Arnold Glimpsher, The Pace Gallery

 

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”.

 

 

Group Title Auttom 70

 

About Novak's Artwork

Hans Van Werengrick for The Jewish Museum | Paul Jenkins, Artist | Tiffany Bell for The Empire State Collection

Gordon Washburn, Director of Asia House, Art Exhibitions | Dorothy Miller, Curator of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Arthur Drexler, Director Dept. of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Barnett Glimpsher, The Pace Gallery | Barnett Newman, Artist

 

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