Spring 1964, Novak had his first art dealers’ visit to
view his work, Fred Muller and Arnold Glimpsher had just opened Pace
Gallery at 9 West 57th St. by hanging European art works while searching
to assemble their artist stable. By the time they came to Novak they had
looked at some five hundred artists, from which they selected six,
Novak’s work made him the seventh chosen with which within a few weeks
the Gallery’s artists first show was opened.
Novak’s works on show were of glass and highly polished stainless steel
sculptures titled “Pages of Thinking”, done in 1960 in Israel, and were
of delicate, precision, and intimate scale. Through the show the two
dealers returned to visit Novak, telling him to continue and produce
their chosen group of works, an instruction that went against the grain
of Novak’s creativity. In his belief he always followed an inner sense,
rather than directing his creativity, therefore being incapable to
submit to instruction, while in the two dealers’ belief, guiding the
artist was their place and their method.
The two sides parted within weeks of first meeting.
Group Title Pages of Thinking
More than two decades on , while arguably Pace became the most
successful gallery in America, a retrospective of the artist Arnold
Newman’s work was at the Pace as Novak came to New York for a few days.
Leaving New York City for good, the art world, and particularly
galleries since 1976, Novak’s plan of visiting his old friend Arnold
Newman at the Pace was unexpected. Arnold died years earlier, then Pace
bought out his estate.
Novak planned his visit for early Monday morning, a time of least
visitation, to spend some time alone with his friend’s paintings.
Suddenly Arnold Glimpsher touched his shoulder from behind. Novak
turned, they shook hands after many years of not seeing each other,
Novak acknowledged by words of remembrance his visiting Arnold as a
painter and a friend, in sentiment and gratitude to Glimpsher for
putting on the show.
Arnold then said that he came out of his office to say that he had seen
Novak’s last show in a Soho gallery in 1972, the “Auttom 70", tissue
paper works. “I thought it was one of five or six of the most beautiful
shows that I have seen in my life” said Arnold. Novak’s response in
gratitude was: “it is good and generous of you to have come out to say
so, you and I know how rare such a gesture is”.