We have all seen Edward Hopper’s paintings but his small, exquisite portrait of painter Guy Pene duBois made me appreciate his work even more.

After spending an afternoon at the TEFAF show in New York’s Park Avenue Armory it again drove home what is missing from so much of the contemporary art that I see, beauty. TEFAF is an Art Fair based in the Netherlands. They came to New York this October in an attempt to interest a new generation of collectors. There was art, furniture, objects and jewelry ranging from antiquities to modern covering Asian, African and the western world. There were pieces that stopped me in my tracks, including the Edward Hopper painting above.


The Robert Henri painting of the Dancer of Delphi screamed from the sedate walls of the Hirschl and Adler gallery with a vibrancy and color that made it look like it was painted yesterday, except I can’t think of anyone painting today that would have the skill or audacity to pull off that use of color. It glows.


It is amazing to be able to get close to a terra cotta sculpture that has been dotted with ink for transfer to marble, see a limestone sculpture of a saint with remnants of paint in her folds, a console table with a carved base of an elephant, beautiful graphic African masks and an eighteenth century bust of A French Aristocrat whose head was replaced with a skull. It is beyond Surrealism. It is so nice to see Art that has the evidence of the artist’s hand. The ability to see all these amazing pieces under one roof (and all for sale–just not in my price range), truly a tag sale for the discriminating rich who have become bored with the beige interiors and Damien Hirst Dot paintings of our current moment. It made me glad to be in New York. I hope they come back.