The inaugural NYC20 fair, a 20th Century art and design fair in the tent at Lincoln Center, kicked last Thursday night. 36 dealers from all over the United States and Europe are showcased decorative and fine arts from all 20th century design movements at the fair over the weekend. The show was sponsored by 1stdibs and in association with Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, Art and Auction, and Modern magazines. Objects on display and for sale ranged from furniture and lighting to jewelry, ceramic, photography, prints, and vintage clothing. All dealers are exclusively 1stdibs.com dealers, which meant the pieces were exceptional. For many dealers this was the very first show in New York City.
Rosemary Kreiger, of Dolphin promotions, who produced the show, said that the show would change how people think about design fairs in general:
“I think it changes the fair-going experience since, in the case of NYC20, you are able to become familiar with the dealers and preview some of their merchandise before arriving at the show and meeting them in person and seeing their amazing presentations…It is important for many collectors to be able to see and touch-to interact personally and directly with an object before they are inspired to purchase it.”
The show was geared for young collectors and featured pieces that were worthy of being on the Mad Men set! I thoroughly enjoyed walking the tent and so many things caught my eye, especially the bright yellow of the Parzinger Originals lacquered cabinet, studded with gold, at the Palumbo Anderssen booth. Its bright sheen stood out in contrast with the avocado-green, tower-like Tommi Parzinger clock in the nearby corner (ca. 1950), which the American-German designer (1930-1991) constructed around a found clock face.
White was the overriding color at Los Angeles-based gallery Downtown’s centrally located booth, which conjured the atmosphere of a ’60s beach party in Acapulco. All the pieces were taken from Mexico, including the Arturo Pani fiberglass lounge chairs (ca. 1965) presented against the backdrop of a wall-sized close-up photo of Maria Felix in a straw hat. Felix, an icon of mid-century luxury, was Mexico’s own Marilyn Monroe.
Robert Wilson of Downtown offers a visual feast of Mexico’s midcentury designers, including Arturo Pani, whose fiberglass chairs date from 1965. The sheaf wheat cocktail table dates from the 1950’s and it was Coco Chanel who made this type of table so popular because she had one in her own apartment in Paris.
Patrick Dragonette’s booth represented the West Coast. The dealer from Los Angeles featured remnants of old Hollywood and designs that clearly evoked the feeling of cool California. This tree lamp from the estate of Frances Elkins was probably my favorite piece from his booth.
Featured front and center upon entering the tent, the interior scene below is from Trinity House, which has galleries here in NYC and in the U.K. This panting is by Patrick Joseph Caulfield entitled “Interior with Fondue Pan” and goes for a cool million. Even though Mr. Caulfield did not claim to be part of the pop art movement, one can’t help but think of it when looking at the painting. The graphic and linear lines of the painting and the lighter colors palette would complement the “modernesque” furniture that is so popular currently.
This exceptional silver Tea Service, presented by The Silver Fund of London, caught my eye. I was told that this piece was special because it was a complete set of a Cartier, Paris tea service which only a few of them were produced. For $125,000 you could be enjoying your tea from the silver service below!!