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The 14th Annual New York Ceramics Fair Launches Winter Antiques Week January 22 And Runs January 23 to 27, 2013
January 19, 2013  | 

With what is likely to be the most successful coalescence of contemporary, traditional and historic ceramic arts in its 14 year history, the New York Ceramics Fair again launches Winter Antiques Week in New York, Tuesday, January 22, at an opening preview party that, like the Fair itself, has earned a place on the “must do” lists of the serious antiques and fine art collectors flocking to the Big Apple for a cold January week of sales, shows and shopping.   

This year, the Fair will offer, both in its highly popular nine-lecture series, and in two special exhibits, unique perspectives on the inter-relationship between historically important ceramic arts and the works of living artists.   Lecturer Leslie Ferrin, of Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA will speak on a project she produced with ARTBerkshire in the summer of 2012; COVET Art & Objects. COVET was summer-long series of exhibitions and events across the Berkshires focused on the direct relationship between contemporary artists and historic art work in museum collections.  As a Fair exhibitor, she will present the works of leading contemporary ceramicists reprising  the COVET theme, among them, Christa Assad, Michelle Erickson, Molly Hatch, Giselle Hicks, Sergei Isupov, Frances Palmer, Mara Superior and Jason Walker.   Michelle Erickson, whose contemporary works reside in the permanent collections of numerous international museums, spent the summer of 2012 as an artist in residence at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.  Her special exhibit is drawn from work done there.  Renowned as an artist who perfects ancient techniques to push the contemporary edge, Erickson’s special exhibit will illustrate her own characterization of the residency, an “opportunity to practice my art in the midst of 5000 years of clay traditions represented in the V&A’s collection . . . akin to getting the keys to the world’s ceramic candystore.”

Continuing the contemporary flavor, Fair veteran,  potter Katherine Houston, will be joined by artist R. A. Pesce, showing for the first time, and a collection of large works by Jose Arias, shown by Martin Cohen, brings to more than 15 the number of working potters represented at the Fair, a record. Perhaps the most direct bridge between historical work and the contemporary is present in the offerings of Iznik Classics from Istanbul, where some of the world’s oldest ceramic designs are being re-created.

Founded at the urging of several ceramics specialists from the British Antiques Dealers Association in the first year of the new century, the New York Ceramics Fair was originally dominated by the most serious of 17th and 18th Century European and Asian porcelain and glass and the various schools of pottery emerging in “the new world,” and it quickly drew into its fold both American and European vendors of impeccable credentials and remarkable materials.  Many English dealers have remained with the Fair since those early years including Garry Atkins, John Howard, Roderick Jellico, and Mark J. West.  And the core American contingent has remained steady as well, featuring Leo Kaplan, The Stradlings, Philip Suval and Earl Vandekar of Knightsbridge.

Always a relatively small affair, with between 25 and 30 spots for exhibitors, as prominent vendors like the late Jonathan Horne, Maria and Peter Warren, Monique Mardellis and Cohen and Cohen retired or moved on, emerging powers have stepped in.  Regulars now include Martin Edgell Antiques, Ltd, featuring pottery and porcelain and Ian Simmonds who focuses on early American Glass, and this year, for the first time, English Majolica expert Carmen Pattinson appears.  Chinese Export, dominated by Santos-London since the Fair’s inception, now includes American dealer Lynda Willauer and is expanded by the broader Chinese and Asian offerings of Vallin Gallery. 

An ancient European dimension was added two years ago by Antiques Van Geenen, of Delft, the Netherlands, who returns, and the Anavian Gallery brings important Islamic works, which are, this year, amplified with the addition of North African Tribal Art, from Morocco. 

Since its founding the Fair’s scope has broadened to include a formidable representation of  Victorian, Nouveau, aesthetic movement, and modern works offered by dealers including  Sarah Eigen 19th Century Decorative Arts; Moylan/Smelkinson; TOJ Gallery; and Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts.  Kinghams Art Pottery of England joins this January and after several year’s absence, Nicolaus Boston, now of Ireland, returns. 

The New York Ceramics Fair opens with a preview Tuesday, January 22nd in the Grand Ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall, home of the Czech Consulate, 321 East 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Ave.

The 5 to 9 pm Preview, Jan 22, is $90 per person and offers a “first look” at this year’s Fair with hors d’ oeuvres again catered by HOSPODA, the popular Czech restaurant located in the Bohemian National Hall.    

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