Modern Masters: 1930-2008 to Open at Christopher Bishop Fine Art during Frieze Week




Sam Francis, Untitled (Yellow Splashes), 1956. Image courtesy Christopher Bishop Fine Art.

Christopher Bishop Fine Art announces the gallery’s spring exhibition, Modern Masters: 1930 – 2008, on view from May 11 through June 3, 2023. The exhibition will present exceptional modern and contemporary drawings and watercolor paintings by Georg Baselitz, Henri Matisse, Sam Francis, and Zao Wou-Ki.

Modern Masters features drawings by Matisse that illustrate the artist’s process and drive to perfection. Étude de Coeurs, 1944, is a collection of hearts in slightly different sizes, shapes and rotations. The shapes are similar to the artist’s well-known heart motif from his 1947 Jazz series. Études de Feuilles, 1939, emphasizes the artist’s effort to accurately capture his botanical subject for study, and Branche de Feuilles et Fleurs, 1945, showcases the essence of the botanical specimens that can only come from close investigation.

A group of four 2008 ink drawings with watercolor by Baselitz are from a series of 16 works entitled Mrs. Lenin and the Nightingale, which incorporate the artist’s well-known upside-down motif. He uses distinctive repositioning to encourage the viewer to reexamine the subjects, which in this case are Vladmir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. The images are almost certainly a commentary on the violence and tragedy that destabilized the Europe of Baselitz’s youth.

“Baselitz, in this iconic series, is reflecting on the history of the 20th century and the origins of modern Germany. The shadows of 1930s Germany loom large. The result is a profound comment on the tragedy of the era,” Christopher Bishop said. “The recent Baselitz shows at the Morgan Library and the Centre Pompidou show the depth and breadth of his work as one of the most important artists and thinkers of our time.”

Christopher Bishop Fine Art will participate in two art walks this May. The Upper East Side Art Walk will be held on Tuesday, May 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. The Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk takes place on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Aside from the May art walks, Modern Masters will be open by appointment: contact (212) 249-2118 or

Modern Masters: 1930~2008 will be on view from May 11 to June 3, 2023 at Christopher Bishop Fine Art, 1046 Madison Avenue at 80th Street, NYC. The Opening Reception will be held on May 16th fromm 5-8pm.

Christopher Bishop Fine Art specializes in drawings and paintings from the 15th through early 20th centuries. Known for a scholarly approach to evaluating, presenting, and authenticating Old Master works as well as a wide range of works on paper, the gallery seeks to present new ways to think about and collect Old Masters and modern works on paper. Located at 1046 Madison Avenue at East 80th St. in New York City, the gallery participates in Master Drawings New York; TEFAF Maastricht; The Salon du Dessin, Paris; and October Art Week, New York.