By: John Dorfman
This month, for the first time, Modernism (in its 24th edition) will be merged with Art 20 (in its eighth edition) into one event, to be held at New York’s Park Avenue Armory on Nov. 13–16. According to fair producer Sanford Smith, the decision was made in response to current market conditions. In order to get enough quality dealers on board, Smith says, “we combined the two into one strong show. It brings together the best of design and fine art in the 20th century.”
Sixty dealers will participate in Modernism + Art 20, including Moderne Gallery of Philadelphia, which is bringing French Art Deco furniture and American studio furniture. Owner Robert Aibel says the gallery will offer a cabinet by Michel Dufet priced at $24,000, a pair of armchairs by Louis Sognot at $21,500 and a Eugene Printz desk for $40,000. The American pieces include a variety of works by George Nakashima priced at $4,000–60,000, a coffee table by Tommy Simpson at $20,000 and ceramics by Peter Voulkos.
Mark McDonald of Hudson, N.Y., will have a pair of floor lamps (circa 1953) by Philip Johnson and Richard Kelly for $22,000 apiece, a Rudolph Schindler chair from 1948, and a large collection of Tapio Wirkkala ice glass pieces, priced $500–5,000.
On the fine art side, Vincent Vallarino Fine Art of New York will have a colorful abstract oil on canvas, Untitled (1950), by John Grillo, and Gary Snyder/Project Space will mount a museum-quality show of early American modernism.
The fair merger, says Aibel, “will bring in a lot of new clients for both sides. Having two audiences means great energy and curiosity, a high excitement level.”