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Scott Burton chairs at the booth of Geoffrey Diner at the Spring Show NYC
Scott Burton chairs at the booth of Geoffrey Diner at the Spring Show NYC


Apr. 29, 2011

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Perhaps only a few sales were noted at the gala party for the newly hatched Spring Show NYC, Apr. 28-May 2, 2011, though people watchers did spot New York Observer publisher Jared Kushner and his (pregnant) wife Ivanka Trump [pictured, photo by Ann Watt] at the Park Avenue Armory, roping in the younger set, along with a horde of top decorators like Bruce Bierman and Darren Henault.

The brainchild of the membership organization Art and Antiques Dealers League of America (AADLA) and packed with 65 specialists, this fair does away with the notion of fusty antiques shows. Palm Beach and Manhattan interior designer Lars Bolander spiffed up the setting with swathes of cream and blue fabric and lit the armory ceiling to dramatic effect. "The usual dizzying, random, kaleidoscopic glimpses of high-end visual culture," was the verdict of New York Times art critic Roberta Smith. One definite not-to-miss stand is that of Thomas Colville Fine Art, featuring American paintings but also drawings by Paul Cézanne.

“We’re aiming to draw in an entire new audience for art and antiques,” says AADLA president Clinton Howell, the noted dealer in 18th-century English and continental antiques. To that end, lesser-priced fare is much on offer, ranging from such mainstays of the English country house look as snuff boxes and dog paintings to a pair of 1880 Connecticut cast iron andirons for $2,500 at George Subkoff Antiques of Westport, Conn.; early American flags at Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques in York County, Pa., priced as low as $395; and even 16th-century Italian paintings with Robert Simon Fine Art of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., for around $5,000. 

Design collectors should zoom in on the stand of Geoffrey Diner of Washington, D.C., who has a pair of steel chairs by the late Scott Burton (1939-1989). A 1970s performance artist and longtime editor at Art in America, Burton is now considered design pioneer for his geometric form seating, frequently done in stone. Examples can be found in the Whitney Museum of American Art and our own National Gallery of Art. The chairs are priced at $300,000 and should entice high end collectors of contemporary art to the fair.

-- Brook S. Mason 

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