This year, however, he has staged an altogether different, more personal show in his Jermyn Street gallery. It features paintings by his father.
Ivor Weiss was raised in London’s East End. Trained as a painter in London after the Second World War, he would go on to live in Alabama in the US before returning to Colchester in the UK in the 1960s.
His paintings are a record of the world he knew, from recollections of the Jewish rituals he observed as a child to the landscape of Tuscany where he lived in later life. In addition to his paintings he worked in a variety of media including murals, mosaics, jewellery and textiles.
He was the founder of the Weiss Galleries School of Fine Arts in Alabama, and continued to teach on his return to the UK. He subsequently became a dealer, launching his own gallery.
A total of 31 works (26 paintings and five linocuts) are included in Portrait of an Artist: Ivor Weiss (1918-1986), which runs until October 20.
One of the biggest challenges for Mark Weiss in putting the show together was deciding at what level to pitch the paintings. Assessing works that are at once so familiar yet fall outside of any prevailing art historical style was a difficult task. Most pictures are priced in five figures.
“He was never going to be a commercial painter, quite frankly, because his painting was so personal to him,” says Weiss. “He was not that prolific. Painting was quite an emotional process for him.”
However, the dealer hopes that staging the show during Frieze week, when collectors and curators come from all over the world, might help get his father’s work into a major institution.
“There are a number of pictures which my family and I are keeping but there is a core of pictures which we’d like to find homes for,” he says. Some are already in public collections including works that have been donated to London’s Ben Uri Gallery.
While Mark admits that the show is the “antithesis” to what he normally displays (with the exception of an earlier Ivor Weiss retrospective in 2005), he says that the gallery is not averse to expanding its brief for certain shows. “My father was always his own man, as I’ve tried to be as well.”