COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Gustave Baumann. Road to Town, 1917. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Working with younger collectors presents a great challenge and a fantastic opportunity for growth—and that applies to all parties involved. The challenge comes from stricter guidelines in terms of budget allocation. This leads to a narrower field that meets the collectors’ investment tolerance and this, in turn, to more difficult choices in terms of stylistic […]

R. Venturi & D. Scott Brown. Spots. 1993. Courtesy of V'SOSKE.

Cherry blossoms are long gone but the 28 flower buds, irregularly spread on a woolen “midnight navy” rug appeared for the first time today on La Guardia Place.  The rug, designed in a flat style derivative of Japanese art by American architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (1993, 6’x8’, 100% wool), is one of […]

April Gornik, Halong Bay. 2004. Courtesy of the artist.

Can we associate luxury with something as mundane, fragile, and inexpensive as paper? That’s a question ridden with assumptions. Paper is delicate but not necessarily perishable. It is usually mass-produced but not always. In fact, the process by which paper is produced may still be mechanical but the materials used to produce good quality paper […]

Brice Marden. Untitled. 2011. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

Rather than the absolute drama of big sweeping statements, what Brice Marden offers with his 15 new paintings on marble is individuality, intimacy, familiarity, and desire. Desire primarily. Currently on view at Matthew Marks Gallery (at 526 West 22nd Street) Marden’s paintings are his second attempt at exploring the physical world as presented to him […]

Cartier. Juste un clou. Courtesy of Cartier

The small exhibit on Aldo Cipullo’s designs for Cartier at Cartier’s legendary landmarked Fifth Avenue mansion puts several art museums to shame. Historical context, for the most part absent from major art exhibits and certainly from anything fashion/jewelry related (see my review of “Van Cleef & Arpels: Set in Style”) is adeptly woven in the narrative […]

View of the exhibit "Mind's Eye" at Hermès

What does Rome have to do with contemporary art and contemporary photography in particular? The “Matt Ducklo and Matthew Monteith: Mind’s Eye” exhibit at the Gallery at Hermès reveals the intricate and highly personal relationships that the viewer develops with the artwork. It also reveals the importance of classical education for both contemporary artists. Matt […]

Late Summer, 2008-2011, Chromogenic Print, Courtesy of Fred Torres

For the first time on view in the US, “Earth Laughs in Flowers” at Fred Torres (who from now on represents David LaChapelle in New York) is an exhibit that distills LaChapelle’s relationship to high art and kitsch. A series of 10 large-scale still-life photographs, LaChapelle’s work borrows from the baroque vocabulary of still life […]

Kiki Smith. Frogs. Courtesy of Pace Wildenstein.

                      It turns out New York’s best-kept secret is the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) on Columbus Circle. (See entry at: http://thomaiserdari.com/2012/01/beauty-in-all-things/) Glasstress New York: New Art from the Venice Biennales on show from February 14 –through June 10, 2012 is a stunner. Sculptural pieces […]

Norma Kamali dress. Courtesy of CFDA.

For collectors of haute couture the current exhibit at the Museum at FIT, “IMPACT: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America,” is reassuring. This is because the pieces on display seem to have had a twofold impact on American culture: as items of popular fashion/culture, namely trends that inundated the market at […]