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Artnet Design


by Brook S. Mason
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Down in Texas, the Sicardi Gallery is setting up a new two-story space just across from the Menil Collection and the Houston Center for Photography. Designed by local architect Fernando Brave, the 5,800-square-foot facility boasts 16-foot-high ceilings and a 12 x 12 foot projection window for outdoor videos. “After 17 years in business, we realized we needed larger quarters to accommodate our artists,” said gallery director Allison Ayers, who owns the business with Maria Ines Sicardi and Carlos Bacino.

Inaugurating the new Sicardi Gallery space is a show of Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz, whose photo-based conceptual art made a lasting impression at the 2007 Venice Biennale, with his videos of portrait drawings done in water on a hot stone, which disappeared as fast as he could paint them. The show opens on June 7, 2012.

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Antiques Road Show star and Americana specialist Leigh Keno is expanding his Keno Auctions, headquartered in a 22-foot-wide Neoclassical building on East 69th Street.  “We’re going to captivate a new audience by holding both auctions and exhibitions in our townhouse,” said Keno. Coming under the hammer at his next auction -- on June 12, 2012 -- is work by Roberto Matta, Esteban Vicente and Milton Avery, as well as other 20th-century fine and design artists.

Additionally, Keno is designing furniture with his brother, Sotheby’s expert Leslie Keno. The wares are made in Saigon but retailed right here at ABC Home. Prices range from $585 for a tabletop box to $8,000 for a large cabinet in Block Anegre wood.

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With spaces in Paris and Chicago, it was only a matter of time before gallery owner Sandra Hindman opened a branch of Les Enluminures in New York. Her new Manhattan gallery opens on May 1, 2012, in a 1,200-square-foot penthouse on East 73rd Street, and is specializing in medieval manuscripts. “We’ve done the Winter Antiques Show for 18 years, so it was natural progression to open here,” said Hindman. “Our client base has grown by 25 percent, with sales to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library.
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Last but not least, the Cradle of Liberty, Philadelphia, Pa., is seeing a big move by Calderwood Gallery, heretofore best known for its selection of Art Deco and Art Moderne furnishings. The 30-year-old firm has expanded to a 30,000-square-foot former stable on the Avenue of the Arts downtown.

And now, in addition to 20th-century design by such stalwarts as Emile Jacques Ruhlmann, Andre Arbus and Jules Leleu, Calderwood is focusing on photography, with works by everyone from Richard Avedon to Albert Watson. The photo show is under the direction of Gary Calderwood, a classically trained photographer.

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