Salon Art+Design 2021
Converso is pleased to participate in Salon Art + Design. The presentation includes important American art and design that spans the work of Wharton Esherick, Sol LeWitt, Paul Evans, Paolo Soleri, Tony Rosenthal, and the ceramicists, Gertrude and Otto Natzler.
Major Works include Wharton Esherick’s masterpiece Seiver Residence Sofa, one of only three freestanding sofas Esherick produced (The Curtis Bok Sofa is in the permanent collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Like Esherick’s other major patron, the publisher, Curtis Bok, the Seivers were important patrons of Music in Philadelphia and Esherick considered them ideal clients: The Seiver Sofa, sculpture in wood, is his finest, wonderfully lyrical and fluid from every angle, and reflects the synesthesia so important to Esherick’s work, a painter producing furniture for musicians. The companion Seiver Table and Captain chair originally conceived to accompany the sofa will also be present.
Sol LeWitt’s important sculptural work, 1-2 3-4, (LeWitt preferred the term, Structure), one of the last open cube Structures completed while he worked on, Dances, the experimental 1979 collaboration with Phillip Glass and the dancer, Lucinda Childs, and originally exhibited at the Donald Young Gallery, will also be on display.
If there is a secret book about the influence of Dance on Design and Architecture, it opens darkly in Weimar Germany: the first chapter is all about Mies and his abandoned German wife, Adele Bruhn, Mary Wigman’s roommate, and his Berlin mistress, another dancer, referred to only enigmatically as, The Horse.
The second, happier, chapter opens in the sun dappled forests of Philadelphia and tells the story of the nudist, anthroposophical, bohemian world of Wharton Esherick and his wife, Letty Nofer, a Rudolph Steiner devotee and rhythmic dancer. Movement, as an expression of the spiritual, translated into wood and the static forms of furniture, expressed perfectly in the Seiver project, would remain Esherick’s quest even after his love for Letty had faded. After fathering Letty’s children, he would go on, a la George Washington, to father the American Studio Craft movement.
Sol Lewitt, Miesian in his architectural predilections, has a late guest appearance. The year he exhibited, 1-2 3-4, at the Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, 1979, LeWitt was knee deep in the experimental collaboration with Phillip Glass and the choreographer, Lucinda Childs, that resulted in, Dances. For that work, LeWitt returned to very early obsessions with Muybridge’s photographic analysis of movement in humans and animals. After, Dances, and direct work with the weight of the body, LeWitt would abandon his famous white open-framed cube, the basic unit of his Structures since the mid 60’s, in favor of a very solid, weighty cinder block. Connections between choreography and LeWitt’s Wall Drawings instructions had long abounded.