At the Winter Antique Show: Sculpture People vs. Painting People
I made several more visits to the Winter Antique Show last week. Over the days, the sculpture particularly stood out. There are many remarkable examples.
I think there is a dichotomy between people who like sculpture and those who prefer paintings. Many “painting people” tend to disregard sculpture as well as much of the decorative arts. Gillian Wilson pointed out this difference to me when she was curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She once told me, “I know what is in all the paintings galleries, but the curators of paintings never look in mine.” Then she added that I need to know the relationships between all mediums. Her observations made me start asking, “Are you a paintings person or a sculpture person?”
One of the most amazing exhibits at the antique show is a set of bronze relief panels from 1914, The Four Elements by Paul Howard Manship at the Gerald Peters Gallery booth. I admire the complication of the elegant relief and the subject matter. Of course, as a decorator, my immediate thoughts went to thinking about how I would decorate a room around them—perhaps one with high walls covered in aubergine velvet?
I also liked the bust of Robert Fulton, inventor of the steam engine, by the sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon at the Hirschl and Adler booth. I favor this work in part because I have all the other American worthies sculpted by Houdon in facsimile at my loft.
Another favorite from the show is the Seated Lady by Carlo Marochietti Ra at Daniel Katz, Ltd. I like this sculpture because it is both a tangible object and full of enigmatic gesture, perhaps as only a sculpture person would understand.
Images from top: Gerald Peters Gallery Booth at the Winter Antique Show at the Park Avenue Armory; The Four Elements by Paul Howard Manship at the Gerald Peters Gallery booth; Bust of Robert Fulton, by Jean Antoine Houdon; Bust of the Marquise of Lafayette by Jean Antoine Houdon; Seated Lady by Carlo Marochietti Ra at Daniel Katz, Ltd.