The Mark Isaacson
and Greg Nacozy Collection

The Collection of Mark Isaacson and Greg Nacozy includes over two-hundred works from one of the most significant figures in mid-century collecting. Mark established the influential Fifty/50 gallery in New York in 1981 (later partnering with Mark McDonald and Ralph Cutler in 1983), which shaped the tastes and collecting habits of many and brought furniture, decorative arts and jewelry from the 1930s, 40s and 50s to the forefront of the market at a time when they were largely overlooked.
 

Greg Nacozy and Mark Isaacson in Venice, c. 1985 

Fifty/50’s and Mark’s legacy is most closely associated with bringing Italian art glass to the United States (Mark even advised the MET on their Italian glass collection) and raising the profile of mid-century furniture and American studio jewelry and ceramics; iconic examples of each are represented in this auction, including an early Rudder Stool by Isamu Noguchi, Charlotte Perriand’s and Pierre Jeanneret’s Bahut No. 2, a Gerrit Rietveld Zig-Zag chair, pottery by Edwin and Mary Scheier and Fausto Melotti, and Venini glassworks.

The most exciting aspects of this auction are the more intimate ones—the works from Mark's and Greg's personal collection that speak to Mark's eclectic taste, his boundless curiosity and sensitivity toward objects and art, and how generous he was in sharing his interests with others and letting them share with him. Standouts include several works by Robert Mapplethorpe—who was close friends with Mark, photographed several Fifty/50 catalogs and got many of the ceramics in his photographs from the gallery—the ecstatic wood construction Wild Plant by Leo Amino, a painting by Ralston Crawford of a spectacularly minimalist skyscraper façade, and photographic works by Man Ray, Edward Weston, Lynn Davis and Dorothea Lange.
 

Mark with Ed and Mary Scheier; Robert Mapplethorpe and Mark

This auction also features many works that tie together the thread of Mark’s collecting practices, going beyond the downtown New York sensibilities of the 1980s and showing the scope of eras and cultures that interested him; the sgraffito incisions on a 1940s Scheier vase echo the geometric features of a Senufo Kpeliye'e mask, the entrancing and complex shadows of a grain elevator in a photograph by Ralston Crawford contrast with the severe plainness of a New York City step-back building captured by Walker Evans, and the radical gestures of gay image making are seen in the works of George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus and Robert Loughlin. One of the artists in this sale, George Dureau, a photographer from New Orleans (where Greg is also from) who greatly influenced Mapplethorpe early in his career, perhaps best captures the spirit of this collection, saying about his own work:
 

“I live a warm, involved, humanist sort of life. There are lots of people passing through it. I have exciting experiences and learn things about people. They always go into my art. I cannot have an experience and it not go into my art.”
  
Mark and a friend at Brimfield; Mark's and Greg's apartment; Mark and Greg at The Armory Show

Fifty/50 gallery reshaped the collecting market during its twelve-year existence, closing in 1993 after Mark passed away from AIDS; his partner Greg has cared for the collection since.  The Collection of Mark Isaacson and Greg Nacozy offers an opportunity to see a short but impactful life lived through an enthusiasm for art and design, one that inspired many to see and appreciate objects and live with them as fully as Mark did.

Georges Jouve 1910–1964

Georges Jouve was born in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France in 1910. He began his formal training in design and sculpture first at the École Boulle, and then later at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. After graduating in 1930, Jouve worked as a stage designer. Jouve was a drafted into the army in 1939. After a battle, Jouve was taken prisoner by the Nazis and interred in a German camp. After several unsuccessful escape attempts, Jouve fled to his parent’s home in Drôme in the South of France. It was in this town that Jouve began to learn the medium of ceramics, to which he applied his knowledge of sculptural forms. In 1945, Jouve moved to Paris, and he opened an atelier for ceramics on the rue de la Tombe-Issoire. Jouve’s modernist ceramics caught the eye of famed designer Jacques Adnet, who invited him to exhibit his work at the La Ceramique Contemporaine show with the Compagnie des Arts. With the support of Adnet, Jouve began to exhibit regularly at design salons like the Salon de l’Imagerie and the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. The French Ministry of Higher Education asked Jouve to exhibit his ceramics worldwide, and his works were shown in Rio in 1946, Helsinki in 1948, and Rome in 1950. Jouve passed away in 1964, but he left behind a groundbreaking legacy of biomorphic ceramics that redefined craft with their sculptural forms.

Auction Results Georges Jouve

GEORGES JOUVE, Important sculpture | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Important sculpture
estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $125,000

GEORGES JOUVE, Toupie | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Toupie
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $50,000

GEORGES JOUVE, Poule | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Poule
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $47,500

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $40,000

GEORGES JOUVE, Important sculpture | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Important sculpture
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $37,500

GEORGES JOUVE, mirror | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

mirror
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $32,400

GEORGES JOUVE, rare Sablier vase | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

rare Sablier vase
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $30,480

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $30,000

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $28,750

GEORGES JOUVE, Freeform table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Freeform table lamp
estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $26,400

GEORGES JOUVE, Rare table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Rare table lamp
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $23,750

GEORGES JOUVE, collection of eight Cylinder vases | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

collection of eight Cylinder vases
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $23,750

GEORGES JOUVE, table | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table
estimate: $18,000–22,000
result: $20,400

GEORGES JOUVE, Toupie | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Toupie
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $20,000

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamps, pair | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamps, pair
estimate: $8,000–12,000
result: $17,500

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $16,800

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $16,800

GEORGES JOUVE, sconces, pair | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

sconces, pair
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $15,340

GEORGES JOUVE, bowls, set of two | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

bowls, set of two
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $15,000

GEORGES JOUVE, table lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

table lamp
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $13,750

GEORGES JOUVE, vase | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

vase
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $11,875

GEORGES JOUVE, vase | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

vase
estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $10,800

GEORGES JOUVE, Cylinder vase | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

Cylinder vase
estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $10,000

GEORGES JOUVE, floor lamp | wright20.com

Georges Jouve

floor lamp
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $9,600