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and objects from the modern era

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Rowland's Ft Greene Community

Vintage Wallpaper Art

Susan Rowland by Appointment

Isamu Noguchi at BBG

Kamilla Talbot: New Works

Chinoiserie Mid-Century Style

Milo Baughman Before + After

Meet Mr. Wormley

townhouse.bz Presents Faux Real

Kipfmueller in Elle Decor

Nelson Sculptures & Prints

Kamilla Talbot: Getting Outside

Joan of Art

To the Pinkneys: A Big Thank You!

Black Tie Halloween?

Problem Solving with Townhouse

Neutra Speaks, Nelson Replies

Falling in Love with Faux Bois

Rowland: Uncontained Forces

Sneak Peek: Rowland Show

Vintage Woodson Wallpapers

Kipfmueller: Process Revealed

Hefty 2-Ply Travels

Oscar Niemeyer, Curvy Modernist

Portrait of Wonder Bread

Peter Shelton, RIP

Take Note: Wondrous Florals

Jud Nelson: Marble Hyperrealism

Faux Forever

After 9/11

Before 9/11

Kool Stools

Salve! Aliquisne domum est?

When is an original not?

Framing Bambi

Welcome to the Knolls

Karl Kipfmueller: Art

Susan Rowland: Art

Kamilla Talbot: Art

Reasons to Love Horsehair

Separated @ birth?

Q&A:I love the bronze table...

A Tonic for the Election

townhouse.bz in the NY Times!

Those legs, I know those legs!

What is Parchment?

Long look Marion, loonger...

What is Shagreen?

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Archive for the 'Modernism' Category

We love this whimsical wallpaper, Feinbergs Horses. It is as witty and similar to the 1950’s pen and ink style that we associate with Ludwig Bemelman’s beloved Madeline illustrations.

The hand silk screened repeat of the wallpaper is very large and the image below only shows a portion of it.

Imagine how wonderful this would look framed and hung on a wall.

Check out our vintage wallpaper for sale.

Posted by Marla Dekker March 14, 2016 / No Comments Filed Under Just Found, Modernism, Vintage Wallpaper, What Is...

Mountains Forming by Isamu Noguchi, 1982 – 83, hot-dipped galvanized steel.

Are you wistful that summer is coming to an end and you are left craving moments with nature?

Go see the Noguchi sculptures just installed at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A collaboration between the Noguchi Museum and BBG, the show features 18 Noguchi sculptures. It is expertly curated by Dakin Hart of the Noguchi Museum.

Dakin’s siting of the sculptures in the garden creates an exquisite interplay between each that highlights qualities of the other that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Indeed, the sculptures appear as if they were always meant to be there.

ThisEarthThisPassage440x440This Earth, This Passage by Isamu Noguchi, 1962 (cast 1963), bronze.

BirdSong440x440Bird Song by Isamu Noguchi, 1952 (cast 1985), bronze.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetMagritte’s Stone by Isamu Noguchi, 1982 – 83, hot-dipped galvanized steel.

Age440x312Age by Isamu Noguchi, 1981, basalt.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetUntitled (a monument to Ben Franklin) by Isamu Noguchi, 1986, basalt.

Showing from September 8 through December 13, 2015
For more information, contact the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

Posted by Marla Dekker September 10, 2015 / No Comments Filed Under In the News, Isamu Noguchi, Modernism, Sculpture, townhouse.bz Art

It’s not often that we are able to photograph a piece of furniture prior to restoration. We were able to do that with this lovely Milo Baughman slipper chair.

This chair was in our inventory and not listed on our web site. Our client wanted to purchase a pair of comfortable chairs and considered many options. In the end, she chose this Baughman chair and paired it with a vintage rattan chair and a Danish modern stool. It was a confident choice, the pieces echoed each other in their curvilinear forms and contrasted each other in materials.

The upholstery was chosen from the townhouse.bz collection by our client. We enjoy helping our clients select pieces that work for their homes.

Posted by Marla Dekker July 2, 2015 / No Comments Filed Under Before + After, Mid-Century Modern, Milo Baughman, Modernism

Edward Wormley, second from left pictured with George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Jens Risom; Playboy magazine, July 1961.

Traveling by Amtrak from Boston to New York one snowy evening in 1995, I came upon an article about the auction of Edward Wormley’s estate. It was a pivotal moment for me. Returning from an auction where I had been seriously outbid on a Herter Brothers chest (now residing in the Metropolitan Museum), it occurred to me that it was time to set my sights on other furniture periods and designers.

The surreal Wormley shell console, above, circa 1950. Hand carved, it is often featured in contemporary interiors.

Edward Wormley, 1907 – 1994, was an American mid-century modern furniture designer who understood the essential elements of modernism, but did not limit himself to one ideology. His furniture represented a convergence of historical design and 20th century innovation. He took the best from Danish, Asian, and classical elements and designed sophisticated, well-crafted furniture prized by collectors and designers.

Wormley’s inclusion in the Good Design Shows at the Museum of Modern Art in 1951 and 1952 positioned him alongside designers Harry Bertoia, George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.

The Wormley for Dunbar chest above and the Wormley coffee table below use the same minimalist vocabulary with subtle Asian influences.

A favorite in the townhouse.bz collection is the Wormley chair, below. It is beautifully designed, and the execution features brass crossbars and peg joints.

Below, the interplay of the negative space with the refined silhouette of these black lacquered dining chairs is a wonderful example of Wormley’s skill at furniture design and construction.

through the holidays
@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
718 398 6792

Holiday Hours: 12/22, 23 & 24 noon to 6pm; or by appointment.

Barware, jewelry, objects, handmade toys and ornaments, newly restored mid-century modern furniture.

Featuring a pair of Verner Panton cone chairs with orange mohair seats.

A Corbu chaise with a chrome tri-leg glass top coffee table, Alvar Aalto dishes, a Bruce Fox tri-leg aluminum bowl, a Kay Bogeson Penguin.

A Milo Baughman swivel chair, a modern French daybed, a Bernhard Rohm acid etched coffee table.

A Salon Exhibition Art, Objects and Furniture Exploring the Realm of Mid-Century Modernism

Featuring the townhouse.bz collection including Jud Nelson, Kamilla Talbot Piaget Studios, Kathy Urbina, Le Corbusier, Knoll, Milo Baughman, Pierre Jeanneret, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Aldo Tura, Fornascetti, Edward Wormley.

Opening Saturday, July 26th, 2014
From 6 to 9pm
Showing through September 6th, 2014
Thu & Sun 12 to 6pm
Fri & Sat 12 to 7:30pm
or by appointment

@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn 11238
718 398 6792

Visit Faux Real and explore historic Clinton Hill. Guild Greene’s building is the original 1890s headquarters and laboratory for Bristol Myers. Fine dining nearby includes Speedy Romeo, Marietta, Locando Vini & Olli and Aita.

Shown above: Holos/Series 23, No.1 (Wood Match) Roman Travertine & Red Slate; Jud Nelson, 1994

Contact Us for more information.

Townhouse.bz presents an exclusive collection of Jud Nelson sculptures and prints, from 1977 to today.

What started it all? Muskrats. They burrowed into an abstract Styrofoam sculpture that Nelson had installed along the edge of a Minneapolis lake. When the chagrined Nelson retrieved the pieces from his irate patron, it was a revelation to see how beautifully the muskrats had carved the Styrofoam to create their burrows. Thus began Nelson’s exploration into hyper-realist sculpture with Styrofoam.

Jud Nelson’s sculpture, Holos/Series 5, No 6 (Tea Bag) is among his earliest hyper-realist sculptures. Carved completely from Styrofoam, including the staple and the string, it is the 6th tea bag of the Holos/Series of tea bags in 1977. (pictured below)

Nelson developed his sculpture series of multiples of everyday objects with minute differences as a lesson in seeing to quote John Russell of the New York Times. Nelson challenges the viewer to examine everyday objects. His cool, minimalist presentation, exquisite attention to detail, and deadpan humor has art critics simultaneously comparing Nelson to Chuck Close, Michelangelo and Sol Lewitt.

The Holos/Series 6 No 6 (Popsicle), 1978, (pictured top) is one of Nelson’s early marble sculptures and marks his switch from Styrofoam to marble as his preferred medium. Nelson realized that marble offered him the granular control he needed to render the finest details. The Popsicle is carved from the same block of Carrara marble statuario as his icnonic sculpture, Hefty 2-Ply, commissioned by the Walker Art Center in 1979.

Nelson’s Still Life Study (Peanuts), 1983, represents the addition of stones of color to his body of work. The life-sized peanut shell is travertine marble and the peanuts are honey-colored marble, both found in rubble outside the San Marco Cathedral, Venice, Italy. Always resourceful in his use of materials, Nelson frequently repurposes discarded stones for his art.

The Block Buster Series (Bear), 1980, is from Nelson’s later exploration of colossal blow-ups of animal crackers. Conceived as a project for the UN’s Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza with Linda Macklowe, the curator of the sculpture garden, a number of animal crackers were sculpted as maquettes for full-size sand-cast bronzes.

Limited Edition, Signed Prints
In addition to Nelson’s sculptures, townhouse.bz and Nelson have collaborated to offer Portrait of Wonder Bread 1, 2 and 3. Limited edition prints of photographs of Nelson’s Carrara statuario marble sculptures HOLOS/Series 7, 1977. Coolly elegant and minimalist with deep, matte blacks and greys on premium, matte paper, the prints feature the breathtaking detail of Nelson’s sculptures. The Portrait of Wonder Bread series is a juxtaposition of the dispassionate study of bread with the imprint of the artist’s hand on each piece of bread.

Never simply Super Realistic, his work always questions the reality of physical existence, and appeals to some alienated modern sense of the existentially absurd… Kim Levin, Arts Magazine, October 1981

Click here to see more of Jud Nelson’s work.
Contact townhouse.bz with inquiries about Jud Nelson’s artwork.

The renovation neared completion and it was incredible. Robinson + Grisaru Architects transformed a Brooklyn townhouse – reconfiguring the parlor floor to make the living room flow into the shared dining room/kitchen and flipping the kitchen to the other side of the room. A long, narrow table and chairs were needed to fit the dining space and accommodate entertaining for large parties.

As part of their master plan, Robinson + Grisaru designed a custom banquette along the wall in the dining room to save space and incorporate storage underneath. The table legs needed to allow easy access to the banquette around the table. Townhouse’s solution repurposed a vintage Eames XL conference table base to support a custom table top. The Eames base allows the table to be easily moved on the wood floor and the legs cantilever out from the middle.

Townhouse sourced a set of vintage mid-century dining chairs that reflect the curvilinear shape and brushed metal surface of the table base. In addition to their aerodynamic styling, the chairs are comfortable and sturdy.

The homeowner selected a Ralph Lauren deep purple velvet from Townhouse’s inventory of upholstery fabrics. The velvet was used for the chair and banquette backs and the seats were constructed with custom dyed leather sourced by Townhouse. The choice of leather for the seats was practical – it wears well and in addition it provides an elegant contrast to the velvet.

To quote the happy homeowner, “I love everything about my new space – I come downstairs every morning and it makes me smile!”

Townhouse.bz is always available to make functional and beautiful furniture solutions to any room. Contact us for a consultation.

Posted by Marla Dekker September 25, 2013 / 2 Comments Filed Under Charles and Ray Eames, Herman Miller, Modernism, townhouse.bz chronicles

Gazing at this vintage 1950’s George Nelson desk, I am transported to Palm Springs, California with visions of the iconic Kaufmann house that Richard Neutra designed and built in 1946.

Department store magnate, George Kaufmann Sr., asked his son, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, to recommend an architect more modern than Wright to design his Palm Springs, CA estate. Kaufmann Sr. ultimately selected California modernist, Richard Neutra, who built him a masterpiece of modernism.

Neutra’s vision is evident in the design of the building and in his choice of materials: wood, aluminum and lots and lots of glass. The Nelson desk utilizes the same combination of materials in a similar modern context. Just as Neutra incorporates a cantilevered roof supported by light metal columns, Nelson purposes the metal desk legs to support the top of the desk in order to mimic the floating effect Neutra perfected.

Neutra loved wood and employed it in all of his buildings with delicate refinement. Nelson does the same with his wood desk drawers – a simple solution that juxtaposes shape, color and material. Best of all is Nelson’s use of the new material, formica, for the desk top. The smooth, bright formica echoes Neutra’s inspired technique of incorporating shimmering sea shells (capiz) into plaster walls.

Nelson and Neutra – two brilliant originals of American modernist design speaking the language of the era.

Posted by Kevork Babian August 21, 2013 / No Comments Filed Under Just Found, Modernism, What Is...

Do we have Georges Braque to thank for design’s ongoing love affair with faux bois? Take a look at his 1912 seminal papier-collé Fruit Dish and Glass (Compotier et Verre), which was recently gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by famed art collector Ronald Lauder. When Braque decided to paste pieces of mechanically printed faux bois wallpaper on to his still-life drawing, he elevated a traditional decorative trope to the level of fine art and revolutionized art making.

Once faux bois entered the modernist lexicon, it became an essential design element in textiles, garden furniture, ceramics, and more. The best of these efforts merge wood-grain patterning with the wit and intelligence of twentieth-century art. In Townhouse.bz’s collection, there are several fine examples of Grandjean-Jourdan’s faux bois tableware. This father and son team of post-WWII regional artists created their hand-painted pottery in the famed town of Vallauris—the same area where Braque’s friend and sometimes rival Pablo Picasso produced his own prodigious output of painted ceramics. Clearly, Grandjean-Jourdan drew inspiration from the biomorphic explorations of Jean Arp and Constantin Brâncuși.

These side tables attributed to the legendary San Francisco designer John Dickinson verge into the realm of surrealism. The tables are actually made of wood that has been carved in a stylized manner to imitate the imitators! A visual double entendre that we think George Braque and his contemporaries would have loved.

Posted by Marla Dekker June 6, 2013 / No Comments Filed Under Classical Modernism, Faux Bois, In the News, Modernism, What Is...

Townhouse is designed, written and produced by Dekker Babian. Townhouse is located in Brooklyn, NY. All text and photos © 2019.