughty of expressions. They both wear chic blue robes. There is also a marvellous leonine finial in bronze from the Han dynasty, which is a tour de force in powerful geometric form. Prices are $1,500 to $400,000, the latter for a realistic and highly detailed rendition of horses in a particularly subtle palette by Zhao Meng-Fu. There is a fully documented catalogue.

Kaikodo 164 East 64th Street, New York, New York 10021, +1 212 223 0121, fax +1 212 223 0124

Classical Chinese furniture IV (19 March to 2 April)

Marcus Flacks always shows top Ming furniture at the International Asian Art Fair, and this month some 25 examples will be featured in his gallery as well. Especially rare is a Luohuan Chuang in huang huali. This unusually early piece is characterised by purity and simplicity of line and will appeal to Art Deco fans. "Close to 90% of such examples are 18th century," says Marcus Flacks, who has seen a number of Art Deco collectors for his wares. There is also a fine hat chair. Prices range from $3,000 to more than $500,000.

Also on view are drawings by the contemporary artist Dajing Qian.

MD Flacks 38 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022, + 1 212 838 4575, fax +1 212 838 2976

Selections (14 to 23 March)

Rather than participate in the Haughton Asian fair, London dealer Nicholas Grindley is showing at the gallery of Old Masters dealer Kate Ganz. Prize furniture includes a huang huali sloping stile cupboard, which is identical to a pair in the collection of the Italian ambassador and Marchesa Taliani de Marcio. The spare, elegant lines of this 17th-century piece is certain to appeal to both Ming and 20th century collectors. In addition, Tang figures, both horses and grooms, will be shown.

Nicholas Grindley at Kate Ganz, 25 East 73rd Street, New York, New York 10021, + 1 212 535 1977, fax + 1 212 879 1863

A Tasting of China's wine culture from Neolithic times to the present (21 March to 28 April)

Wine is the topic for their show and E & J Frankel presents both traditional ceramics for wine as well as wine house furniture and relevant painting. So expect ritual libation vessels like traditional bronze hu from the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Ceramics enthusiasts will appreciate a superb white glaze meiping. "Rimmed with circular bands, the Yuan dynasty piece is an outstanding example," says Joe Frankel. It is priced in the five figures.

E & J Frankel Ltd. 1040 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10021, +1 212 879 5733, fax +1 212 8791998

Archetypes and archaism (20 to 29 March)

Wiesbrod is showing more than 30 examples of bronzes, early ceramics and later porcelain, cloisonné as well as jade from Shang up to the Qing dynasty. There is a pair of rare bronze wine vessels from the eastern Zho dynasty with a raised comma design that is delicately incised and an archaic jade blade in perfect condition in a deep, rich reddish brown and slate blue. Prices are from $20,000 to $100,000. The catalogue includes an essay by University of Missouri Asian specialist Professor Robert J. Poor.

Weisbrod Chinese Art Ltd. 36 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022, + 1 212 319 1335, fax + 1 212 319 1327

Quiet moments (18 to 30 March)

As usual, William Lipton is featuring fine Chinese furniture from the 16th to 18th centuries. Pride of place is given to a 17th century painting table in huang huali. Prices run up to $200,000 for the approximately 15 pieces. New to the gallery showings are South East Asian examples including 15th-century Thailand classical bronzes. There are also elegant 19th-century owl forms in lacquer, which will appeal to those who care for the abstract.

William Lipton Ltd. 27 East 61st Street, New York, New York 10021, +1 212 751 8131, fax +1 212 751 8133

Masters of clay: five artists from Kyoto (20 March to 28 April)

On view are five internationally known ceramicists, including Suzuki Osamu, Morino Hiroaki, Miyashita Zenji, Kishi Eiko and Kondo Takahiro. A national treasure, Mr Osamu received further acclaim only two years ago when a retrospective exhibition of his work toured five Japanese museums: his influence in Japan is profound. His vessels feature distinctive surfaces due to combining Shigaraki clay with iron slip and ash glazes. Kondo Takahiro turns back to glittering inro for inspiration, using gold, silver and platinum drop glazes.

Barry Friedman Ltd. with Joan B. Mirviss 32 East 67th Street, New York, New York 10021, +1 212 794 895+1 212 22301240, fax + 1 212 794 8889

Tempting fate: painting, calligraphy, furniture and scholar objects (15 March to 10 April)

This exhibition presents the full range of Asian arts, from the 17th century right up to contemporary painting. Included is an unusually large painting on silk by the master Hua Yan (1682-1756) of lotus blossoms in elegant taupes, jade and rose for $150,000. Also featured are Cultural Revolution renderings of Mao. Contemporary artists are represented by Arlan Huang who produces both paintings and hand-blown glass.

China 2000 Fine Art 5 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022, +1 212 588 1198, fax + 1 212 588 1882

Qiu Zhijie: recent works (20 March to 19 May)

This Beijing-based artist produces works on paper as well as video and computer installations and performances using a tomb stone! Mr Zhijie has been represented in both PS 1 and the Asia Gallery.

Ethan Coen Fine Arts 37 Walker Street, New York, New York 10013 + 1 212 625 1250, fax + 1 212 274 1518

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'An Oriental Banquet'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 112 March 2001