[Design by Nathan Turner. Photo by Victoria Pearson published in Nathan Turner's American Style, Abrams, 2012.]
Another book I'll be covering in the next few days is designer and shop owner Nathan Turner's debut release. Whether he's pulling together a room or a cozy dinner party, Nathan has a distinct talent for channeling certain vibes -- could be Bloomsbury or California Ranch -- without getting too theme-y. Shown above is an African design appreciation moment. Here he mixed a 19th-century patterned African basket and vintage African textiles (not really visible in this picture) with Amber Arbucci's elephant photograph and a Ralph Lauren zebra fabric.
[Interior of Arensberg apartment, 33 West Sixty-Seventh Street, New York photographed by Charles Sheeler, 1919. Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950.]
Nathan's vignette prompted me to post a quick reminder of The Met's recently opened show, African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde, on view through April 14, 2013. We already know how strongly the pioneering artists of the early-20th century -- Picasso, Matisse -- were influenced by African sculpture and textiles but this exhibition looks at American collectors' responses in the 1910s and 1920s. In the States -- well, specifically in New York -- African art and artifacts could be appreciated anew, as abstract works of art rather than colonial trophies. The Met's show encompasses forty wood sculptures from West and Central Africa juxtaposed with photographs, sculptures, and paintings by Brancusi, Rivera, Picasso, Stieglitz, Sheeler, and Picabia. The Harlem Renaissance and its connection to African art is touched on in the exhibition, too.