Published: October 2, 2012
The Park Avenue Armory hosts a diverse range of arts events, but became transformed into a glittering showcase of high-end antiques, sublime paintings and luxurious objects from the Seventeenth Century to Modern during the September 20′4 run of the Avenue Antiques, Art & Design at the Armory.
The twice-a-year show attracts a loyal cadre of dealers who do this show regularly, but always mixes it up with an interesting mix of “merch” † and a sprinkling of new dealers at both the spring and fall editions.
Show director Barbara Goodwin said the gate was strong, particularly over the weekend. “Opening night was attended by over 1,000 guests, including dealers’ top customers, Avenue magazine’s VIP readers, leading designers and top supporters of the New York School of Interior Design, who held its fall fundraiser in the Veterans Room of the Park Avenue Armory during our opening night party,” she said.
“The show is designed to provide a wide variety of disciplines and eras and thus brings in a diverse crowd of buyers. Sales were reported across numerous categories, and of particular note among dealers was the quality of the audience delivered throughout,” Goodwin added.
Showcased at Haynes Fine Art of Broadway, Worcester, England, was a masterful work of David James (British, 1853‱904) titled “Waves Breaking on a Rocky Coast.” The artist was renowned for his maritime paintings, and though his subject matter was diverse, he is perhaps at his best in his elemental depictions of the powerful sea, without any references to man, evoking the raw majesty of nature. Hung next to it was a small gem of a painting by fellow Brit John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836‱893) titled “Liverpool Docks.”
Also offering fine paintings was Rehs Galleries, Inc, New York City, with a Eugene Boudin (1824‱898) oil on panel titled “Le Havre, le basin du commerce,” depicting a couple of fishermen in their dories with a misty harbor in the background, and the charming portrait “Petite Fille au Bouquet de Fleurs” by Leon Jean Basile Perrault (1832‱908).
Intuitive pairings of items on display, some obviously related, some seemingly not, were the hallmark of New Orleans-based M.S. Rau Antiques’ booth this year, with a Petrus Van Schendel painting, “An Evening Market,” lit with candlelight that was dated 1865 seen next to a colorful oil by Fedor Ivanovich Zakharov, circa 1912, depicting a football game, while a small drawing by Rembrandt was presented with a massive, eight-arm George II silver centerpiece. Another astute pairing was a William and Mary oysterwood chest, circa 1690, with Norman Rockwell’s “Expect the Unexpected,” an ink, wash, gouache and colored pencil work on paper. The artwork perhaps foreshadowed what buyers might find at the show.
Center Space, New York City, created a bold, attention-grabbing space as a beacon of pop culture with large black and white illustrations of Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Liz Taylor and Pamela Anderson, among the standouts.
A bastion of Modern and midcentury was the booth of Bridges Over Time, Newburgh, N.Y., which offered its usual choice inventory of Modern furniture, but this time also delighted visitors with Brazilian artist Fernandez’s set of three life-size figures titled “Happy Family of 3,” made with welded steel rods and wrapped with rolled newspaper. The figures married the Modern aesthetic with Outsider art appeal.
New York City dealer Marion Harris’s offerings were an eclectic mix from a collection of European druggist bottles to a fetching pair of rabbit figures with interchangeable heads (one a wolf, the other a man). The figures made by Massachusetts-based artist Cynthia Cosentino are wearing business suits and one is holding a gun. Like her “Girl with Gun” series, these sculptures offer up social commentary by exploring societal and gender roles.
F.L. Braswell Fine Art, Chicago, offered a fine ceramic piece by Pablo Picasso titled “Oursin,” 1955. but the centerpiece was the Joan Miro wool tapestry, “Mangouste,” from an edition numbering fewer than 20, circa 1960 after a 1935 design. The large tapestry was hung prominently on the center back wall of the booth.
Fashion illustrations by Rene Bouche were featured at Giraffics Gallery, East Hampton, N.Y., including a poster from the designer’s exhibition at the Parsons in 1975, while Art Link International, Lake Worth, Fla., offered Jim Dine’s “Teal Sonato,” and a W.T. Richards oil on canvas titled “Near Atlantic City, NJ,” along with a small but stellar Dale Chihuly glass sculpture.
Nick Boston Antiques, Limerick, Ireland, filled its booth with all manner of porcelain from the functional to the whimsical. Highlights included an Adams & Browley corn garden seat, circa 1875; a pair of Minton ram’s head garden pots designed by Baron Carlos Marrochetti, circa 1855; and a rare Minton Renaissance Revival wine cistern, circa 1855.
Eye candy in the booth of David Brooker Fine Art, Southbury, Conn., were maritime paintings by Robert Dodd and Joseph Heard. A British marine painter and aquatint engraver, Dodd (1748‱815) was renowned for his works depicting the French Revolutionary wars and started out painting landscapes, but soon came to specialize in marine works. Heard (1799‱859) was well known among the Liverpool School of artists and excelled at finely balanced compositions.
Fine lighting could be found at Ophir Gallery, Englewood, N.J., which crafted an elegant booth, spotlighting Tiffany lamps, from 20-inch Jonquil and Dogwood table lamps to a Peony floor lamp. Macklowe Gallery, New York City, also showed several fine Tiffany lamps.
Callaghan Fine Paintings and Contemporary Bronze, Shrewsbury, UK, balanced a series of bronze dancers by Benson Landes with captivating paintings like Lucien Adrion’s “Cayeux-Sur-Mer, La Plage” and Marcel Dyf’s “Ciel Bleu sur les Champs des Mais.”
Jacqueline Smelkinson of Moylan Smelkinson/The Spare Room, Baltimore, reported that “the show had an exciting buzz from the start, with a well-attended preview. The gate was lovely for the next four days with knowledgeable buyers who bought across the board. In 33 years of business, we have never had a better show.”
Standouts seen around the show ranged from Eugene H. Thompson’s 1928 painting “The East River” at From Here to Antiquity, Cheshire, Conn., to a pair of early Fourteenth Century Japanese, Koma-Inu lion dogs, carved from cypress wood during the Kamakura period and circa 1304‱305, shown by Robert Lloyd, Inc, New York City. Martin du Louvre, Paris, offered Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Buste of Madame Renoir,” 1916, that was a plaster prototype for the cement bust and came out of a private collection in Cannes. The Silver Fund, San Francisco, featured a Cartier Paris tea and coffee set, all the more noteworthy as Cartier Paris rarely made silver items, and this complete set on tray, weighing nearly 20 pounds, is an unusual find.
The show returns here next year April 17′1 and October 9‱3. For more information, www.avenueshows.com or 646-442-1627.
New York School Of Interior Design Honors Albert Hadley At Avenue Show Preview
More than 150 guests gathered to honor the late renowned interior designer Albert Hadley at the New York School of Interior Design’s benefit cocktail reception at the Park Avenue Armory. The event was in conjunction with the Avenue Antiques, Art & Design at the Armory’s preview on Thursday, September 20.
The event was co-chaired by Bunny Williams, Brian McCarthy and David Kleinberg †all of whom trained under Hadley before starting their own firms †as well as NYSID’s Alumni Council President and Chair Allison Russell Davis. Among those who attended were Geoffrey Bradfield, Mario Buatta, Ellie Cullman, Jill Dienst, Melvin Dwork, David Easton, Alexa Hampton, Inge Heckel, Ilene Judell, Lana Lawrence, Ruth Lynford, Charles Pavarini III, Cynthia Hazen Polsky, Susan Nagle and Peter Bentel, Arthur Satz, David Scott, Kevin Sharkey, Stephen Sills, Britton Smith, Patricia and Michael Sovern, William Spink and Ilene Wetson.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement that Hadley had made a bequest of nearly half a million dollars to the college.
“Albert cared about many things in life, and we are grateful that one of them was the New York School of Interior Design,” said NYSID President David Sprouls. “As a longtime member of our advisory board, Hadley gave generously of his time and, as founder and benefactor of the Albert Hadley Scholarship fund, he made significant contributions to NYSID students and the education they receive. And while we are all saddened by his death last March, I am honored, excited and humbled to report that his legacy lives on even more so thanks to his generous bequest of almost half a million dollars to the New York School of Interior Design. I couldn’t be more pleased to make this announcement tonight amongst friends of Albert’s and NYSIDs.”
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