Let’s talk a bit about the Phillips DESIGN Auction coming up in June as it is certainly one deserving a good look. Wendell Castle has a desk from 1983 with inlaid geese that is spectacular and a wonderful example of his wood working that also informed his woodworking instruction at RISD.
There is a lovely console table in the manner of Edgar Brandt that would be beautiful in an entry gallery (like the Howard van Doren Shaw apartment we just had published in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine!)
And the rare armchair by Jean Royere in hairy goat hide makes you want to stay forever.
The lovely coffee table by Andre Dubreuil made of limestone and patinated steel feels solid and contemporary.
The proportions of the Jacques Adnet upholstered chairs is lovely, and the Pierre Chareau dining chairs, along with the “Tulip” daybed demand attention as well.
To read about the wonderful collaboration between architect and painter with the work by Gio Ponti and Fornasetti is just preparation for the amazing things going on today in the world of Design Furniture.
And last but certainly not least, Ron Arad and his piece Oh, the Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends, from 2009 gave me a whole new appreciation for his talented and thoughtful work.
And, we absolutely love the Max Ingrand set of three ceiling lights from 1956.
We were also able to get to the opening preview of the most recent Sotheby’s (*record setting) contemporary art auction, Three Decades of American Abstraction. Spectacular is absolutely the right word for many of the pieces we saw. The Barkley Hendricks piece The Way You Look Tonight / Diagonal Graciousness, 1981, was even more wonderful in person than we expected.
We were particularly fond of the Guillermo Kuitca painting as it shared plans in the way we know them around residential design.
The soft application of color would be wonderful to look at over time. Both Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell were represented by beautiful pieces with large blocks of solid color.
I was thrilled to view the Catherine of Aragon wax photo by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
And, an editioned piece by Gerhard Richter of Annunciation After Titian brought back fabulous memories of his one-man show in Basel at Foundation Beyler several years ago.
It is always worth the effort to get to the viewings of these auctions as you are not only able to view a variety of great works at one time, a broad overview of the quality of work that is available to the public market and a snapshot of how it is valued. Even better, it is an exercise in evaluation as quality of the artwork is observed and placed within the cannon of the artist’s oeuvre, a challenge that thankfully never ends!