By Anna Sorokina, news correspondent
An evening of wine, cheese and art in the heart of Back Bay left an impression of old French aristocracy.
On Friday, Nov. 13, the Martin Lawrence Art Gallery opened up its doors to present its new exhibition “Modern Masters.” The art salon displayed works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró that will be available to visitors until the end of November.
“This was a special exhibition because it featured several works by these modern masters,” Cassandra Fiorenza, the gallery’s operations manager, said. “Several of the pieces are hand-signed lithographs, but we also have an original painting by Chagall, which is really incredible.”
Founded in 1975, Martin Lawrence Galleries specializes in original paintings, sculpture and limited edition graphics, offering a vast collection of enlarged prints from the 1900s.
Chagall’s hand-signed lithographs – reprinted versions of artwork – and monotypes create a world of pathos, poetry and humor, drawing on vivid childhood memories and influence of Byzantine and Russian icon painting and folk art, according to the gallery exhibits. His original 1967 work “Couple in Mimosa” was on display in variegated watercolor.
Miró’s surrealistic graphics allow his imaginative fantasy to take priority. Fauvist pure colors, cubist shapes and influences from folkloric and religious art distinguish his artwork, specifically in his abstract 1969 “L’oiseau mongol,” a signed lithograph in the gallery.
Salvador Dalí’s meticulously-detailed style and bizarre dream imagery come together in reprint and color woodcut to create unforgettable landscapes of the human mind. Focused specifically in his “The Divine Comedy” collection, gallery visitors navigated Dali’s portrayal of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell.
“I could not believe I was standing so close to Picasso and Dali works,” Cee Zewe, a gallery visitor from Boston, said. “If I wanted to learn more about a particular artist, there were books available near the artist’s work.”
Another among those featured at the gallery is Robert Deyber, known for literal portrayals of clichés, euphemisms and idioms.
In the last 15 years, Martin Lawrence Galleries has lent nearly 250 different works of art to 32 different museums around the world.
Although the Boston branch of Martin Lawrence Galleries is one of its 10 locations in the US, the breadth of work displayed connects each location.
“All Martin Lawrence Galleries have a similar range of artists,” Ian Marcus Corbin, fine art consultant at the gallery and Northeastern University adjunct professor of philosophy, said.
The Boston gallery contains two floors of open, brightly-lit space with paintings on the walls and sculptures on pedestals, even attracting visitors from the street to explore.
“I was on a leisurely stroll down Newbury Street when I recognized my favorite artist in the window, Marc Chagall, and found myself clapping like a gleeful child,” Jen Gregory, a visitor from Sacramento, Calif., said. “They also [have] some lovely pieces from Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso that fit beautifully with the collection.”
“Modern Masters” will be on exhibit through the end of November. Entrance is free.
Photo by Scotty Schenck