03/12/11
"Me & Me" by David Drebin at Contessa Gallery

Armed and Dangerous: The Armory Show


"Me & Me" by David Drebin at Contessa Gallery

The Armory Show hit NYC last weekend and the art-haute crowd was milling around the Piers breathing in some pretty rarified air. Rich and I made our way around the Modern show seeing the work of some of the most iconic names in art history hanging on the provisional walls. New York-based Jonathan O’Hara Gallery had a booth filled with transfer drawings by Robert Rauschenberg, and I had just about given up on my game of “looking for Julian Opie” (haven’t been to an art show in years during which I wasn’t seeing his effulgent figures incessantly stepping or swaying) when we spotted a series of his works in London town’s The Alan Cristea Gallery booth (no prancing portraits this time, but an interesting series of fashionable figures).

One of my favorite galleries was in attendance, Cleveland, Ohio-based Contessa Gallery, bringing what I have come to regard as their normal high standards to the show. Chuck Close was front and center in their booth and they had a handful of excellent Andy’s (Warhol, that is). I especially liked the Pop-maestro’s graphite on hand-made paper piece depicting kicky Halston heels. A mere $450,000.00 would have allowed you to take the #FashionFriday statement home!

Contessa brought David Drebin to the fair. He’s been getting ample buzz of late and we’re betting he’s one to watch. So agrees ARTnews and the New York Daily News (just in case our word’s not enough!). Our pick from the nearly sold-out Drebin offerings? “Me & Me.” At $3,400.00, it was a steal next to the Close portrait ($120,000.00) and a 1951 oil-on-canvas Jean Dubuffet ($450,000.00). Our take on that: get him while you can! If the crew at Contessa is as right as it has been in the past (and who can argue with Close, Dubuffet and Warhol), his prices will rise with his fame. Rich will be reviewing a Vermont-based artist that caught his eye soon. In the meantime, happy Roaming art lovers everywhere!

11/7/10
"Boy in Red Shoes" by Akio Takamori

Claying With Fire

"Boy in Red Shoes" by Akio Takamori

I visited the SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) show in Chicago today and came away with a new appreciation for artists working with ceramics. One of my favorite gallerists was there, Barry Friedman. He said he’s seeing ceramics as a trend, and I did see an incredible variety of pieces created from variations on the material. He had brought Akio Takamori’s stoneware figures to the show, one of which was “Boy in the Red Shoes, 2010,” shown below. If you’re in New York City this coming Friday, November 12, Friedman is holding an opening at the gallery (515 West 26th Street, NYC 10001) from 6 to 8 p.m., and Takamori will be on hand. Friedman will also be bringing his refined eye to Design Miami/ in early December. Look for another trend I spotted on the Curated Object later this week!