Artists, dealers and collectors: a fruitful and adventurous ménage à trois

By Stephen Eaker

Henri Kahnweiler in Picasso's studio

The names of Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Modigliani are famous and roll off the tips of the tongue and thought for us all. But what of Vollard, Chéron, Weill, the Cone Sisters, Baseler, Hans Purrman and Udhe? The shaping and molding of artistic thought, appreciation and awareness, as well as the selling of artworks witnessed a tremendous spike during the first generation of the 20th century. Collectors and dealers are an intrinsic part of this artistic consciousness.

Lecture
“Artists, dealers and collectors: a fruitful and adventurous ménage à trois”
Wed, Dec 18, 4:30 & 6:30pm
La Ostra Roja
A Casa Verde Annex
San Jorge 45
Colonia San Antonio (off Refugio Sur)
120 pesos
Reservations: 121-1026 or stephen.eaker@hotmail.com

The entire 19th century in European art had been overwhelmed by classical, academic approaches in painting and sculpture. The tastes of the public were dominated, like the entries to the yearly painting salons, by classical canons of beauty and the pristine idealized portrayal of such standards. During the 19th century, more experimental and/or revolutionary work were restricted to the studios of the artists, rejected immediately by the jurors of the salons. It became so unbearable and restrictive that during the second half of the 19th century, two salons opened in Paris to showcase new art being produced. It proved to be a spectacle for most of the public, a place to go and have a great laugh at these so-called modern pictures.

By the beginning of the 20th century, a remarkable shift occurred in both the arts and the commerce thereof. The awareness and appreciation of radical new thoughts and ideas realized on canvas brought forth a new level of thought, definition and appreciation within the world of painting and sculpture that reshaped and molded acceptance, ideas, convictions and standards within the art world itself.

These once laughed-at pictures that nobody wished to purchase make up today the crown jewels of art collections and museums around the world. Paintings that were considered trash now have financial value and security like that or more than a room full of gold. This reshaping of values and ideas in painting and the commerce of these retooled thoughts and dreams were spurred on by now legendary pioneers within the pages of art history: Durand-Ruel, Vollard, Kahnweiler, the Cone sisters, and André Level, to name a few.

This adventurous triad of artists, dealers and collectors shared a passion for artistic discoveries and advancements, and all of these young revolutionary personalities followed their hearts and passions, fueled and inspired by their own standards of beauty and its portrayal on canvas. I would like to invite you to hear the unique and compelling story of these artists, dealers and collectors, an adventure that began within the early years of the 20th century, and became a dream for the world in the years that followed.

 

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