It sparkled, it glittered and it opened a lot of eyes in Boston. Color and light swept the city when AD 20/21 opened its doors at the Cyclorama building in Boston’s South End on April 3. The three-day show was a new concept for the normally traditionalist Boston market, showcasing art and design of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries.
Many visitors smiled and said simply, “Finally!” Boston collector John Axelrod pronounced that the quality was high and that the mix was “excellent.” Promoters Tony Fusco and Bob Four received accolades from visitors throughout the event, and dealers repeatedly commented that management put together a show with such meticulous attention to detail that everyone was pleased.
The gate was exceptional, according to management; the response was large.
The preview party, which benefited the Boston Architectural College (BAC), drew a strong crowd. Several lectures were offered. The BAC’s 16th Annual Cascieri Lecture in the Humanities with Christy MacLear of the Philip Johnson Glass House was sold out. Other lectures included “The Art of Collecting Photography” by Tony Decaneas of Panopticon Gallery; “London Art Deco” by Arnold Schwartzman; and “Insuring, Valuing and Documenting Your Collection” by Bernard Michals and Stephen Wood. All of the events were well-attended, including Fusco’s “A Virtual Walking Tour of Boston’s Downtown Art Deco.”
The selection of merchandise offered by the 38 dealers exhibiting was stellar. Many of the exhibitors recently returned from the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antiques Show, others participate in Manhattan’s major art shows, as well as the foremost Twentieth Century event, Modernism.
Jason Jacques came from New York with a tempting array of French studio pottery and a selection of French iridescent art glass. A group of Gustav Klimt collotypes prints sold out and the Art Nouveau ceramics for sale sold early. Jacques said after the show, “Great show with a terrific crowd; curious and inquisitive.”
Dennis Duffy’s D Scale gallery in Boston had such mouthwatering delights as a shagreen table by Strakx, a leather top dining table by Castillo, a Lanin bench and two exceptional bone stands. The art on the walls of the booth came from Lanoue Fine Art.
Lanoue Fine Art of Boston showed several of Carrie McGee’s much admired mixed media and transparent constructions that were simple and complex at the same time. Lanoue also showed compelling paintings by Brad Durham, fine dresses and appetizing ice cream sundaes by Laura Schiff Bean and abstract geometric compositions by Michael Kessler. Susan Lanoue said she was gratified by the “throngs of new collectors” who attended the show.
For contemporary artist and furniture designer Jacob Kulin of Boston, AD 20/21 was his maiden voyage into the world of shows. Kulin had never before done a show of any kind, and he was enormously pleased. He sold three tables alone, got a number of commissions for other pieces and had significant follow-up.
“Arched Cedar II,” a fluid work of varicolored cedar wood, elicited much interest and is in consideration for a photo shoot in Washington. Most of Kulin’s tables were glass; of particular interest was one example supported by slender tree branches. A triptych construction of wooden sticks with burnt ends was called “Aspen,” a glass work was “Geode” and a third example was “Linnear.”
Martha Richardson Fine Art of Boston showed a dandy 1987 oil on canvas by Roger Brown, “A Midnight Girl in a Sunset Town,” “Coastal Mountains” by Sally Michel and James Rosenquist’s 1980 drawing for “Heart and Flowers.” Michael Gloeckner’s “Veiled Promise 2” also attracted attention. Other works that commanded the attention of visitors included those by Carl Holty and Harley Perkins. Richardson was pleased by the show, particularly with the numbers of new buyers to whom she made several sales.
New York dealer Greg Nanamura specializes in the avant-guard of the Twentieth Century and exhibited such midcentury furniture as a pair of club chairs with cylinder arm supports by Harvey Probber, a handsome pair of silver leafed wood end tables, a pair of Italian alabaster lamps with cylindrical alabaster shades and a dark mahogany settee with caned sides from Widdicomb Furniture. There was also a gleaming silver footed vase and a cut purple glass vase by Josef Hoffmann, along with other fine silver pieces by Puiforcat and Archibald Knox. Many admired the Maija Grotell bowl for sale.
Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts filled a double booth with furniture and paintings. Before the preview, he was highly enthusiastic. “These people [Fusco and Four] are so great.” He continued, “There are such beautiful things here&ust the right dealers.” He said after the show that he was well-pleased and had some good sales. Goldberg showed a group of poppy leaded glass windows designed for the Winton House, Wausau, Wis., by Prairie School architect George Washington Maher, along with a table by the designer.
Other items in the booth included the evocative painting “The Circus Tent” by Guy Pene du Bois, a “Massasoit” drawing by N.C. Wyeth for the mural at Metropolitan Life, and other works by Marguerite Zorach, Arthur Wesley Dow and Louis I. Kahn.
Portland, Maine, dealer Tom Veilleux showed “Tahitian Queen” by Pennsylvania artist Harry Rosin, “Sermilik Fjord, Greenland,” and “Vermont Symphony Orchestra Eagle” by Rockwell Kent, bronzes of interest by William Zorach and a silver leaf papier maché figure by Elie Nadelman. Commented Veilleux after the show, “I felt that it was an incredible turnout. We sold quite a number of pieces, many to new clients.”
Geoffrey Diner Gallery of Washington, D.C., had some exceptional art glass by Lenka Cermakova and Richard Cermak, a 1985 partners’ desk of Australian blackwood and ebony by Garry Knox Bennett, a 1991 pair of barrel chairs by Mats Theselius and an arresting sculpted and woven aluminum chair by Harush Shlomo. Interest was also stimulated by the set of six Nakashima Conoid chairs and an exceptional bench.
Texas dealer Sally Rosen: 20th Century Collections offered stellar couture jewelry and vintage evening bags that drew visitors in clusters. She also displayed French ceramics by Jacques and Dani Ruelland, a figural blue vase by Renato Bassoli, circa 1960, and three French pitchers by Mado Jolain with deeply colored interiors.
The booth of Alastair Crawford gleamed with the Georg Jensen silver and jewelry for which the dealer is known. Every conceivable Jensen form was represented, providing pleased visitors ample selection.
James P. Infante, a New York dealer, specializes in Secessionist, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and postwar objects. The presentation included a fine selection of Nouveau silver and sculpture, side-by-side with a picture of a gorilla carrying away a woman by Milan artist, decorator, engraver and designer Piero Fornasetti.
Birnam Wood gallery came from Manhattan with an enviable selection of paintings that included DeHirsh Margules’ mixed media “Maine Harbor” and the watercolor and gouache “Stern to Stern,” British artist Chloe Lamb’s “Wiltshire Downs with Heavy Skies” and a two works by Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, “Southern Exposure” and “The White House.” Patrick Dawson had Wolf Kahn’s “Houses on Sunset Lake” and Charles Burchfield’s “Summer 1915” for sale.
English silver dealer Titus Omega of Islington featured select silver by such artists as Christopher Dresser, Josef Hoffmann and Frederick Adler. Liberty clocks filled several shelves; a selection of pewter and glass vases by Archibald Knox was on offer. Two Daum and Marjorelle bowls with wrought iron mounts were impressive, as was a casket by Frederick James Shields.
The booth of Berengo Studio of Murano, Italy, was an explosion of color and light. The gallery brought glass works by Ricardo Licata, Dino Castagna †whose bamboolike glass constructions seemed to grow from the floor †Luigi Benzoni’s masks and Irene Rezzonino’s layered glass bricks.
At the 4 PM gallery, a cafeteria table invited guests to sit a spell. The table was made around 1953 by French designer Jean Prouve. It rested near a French coffee table made with tiles by Roger Capron, another by Harry Balmer of New Hope, Penn., and a parchment and rosewood coffee table from Argentina. An arresting pair of chairs by the French early proponent of machine age furniture, Charlotte Perriand, was among the offerings.
The Chicago-based gallery Lusenhop presented linocuts by Elmer Brown, “Fifteenth Defense” and the circa 1940 “Fortune Teller,” an untitled watercolor by George Josinovich and Wadsworth Jarrell’s 1972 screen print “Revolutionary.” Lusenhop had four wood geometric constructions by Lyman Kipp, the shadow box “Last Romance,” and Henry Moore’s pen and ink drawing, “Three Reclining Figures.” A Bob Stanley portrait of the Shirelles stopped a lot of visitors in their tracks.
Panopticon, a Boston gallery of photography that represents fine art photographers, displayed artistically created aerial photographs by Boston-area artist Alex MacLean. The image “Robert Delpire in his Living Room” by Paul Ockovic depicted the subject in a large rabbit head. The gallery also represents the work of New Hampshire photographer Paul Wainwright, who produced remarkable landscapes and images of Nineteenth Century architecture.
Jewelry dealer Dana Kraus of Regalia, who recently relocated to Boston, reported a fine show. Her booth experienced heavy and consistent traffic having a look at a pair of Rene Boivin Art Deco gold and diamond scroll pins. A silver pin by Paul Flato in the form of a Hermes Kelly bag opened to reveal a watch; a pair of up-lobe earrings by Raymond C. Yard was brilliant in diamonds, sapphires and platinum. Other major jewelers were also well represented, providing buyers with excellent opportunities.
A complex seated figure by Leo Sewell made of recycled objects welcomed visitors to Betty and Ed Koren’s Bridges Over Time gallery. The Newburgh, N.Y., dealers also showed an intriguing pair of water buffalo horns and a pair of midcentury Italian hooved wood stools that retained traces of original gilt.
The large 1966 symbolist oil on canvas by French artist Serge Carre of nude figures with dogs, rams, other animals and offerings attracted interest, as did the five-panel screen by Robert W. Chanler with a silver leaf frame and panels of nudes on one side and dolphins and other marine creatures on the other. A sculptural hand tooled gray leather chaise by Linda Eastman beckoned visitors.
For further information, 617-363-0405 or www.ad2021.com.