Upon entering the Michael McCormick Gallery one is greeted by Miguel Martinez Madonnas and Malcolm Furlow psychedelic Indians but if you ignore the obvious and keep going, this particular gallery has a wealth of hidden treasures.
Jose Canencia is from Mexico City but time spent in Spain, France and England, studying the Masters and the Moderns has inspired him to create powerful portraiture that is both classic and contemporary. These paintings are timeless. Canencia is in his 80’s now and shows exclusively with the Michael McCormick Gallery in the States.
Hidden in a drawer, Michael has several sketches by this Modern Master who still lives in Mexico City. The drawings are extraordinary studies of faces, hands and details of features – some on scraps of lined paper, others on bits of envelopes and pages torn from a sketch pad. Ask to see them. The lost art of drawing is alive and well in that folder.
Speaking of drawers, Michael owns an extraordinary collection of Rembrandt impressions taken from the Master’s copper plates which were acquired by Pierre Basan in 1789 at auction. He published a series of Rembrandt etchings between 1789 and 1797 and when he died, his son inherited the plates and published further collections of the etchings.
The H.L. Basan Recueils were issued in a large book which was printed on demand over a period of years by the Basans and subsequent owners of the plates until the early 20th Century.
Michael acquired his (circa 1800 H.L. Basan) collection many years ago. They are handled with white gloves and kept between sheets of archival tissue paper in a set of drawers, but he is happy to show them to anyone expressing interest in seeing them.
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