A happy mar­riage

New and old come to­gether beau­ti­fully at two fairs in New York and Lon­don

Country Life Every Week - - Art Market - Huon Mal­lalieu

SOME­THING new and some­thing old: the first TEFAF Spring fair at the Park Av­enue Ar­mory, New York, and the 32nd Lon­don Orig­i­nal Print Fair at the Royal Academy.

The Ar­mory, built as the drill hall of the 7th New York Mili­tia Reg­i­ment in 1880, has long been one of my favourite New York build­ings. The reg­i­ment was known as the Blue-bloods or Silk Stock­ing Reg­i­ment be­cause of the wealth of many vol­un­teers, who paid for the build­ing and com­mis­sioned rooms and dec­o­ra­tions from de­sign­ers such as Louis Com­fort Tif­fany. Over the years, it be­came very shabby, but the in­te­rior gloom gave it a won­der­ful at­mos­phere, a lit­tle like St Pan­cras be­fore its restora­tion. Now, how­ever, the Tif­fany and other rooms have been re­fur­bished by Her­zog & de Meu­ron and glow as they must have done in early days.

This, in­ci­den­tally, was not the venue for the fa­mous 1913 Ar­mory Show, which was in the 69th Reg­i­ment build­ing, fur­ther down­town on Lex­ing­ton Av­enue. In any event, the ren­o­va­tions make the Park Av­enue build­ing par­tic­u­larly suited to this TEFAF ven­ture, as, al­though prin­ci­pally de­voted to Mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art and de­sign, there is an older com­po­nent, es­pe­cially with an­tiq­ui­ties deal­ers such as Chenel from Paris, Charles Ede from Lon­don and both Phoenix and Mer­rin of New York. To il­lus­trate how well this mix can work, one might se­lect a 1st–2nd-cen­tury Ro­man glass cinerary urn (Fig 3) with Ede and the fur­ni­ture by the ar­chi­tect and de­signer Pierre Chareau (1883–1950) with Val­lois from Paris, in­clud­ing a stan­dard lamp en­ti­tled Religieuse (Fig 1). One would choose one’s read­ing mat­ter care­fully with that be­hind the chair, but the urn would go well with it.

The pri­vate view is this evening, and the fair runs to Mon­day with 93 in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors. Like Ede, Richard Green has al­ready ex­hib­ited at the au­tumn New York TEFAF and at Maas­tricht; it will be in­ter­est­ing to learn how they eval­u­ate their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Along with works by Bran­cusi and Caulfield, Mr Green is offering one of the Doric Light paint­ings by Sean Scully (Fig 2), a 28in by 32in pat­tern of rec­tan­gles in per­haps un­ex­pect­edly sub­dued colours. Mr Scully has called this se­ries ‘a love let­ter to Greece’ and he also is proud to de­clare him­self a Colourist. Born in Dublin and brought up and trained in Lon­don, he left for New York be­cause that was the place for an ab­stract painter to be, rather than the Lon­don of Freud and Ba­con. Now, he may be an RA,

Fig 3: Ro­man glass cinerary urn. With Charles Ede

Fig 1 above: Pierre Chareau’s Religieuse. With Val­lois Fig 4: Le Sa­lon de Mai by René Magritte. With Gilden’s Art Gallery

Fig 2: Doric Light paint­ing by Sean Scully. With Richard Green

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