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An Exclusive Interview With Ellen Sragow

Sragow Gallery specializes in American Art from the 1930’s- 40’s, and early 1950’s including the WPA era; African American Art and prints from the Hollander Workshop, 1964-72, including Abstract Expressionist prints by artists of the New York School.

Q1. Where are you based and how long has the gallery been dealing in fine prints?

ES: I am in New York City. I started by working in a gallery in SOHO called Prints on Prince Street.It was a gallery representing print publishers here and in Europe.  In 1975 I moved it and called it Prints on Prince Street on West Broadway, and we showed the prints of Richard Prince!!

Q2. How did you start in the art business?

ES: I started in the art business because I had just finished my Masters Degree and needed a job. I worked for Prints on Prince Street and knew nothing about business. My training was in art history and studio classes. I did study with Milton Resnick, Esteban Vicente and Irving Sandler. They all taught me about painting, understanding paint, and the history of Abstract Expressionism.

Q3. Which artists / art movements do you specialise in?

ES: I specialize in American prints, paintings and works on paper. African American; 30-’s and 40’s; Contemporary; Abstract Expressionist (of course!)

Q4. What were some of the first prints you bought and sold?

ES: Works by Arnulf Rainer, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman,,Anni Albers,RIchard Anuszkiewicz among others.Also sold photographs before there was a market, by now very famous artists. They sold for $100-$500, such as Paul Outerbridge, Walker Evans, Arnold Newman,Andre Kertesz, among others.

Q5. Who is your personal favourite artist and why?

ES: This is a question I can never answer, along with favorite movie,book,food, etc!

Q6. Which artists do you regard as some of the finest printmakers?

ES: One of my favorite print medias is blockprint. I think 3 of the best wood engravers (20th century) were Paul Landacre, Angelo Pinto and Lou Barlow.

Q7. If you could own just one print, which would it be?

ES: Durer’s “Adam and Eve”. I had the opportunity to see it unframed at a museum print  study room and could practically stick my nose into it! Wow!

Q8. Which artists do you have in your personal collection?
ES: Martin Assig; Dox Thrash; Arnold Newman,Bernice Abbott,  Perle Fine , Elizabeth Catlett, a mixed bag!

Q9. What are some of your latest acquisitions?

ES: Sam Gilliam, Elizabeth Catlett.

Q10. What advice do you offer collectors when acquiring fine prints?

ES: Buy them from a reputable dealer who can advise you and help build your collection.

View all prints at Sragow Gallery >