TODD MERRILL STUDIO EXHIBITING AT THE LOS ANGELES ANTIQUES SHOW APRIL 14-17, 2011
March 24, 2011, Los Angeles—Todd Merrill is pleased to present a dynamic mix of twentieth century furniture and decorative arts at the Los Angeles Antiques Show, April 14-17, in the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Arts Center. Starting with the master designer/decorators, the booth will feature works by Samuel Marx, Syrie Maugham and James Mont, each of whom created custom furniture for their interior design clients from the 1920s-1960s. “Because they were custom-made, each piece is unique, while retaining the signature look and feel of each designer’s aesthetic,” notes Merrill. Samuel Marx was an American architect, interior decorator and furniture designer who was deeply influenced by the International Style. His serpentine front dresser will be on view. British-born Syrie Maugham gained notoriety for designing the first all-white room, and is the subject of a new lavishly illustrated biography by Pauline C. Metcalf. The booth will feature Maugham’s mirrored breakfront from the 1930’s that was custom made for the Phipps family in New York.
James Mont popularized the “Chinese modern” style in America, responding to the vogue for Asian design that followed World War II. His use of bamboo and Greek-key motifs, silver and gold leaf and luxurious velvet upholstery made him a favorite of clients seeking the decadent, glamorous look he created. As Merrill writes in Modern Americana, Mont, like the other decorator-designers “put emphasis first and foremost on the individual piece of furniture as a stunning showpiece.” The resulting pieces of furniture, while made for a specific space, stand on their own as outstanding objects.
Merrill will exhibit several masterworks by Paul Evans (1931-1987) including an extraordinary sculpture-front console, a welded-steel sofa and a sculpted bronze low table. Evans’ unique approach to furniture-making, a combination of handcraft and technology, presaged the limited-edition art furniture of today. Evans produced every piece entirely by hand, creating some of the most spectacular furniture of the 20th century. As he described in 1975: “Every piece is supervised every step of the way by the artist who conceived it”.
Born in 1928 and raised in New York City, Michael Coffey has spent his career working in rural Vermont and Massachusetts. He is a self-taught artist who now teaches master classes at the graduate level in furniture making. Coffey turned his attention to furniture design as a full time artisan in the early 1970’s, and has been producing outstandingly designed and crafted furniture for over forty years. His work has appeared regularly at major auction sales since before 2000. Coffey’s designs continue to evolve as he enters his eighth decade.
Merrill is pleased to be exhibiting a monumental tapestry entitled “Cohesive Multi-Form” by Jan Yoors. Yoors was born in Antwerp, Belgium to a family of artists and left home at the age of twelve to live with a Gypsy tribe. After World War II, Yoors enrolled in the School of African and Oriental Studies at London University where he was introduced to the art of tapestry, and he began a lifelong study of tapestry techniques, from Aubusson to Samarkand. In 1950 Yoors settled in New York City, where he set up a studio and constructed a 15-foot vertical loom. His wives, Marianne and Annebert joined him in 1951; they were to collaborate with Yoors in the weaving of all his work. Jan would start by creating a full-size design and selected Persian wool dyed to his exact specifications. Using the design as a guide, Marianne, Annebert, and other skilled artisans would weave the tapestry under his supervision. Yoors’ work will be the subject of a major retrospective at the FelixArt Museum in Belgium in 2012.
The booth will feature several important mid-century pieces that were made in Italy. A floating bookcase and a pair of marble pier tables by Gio Ponti (1891-1979), have been authenticated by the Ponti archives in Milan. Gio Ponti was a designer and architect best known for the innovation of the novecento style, which became established in Italy around 1926 as a countermovement to rationalismo, Ponti worked with venerable firms including FontanaArte, Venini and La Pavoni.
An elegant dining table is accompanied by six “Gazelle” chairs by American designer Dan Johnson whose work was produced entirely by hand in his studio in Rome. Fewer than 150 pieces were completed and cast due to the high production costs and intense hand labor involved. Each 1956 chair is constructed from hand cast gold colored aluminum with caned backs and seats. The custom table from 1958 has a resin top and a cast bronze base with an applied patina.
Twelve substantial stoneware vases by Schlesinger evoke the look of Baroque architectural details. Peter Schlesinger was born in Los Angeles in 1948 and is currently based in New York City. He studied at UCLA, UC-Santa Cruz and the Slade School of Art in London. He was awarded a Tiffany Fellowship in 1993, and in 2003 published the book “Checkered Past”, a photographic chronicle of his life in London in the 1970s. His ceramic sculptures have been featured in at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in the exhibition Irrational Profusion: Nicole Cherubini, Marc Leuthold, Joyce Robins, and Peter Schlesinger.
Todd Merrill Antiques / 20th Century and Studio Contemporary (www.merrillantiques.com and www.studiocontemporary.com) is known for showing the best of twentieth century and contemporary design. The gallery is located at 65 Bleecker Street, in New York City’s only building by the father of American Modernism, esteemed architect Louis Sullivan. Merrill, a third generation dealer, opened his business in 2000 and quickly became known for a selection of the best of post-war American studio and custom furniture, as well as outstanding European 20th-century furniture and lighting. In November 2008, Rizzoli published Merrill’s book, Modern Americana: Studio Furniture from High Craft to High Glam, the first definitive book on late 20th Century American studio furniture. The same year Merrill launched Studio Contemporary to represent studio artists producing the best contemporary furniture designs.
For more information please contact Sarah Archer at (212) 673-0531 or email: [email protected]