Walking Off Art, Just Off Madison

On Wednesday night, in the now arctic Manhattan, during an art walk entitled “Just Off Madison,” American Art dealers opened their doors to give art lovers who actually work during the day an opportunity to view some pretty good art that art journalists seldom report about these days. Seduced by All Contemporary Art All the Time, they would have missed the fabulous “Bal Martinique,” a 1928 oil by William Glackens of an exuberant and wildly colorful dance hall, traveling to the Barnes Foundation. The coy response by the Kraushaar Gallery assistant when the price was asked was “above $500,000.” I had guessed closer to a million. Why the secrecy?

 Pamphlets from participating galleries

Pamphlets from participating galleries

 Graham Gallery was showing two Norman Bluhms, vividly colored and exciting paintings at $150,000 for the 72 x 48 inch, and $65,000 for the 30 x 22 inch from 1961. The Remington “Bronco Buster” from 1895, 23 x 20 inches, was priced at $285,000. There was a room filled with rather wonderful sculpture, definitely worth a visit – or two. Debra Force showed Wyeth, Conner Rosenkranz displayed pieces that included Paul Jennewein, and Menconi + Schoelkopf had a really beautiful “Little Girl in Large Red Hat,” circa 1881, sitting opposite the entrance of their space, as if waiting patiently for some kind visitor to take her by the hand and out of the madding crowd. 

Cold weather may have kept many away, but the good thing about this art is that it is still there and right off Madison Avenue.

Written by Elin Lake-Ewald