I found Lost City Arts by accident when searching for works by Harry Bertoia. Like this shop, Lost City has eccentric art and furniture pieces that are substantially more eye-catching or compelling than market-produced objects mainly because most of their art furniture was, in fact, made by sculptors. Most of it is one-offs or small editions which is why most of it is too expensive for me. But I like the fact that these objects came from also a time when buyers actually collected contemporary sculpture for their houses and apartments. I don’t know what these pieces awaken for me, but the more eccentric accessories of modernism – glam, or brutalist, or whatever – are becoming more and more appealing. Maybe everything’s too clean these days, or too girly; I don’t know. Captions and photos are from Lost City Arts. Above is a Spider table from Italy, 1950s.
Unique Animal Form Sculpture by Harry Bertoia, USA, 1950’s. Rare early example of Bertoia’s expansive exploration of metal work. Large carpenters nails are assembled in the form of a fantasy animal of insect. The entire surface is coated with a layer of melted bronze. It is extremely rare if not totally unique in Bertoia’s career to depict actual figures. Playful exercise predating the more formal styles that were to develop.
Walnut Occasional Table by Milo Baughman, USA, 1960’s. Occasional table by Baughman. Designed with a great sense of scale, the thick top matches the vertical dimension of the X base. Beautiful walnut grain overall, excellent as side table for the low slung sofa.
Above: Paul Evans, Brutalist Sculpture, USA, 1960’s. A very rare freestanding artwork by Paul Evans, known primarily for his artfully accented furniture. His sculpture is exceedingly uncommon. The trademark brutal approach has been applied to create a floral themed masterpiece.
Harp Chair by Jorgen Hovelskov, Denmark, 1960’s. Beautiful vintage example of the Harp by Hovelskov. A masterful exercise in material conservatism, the form more than makes up in its visual complexity. The expertly crafted frame, in solid walnut, anchors the hypnotic weaving of the jute cord forming the seat. A delicate but perfect balance of style, comfort and high design.
This is the piece I secretly hanker for the most: Motorized Kinetic Sculpture by Calleja, USA, 1970’s. A very cool, quiet and mesmerizing kinetic sculpture. A pair of chromed rods, each precisely curved, are mounted to a base which contains a motor. The motor slowly turns the rods, seemingly weaving the rods into and out of each other. A very simple method to achieve a subtly calming effect. The interior of the base is signed CALLEJA.