Your fine art information site since 1995

Jonathan Novak, headshot, on artline Jim Dine at Jonathan Novak, on artline
Jonathan Novak   Jim Dine

Jonathan Novak grew up in Los Angeles, California. The son of an optometrist, he knew early on that he wanted to follow the path of a professional. With an interest in debating, Jonathan decided he would become an attorney.

Jonathan attended Brandeis University, enrolling in 1971, majoring in economics. When he entered university, Jonathan was a classical musician (oboe and piano) but had had very little exposure to the fine arts. As a freshman, he welcomed the university’s introductory course to art history (accompanied by Gardner’s Art Through the Ages). The class, taught by an architectural historian, awakened Jonathan’s interest in art and architecture. For the next four years, with schooling at Brandeis as well as in England, Jonathan took as many art and architecture courses that he could fit into his schedule.

Richard Estes at Jonathan Novak, on artline Sam Francis at Jonathan Novak, on artline Julian Opie at Jonathan Novak, on artline
Richard Estes   Sam Francis   Julian Opie

When Jonathan graduated in 1975 with degrees in economics and urban studies, he decided to take a year off before beginning law school. That year was instrumental in Jonathan’s journey to becoming art dealer: he first apprenticed with Sotheby’s in Los Angeles, then worked in several galleries from Santa Barbara to New York City. He knew then that the art world would always be a part of his life.

Jonathan attended University of California Hastings Law School. During those three years, he mounted exhibitions of modern and contemporary graphics in the school cafeteria. With support from faculty and students, Jonathan realized that sharing the art that he liked with others could bring pleasure to many.

Jonathan practiced law as a business litigator in the California Bay Area and Silicon Valley for five years, but dealt art in the evenings and weekends. After five years, and too many stomach aches as an attorney, he took a three month leave of absence to deal art full time. A year later, his firm’s managing partner called with an ultimatum: “Jonathan, come back to work by next week or we are taking your name off the door!” It was at that point that Jonathan decided to take the leap and become a full-time art dealer.

Alex Katz at Jonathan Novak, on artline Robert Bechtle at Jonathan Novak, on artline
Alex Katz   Robert Bechtle

With his passion for Post-War American and European art, Jonathan focused on Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Photorealism. By the mid 1980’s, Jonathan’s inventory focused on blue-chip artists with auction history, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, and graphics. Jonathan worked closely with, and became a representative of, the Estate of Sam Francis.

In 2000, Jonathan opened his first public gallery; it is still in the same location in the Century City area of West Los Angeles. Since the opening, Jonathan has been active in exhibiting important works by well known and established artists, including Sam Francis, Wayne Thiebaud, Alexander Calder, Jim Dine, Jean Dubuffet, David Hockney, Helen Frankenthaler, Niki de Saint Phalle, Andy Warhol, Howard Hodgkin, Tom Wesselmann, Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Cottingham, John Baeder, Michael Craig-Martin, Robert Indiana, Robert Bechtle, Julian Opie, Robert Motherwell, Paul Jenkins, Roy Lichtenstein, and Alex Katz.

In 2003, Jonathan began representing Jim Dine in Southern California. Consistently since then, Dine has created extraordinary works for the gallery: paintings on canvas and paper, drawings, and sculpture ranging in scale from table-top to monumental.

Elizabeth Patterson at Jonathan Novak, on artline Wayne Thiebaud at Jonathan Novak, on artline
Elizabeth Patterson   Wayne Thiebaud

For more than 30 years, Jonathan has been an inveterate exhibitor at art fairs.

Jonathan serves on the board of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University as well on the board of the Fine Art Dealers Association. He is also a member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association, the Private Art Dealers Association and the International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers Association.

David Hockney at Jonathan Novak, on artline Roy Lichtenstein Tom Wesselmann at Jonathan Novak, on artline
David Hockney   Roy Lichtenstein   Tom Wesselmann