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.

Ercole Barovier 1889–1974

The nearly fifty year tenure of Ercole Barovier as artistic director, designer and owner of Barovier & Toso is unprecedented in the history of Murano glass, and the firm’s success stands as a testament to his singular artistic talent and entrepreneurial genius.

Born in 1889 to a Muranese family that could trace its origins back to the 13th century, Barovier did not train as a glassblower but had a great passion for glass and quickly distinguished himself as an innovative designer. He joined Artisti Barovier in 1919 at the age of thirty and found success designing vases in the mosaic technique. In 1930 he produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning Primavera series, the success of which encouraged him to continue his experiments.

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Auction Results Ercole Barovier

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Murrine vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Murrine vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $317,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Primavera vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Primavera vase
estimate: $250,000–350,000
result: $293,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Mosaico vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Mosaico vase
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $257,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso Mosaico | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso Mosaico
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $245,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Mosaico vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Mosaico vase
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $200,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Primavera vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Primavera vase
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $187,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Cactus sculpture | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Cactus sculpture
estimate: $60,000–90,000
result: $150,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso mosaico | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso mosaico
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $149,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Mosaico vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Mosaico vase
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $102,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Rostrati vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Rostrati vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $100,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $93,750

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $87,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Laguna Gemmata vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Laguna Gemmata vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $81,250

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $75,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, prototype Tessere vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

prototype Tessere vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $69,850

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $65,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $62,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $52,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Spuma di Mare vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Spuma di Mare vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $50,800

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $47,500