When the 2014 edition of the METRO Show opens for its five-day run on Wednesday evening January 22, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street in Chelsea, fairgoers will experience a thoroughly engaging new concept billed METRO Curates.
“This revised approach puts forth single-artist and/or focused themed presentations curated by each of the 35 METRO dealers who will articulate his or her distinct point of view through their disciplines,” says Caroline Kerrigan Lerch, director of the METRO Show.
With its amalgam of disciplines, The METRO Show strikes a harmonious balance of subject matter from historic to contemporary. Here are some examples of how the dealers have embraced METRO Curates:
Employing the theme, Compelled by the Forces of Nature, Michael Klein Arts from Sharon Springs, New York presents paintings by a group of artists where nature is at the heart of their work. Says Klein, “Each of these artists connects to nature both on an emotional and intellectual level, replicating the process of growth and change, seizing the character of flowers, trees, and stone and through their own methods capturing the ephemeral qualities of water, wind or light. The artists include Frank Holliday, Robert Lobe, Kathryn Lynch, Thom Merrick, Judy Pfaff and Jane Rosen.
H. Malcolm Grimmer, from Santa Fe, will present The Sheridan Pages, a rare group of c. 1870 Southern Cheyenne ledger drawings depicting courting scenes. This genre of drawing is a particularly popular style of ledger drawing that depicts Plains warriors attempting to woo their female counterparts. Alongside battle scenes, these pages hoped to demonstrate the virility of the male protagonists.
Just Folk, located just outside of Santa Barbara, California, will debut 28 works by Bill Traylor (1854-1947) that have been out of public view for over 15 years. “METRO/Curates provides a perfect place for us to share an in-depth look at this extraordinary artist with a new audience,” says gallery owner Susan Baerwald.
Dolan/Maxwell puts their spin on surrealism with Real/Surreal. The Philadelphia gallery will mount an exhibition of star works by Modern and Contemporary artists who challenge the real by making work in which the handling of materials--paint, charcoal, collage and ink, alters the ostensible reality of the "subjects". Says Ron Rumford, gallery director, “We have chosen key works by artists to curate an installation which invites investigation and discovery.” Modern artists include Stanley William Hayter, Morris Blackburn, Paul Keene, Dox Thrash, Judith Rothschild and Hans Moller. Contemporary artists are Peter Brooke, Michael Canning, Steven Ford, Liliana Porter, David Shapiro, and Donald Teskey.
The Chicago-based Douglas Dawson Gallery presents Not Just Wood: The Other African Art. The history of collecting African art suffered a myopic prejudice that only valued things such as wooden masks and wooden figures made and used by men.. This exhibit will focus on areas of African art that were traditionally ignored by collectors and scholars such as ceramics, textiles and metal, and will feature traditional textiles, beadwork, and ceramics – from the hands of the African woman, as well as the magical and alarmingly contemporary-looking work of the African blacksmith – also long ignored.
Continuing the surrealistic buzz is what the New York-based American Primitive has in mind for their Carnival of Earthly Desires. Inspired by a large stone relief sculpture he recently acquired that depicts the Garden of Eden and Lilith and the epic temptation. Further inspiration is drawn from the surreal phantasmagorical Garden of Earthly Delights painted by Hieronymus Bosch, which will be combined with the contemporary temptations offered by carnivals and sideshows. Says Arne Anton, “We will mix pieces of American folk art in wood, metal and stone with contemporary art, including Michael Noland's paintings of luminous flora and fauna, as well works by Terry Turrell.
At Samuel Herrup Antiques, from Sheffield MA, Size Matters. Herrup presents a group of folk art objects and furniture distinguished by size as well as subject matter. Often the size of an object, be it small or large, makes it unusual and more appealing. Examples will include a small circus monkey chariot and a large carousel horse; also a miniature painted bench and a small Queen Anne table.
Tramp Art - Layered inspirations, the art movement of the common man, 1870 – 1940 is the theme at the Clifford A. Wallach Gallery, from Manalapan New Jersey, which will offer a wide variety of historical tramp art from artists who made art out of society's discards long before it was fashionable and their effect on the creative culture of the common man.
New York-based Ricco/Maresca focuses on the concept of the crossover of self-taught and outsider art into the modern and contemporary arena. Converging Conversations will feature previously never exhibited works by preeminent artists who exemplify this idea, including works by iconic outsider and self-taught artists Martín Ramírez and Bill Traylor and contemporary self-taught artist George Widener. Anchoring their stand will be a unique vintage collection of palm prints collected between 1922 and 1926 by renowned German palmist Marianne Raschig of the hands of leading artists, actors, scientists, musicians and writers in Berlin.
Samplers and schoolgirl embroideries are the focus for M. Finkel & Daughter of Philadelphia. When this you see remember me… is the curated grouping which offers many praiseworthy examples, with an emphasis on the social history and specific stories of schoolgirls from the 18th and early 19th centuries. Girls from ages 8 to 15 demonstrated outstanding skill in the needle arts, and their samplers range from endearingly simple to highly developed pictorial examples. While the majority will be the excellent American samplers that Amy Finkel is known for, samplers from around the world will be included this year. Painted furniture and whimsical objects of the same period will provide context and will complement the samplers.
Taking center stage at the stand of William Siegal, another Santa Fe dealer, will be one of the world’s largest collections of Andean Textiles dating from 750 BC to the 19th Century. The collection has been assembled around the central theme of "ancient contemporary,” thus focusing on motifs such as Geometric and Monochromatic Abstraction to illustrate the striking kinship between these ancient weavings and modern painting. Museum-quality ceremonial objects and artifacts from Meso and South America, along with Ancient Chinese, Southeast Asian, African and Indonesian pieces add to the mix.
The Carl Hammer Gallery, from Chicago, will present artworks by world-renowned artists Frank Jones, Chris Pyle, Bill Traylor, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Chris Ware and Joseph Yoakum. The story of these six artists’ lives is both an iconic product and a significant lesson of the legacy of the American art experience and in American social dynamics. In Worlds of Their Own, each artist produces his or her personal understanding of strangely powerful “other worlds” -- both experienced and created by humanity, representing not only the uniqueness in each of their lives but symbolically capturing the essence of the private world experiences of all. While these artists have lived extremely different lives and come from extremely different backgrounds and periods of time in history, their individual artistic visions are powerful singular statements about themselves and the worlds which they have created in order to best interpret all that surrounds them.
In Atlantic/Pacific, New York's David Findlay Jr. Gallery will present artists of the East and West coasts who, despite an entire continent between them, fostered similar ideas and artistic visions, prompting a watershed moment in the history of modern art. At the wake of the Second World War, Northwest Coast Native American art provided American artists with a language of signs, symbols and totems. In New York, Steve Wheeler, Robert Barrell and Peter Busa, known collectively as the Indian Space Group, frequently discussed the traditions of Native American art as a means of creating a new vocabulary for a uniquely American abstraction. These tenets, combined with the prevalent ideas of the Jungian subconscious thought, initiated the roots for Non-Objective art and Abstract Expressionism on the East coast.
In their exhibition titled Haiku, Perimeter Gallery, from Chicago, will feature the work of contemporary Japanese artists Keiko Hara, Yutaka Yoshinaga, Shoichi Ida, Toshiko Takaezu, and Kiyomi Iwata Keiko. Hara incorporates collage, print-making, hand-coloring, and painting in her abstractions, often referencing art historical influences such as Monet and Sesshu Toyo, while Yutaka Yoshinaga works with dry pigment and folded washi paper to create large scale textured grid pieces. The late Shoichi Ida works in print- making, painting, and ceramics, incorporating elements of nature into his mixed media works such as twigs, stones, and mud. Toshiko Takaezu, who passed away in 2011, is credited with changing the language of contemporary ceramics with her nonfunctional ceramic forms, which act as canvases for her abstract expressionist glazing. Kiyomi Iwata works in fiber, creating delicate translucent forms out of silk and wire.
Zucker Art Books, from New York, will have on view A Dieter Roth Landscape, which includes a selection of books, prints and unique pieces of the early period in the great production of the artist. Throughout his life, Roth used images of landscape or images borrowed from postcards as inspiration for his experimentation in printing technique or a base to start totally new works. The show is a selection of works from the 60's and early 70's with the intention of explaining the method of disassembling the printing technique as in the silkscreen of the Emme river or assembling different materials as in the over painted postcard with ink or glue.
From St. Petersburg, Florida, Mindy Solomon Gallery presents Perspectives in Modernism and Materiality, featuring the work of Marc Lambrechts, William Pachner, Gregorio Peno, and David Peters. With an emphasis on surface, color, line and form, rooted in a rich earthiness the four artists assembled will provide a well-balanced installation of modern inspired works.
Chicago’s Armstrong Fine Art presents The Paris Exposition: Drawings from 1889-1900 featuring the drawings for a ceramic table service by decorative arts master Jules-Auguste Habert-Dys, for the Pillivuyt manufactory. These working drawings were transformed into actual ceramic plates, and presented at the 1889 Parisian Exposition to critical acclaim. These drawings have remained shielded from light for most of their life and retain exquisitely vibrant color.
Stephen Romano’s Benevolent / Malevolent Spirits, features works – many of which are on view for the first time – of international contemporary artists and historical self-taught masters based on the themes of unseen forces (Charles AA Dellschau, William Bentley); communion with otherworldly apparitions (S.W. Fallis, William Mumler, Dr. Enrico Imoda); witchcraft and demonology (William Mortensen, Darcilio Lima); dream emissaries (Colin Christian, Sonya Fu, Jennifer Mien Mien Lin, Peca); animal spirits (Jana Brike ); forces of nature (Ray Robinson, Masae Shimoichi, Rene Pierre Allain); forces of repression and war (A. Fiorello, Malwish Chishty); golems (Limor Gasko); evelations (William Blayney) and bogeymen (Dan Barry).
The Imagined Real at The Hill Gallery, from Birmingham Michigan, presents paintings, drawings and constructed objects that use image and things from the real world as props, backdrops or references in a newly imagined partnership. The artists Dennis Oppenheim, Lynda Benglis, Philip Pearlstein, Alfred Leslie, Jene Highstein and Bill Traylor, paint, draw and cast materials such as duck decoys, bingo cards, deer antler, used cardboard and graph paper into authentic creations. The gallery will also present constructed objects made for ritual use in a three dimension dialogue with unknown artisans, thus manifesting that folk art, fine art, tribal art and outsider art become labels with little distinction.
In their exhibition, Where Boundaries Blur, the New York-based Cavin-Morris Gallery, will display visionary works by the ceramicist Melanie Ferguson, mythic drawings by Japanese artist Isao M'onma and Belgian Solange Knopf, as well as shamanistic masks from Asia and the Americas Cavin-Morris will show the fascinating possibilities in eclectic collecting when edginess, high aesthetics and genre crossing blend into a cohesive vision.
Jerald Melberg Gallery, from Charlotte, North Carolina, will feature the work of self- taught Argentine artist, Manuel Reyna (1912-1989). Trained as a brick mason, Reyna used a trowel by day and palette knife by night. Considered a national treasure in his homeland, Reyna’s paintings capture the simple daily life he found around him, yet the manner in which he educates and excites the viewer shows that he was a true artist with the inner necessity and sufficient energy to create these marvels.
New York’s Allan Stone Projects will present Wunderkammer: Dennis Clive et al, which will focus on the magnificently crafted works of visionary ceramic artist Dennis Clive. Mixing Pop and Funk Art sensibility with European portrait miniature, Clive has fashioned ceramic works that explore the symbols of American culture. Surrounding his work is a cross-section of works whose subjects, imagery, and materials are befitting of any cabinet of curiosity, by such artists and creators as: Arman, Robert Arneson, David Beck, César, Barry Cohen, Joseph Cornell, Manierre Dawson, Decorative Art by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Süe et Mare, Rozenburg Den Haag, Tamara De Lempicka, Van Dearing Perrine, Johann and Falch.
New York New York: 1900-1945, Bernard Goldberg Fine Art, will include American paintings, photographs, and decorative arts by such luminaries as Ben Shahn , Oscar Bluemner, Reginald Marsh, Joseph Stella, John Marin, and Winold Reiss.
At the New York-based Gail Martin Gallery, Continuing Traditions will contrast ancient, antique and ethnographic textile works of art with the work of contemporary fiber artists Polly Barton and James Bassler and traditional African ceramics with work by the contemporary ceramic artist Jeff Shapiro.
Fahey.Bodell.Stein/Umbrella Arts will present LES: East Village, 1980's-Present featuring works from New York's East Village art community from the 1980's boom through the present, including Your House is Mine, the seminal book produced by Andrew Castrucci/The Bullet Space Collective (ca 1989) with signed, hand-pulled silkscreens by David Wojnarowicz, Martin Wong, Lady Pink, David Hammons, Chris Burden, Andrew Castrucci, Krzystof Wodiczko, and others. Your House is Mine was a manifesto of the squatters’ movement and is represented in many major museum collections. In addition the gallery will showcase New England-based Outsider artists, as well as photographs/published books by Harvey Stein and MaryAnn Fahey.
From Boston comes Stephen Score with Lyrical Lines/ Abstract Forms/ Juicy Brush Strokes and COLOR! featuring an eclectic selection of textiles, paintings, and sculpture, from the 18th through 21st centuries. Of particular note is a French 18th century silk and embroidered five panel screen with a French Chinoiserie motif.
American Hurrah -- the theme at Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques from York County, Pennsylvania – features a wide assortment of antique American flags, patriotic textiles and American furniture and folk art.
The David Richard Gallery, from Santa Fe, explores post-war abstract art in the US from the 1950s through the 1980s and feature artwork by Leon Berkowitz, John Connell, Francois Gilot, Wolf Kahn, Robert Motherwell, Beatrice Mandelman, Oli Sihvonen, Deborah Remington and Louis Ribak. Though Abstract Expressionist painting will be presented, the focus is on the post-1950s transitions by these artists to gestural abstraction, collage, Color Field, hard-edge painting and figuration.
The Ames Gallery, from Berkeley, California, presents Go Figure: Folk and Contemporary Figurative Pieces. They will feature a range of “figurative” works ranging from a collection of miniature (8" tall), fully articulated figures made in the 30's, to the larger than life size anatomical illustrations for an 1800's temperance lecture. Also included in the body of work are figural drawings by gallery artists and more.
Toy Story at Gemini Antiques, from Bridgehampton NY, will feature a selection of antique toys, banks, and other whimsical folk art and Americana from the 18th through 20th centuries.
At the Denver- based David Cook Galleries 12 Native American classic textiles from the Saltillos, Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi tribes will take center stage with his exhibition aptly called: Textiles: Native American classics from the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Here from Milan, Italy is Il Segno del Tiempo featuring a series of photographs by Veronica Conte and Umberto Barone in their exhibition called ARE YOU PREPARED? which conveys the frenetic, iconic and chaotic rhythm of today’s life in the ruins of an ancient southern Italy town, destroyed by an earthquake.
OPENING NIGHT PREVIEW
The Opening Night is Wednesday, January 22 and begins with a by-invitation-only Preview from 6 - 7 PM. The Public Preview begins at 7 PM. Tickets for the Public Preview are $75 dollars and are available online or at the door. Both previews continue until 9 PM. Designer Committee co-chairs include Mario Buatta, Ellie Cullman, John Derian, Maureen Footer, Mariette Hines Gomez, Miles Redd, Bunny Williams and Katie Ridder.
The show opens to the public on Thursday, January 23. Hours are Thursday, January 23: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Friday, January 24: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, January 25: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Sunday, January 26: 12 noon - 5:30 PM. General admission is $15 per person; a four-day METROpass is $30 per person. For additonal information: Phone 800.563.7632 or visit metroshownyc.com.