Two visitors examine paintings at Rehs Galleries during Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show. Image: Kazad/Artcentron
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND— Early this year, Baltimore Antiques Show became Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show. The name change announcement raised many eyebrows. Fans of the fair could not understand why it was necessary to change the name of this major Baltimore attraction.
In his response to critics, Scott Diament, President and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group explained that the group had to change the name of the event to reflect all participants. According to him, the number of art “dealers currently participating in the show that deal in paintings, sculptures rival all shows in the Mid- Atlantic region.”
This year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show justifies the name change. More than 80% of the exhibitors had paintings, sculptures, textile and ceramics on display. Everywhere one turned, there were paintings, sculptures or other forms of visual art on display.
But Scott Diament’s argument for changing the name of the fair was better made by the well-known exhibitors, many of who came out with the best they had to offer. From original paintings to sculptures and prints, there was so much art to see.
Going through some of the booths of exhibitors was like walking through an exhibition of works by famous old masters in a major museum. M.S. Rau Antiques was one of the exhibitors that turned its booth into an art exhibition space. Works were professionally curated, and labeled. Furthermore, the lights were positioned to adequately illuminate the works on display.
In the M.S. Rau Antiques booth were drawings and paintings by celebrated art masters. At the entrance to the booth was a beautiful painting by Russian-born artist Marc Chagall. Titled Le Repas des Amoureux, the painting depicts a dream-like scene eulogizing romance and neighborly love. Like many of Chagall’s works, Le Repas des Amoureux is imaginative, colorful and joyful. The painting combines Chagall’s unique modern style with several other movements, including Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism.
Installed not far from Chagall’s painting is Untitled by Willem de Kooning. The oil on paper laid down on canvas is a compelling example of the artist’s works. It exemplifies his continual quest to navigate the intersection between the figural and abstraction.
A celebrated 20th-century abstract expressionist, de Kooning brings to bear his innovative style and expressive brushwork in this painting. In Untitled, Ultramarine blue lines cascade over a pink and gray surface in emotive maneuvers. The tension between form and content made Untitled one of the major attractions at the M.S. Rau Antiques booth. Art lovers converged in front of the painting as they tried to decipher the composition and aesthetics.
But de Kooning’s Untitled was not the only painting that captivated visitors to the M.S. Rau Antiques booth. There were also paintings by Gerald Richter, Claude Monet, Norman Rockwell, Toulouse Lautrec and Camile Pissarro. It was an outing for famous old masters. These paintings were in addition to some of the exception jewelry and antiques on display at the booth.
Adjacent to M.S R booth was Rehs Galleries. On display at Rehs Galleries were amazing landscape paintings by famous 19th and 20th century artists. Edouard Leon Cortes’ landscape paintings were at the center of the display at Rehs Galleries. His paintings are richly fraught with emotions and enchanting colors. The atmospheric feeling and brilliant colors in Leon Cortes’ paintings captivated guests at this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show.
Marche aux Fleur is one of the outstanding examples of the artist’s work. It depicts a flower market on a cloudy day. In and around the market, people are buying flowers from traders and stalls. In spite of the gloomy atmosphere, they seem determined to get their flowers before the rains come down.
Leon Cortes is brilliant at using contrast to accentuate moods. That brilliance is evident in Marche aux Fleur. The warm colors of flowers at the flower market contrasted with the grays of the weather in a way that heightens affection for whomever the flowers are intended. Divided into three pictorial planes, Leon Cortes’ very interesting composition guides viewers from the foreground to the middle ground and the horizon in a way that encompasses the market.
In addition to paintings by Edouard Leon Cortes, works by Katie Swatland and Sally Swatland brought out the richness of the collection at Rehs Galleries booth. Katie Swatland’s paintings are intrinsic and delicately finished. In Symphony in White, for instance, the artist captures a woman dressed in a beautiful white dress seated in front of a table. On the table are flowers, a music book, and a small statue of a lion. In the woman’s hand is a book.
Symphony in White is delicately rendered to reveal the woman’s excitement. The cascading lights bouncing off the woman’s white dress makes the portrait lively and joyful. Adding to the ambiance of the painting is the big smile on the woman’s face. So vivacious is the portrait that some viewers wondered what the woman was reading from the book in her hand. My conclusion was that she was reading an art catalog.
Sally Swatland’s paintings depict leisure and the joys of everyday life. Her paintings of people at the beach reveal the excitement of people enjoying life. Early Morning on the Island depicts a happy woman picking shells on the beach side on a beautiful morning. The woman’s white dress flows with the wind, radiantly illuminated by the beautiful morning sun. The play on light and color are major qualities that help elevate the characters in Sally Swatland’s paintings. Her paintings are like cheerful laughers on a beautiful day.
As with other years, Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show laid out the red carpets for guests and collectors. The red carpet paved the path to amazing artworks by old masters and exceptional young artists. Kendal Fine Art was a center of interest for art collectors and art lovers interested in the works of old and new masters. Uniquely located at the center of the fair, the gallery came out with the best of the best.
In the Kendal Fine Art booth was an interesting piece by David Hockney. Titled Harvard, the painting is a portrait of one of Hockney’s many friends. However, at the center of attention, was a Self Portrait Scribble Etching by Chuck Close. The twelve color soft-ground etching measuring 9.825 x 8.125 inches elucidate the artist’s renowned pixilated style.
Chuck Close emerged in the 1970s from the Photorealism movement also known as Super-Realism. However, he took portraiture in a new direction by examining the process behind photography. Close suffers from dyslexia and partial paralysis. He is celebrated for his large pixilated portraits.
Galerie Fledermaus focused on two famous Australian artists- Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Klimt was a unique artist who invented his own way of creating art. As a member of the Vienna Secession, Klimt advocated for ‘a new art for a new age.’ Consequently, instead of following in the academic traditions of his time, Klimt chose to represent psychological states, spiritual truth, and the power of symbols in his works. His paintings, murals, and prints bear all these characteristics, making them unique.
One of his works put on sale by Galerie Fledermaus at this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is Der Kuss (The Kiss). An 18″ x 18.5″, collotype print produced around 1908-1914 is akin to a painting of the same titled produced between 1907 and 1908. The painting marked the highpoint of the artist’s ‘Golden Period.’ During the ‘Golden Period,’ Klimt created several works in the gilded style. Der Kuss (The Kiss) was one of them.
Der Kuss (The Kiss) depicts a couple in a tight embrace. The man and woman are bonded by an elaborately decorated floral robe. Evidently influenced by both the linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Craft movement, the robe design illustrates the artist’s impeccable design sensibilities. The couple appears to be standing in a flower bed.
Also on display at the Galerie Fledermaus booth were works by Egon Schiele. A protégée of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a master draftsman with a deep understanding of human nature. He was one of the early proponents of Australian modernism. Schiele’s works were inspired by life, death, sex, love, diseases. They have deeply contorted lines and flat areas of colors accentuated by striking contrast. Many of his works reveal his personal longing, sexual desires, and passion for everyday people.
Seated Woman with Bent Knee is an instructive example of Schiele works. The work depicts a woman seated with her legs raised in a seductive manner. Her teasing gaze seems to be an invitation to the viewers to examine what she has to offer. While it is easy to get carried away by the lustful nature of the painting, Schiele’s draftsmanship is exceptional.
Walking the red carpet at this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show led guests and visitors to amazing works of art. The exhibitors mentioned above are just a few of the exhibitors that showed some of their best art pieces by old masters and 20th-century artists. Besides works by 20th-century artists, however, several exhibitors displayed works by contemporary artists. The Cuban Contemporary Art Gallery is an important example. The gallery presented works by young contemporary Cuban artists. Similarly, some exhibitors displayed exceptional prints.
Going through this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show gave the impression of a major exhibition. There were works by old masters and contemporary artists. While many exhibitions displayed amazing objects and jewelry, nonetheless, the most captivating aspect of this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show was visual art. There was art everywhere. In addition to the very expensive originals, there were also prints for those who could not afford the originals.
Going through this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show gave the impression of a major art exhibition. There were works by old masters and contemporary artists. While many exhibitions displayed amazing objects and jewelry, nonetheless, the most captivating aspect of this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show was visual art. There was art everywhere. In addition to the very expensive originals, there were also prints for those who could not afford the originals. Evidently, the renaming of Baltimore Antique Show to Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show was a great move by the organizers of the
Without a doubt, the renaming of Baltimore Antique Show to Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show was a great move by the organizers of the annual event. On the whole, it proves that Palm Beach Show Group, organizers of the event, are constantly looking for new ways to expand the horizon of the Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show. Moreover, it stops people from thinking that the event is just about antiques.
The unprecedented collection of art did not take away from the fun at this year’s Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show. The beautiful setting and the red carpets gave people a celebrity aura. Some women even strutted across the red carpet like Hollywood stars. Furthermore, the eating and rest areas spread across the fair space uniquely blended with the overall ambiance of the fair. It was like a huge performance art.