Dealers across the board report excellent results
NEW YORK — Superlatives abound for the inaugural New York 20th Century Art and Design Fair (NYC20), which had to prolong its closing time April 15 because people continued to stream into the Tent at Lincoln Center well past the official 5 p.m. closing time. More than 3,500 people attended the three-day show, which featured 36 top-tier 1stdibs.com dealers and was produced by Dolphin Promotions in association with 1stdibs.
The April 12 opening-night benefit preview for the Bard Graduate Center drew nearly 1,000 people. Spotted in the glittering crowd were a mix of celebrities, designers, collectors and curators.
“It was exciting to see a new venue in NYC come to life,” said Michael Bruno, founder of 1stdibs. “We were thrilled at the opportunity to present such a stellar group of 1stdibs dealers all together in this iconic Lincoln Center location.”
Rosemary Krieger was pleasantly surprised when the show went into overtime.
“I never expected that I’d have to postpone the closing time,” said Krieger, vice president of Dolphin Promotions, “but there was just no way to stick to 5 p.m. There were too many people still wanting to see the show and so much buying still taking place.”
Krieger was pleased that the venue choice seemingly enhanced the show’s draw.
“I predict NYC20 will be long talked about and remembered,” Krieger said. “We are very pleased to have accomplished what we set out to do, which was to produce a superlative 20th century art and design show in an unconventional new venue on the Upper West Side. This show spotlighted the most exciting examples of mid-20th century art and design as curated by 1stdibs dealers.”
The sheer number of people attending NYC20 pleased Vojtech Blau’s Simona Blau, who sold an Alexander Calder tapestry, “Le Lézard Têtard.” “They were focused on buying and asking the right questions,” she reported.
Dealers were every bit as enthusiastic about the show as the attendees. “The opening night was sensational,” said Chris Mizewski of Christopher Anthony from Palm Springs, Calif. “This is the only East Coast show I will do.” Mizewski sold a large Amboyna cabinet with folded brass-covered doors by Mastercraft, dating from 1960. “It was an exciting mix of familiar and new faces interested in a wide range of things,” he added.
Robert Willson of the Los Angeles-based DOWNTOWN said the show was everything he had hoped it would be. “Everyone seems refreshed by the bright, fresh airy atmosphere in the tent,” said Wilson, who sold a 22-karat gilt Sheaf of Wheat cocktail table by Arturo Pani.
Traveling overseas for this show was worth it for Steven Beale of London-based Trinity House. “It was encouraging to see many new faces,” he said.
The show was good to dealer Dragonette Ltd., also from Los Angeles, which sold four rare original William Haines hostess chairs, a unique William Haines chaise, a Robsjohn-Gibbings cocktail table, a Dragonette Ltd. Pedra lamp and several Picasso ceramics.
Gerard O’Brien of REFORM, another L.A.-based gallery, was pleased with the new clients he met from New York. O’Brien, in conjunction with Jonathan Goldstein, showcased an entire stand of furniture designed by Paul McCobb, the largest collection ever put on view in New York. Among his sales were a Karpell chair and ottoman.
“We loved the opening,” said Ed Koren of Bridges Over Time. “For a first-time show it was great, and the people we met were very enthusiastic.” Koren sold two paintings from the Artfux Collaborative, dating from early 1990s, and a WPA wooden sculpture from the 1930s.
Jim Elkind of Lost City Arts sold a pair of Italian sconces, circa 1970s, and a painting by Duayne Hatchett, also from the 1970s. “The tent was beautiful and will become a major art and design fair destination,” he predicted.
Opening night was phenomenal for Steve Newman, who sold “The Bather” by Bernard Rieder, 1933, and a 1927 coffee/tea set by Gio Ponti. Wlodek Malowanczyk of the Dallas-based Collage 20th Century Classics saw a good flow of traffic and met many new clients, who, among other things, purchased a PH Artichoke Lamp and a Per Weiss Ceramic Vase from the late 1980s.
NYC20 will return to the Tent at Lincoln Center in Spring 2013: April dates will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.