Published: April 3, 2012
Each year Tony Fusco and Bob Four tweak their AD 20/21 show and each year the results are impressive.
The show was launched five years ago to showcase art and design of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Since 2009, it has included the Boston Print Fair, now in its 13th year and to which a significant amount of floor space is dedicated. Furniture designers are among the mix, and this year three photographers showed their pictures. The gala preview was crowded; the overall gate was up and exhibitors were more than pleased with the show that ran March 15‱8 at the Cyclorama.
The gala preview benefited Boston Architectural College and that connection resulted in a significant designer presence. Museum curators and major collectors were also spotted in the crowd, and sold stickers appeared even during the preview party.
The centerpiece in the booth of Boston’s Machine Age was an extension table made with a glass top with rosewood leaves that attach to the ends; all on a wood and aluminum pedestal. The booth also held a pair of Danish harp chairs by Jorgen Hovelskov, a rosewood cabinet by Ole Wenscher and an olive burl cabinet with chrome end panels for Directional. A Curtis Jere tree and a 1930s Art Deco bird made of water buffalo horn contributed whimsy.
New York dealer Robert Lloyd is known for exceptionally fine and rare silver. Although he filled two cases of Eighteenth to Twentieth Century silver, the modern offerings in his booth represented a sharp departure from his norm. It was a curious and enticing mix: a pair of pyramidal glass shard lamps from the 1970s drew a lot of interest, as did an Italian chrome spider chandelier, a prop used in the TV show Ugly Betty , a barber’s pole, a propeller blade mounted with a barometer and a gilt steer weathervane. Anglo Irish artist Tom Hallifax’s “The Mouth,” a 2002 tetraptych, dominated one entire wall of the booth.
Richard A. LaVigné of Knollwood Antiques brought an eclectic boothful straight from Miami where he found the offerings. A pair of panels from the 1970s on the back wall made of Lucite on wood frames was inset with revolving colored balls that caught the light from all angles. Four chairs decorated with swans made in Rome were set off by pyramidal Bakelite lamps. A J. Robert Scott coffee table of steamed wood was overlaid with linen. So desirable was the material for sale that LaVigné made a trip back to his New York City gallery to restock Saturday morning.
Compelling modern furniture by Greg Lipton, whose studio is in Cumberland, Maine, included his Tusk coffee table, with inward curving legs resembling tusks, a bench similar to a set of six commissioned by the Portland Museum of Art and now part of the permanent collection there, and a 7-foot cherry credenza with ebony inlay and a tiger steel top. Lipton also showed a cherry circle back chair, a form based on an equilateral triangle with back slats that form a leg, a V-stretcher and two other legs. The booth was hung with paintings by Maine artist (and Lipton’s wife) Sara Crisp, whose remarkable work includes found objects.
Salem and Boston rug dealer Landry & Arcari filled an entire wall of its booth with three pictorial rugs handwoven in Nepal and evocative of sunny Impressionist paintings with their arresting color and light. “Reflections” won Best in Show at the 2012 International Rug Festival in Hanover, Germany. They were especially well-received in Boston. Known in the area for fine antique rugs, Landry & Arcari showed a good selection of contemporary pieces, including some Suzani pillows and other weavings.
Kulin Modern of Boston creates furniture and sculpture that are interchangeable. Jacob Kulin’s sculptural furniture integrates reclaimed woods with glass or metal. He showed a bench of reclaimed Douglas fir with glass and acrylic, and mounted a series of “wall barnacles” of pine and birch. His sculpture “Willow II” of Brazilian walnut, burned willow and acrylic dominated the booth.
Davenport & Shapiro Fine Art came from East Hampton, N.Y., with new paintings from Harriette Joffe’s “Riversong” series. Also featured was a 1975 Conoid bench by George Nakashima that drew some serious interest. Two large abstract paintings by Eddie Rehm and Emanuel Buckvar grabbed much attention, and the dealer sold Arts and Crafts ceramics and a painting by Gustave Buchet. There is follow-up interest in an Albert Wein piece and a Thomas Hart Benton drawing. Two major museums expressed strong interest in some pottery, and Davenport & Shapiro is researching them for those institutions.
Portland, Maine, dealer Tom Veilleux came to Boston with such gems as Rockwell Kent’s circa 1968 “Lilacs,” Lilian Westcott Hale’s “The Burnous: Portrait of Leffy,” Walt Kuhn’s “House on Seashore⁏gunquit, Maine,” the Guy Pène du Bois oil on board “After the Opera,” Charles Burchfield’s watercolor “Patriot’s House” and Jamie Wyeth’s 1975 watercolor “Silo and Angus.” Veilleux’s booth drew steady traffic to both paintings and the Elie Nadelman bronzes and ceramic works he sprinkled around like confetti.
Martha Richardson Fine Art of Boston presented a solo show of the work of Boston Expressionist artist John Wilson. The artist explores and explicates social realities in a range of media that includes drawings, lithographs, paintings and bronzes. Wilson was the subject of gallery talks by Richardson and James Stroud of Center Street Studio, Boston, who also showed work by Wilson. Richardson reported some sales †and some very big interest in Wilson’s work.
Susanna Fichera Fine Art of Arlington, Mass., and Bowdoinham, Maine, mixed it up a little with Italian American artist Gino Emilio Cesara Conti’s 1923 “The Expulsion from Eden” alongside the oil on board “The Butterfly” by Herbert Saslow and John Widde’s 1947 “Myself as Anatomist.” Fichera also showed work by Karl Priebe, Earl Horter and Michael Loew. Sally Michel’s “A Lady on the Phone” sold early in the show, as did an untitled watercolor on paper by Boston artist Harley Manlius Perkins.
Gorgeous abstract paintings by artists transplanted to Santa Fe, N.M., grabbed attention in the GF Contemporary booth. The gallery showed work by the English-born self-taught artist Nigel Conway that demonstrates a fanciful but careful layering, with intermittent glossy patches. Eric Reinemann’s figural abstracts were colorful and conveyed a kineticism. A couple of bronze figures by Martin Spei floated upside down on a wall, and the 51-inch bronze “A Blossom from the Tall Grass” plant by Australia-born Jennyfer Stratman was appealing.
Palette Contemporary Art & Craft of Albuquerque, N.M., showed abstract landscapes by South African artist Paul Blomkamp, a selection of vintage watches and another of vintage radios, along with glass sand blasted, carved and blown by Colorado artists Steven and Karen Korobow Main.
Boston’s Pucker Gallery showcased mobiles by metal artist Mark Davis that floated above the booth and rested on pedestals, ablaze with color and iridescence.
Michael Lisi Contemporary Art displayed an impressive selection of prints that included the 1990 “Brisk Day” by Alex Katz, Donald Sultan’s black and white and blue and white poppy screen prints with flocking and Damien Hirst’s 2009 “For the Love of God,” a silkscreen with glazes and diamond dust. Lisi also showed Ellsworth Kelly’s “Green with Orange” from the mid-1960s, and work by Keith Haring, Picasso, Frankenthaler and Miro.
Hal Katzen Gallery showed Alex Katz’s “The Green Cap,” Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nude in the Woods,” “Tropical Flower,” an oil painting on aluminum by Debbie Carfagno, and “Coca Cola” by Robert Cottingham.
Art photography is a standard at AD 20/21, and this year three artists appeared. French artist Alain Amiand, a photographer based in Toulouse, makes images of the word “Hotel” at locations around the world. The walls of his booth were covered with his compositions.
Telescopes of Vermont, based in Norwich, is a curious blend of the scientific instruments that are in themselves works of art made by Fred Schleipman and the art photography of son Russ Schleipman. Photographs on view included colorful pairs of sneakers, architecture, textural stone and flowers evocative of the botanical prints of Pierre-Joseph Redouté.
Charlottesville, Va., art photographer Robert Llewellyn gives his images of petals, leaves and entire blossoms an unexpected sharpness and magnification, printing them on watercolor papers using archival pigments on copper.
For more information, www.ad2021.com or 617-363-0405.
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