Why Dorsey Waxter Has the Best of Both (Art) Worlds

Between her Upper East Side establishment and her Lower East Side emerging talent outpost, Eleven Rivington, Van Doren Waxter—who specializes in artist estates and the secondary market—experiences the best of two art worlds. Waxter’s career began at Nancy Hoffman Gallery in 1974, where she worked as a receptionist. From there, she rose to the top at Andre Emmerich Gallery, established her own art consultancy firm in 1991, assumed directorship of Greenberg Van Doren Gallery (today known as Van Doren Waxter) in 1998, and since 2012 she has served as president of the Art Dealer’s Association of America (ADAA). She credits her success to her forebears; in her words, “I had the benefit of learning from other dealers, which these days sounds very old school, but it allowed me to immerse myself in both the primary and secondary markets, which operate very differently.”

At Van Doren Waxter, representing the estates of Richard Diebenkorn, James Brooks, Alan Shields, and Al Held, in addition to showing works by living artists such as Judy Fiskin, Eva Lundsager, and Joe Goode, the mission is to show the multi-faceted nature of artists and their careers. Waxter reveals that one of the greatest pleasures of running both galleries “is to see artists, younger and older, who have something similar in their working methods.” At ADAA’s 26th annual Art Show, Waxter gives us a taste of this symmetry in her thematic presentation from Van Doren Waxter and Eleven Rivington. The booth will highlight the painted figure by juxtaposing works by the young Spanish artist Jeronimo Elespe and works on paper by Diebenkorn, which are new to the market.

Waxter describes the presentation:

“Jeronimo Elespe’s The Other Ways and Richard Diebenkorn’s Untitled (RD 770) depict two figures in a scene, very psychically connected but without looking at one another. Both are rich in color and the figures are anchored in place by their painted surroundings. There is a fascinating attention to brushstroke that defines each work. Diebenkorn uses long, translucent strokes and Elespe short, dappled strokes. The way paint is handled defines their sense of light. Two more works, Elespe's Before and Diebenkorn’s Untitled, (RD 750) depict standing nudes. Here each female figure rendered in full profile strikes a pose where the arms suggest the tone of the stance. I think that the artists were interested in capturing a mood or moment.”

As for Van Doren Waxter’s agenda for 2014, Waxter says: “In March/April we will show works by James Brooks from 1945-1949, which is the moment when he transitions from using images to abstraction. In May/June we will be showing works from the ‘Polish Village’ series by Frank Stella, and in September/October we will show very early collages by Joseph Cornell.”

Van Doren Waxter/Eleven Rivington is on view at The Art Show 2014, Thematic Exhibition, Booth D4, March 5th–9th.

Explore ADAA: The Art Show on Artsy.

Share article