This year’s Salon Art + Design, the 12th edition of a fair dedicated to fine and decorative arts, transforms the Park Avenue Armory into a fabulous and eccentric collector’s house. Open through Monday, it brings together works on paper by the artist Robert Mangold (Zeit Contemporary Art) and wooden sculpture by Louise Nevelson (Galerie Gmurzynska) alongside rare books (Potterton Books), chunky gold Tiffany bracelets (DK Farnum) and a shiny, surreal, curiously tooth-like chair made of solid bronze by Voukenas Petrides (Fumi Gallery).
On the whole, there’s more jewelry than lithography, so it takes an unusual piece of fine art to stand out. But one painting that can do the job is a three-foot-square, lipstick-red near monochrome by the 98-year-old Japanese American painter Ted Kurahara (Caroline Davenport Japanese Art). Broken into subtle vertical bars with two distinct shades of cadmium red — it is titled “Cadmium Red Medium and Deep” (2015) — it glows and flickers like an ethereal fire. Among the furniture, the first thing to look for is an extraordinary parchment desk made with copper and bronze around 1902 by Carlo Bugatti (Galerie Mathivet). With metal discs and four elaborate rosettes on its back, it looks like a computer console from an alien civilization.
At Mercado Moderno, a 1958 canapé with matching armchairs by the Brazilian designer Joaquim Tenreiro, all squares of dark, knife-edged wood filled with tightly-woven cane, are astonishing: severe but gracious, imposing but spare, abstract but, because of the cane, with an underlying warmth. A tapestry at Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts makes an interesting complement. Created around 1908 by the Czech puppeteer, painter and teacher Rudolf Livora, it shows a girl in a tight-fitting purple knit cap playing a double flute. Looking down and closing her eyes, she is clearly concentrating — but whether she’s absorbed in the music or simply finding it difficult is impossible to say.
Salon Art + Design, Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave., thesalonny.com.