Walter Gay (American 1856-1937) "A Picture Gallery." Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches. Signed: Walter Gay. Courtesy of Graham.

As Frieze Week’s flurry of contemporary art fairs and auctions comes to a close, the art world  is gearing up for another whirlwind of events. This week, New York City will host a number of happenings all centered around American art.

Harry Bertoia (American 1915-1978) "Untitled," c. 1970. Beryllium copper and brass, H. 31 inches. Courtesy of Graham.

Those looking to view museum-quality works in an intimate setting can partake in Just Off Madison -- an open house of galleries specializing in American art. Timed to coincide with the major American art auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s on Wednesday, May 20, and Thursday, May 21, respectively, Just Off Madison gives collectors, curators, and American art enthusiasts the opportunity to visit some of New York’s finest private galleries, many of which operate by appointment, on an informal basis. All participating galleries are located along East 69th through 79th Streets between Fifth and Madison Avenues, allowing guests to discover an exquisite selection of American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, while leisurely strolling through the Upper East Side. Participating galleries include Avery Galleries, Jonathan Boos, Conner - Rosenkranz, LLC, Debra Force Fine Art, Inc., Graham, Kraushaar Galleries, Betty Krulik Fine Art, Ltd., Menconi + Schoelkopf, MME Fine Art LLC, James Reinish & Associates, Inc., David Tunick, Inc., Lois Wagner Fine Arts, Inc., and Meredith Ward Fine Art.

Among the not-to-be missed stops on the Just Off Madison gallery walk is Graham, one of the oldest family-owned galleries in the United States. Graham is currently hosting the exhibition American Paintings and Sculpture, which features a dynamic mix of traditional and modern paintings and sculptures by such luminaries as Guy Pène du Bois, Harry Bertoia, Walter Gay, Rockwell Kent, Charles Green Shaw, William Zorach, and many more. The rich and varied presentation offers an intriguing overview of American art, from Harry Bertoia’s elegant and spare sculptures to Walter Gay’s paintings of sumptuous interiors and Rockwell Kent’s luminous landscapes.

American art enthusiasts can also head to Gerald Peters Gallery on East 78th Street, where the exhibition Continuing Modernism/Beginning Abstraction: American Modernists in the 40s and 50s is currently on view. The show explores the continuing innovation and evolution of American Modernist painters and sculptors, including Max Weber, William Zorach, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Many of these artists launched their careers in the early twentieth century and went on to revolutionize and redefine American art. As the twentieth century rolled on, American art progressed rapidly, moving quickly towards pure abstraction. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Abstract Expressionists, much like their Modernist predecessors, ushered in a new intellectual and aesthetic era. While the Abstract Expressionists took center stage during this period, many American Modernists were at the apex of their careers, receiving their most important commissions, being honored with prestigious exhibitions, and serving as mentors and teachers to a new generation of artists. Continuing Modernism/Beginning Abstraction highlights Modernist works from this period and celebrates this pioneering group’s ability to adapt and continually break new ground in American art.

Max Weber "Motherhood," 1945. Courtesy of Gerald Peters Gallery.

American Paintings and Sculpture will remain on view at Graham through June 19, 2015. Continuing Modernism/Beginning Abstraction: American Modernists in the 40s and 50s will remain on view at Gerald Peters Gallery through June 12, 2015.