The second annual METRO Show kicked off in New York City on Thursday, bringing an eclectic mix of ethnographic, tribal and fine art to the Metropolitan Pavilion. The show is famous for five days of antique splendor, but centers itself far from the antiquated idea the ‘A’ word suggests. Instead, it focuses on Historical Design and the inspiration behind old masters, folk collections and contemporary pieces.
Opening the show is Stephen Score Inc. Showcasing an unexpected collection of both antique knickknacks and colorful textiles, the booth is quintessential to the show’s theme. Folk art was actually among the collections of some of the most revered modern artists of the 20th century including Andy Warhol, who boasted one of the largest arsenals of the antiques.
Holding court in the center of the showroom floor is a regal pair of carved stone lions. Conjuring images of historical sentries, the two are actually 19th century pieces from southern Indiana. Tactile, bulbous and geometric, with soft lion-esque features, they are contemporary throwbacks to the historical statues. Strategically placed beneath a Bill Taylor blue horse further accentuates their modern style.
Such links between old and new are seen throughout the METRO show. Art Nouveau Tiffany lamps throw light on Tom Wesselmann’s pop-art nude. An antique carousel horse rocks gracefully next to fine art paintings. And post-war expressionist art hangs alongside antique American Indian crafts.
Placing pieces of the past among contemporary collections emphasizes the true concept of Historic Design. The METRO show is less a stuffy antiques exhibition, and more a journey through the past, the present and the emotions that art projects. There isn’t another show like this, and it shouldn’t be missed.
The METRO Show runs from January 24th – 27th.