Whether it’s a single artist or a thematic booth, visitors to the 4th edition of Metro Curates, opening on January 22, at the Metropolitan Pavilion,will cast their collective eye on a veritable treasure trove of the unusual and unexpected. Here is a sampling of some of the spectacular highlights that make this four-day fair a must-see for art lovers of all persuasions:
WHERE: Adelson Galleries, Boston (Booth 216)
MUST-SEE: Street Dog by Federico Uribe, 2014
WHY: Demonstrating Uribe's mastery in his preferred unconventional medium of colored pencils, this vibrant sculpture reflects the artist's close connection to animals, both wild and domestic, and his strong empathy for them.
WHERE: American Garage, Los Angeles (Booth 306)
MUST-SEE: Late 19th century ‘5000 Cigars From Geo T. Warren & Company’ zinc lined wood box with one side referencing 'Smoke Warren's Elixer of Life Cigars' on one side and the other side referencing 'Smoke Warren's Junior Cigars.’
WHY: Used to ship cigars in smaller quantities and then destroyed upon reaching their destination, this rare piece along with its provenance and wording, is one of three known to exist.
WHERE: American Primitive Gallery, New York (Booth 308)
MUST-SEE: Panel of Joe Louis and Max Schmeling boxing match, 1938
WHY: This plaster-relief panel depicts one of the great sporting events of the 20th century: the boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling for the 1938 World Championship at Yankee Stadium that pitted an African-American against a German during the era of Naziism.
WHERE The Ames Gallery, Berkeley, Calif. (Booth 314)
MUST-SEE: An exceptional, original hand-carved Male-Female Table by James Callahan, c. 1978
WHY: This exceptional and elegantly hand-made table mimics the graceful form of human legs with an eye-opening surprise between its legs!
WHERE: Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago (Booth 206)
MUST-SEE: African-American Barbershop Chest of Drawers, circa 1950
WHY: In its extraordinary sculptural power, this unique carved and notched chest demonstrates the power, vision and spirit of the African-American art-making process in America.
WHERE: Cavin Morris Gallery, New York (Booth 107)
MUST-SEE: Random Order by Dawn Walden, 2014
WHY: Of Ojibway descent in the Pacific Northwest, the artist finds inspiration in the random woven construction of bird nests and creates baskets that are traditional and orderly on the inside and seemingly arbitrary on the out, as exemplified by this large sculpture.
WHERE: Clifford A. Wallach, Manalapan, N.J. (Booth, 310)
MUST-SEE: Whimsy Table with Quilt Top by Albert and Carrie Adams, 1941
WHY: This enchanting piece of signed furniture (Made by Albert Adams, Oct 24, 1941.
In WIS, USA, Labor 125 days) is embellished with 90 chains of acorns, incised doves and stars carved from single pieces of wood, and the top has a crazy quilt insert tha
original component of the piece and is signed “Carrie,” who was the artist’s wife.
WHERE: David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe (Booth 212)
MUST-SEE: Untitled by Deborah Remington, 1949
WHY: A student of Clyfford Still and an active participant in the Beat scene in San Francisco in the 1950s, Remington was also one of six poets and artists, and the only woman, who founded the important Six Gallery in 1954 in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg had his first public reading of “Howl.”
WHERE: Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia (Booth 208)
MUST-SEE: The Lovers by Rachel Selekman, 2010
WHY: By the transformation of industrial and functional pipes, the artist has created a compelling depiction of entwined, gazing figures.
WHERE: Douglas Dawson Gallery, Santa Fe (Booth 303)
MUST-SEE: Standing Couple
WHY: This compelling nine-and-one-half-inch tall figure dates from the 19th century or earlier is a superb example of the art of the Dodon Culture in Mali.
WHERE: Forum Gallery, New York (Booth 204)
MUST-SEE: The Flag is Bleeding #2 (The American Collection #6) by Faith Ringgold, 1997
WHY: With her work prized by major museums, Ringgold, an African-American artist who began quilting in the 1980s, was influenced by the fabric of her mother’s fashion design business, and is well known for her painted story quilts that blur the line between high art and craft, of which this work is an exemplar.
WHERE: Fountain Gallery, New York (Booth 119)
MUST-SEE: Homeless Family in a Van, by Dick Lubinsky, circa 1960
WHY: This mixed-media piece exemplifies the humanity captured in the artist's works, which were made while he lived in the Bronx in the 1960s and 70s and struggled with schizophrenia.
WHERE: Gail Martin Gallery, New York (Booth 207)
MUST-SEE: Red and Yellow by Ethel Stein, 2012
WHY: At the age of 96, the artist is still weaving, and this arresting work once again combines her signature modern designs with her deep knowledge of historical weaving techniques, which are quite complex despite their deceptively simple appearance.
WHERE: Hill Gallery, Birmingham MI (Booth 304)
MUST-SEE: Bill Rauheiser’s Billiards/ Roxy Barber Shop, II, circa 1970
WHY: The 95-year old Detroit photographer has spent decades capturing what he calls society in motion.
WHERE: Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, York County, Pa. (Booth 301)
MUST-SEE: A Tiffany-Made Presentation Battle Flag, 1861
WHY: Though best known for jewelry and silver, Tiffany once produced the very best battle flags, and this extraordinary example evidences both the most exceptional embroidery skill and the finest fabric to be had in America.
WHERE: John Molloy Gallery (New York, Booth 117)
MUST-SEE: Scarecrow, by Mark Kindschi, 2014, forged and hammered steel
WHY: Highlighting the unique synchronicity between classic Native American art and the contemporary art that shares its inherent magic, Kindschi’s Scarecrow personifies this theme as it presents the relationship of the natural world to the human species as a powerful, universally recognized icon.
WHERE: Joshua Lowenfels, New York (Booth 101)
MUST-SEE: A child’s bicycle of tubular steel & hard rubber wheels, absorbed within the old growth of a tree’s trunk, Midwestern origin, 2nd half of the 20th century
WHY: Bicycle/Tree is an omnibus of specialties, served up in a in a cocktail of common elements in an uncommon relationship. There is age and wonder, patina and form. History and mystery enter at some point--how did this happen, who was the owner, was this an accident? We can move on to the questions of Natural vs. the manufactured. The elements vs. the machine and the cycle of life.
WHERE: Just Folk, Summerland, CA (Booth 205)
MUST-SEE: Topsy Turvy Doll, late 19th-early 20th century
WHY: Featured on the cover of the American Folk Art bible American Vernacular, this carved doll was long part of a private collection and is one of the most recognized artifacts of 19th-century Americana.
WHERE: Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York (Booth 111)
MUST-SEE: Crudely Drawn Mimic by Marcelyn McNeil, 2013
WHY: This artist specializes in the synergy of dissonant elements through rigid lines and soft shapes, neutral tones and bright colors in order to make a bold, yet quietly confident statement—all fully expressed in this work.
WHERE: Leatherwood Antiques, Sandwich, Mass. (Booth 315)
MUST-SEE: Fox and Rabbit Tobacco Boxes
WHY: The bottom plaque of this whimsical and very rare 17-inch carving of a fox and rabbit walking hand-in-hand reads “Interlaken Juillet 1878”
WHERE: M. Finkel & Daughter, Philadelphia (Booth 302)
MUST-SEE: Cow Blanket by Kate “Granny” Donaldson, circa 1935
WHY: A rare and exceptional example of “outsider” art made by North Carolinian Kate Clayton Donaldson (1864-1960), better known as “Granny.” This work is an outstanding example of the appliquéd and embellished cow blankets for which she is celebrated.
WHERE: Marion Harris, New York (Booth 115)
MUST-SEE: Cabinet of Curiosities with Shells, by Robert Buratti, 2012
WHY: Never before offered for sale in New York, Ms. Harris debuts Australian artist Robert Buratti, whose work is driven by enlightenment, trances and visions. His remarkable works are a perfect match for the world of Kunstkammer, the theme of Ms. Harris’s presentation.
WHERE: Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami (Booth 104)
MUST-SEE: Life in the Country by Kirk Mangus, year?
WHY: A lively yellow vessel animated by the artist's deft and spontaneous sgraffito drawing on the surface, this work records a moment in time in permanent clay.
WHERE: Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York (Booth 105)
MUST-SEE: Untitled (Stag on Mound with Fireworks) by Martín Ramírez
WHY: Outsider artist Ramírez's depictions of male deer are renowned for their large extravagant and graceful antlers, and those on this stag recall Picasso's Cubist period, which were themselves derivative of African tribal masks.
WHERE: The Pardee Collection (Booth 213)
MUST-SEE: Wilton, Iowa by Barry Phipps, 2014
WHY: Making his New York debut, Barry Phipps' photographs of Iowa depict the stark two-dimensionality of the facades of barns, storefronts, water towers, and the vernacular architecture of small-town America. His rigorous compositions employ line, texture, and color to reveal underlying formal structures.
WHERE: Stephen Romano, New York (Booth, 300)
WHAT: Brahmastra for A New Age (UFO/Time Machine) by Shawn Thornton, 2010-13
WHY: Visionary Thornton completed this work over a three-year period while recovering from a brain tumor, and it calls to mind the traditions of Adolph Wolfli, August Lessage and other wel- known Art Brut practitioners.
WHERE: Steven S. Powers Works of Art & Americana, New York (Booth 101)
WHAT: Untitled, Oil on canvas by W. Conway, 1890
WHY: This painting by Conway is in the tradition of the French still life or nature morte. The isolation of the subject—in the vein of Soutine--increases the impact and makes it more confrontational.
WHERE: Susan Teller Gallery, New York (Booth 209)
WHAT: Sunbather with Hose by William Baziotes, 1936-39
WHY: Of Baziotes, Roberta Smith in The New York Times once wrote: “He paralleled several of his contemporaries, most prominently Jackson Pollock, with whom he and Gerome Kamrowski would collaborate in a dark, drippy automatist painting in 1940-41.”
WHERE: William Siegal Gallery, Santa Fe (Booth 102)
WHAT: Balandrán Poncho, 17th-18th century
WHY: This amazing dyed alpaca textile comes from the Bolívar region, province of Arque, Department of Cochabamba, and is part of the most significant group of Aymara and Quechua weavings ever assembled.
WHERE: Tanner Hill Gallery, Chattanooga (Booth 214)
MUST-SEE: Beekeepers, by Stephanie Wilde, 2103
WHY: This painting, one of several from a seven-year ongoing project that started in 2008 and ends this year, addresses the disappearance of the honeybee. Ms. Wilde was chosen for this exhibition for her commitment to social and political subject matter. Her approach is painstaking, unique,meditative and seduces the viewer into the composition. She includes historical and symbolic references in her imagery, which allow the viewer some distance to digest the issues with perspective.
WHERE: Tambaran Gallery (New York) Booth 103
WHAT: Beginning to See, 2013, a blown glass sculpture by Preston Singletary, Santa Fe
WHY: Inspired by the rattles of the ancient Tlingit tribes, this one of a kind object is made out of incredible hand-crafted glass, by a contemporary native North West Coast Columbia Tlingit master artist.
About Metro Curates:
Metro Curates embraces a wide range of offerings that include ethnographic material, American folk art, applied and decorative arts, historic and contemporary textiles and Native American Art combined with modern and contemporary fine art and design. “From the outset our aim has been to illustrate the intellect, beauty, and vision in American arts and design, while placing it in a context that is both more contemporary and international,” says Ms. Kerrigan.
The Opening Night Preview, sponsored by The High Boy, an online marketplace for fine and decorative arts, jewelry and sculpture is on Wednesday, January 21, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The show, which takes place at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, opens to the public on Thursday, January 22. Hours are Thursday, January 22: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Friday, January 23: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, January 24: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Sunday, January 25: 12 noon - 5:30 pm. General admission is $20 per person; a multi-day pass is $35 per person. For general information visit metroshownyc.com