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Artnet Design


by Brook S. Mason
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One of the most venerated, most-written-about works of design in Manhattan is the mid-century sculptural screen by Harry Bertoia that can be found in the Joe Fresh store in midtown Manhattan (at 510 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street), a location that originally was the site of architect Gordon Bunshaft’s 1954 Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank.

Bertoia’s screen of 800 bronze, steel and brass panels is a permanent fixture there. But the maquette for the sculpture can be found in the booth of Lost City Arts at the Spring Show NYC, May 3-16, 2012, at the Park Avenue Armory.

“Bertoia is one of the iconic artists in the mid-century tradition,” says Lost City’s Jim Elkind. The maquette is 15 inches tall. The price is $55,000.

Over on the left coast, yet another art and design fair is about to sprout. FOG, a new modernism fair (whose capital letters are not an acronym for anything), is now scheduled to take place Jan. 16-20, 2013, at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion and benefits the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The management team includes Chris Byrne and John Sughrue, founders of the Dallas Art Fair.

FOG features both 20th-century design and contemporary art dealers. Already signed on are Fraenkel Gallery, Hedge Gallery, Anthony Meier Fine Arts and Silverman Gallery, all from San Francisco. A total of 50 dealers are planned.

“San Francisco has long had its own culture from beat poets to Zap Comix and now the time is ripe for a modernism fair,” says Chris Bryne.

Meanwhile, back in New York, veteran fair organizer Sandy Smith is reviving Modernism: A Century of Art & Design, which is taking place right alongside his Works on Paper show, Feb. 21-24, 2013. Both are being staged at the Park Avenue Armory.

Last year Smith skipped his 25-year-old Modernism fair. “The slumping economy hit the fairs but now market is up,” says Smith. He is anticipating 30 dealers for each event. So far, Philadelphia’s Moderne Gallery is scheduled to participate.

Smith’s art-fair empire now has seven shows. His New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Apr. 12-15, 2012, included a stunning 213 dealers, indicating the buoyancy of that particular collecting niche.

BROOK S. MASON is U.S. correspondent for the Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Financial Times and other publications.