Superlatives abound for the inaugural New York 20th Century Art and Design Fair (NYC20), which-thanks to its enormous popularity-had to prolong its closing time on Sunday, April 15, because people continued to stream into the Tent at Lincoln Center well past the official 5 p.m. closing time. Over 3,500 people attended the three-day show, which featured 36 top-tier 1stdibs dealers and was produced by Dolphin Promotions in association with 1stdibs.
The opening-night benefit preview for the Bard Graduate Center on Thursday evening, April 12, drew nearly 1,000 people. Spotted in the glittering crowd were a mix of celebrities, designers, collectors and curators including: Marisa Tomei, Vicente Wolf, Michael Bruno, Jamie Drake, Susan Weber, Carl Lana, Susan Zises Green, Julie Hillman, David Mann, Mario Buatta, Francesca Stanfill Nye, Jennifer Post, Margaret Russell, Marcy Masterson, Beth DeWoody and Christopher Boshears.
"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."
Added Rosemary Krieger, President of Dolphin Promotions: "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. "I predict NYC20 will be long talked about and remembered." Evidence of the show's success was the buying frenzy that took place in the final hours on the last day. "I never expected that I'd have to postpone the closing time," said Krieger, "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."
Dealers echoed the public's enthusiasm as well. "The opening night was sensational," said Chris Mizewski of Christopher Anthony from Palm Springs, California. "This is the only East Coast show I will do," he said. "It was an exciting mix of familiar and new faces interested in a wide range of things." According to Mizewski, he sold a large Amboyna cabinet with folded brass-covered doors by Mastercraft, dating from 1960.
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." According to Willson, he sold a 22K gilt Sheaf of Wheat cocktail table by Arturo Pani.
"I was very pleased with the number of people who attended this show," said 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.
"It was encouraging to see many new faces," said Steven Beale of the London-based Trinity House, who added that he was pleased to be at the new venue.
Dragonette Ltd. from Los Angeles sold four rare original William Haines Hostess Chairs, a unique William Haines Chaise and a Dragonette Ltd. Pedra Lamp. Also sold were a cocktail table by Robsjohn-Gibbings 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, also 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.
Caira Mandaglio of New York and London sold a rare pair of twin hanging bookcases by Gio Ponti, purchased directly from the family. "We could have sold these numerous times," said Mandaglio, who met many new clients.
"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.
"We had a phenomenal opening night," said Steve Newman. Newman reports he 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. For more information, visit www.nyc20.net