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The Star of Boston's First Annual Design Week

Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo | March 27th, 2014


Lots of effort went into transporting Center Street Studio’s printing press to the Cyclorama building to demonstrate the print process. It attracted much interest.


Stephanie Bond, principal of Childs Gallery, Boston, is pictured with Sean Flood, whose Winter Morning on Newbury Street, 2014 (40" x 30") and Summer Rain on Boylston Street (38" x 38") were each priced at $12,000.


This early 20th-century table and chair by Carlo Bugatti incorporated Moorish elements and was made of oak, parchment, stenciled parchment, and brass. It had been owned by Alberto Giacometti and retained a few paint splatters. Priced at $50,000 by Adelson Galleries, Boston, the table sold on the second day of the show.


The 1989 Giselbertus, a six-panel oil on canvas work by Karl Hagedorn (1922-2005), was offered by show producers Tony Fusco and Bob Four, who also run Fusco and Four Modern. The title of the 72" x 72" picture is the name of an inventive 12th-century French/ Roman sculptor. It was tagged $30,000.


Gold Gallery, Boston, showed Grace, an encaustic and photographic archival print (48" x 64") by Tom Brydelsky (b. 1957).


Tony Fusco is shown presenting the BAC Lifetime Achievement Award to preservationist Susan Park, president of the Boston Preservation Alliance, former president of the South End Historical Society, and founder, president, and CEO of Boston Harborfest, the organization dedicated to celebrating the Revolutionary War and maritime heritage of Boston. Photo courtesy of Fusco and Four.


Boston art dealer Martha Richardson is shown making wise use of the Florence Knoll three-seat butter-soft leather sofa in the booth of Boston Seaport District’s Machine Age across from her own space. Because the sofa had been a showroom model, it was tagged $9800. It was surrounded by the sculptural Curtis Jere mirror for sale at $3900 and Jack Wolfe’s 1959 Chorus (96" x 78") priced at $18,000. Two coffee tables sold, and residual sales persist all year.


Kino Guérin is an ébéniste based in Kingsbury, Quebec. His laminated walnut veneer Why Knot bench is priced at $3800 and measures 52" x 28" x 24". Were the wood set out in a straight line it would be 16' long.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s seventh annual AD 20/21 and Boston Print Fair, held March 27-30, was the star in the constellation of the first annual Boston Design Week. Forty-five dealers set up at the Cyclorama, and the 80 other design events around town made for good sales of mid-century and modern art and design. Design Week, organized by Tony Fusco and Bob Four of Fusco and Four, was intended to showcase the strength of Boston’s longstanding role as an important center of art and design. Collectors brought their designers, and designers brought their clients, and buying was brisk. The preview party, with higher attendance than ever, benefited the Boston Architectural College (BAC).

Print dealers were grouped at the front of the Cyclorama. Center Street Studio, Milton, Massachusetts, had the weightiest installation in its double-size booth. Printer and publisher James Stroud, with the aid of son Ryder Stroud, brought along their 2300-pound etching press, with which they gave illuminating demonstrations of the printmaking process. No easy transfer, the press required disassembly, cranes, transport, and reassembly twice. A video on the gallery’s Web site attests to the logistics, including the widening of doorways that the move entailed.

Heavy lifting paid off; the booth attracted many show visitors and boosted sales of such works as Nine Blue Poppies and Bird (Heron) by Richard Ryan and George Whitman’s elephant portfolio. A series of blue watercolor monotypes by Mark Cooper was also for sale. Lulu Blue 19 was priced at $1800, and Lulu Blue 12 was $2900. Cooper created a tall blue and white porcelain vase incorporating the colors and patterns of his monotypes, which he had fabricated in China in 2012. It was tagged $6000 and sold.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, for sale from Century Guild Chicago, was a show-stopper priced at $110,000. While it didn’t sell (yet), three other Klimt images did, along with two works by his protégé Egon Schiele.

Stewart & Stewart came from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with prints by Boston-born artist Janet Fish, whose 12-color screen print Leyden from 1991 was 28½" x 44" and tagged $12,000. The print publishers also showed and sold work by Paul Stewart (no relation), whose etchings on handmade paper are deeply textural. Several animal works by Hunt Slonem sold, along with work by printmaker Catherine Kernan of Somerville, Massachusetts. Works by Jane Goldman and Richard Bosman also were for sale.

Pride of place in the booth of Knollwood Antiques, Village of Thorndike, Massachusetts, was a salmon-painted secretary made in Venice in the early part of the 20th century. In the 1930s it was given a stylish overlay of mirrored glass panels with chinoiserie reverse-cut designs. Priced at $7500, it was reserved during the preview and sold the next day. It sold to a West Coast designer for the clients who brought him to the show. The clients made other purchases, and the designer bought himself a mid-century porcelain garden seat, in the form of a snail with a tufted and tasseled pillow, for his Palm Desert home. The gallery also had on reserve a pair of Hollywood Regency-style chairs by Billy Haines, priced at $3850 the pair, and a pair of bookcases. Proprietor Richard LaVigne said that since the show he had given seven clients quotes on objects that they had seen in his booth. Two mercury glass orbs on stands were $295 each, and a mahogany side chair sold after the show.

Adelson Galleries, which specializes in contemporary and modern art in its Boston gallery, brought an impressive selection of drawings by John Singer Sargent from its New York City location, which specializes in 19th- and 20th-century work. The drawings attracted interest from the Boston audience. A pencil portrait (10 7/8" x 9") of the artist’s second cousin Mary Sargent Potter of Boston was made between 1921 and 1924. Tagged $24,000, it sold. The 1890 bistre ink on Players’ Club paper drawing of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth (7 7/8" x 3 7/8") was $75,000. The charcoal and graphite Study for Science (24½" x 18¾") of 1920 was priced at $50,000. Several days after the event, Adam Adelson said other sales were pending.

Boston’s Childs Gallery exhibited work by contemporary artists such as Paul Endres Jr., whose work is the subject of an
exhibition at Childs through June 14. He was represented by The Lamentation of James Edgar Katz, tagged $7500, from his series “Tales of the American Burden,” which draws on the classics and contemporary society, mixing mythology and the cataclysmic. Endres’s 2013 48" x 36" oil on panel Childs Gallery, The Great American Gambit depicts the staff at Childs Gallery, with principals Stephanie Bond and Richard Baiano front and center. The painting is an attention-getter for sure but was not for sale. Ben Norris’s Cherry Blossoms II from 1992 was tagged $14,000. Emily Lombardo’s series of 12 etchings and aquatint images from “The Capricos” was for sale for $6000 framed or $5000 unframed.

Susanna J. Fichera is based in Bowdoinham, Maine, and Arlington, Massachusetts. She has a particular interest in Italian-American artists and brought two imposing bronzes by Marcello Mascherini (1906-1983) that framed her booth. The 1957 Torso d’Huomo was tagged $40,000 as was the 1960 Vestale. Fichera noted that Mascherini worked with Gio Ponti on commissions for ocean liners. Both figures measured 54" high, and each base was 27½"; they are now installed in Fichera’s gallery in Maine. Smaller paintings sold—Gian Berto Vanni’s Window and Dark Coast by Mac Wells.

Salem and Boston rug dealers Landry & Arcari have supplied Boston households with fine Oriental rugs and carpets for generations. For AD 20/21 the company blended traditional and modern and added several contemporary carpets to the mix. The 8' x 10' wool and silk carpet called SoHo was made in India using 101 colors, achieving an Impressionist effect. It was tagged $8500. There was also Dream Weaver, an 8' x 10' example made in Nepal, and Hip Pop Recycled Rug, a 7½' x 9½' example from Turkey.

Boston’s Martha Richardson Fine Art is located on Newbury Street, a few blocks from the Cyclorama. Proximity results in residual sales for much of the year. In the days leading up to AD 20/21, Richardson sent an e-mail blast featuring Seated Figures with Cat by Sally Michel Avery (1902-2003). By the time the show opened, the picture was sold, so she substituted Michel’s 1975 oil on canvas Milton Avery and Sally Michel Seated in an Interior, 40" x 50", that was reserved early in the show. Richardson offered James Rosenquist’s 20" x 28" acrylic wash and airbrush Heart Time Flowers, No. 1, priced at $35,000. The image is one of a series of 14 different and original acrylic pochoir works. Northeast by Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974) was priced at $32,000.

The ébéniste Kino Guérin, who is based in Kingsbury, Quebec, brought his seemingly whimsical tables, benches, and shelves to Boston. Beautifully engineered pieces that resemble giant ribbon curls, they are in fact sturdy and serviceable. They are made of laminated plywood with unusual veneers of wenge, Santos rosewood, and smoked oak. Guérin sold several shelves at the show and took orders for several other objects.

Purveyor of 17th- and 18th-century American, English, Irish, and Scottish silver, New York City dealer Robert Lloyd dips into the 20th century now and again. He brought several examples from his cache of original oil on canvas artworks by John Gilroy of the advertising agency S.H. Benson, Ltd. for Guinness. The original artwork created by an artist (whose signature is indistinct) from the commercial art firm Georges la Croix, advertising “Champagne de Venoge and the Paris Ice Palace,” has never been published and was tagged $35,000. An original and unpublished oil on canvas for Haig distillers featured a train and the slogan “Don’t Be Vague, Ask for Haig.” Another, for Bell’s whisky, featured the Flying Scotsman and “Before you go, Bell’s Whisky.” Lloyd didn’t neglect silver; he stocked his booth with some impressive 20th-century pieces.

George Jacobs Self Taught Art, Newport, Rhode Island, came to Boston with images such as James Castle’s untitled soot and spit image for $22,000 and Thornton Dial’s 1992 oil on paper Life Goon, priced at $6500.

Renjeau Galleries, Natick, Massachusetts, brought work by California-born artist Craig Alan, whose techie Populous USB and Remote Control, both priced at $7400, attracted much interest. Populous USB sold days after the show to a buyer who had seen it at AD 20/21. Renjeau sold several artworks during the show, and Robert Rosenfield explained that the gallery enjoys residual purchases for at least six months after Fusco and Four events. Renjeau showed a group of glass and collage pieces by Connie Kolman and had much interest in Summer Morning, a 36" x 48" oil on canvas by Albanian artist Josef Kote, priced at $9700.

Based in East Hampton, New York, Lawrence Fine Art had a dandy show. Lawrence sold eight or nine works by Rolph Scarlett and a glass on paper work by Etsuko Ichikawa. The gallery experienced great interest in such other works as Will Barnet’s 1980 aquatint etching of a woman and cat, Jasper Johns’s Flag, tagged $7500, and March Avery’s Trees and Rocks, tagged $16,500. Speaking after the show, Howard Shapiro expressed great pleasure with the show results and alluded to residual sales.

Bruce Emond of Village Braider, Plymouth, Massachusetts, had significant interest in the material he offered but sadly had to leave the show to attend his mother’s bedside. Anna Tempesta Emond, who was 97, died on March 31. A fixture in the antiques community, she established Village Braider Antiques and Rug Braiding Company in 1964 and remained active in the business until recently.

Emond’s colleagues held the fort in his absence, and sales were made then and after the event. Emond offered a selection of paintings by Pleasant Ray McIntosh, who studied with Robert Henri. There were sculpted figures by New York artist Stevan Jennis and a very nice tramp art chest priced at $5500.

For more information, check the Web sites (www.ad2021.com) or (www.bostonartfairs.com) or call (617) 363-0405.


Originally published in the June 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest

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