Maurice Sendak Retrospective

AFA announces a retrospective in loving memory of Maurice Sendak. The exhibition will open on Saturday, June 9th, the day before what would have been the artist’s 84th birthday, and will remain on display through Labor Day. The collection includes nearly 50 original works, including published pieces, conceptual art and a bronze sculpture. This “Wild Thing” sculpture was launched in 2009 to celebrate the largest gallery exhibition that Mr. Sendak had during his extensive career, and was a collaboration with AFA gallery owner, Nicholas Leone.



Published in the June issue of Art World News Magazine:

Maurice Sendak and I became friends years before my gallery hosted the biggest gallery exhibition of his career, in 2009.  It was an extraordinary event that featured more than 120 works by the artist, who was presented with an award by the Society of Illustrators & Museum of American Illustration on opening night.  The exhibition coincided with an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum and the opening of Where the Wild Things Are, the Warner Bros. film directed by Spike Jonze.

I will always remember the party at MoMA with Maurice that followed the film’s debut. He was exhausted when it was over, but said that after BumbleArdy he had one more book in him; a beautiful story about two polar bears, which was really about Maurice and his brother Jack.  Maurice, also known as “Big Mo”, once told me that all of his stories contained layers of more meaningful stories, and that our friendship would be nothing less than that.

When we first met, he was brutally clear that he was only interested in relationships and friendships that mattered. He was not interested in star struck fans wanting to be close to him, but rather being loved for the person he was. During the years, I delivered nothing less than that promise. He was an inspiration to me on so many levels. His creativity,  artistry and raw sense of humor were unparalleled. Even our serious conversations were always somehow punctuated with edgy sarcasm and body cramping laughter.

“Farewell for now mon ami, for I too shall set sail someday to be reunited with you once again, and rejoice where the wild things are.”

Nick Leone
Owner, AFA Gallery