In honor of Hollis Taggart Galleries’ 25th year in business, and to mark our move to a wonderful new location at 958 Madison Avenue, we present Celebrating 25 Years from March 10 through April 23, 2005. This milestone and celebratory exhibition includes twenty-eight of the most memorable and outstanding American paintings and sculpture we have placed throughout the years, spanning the Hudson River School to post-World War II modernism. This wealth of artistic expression will be seen through the singular visions of many artists who helped create the unique story of American art. Work by artists including Albert Bloch, Oscar Bluemner, Arthur B. Carles Jr., William Merritt Chase, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Hans Hofmann, Maurice Prendergast, Robert Henri, Eduard Steichen, and Max Weber will be on view.
Works that reflect the mission of our show include iconic images from the Hudson River School, such as Martin Johnson Heade’s Blue Crested Hummingbirds, an exquisite painting that epitomizes the nineteenth-century master’s love of jewel-like color, and also the period’s fascination with exotic travel. The nationalist zeal to glorify the natural beauty of the American landscape is seen in Jasper Cropsey’s serene painting, Sailboats on the Hudson. Childe Hassam’s Sunset, Isle of Shoals depicts the much-favored subject of the artist, which inspired some of his most ethereal effects of light and color. The bravura handling of William Merritt Chase’s Two Sisters exemplifies the finest aspects of this artist’s signature elegant grand manner portraits. Frederick Carl Frieseke, whose catalogue raisonné we are sponsoring, is represented by the glorious color harmonies of his languid Portrait of Madame Gély No. 1 (On the Couch).
Our strength in early American modernism has developed from our ongoing commitment to presenting scholarly exhibitions in this rich field. Known today for experimental photography, Man Ray was also a painter early in his career. His Flowers with Red Background demonstrates his fascination with Fauvism and the work of Henri Matisse. Eduard Steichen, also known for his photographic work, is represented here by the pictorialist painting Balcony, Nocturne, Lake George. Arthur B. Carles’s abstracted still life, Composition No. 1, demonstrates the career-long commitment to color of this modernist whom we have studied extensively. We are also pleased to present Max Weber’s New York, a classic example of dynamic cubist faceting that captures the energy of the modern metropolis in vertiginous overlapping planes. Finally, Sunburst, by Hans Hofmann, is a masterpiece of gestural abstraction by this legendary artist and teacher.
This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that includes Hollis Taggart’s personal reminiscence of his experience during a quarter century in the field of American art. The full-color plates illustrating each artwork are paired with complete documentation of exhibition histories and critical references, serving as a research tool for each work.