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asia week is upon us!

by Fred Stern  

Arts of Pacific Asia Show brochure

International Asian Art Fair brochure

Sotheby's Indian and Southeast Asian Art catalogue

Christie's Japanese Works of Art catalogue

Sotheby's Inro from the
Charles A. Greenfield Collection catalogue
   Will Asia Week transform New York into the Asian art center of the world? That's the billion dollar question. The answer will come between Mar. 23 and Apr. 1, 1998.

All the components for an Asian Art explosion are in place. Huge auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's, as well as sales at Phillips and Doyle Galleries. Two mammoth art fairs with literally hundreds of art objects from China, India, Japan, Tibet and the South Pacific, all vetted to assure high quality and authenticity. And special exhibitions at New York museums and galleries to introduce collectors and novices to the "new world" of Asian art and antiques.

Here is a brief schedule for your convenience.


Monday, Mar. 23
Sotheby's, 10:15 a.m. -- Fine Chinese paintings and calligraphy, including master paintings of all periods, right up to contemporary.
Sotheby's, 2 p.m. -- Fine Chinese works of art, including glazed Tang pottery figures, jades, furniture and scholars' objects.

Tuesday, Mar. 24
Sotheby's, 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- Fine Chinese works of art, including glazed Tang pottery figures, jades, furniture and scholars' objects.
Christie's, 10 a.m. -- Fine Chinese paintings and calligraphy, including woodblock prints, handscrolls and fans.

Wednesday, Mar. 25
Sotheby's, 10:15 a.m. -- Inro (a small box attached to a robe's belt for carrying medicines and herbs) from the collection of the late Charles A. Greenfield.
Sotheby's, 2 p.m. -- Japanese works of art, including paintings, porcelain figures, prints and drawings.
Christie's, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- Fine Chinese ceramics, bronzes, glazed pottery figures, wooden sculptures and textiles.

Thursday, Mar. 26
Sotheby's, 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- Indian and Southeast Asian art, featuring Indian sculpture, miniature paintings, Himalayan art from Nepal and Tibet.
Christie's, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- Japanese art, including enamels, prints, clocks, paintings, lacquered-ware and textiles.

Monday, Mar. 30
Phillips, 10 a.m. -- Asian art

Tuesday, Mar. 31
Doyle Galleries, 10 a.m. -- Asian art.

Friday, Mar. 27 through Weds., Apr. 1 at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue and 67th St. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Closes at 7 p.m. on Mar. 29 and Apr. 1. Admission: $15. This big International Fair, now in its third year, brings exhibitors from all over the world in addition to a heavy U.S. contingent. All items in the show are vetted by a panel of experts for authenticity and value. Many major pieces of art are offered at values of up to $l,000,000. A special preview to benefit Asia Society is set for Mar. 26, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Thursday, Mar. 26 through Sunday, Mar. 29 at the Armory at Gramercy Park, 68 Lexington Avenue at 26th Street. Previews on Mar. 26, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; admission $20. Admission on Mar. 27-29, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., $12. Offers lecture series on glassmaking, textiles, jades, Korean rank badges and more at $8 per lecture.

A smaller show than the International, but with over 60 exhibitors (mostly U.S.). A vast array of offerings beginning in the mid-three figure range. Offers free shuttle bus to the International Fair and the major Asian art auctions.

"Arts of the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-220 A.D." at J.J. Lally, 41 East 57th Street, Mar. 25-Apr. 11. Bronze vessels, rare mounts, miniature bronze horses from one of the finest periods in Chinese art.

"The Dragon's Tale" at E & J Frankel, 1040 Madison Ave., Mar. 27-Apr. 1. The dragon in Chinese art.

"Treasures of the Eurasian Steppes" at Ariadne Galleries, 970 Madison Ave., Mar. 25-Apr. 30. Animal art from 800 B.C. -200 A.D. in bronze, silver and gold.

"Animals and Animal Design in Chinese Art" at Eskenazi Oriental Art, 28 East 78th Street, Mar. 25-Apr. 4.

"Timeless China: Zao Wou-ki Ink Paintings and Ancient Chinese Works of Art" at Jan Krugier, 41 E. 57th Street, Mar. 26-Apr. 11. A collaboration with Christian Deydier.

"Double Kitsch: Painters from China" at Max Protetch, 511 West 22nd Street, Mar. 3-28.

Feng Mengbo at Holly Solomon, 172 Mercer.

"4696-1998: Contemporary Artists from China" at Lehmann Maupin, 39 Greene Street, Mar. 21-Apr. 18.

"Site of Asia/Site of Body": Contemporary Asian Women Artists at Taipei Gallery, McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, Mar. 20-May 1, 1998.

At this time New York is fortunate to have an outstanding selection of museum shows devoted to Asian art. At the Guggenheim Museum's uptown and SoHo locations is "China: 5,000 Years." The Metropolitan Museum has an exhibition of Asian textiles called "When Silk was Gold." At the Asia Society is a special exhibition of finds from the new excavations in the Indus Valley in Pakistan, as well as "More than Meets the Eye: Japanese Art in the Asia Society Collection." Finally, "The Scent of Ink: The Papp Collection of Chinese Painting" is at the diminutive China Institute Gallery.

With the Asian money markets in disarray and, with the already established strong U.S. collector buying power (U.S. collectors accounted for 80 percent of the sales at last year's fairs), it is quite possible that the U.S. market will grow exponentially this year. Already U.K. and Asian art dealers are establishing U.S. beachheads, and U.S. museums are enthusiastically buying Asian masterpieces.

FRED STERN writes on art and antiques.