Galleries: The Human Form in Two Contrasting New York Exhibitions



Castillos' Four Heads,  from the Frick Exhibition

This winter, fascinating art exhibitions abound in New York, from the Metropolitan Museum to the Guggenheim to the Museum of the City of New York. Newport Seen traveled down for the opening party at the prestigious Frick Collection of “The Spanish Manner: Drawings from Ribera to Goya”, featuring Spanish drawings from the 17th century masters, and went on to Tria Gallery, the trendy Chelsea art venue, which featured contemporary works by Kelly Mudge, Kathy Stecko, and Marybeth Rothman.


The 700 attendees at the reception at the imposing Frick wandered through the galleries featuring works by superb Spanish draftsmen of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, who created works of dazzling beauty and inventiveness. In the architecturally significant courtyard, a Spanish guitarist played Iberian music, and drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served.


James Andrew, of,

in front of Velazquez's King Philip IV. Photo Credit: Scott McBee

According to the Frick’s website, “Though often well versed in the traditions of Italy and Flanders, artists on the Iberian Peninsula developed their own signature techniques, and departed from academic conventions of representing the human figure. They explored a wide range of subject matter and motifs, from saints and biblical scenes infused with Counter-Reformation ideology to depictions of martyrdoms, torture, and otherworldly creatures. This original, visionary, and fantastic aspect is a defining hallmark of the ‘Spanish manner’.”

This exhibition at The Frick is the first dedicated to the tradition of Spanish draftsmanship to be held in New York City, which is second only to Madrid in the extent and quality of its collections of Spanish master drawings. The show encompasses both preliminary sketches and finished studies that were made in important centers of artistic activity in seventeenth-century Spain, including Seville, Madrid, and Spanish-ruled Naples. Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652) Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682) Vicente Carducho (c. 1576–1638) and Juan Carreño de Miranda (1614-1685) from the 17th century, and two eighteenth-century works by Mariano Salvador Maella (1739–1819) and Francisco Bayeu (1734–1795) .


Cameron O'Connor plays at the opening

at the Frick Museum

The final section of the exhibition centers on twenty-two sheets by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828), whose drawings are rarely presented in the context of his Spanish predecessors. Lectures and a performance by acclaimed guitarist Cameron O'Connor were delightful features of the evening.


Seen at the Frick Collection were Newport resident Ellen Barnes, talking with James Andrew, New York-based interior designer and style star of the blog “What is James Wearing?”, the Frick’s Marketing Coordinator Alexis Light,  and artist/photographer Scott McBee.


The downtown Chelsea gallery scene

Discussing the art works at Tria Gallery


Richard Fronapfel, of, and

Tria Gallery Director Latifa Metheny



Downtown at the Tria Gallery on West 25th Street, the crowd was decidedly younger and hipper. Viewing the show “Identity”, were artists Serena Bocchino and ?, Gallery directors Paige Bart, Carol Suchman and Latifa Metheny, Richard Fronapfel and Noelle LeCann, and attorney Andrew Bart. The artwork from paintings by Kelly Mudge, encaustic mixed media works by Marybeth Rothman, and sculpture by Kathy Stecko. Exploring aspects of personality, behavior, sociology and the psyche, the works on display used different media and styles to challenge preconceptions of beauty and humanity.


Newport Seen wandered into the adjacent galleries Clampart and Flag, which were also showing the human form in other depictions.




Was this an ancestor?  At the Clampart Gallery

Noelle LeCann, Rich Fronapfel, and friend

Artists with Andrew and Paige Bart, Tria Gallery director


Tria Director Latifa Metheny & artist Serena Bocchino


Tria principal with Director Carol Suchman



James Andrew at the Spanish opening at The Frick Museum


The gallery at the Frick Museum where the party was held




The Frick Collection

1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021


Tria Gallery

531 West 25th Street, Ground Floor #5
NYC 10001















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