Category Archives: Art Market

Cultural foundation in Venice expanding to include exhibition and research center on glass art and design

Aerial view of “Rooms for Glass” in Venice, Italy courtesy: selldorf architects

The Cini Foundation, long established as a privately-funded nonprofit research center in Venice for scholarship in art, history, and music, is expanding its purview to include Venetian glassmaking. The organization embarked on a cultural project in collaboration with Swiss-based foundation Pentagram Stiftung to promote 20th-century Venetian glass. The foundation recruited New York-based firm Selldorf Architects to refurbish the wing of a former boarding school on the CF’s San Giorgio Maggiore island headquarters, which will be home to the foundation’s new glass-only exhibition space, Le Stanze del Vetro (In English:  “Rooms for Glass”). This new wing will house year-long exhibits with a focus on quality pieces that highlight significant moments in the history of Venetian glass art, and will be opening its first-ever exhibit “Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932 – 1947” at the end of August. Continue reading

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Dealers up in arms about National Liberty Museum art sale

The exterior facade of the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, which opened in 2000.

The museum world is a bastion of visual culture, and, for the most part, ethics. A sanctuary far removed from the crass commerce of the marketplace, this is where the most important artwork is bequeathed for the greater public good, where it will be available to enrich the lives of generations of citizens for years to come. Of course, museums don’t always behave according to the rules, and the work doesn’t always stay in one place. In 2010, the Guggenheim Museum in New York auctioned off the majority of an exhibition that had been on view for only two months, stirring controversy. Another breach of the wall between the gallery and museum worlds took place when high-profile art dealer Jeffrey Deitch was appointed director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (though only after he agreed to close his wildly successful New York City gallery). Which brings us to the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, which has raised the ire of several glass dealers with their selling of a collection the museum recently acquired from a couple from Atlanta. The Burke collection has ended up at the Liberty Museum either by purchase, by donation, or by some combination of the two—exact details are hard to come by. Reached by telephone, collector Wayne Burke would confirm to the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet only that his former glass art collection was now at the Liberty Museum. He declined to offer any details or comment further. Scott Patria, an art dealer currently serving as director of glass at the Liberty Museum, responded to a series of questions from the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet by declining to comment out of respect for the collectors’ privacy. Instead, he sent a reiteration of the museum’s mission statement and said that, “The Museum’s relationship to glass art has been and will continue to remain strong. Many collectors (and galleries) are aware of this and often will donate pieces from their collection to the Museum.” Arlene Silvers, chief operating officer of the Liberty Museum, did not respond to repeated telephone messages seeking clarification about the sale of the Burke collection. Continue reading

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OPENING: Habatat Galleries will hold its 40th annual invitational exhibition and 10th auction

Harvey Littleton, Spiral Lyrical Movement, 1986. Hot-worked glass. Tallest: 43 in. Auction estimate: $28,000 - $36,000

Habatat Galleries40th annual invitational exhibition gets underway this Friday with work by 90 artists from all over the world, but all eyes will be on the gallery’s 44 lots from 15 private collections going up for auction the day before. While the “Annual International Glass Invitational Awards Exhibition” has been a regular yearly event for this Royal Oak, Michigan, gallery since 1972, the auction is less than two decades old. And, unlike the exhibition, the auction does not take place every year, having run only ten times in the last 19 years. The highest estimate for Thursday night’s event (bidding starts at 8 PM ) is for a Harvey Littleton work (pictured at left), which is fitting with this being the 50th anniversary of the founder of Studio Glass’s seminal workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art. Work by William Morris and Dale Chihuly are also listed with a high estimate north of $30,000. In total, 44 lots are going up for auction, with bids being accepted by telephone and Internet, as well as absentee bidding. Continue reading

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RED DOT REPORT: A redesigned SOFA New York entices the eye but will it drive sales?

David Ling, the architect who put his mark on the interior of the Park Avenue armory for SOFA New York 2012, pictured with Art Fair Company president Mark Lyman. courtesy: http://www.sofaexpo.com

The organizers of SOFA New York took a cue from the ongoing renovation of the Park Avenue Armory‘s exterior to boldly re-imagine the interior design of their 15-year-old East Coast art fair for the 2012 edition. New York City architect David Ling was invited to remake the main exhibition area and its three aisles of booths.

Artist Paul Stankard (right) among the fair goers making their way through David Ling's white fabric entranceway to the exhibition area.

The result is a cloth-draped tunnel entrance that opens up into an airy expanse with geometric white block lighting suspended high overhead. “I conceived of it as a time machine-like procession,” says Ling in a prepared statement. “This procession leads visitors from the stately, Victorian-era foyer of the Armory through a long, narrow tunnel, tantalizing you with the prospect of an unknown but exciting journey.” Exhibitor booths were rearranged from years past so that veteran showgoers had to seek out their favorite galleries, and the number of dealers was pared back to 42, with the organizers asking not only that exhibitors submit the names of the artists whose work they would be showing for approval, but images as well. There were fewer jewelry or carpet sellers at this year’s event, and the fair had a decidedly more sophisticated look and feel, and yet the buyers, by the second day of the four-day event, were limited if the presence of red dots was any reliable indication.

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EVENT: Longtime UK trade fair hosts large selection of glass

Martin Andrews, stone collection bowl, photo courtesy: british craft trade fair

The longest running trade fair in the UKBritish Craft Trade Fair, finishes its three-day stint in Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate today. BCTF has been promoting the hand-made work of hundreds of exclusively British and Irish artists for 35 years. Strictly to the trade only, no manufactured products or products created overseas are allowed at the fair. Continue reading

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Craft advocate and magazine publisher Wendy Rosen running for Congress

Wendy Rosen, Maryland congressional candidate (D)

Wendy Rosen has spent the last thirty years advocating for craft artists and publishing both trade and consumer magazines devoted to covering the field, including her flagship publication American Style, which celebrates collectors as well as artists. Now the Maryland-based business owner is making a bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Rosen by phone this weekend, where she was in Philadelphia running one of her Buyers Markets, a national trade show and wholesale market for handcrafted luxury products. “Actually it’s pretty good. Aisles are crowded today and people are more optimistic this year than they were last by far,” she said about the turnout. Continue reading

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With attendance up, Art Palm Beach honors Studio Glass at 15th annual art fair

Jeannet Iskandar, Between Fragment and Whole Ellipse I, 2011. courtesy: heller gallery, new york

This past Monday, the curtain came down on the 15th year of Art Palm Beach, which ran from January 20th to the 23rd at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Fair spokesperson Ashlea Heck estimates this year’s attendance was 28,000, exceeding the previous year’s number by 2,000 despite being a day shorter. Eighty two galleries from the U.S. and abroad showed contemporary art, furniture, photography, and design objects. Exhibitor Corey Hampson, the director of sales for Habatat Galleries based in Royal Oak, Michigan described this year’s Art Palm Beach as having “a lot of energy” and “very contemporary.” Continue reading

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