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Art & Antiques

Art & Antiques June 2019

The Art of Excellence. Art & Antiques is tailored to readers who are actively involved in the international art market. Our editorial policy places special emphasis on the interests of the serious art aficionado—a collector whose passion is acquiring and living with art, antiques and high-end collectibles.

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United States
Art & Antiques Worldwide Media, LLC
10 Issues

in this issue

1 min
photo finished

Olson’s works generally follow forms from Classical and pre-modern European art history, and his pursuit of ceramics as an art medium grew out of visits he made to various museums. The photographs he imprints on his ceramics are all taken by him—“There’s nothing on them that hasn’t gone through my camera,” he says. The piece shown here, number 8 in a series titled “Relics of Times Square,” is a contemporary take on the traditional Catholic concept of the reliquary. Instead of sacred remains, it preserves the likenesses of passersby who caught Olson’s eye in midtown Manhattan and whom he photographed. The Gothic architectural elements in which the figures are placed are from an altarpiece Olson photographed in the Art Institute of Chicago. The heads that ring the rims at the top…

3 min
well crafted

IN 1950, a group of artists founded Haystack Mountain School of Crafts near the Haystack Mountain in Montville, Maine. The painter, designer, and art administrator Francis Sumner Merritt and his wife Priscilla Merritt were hired to direct the program, which began with sessions in ceramics, blockprinting, weaving, and woodworking. The school, which fostered both consonance across media and communal living within nature, soon attracted leading luminaries in mid-century art and design. By the early 1960s, the school had relocated to the coast of Deer Isle, Maine, and added studios for graphics and glassblowing as well as a host of workshops to further facilitate innovations in craft. Writing in Craft Hori-zons in 1955, the text i le designer Jack Lenor Larsen gives a sense of the place. He describes teaching a 12-week…

1 min
decorative delights

BONHAMS OPENS the month of June with a sale of Modern Decorative Art & Design on the 7th in New York. Among the highlights will be a 1987 work by François-Xavier Lalanne. Tortue Topiaire is a sculpture of a tortoise in black patinated copper, more than four feet long, with its shell covered in topiary. Stamped “FXL” and “Lalanne,” number 2 of 8, and with a certificate of authenticity from Claude Lalanne, it is estimated at $80,000–120,000. On June 17, the action moves to the West Coast, where Bonhams Los Angeles holds a sale of Native American art. The auction includes nearly 100 examples of Pueblo pottery from the col lect ion of Bertram J. Malenka and his wife, Ruth, lifelong collectors in the field who were profiled in Traditional Home…

1 min
against nature

IN PHOTOGRAPHER Nick Brandt’s recent series “Inherit the Dust,” which will be on view beginning later this month at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma, Calif., endangered animals haunt polluted manmade landscapes like phantoms. Brandt, who, in previous bodies of work chronicled the debilitating impact of man on the animals of East Africa, here superimposes the life-sized panels of his animal portraits onto images of factories, landfills, and crumbling wastelands of urbanization. Through this juxtaposition of imagery, acute issues such as pollution and global warming feel increasingly immediate, and the sense that the animal kingdom is shrinking—both in population and habitat—is eerily apparent. In Wasteland with Elephant (2015, archival pigment print) an elephant is transposed onto a landfill teeming with garbage and plastic. A signature image of the series,…

7 min
beat the devil

BARTOLOMÉ BERMEJO was arguably the greatest Spanish painter of the 15th century, and yet it took until 1926 for the first monograph on him to be written. And even then, the author, Elías Tormo, had to admit, “We do not know when he was born, educated or died. We do not know whether he managed, if indeed he did, to leave Spain. We do not know with what masters he trained. We do not know of any prince, prelate or magnate who protected him; we do not know if he had any patrons. We know hardly anything; we know nothing.” Today, while Bermejo remains, perhaps inevitably in the case of anyone who died over half a thousand years ago, a shadowy figure, much more is known. We know who at…

2 min
medieval miracle

WHAT WOULD YOU say about a Jewish artist from medieval Spain who is barely remembered but turns out to have painted better than anyone else in the country at the time? Give that man a solo exhibition! Well, that’s exactly what’s happened—twice this year, and the artist’s name is Bartolomé Bermejo (see page 54). The first show was at the Prado in Madrid, which closed this winter, and the second is at the National Gallery in London, opening this month. Almost 25 years ago, the National Gallery bought an incredible painting by Bermejo, St. Michael Triumphant Over the Devil, from a private collection, which itself had acquired it around 1900 from the church where it had been housed since it was painted in 1468. Around this picture the curators have…