bay area

California Craft: The Work of Arthur Espenet Carpenter

May 10, 2016

Lot 138, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Dining Suite

The Bay Area craftsman Arthur Espenet Carpenter was one of the most celebrated figures in the post-war American Studio Furniture movement. A self-taught woodworker, Carpenter almost singlehandedly defined a new design aesthetic known as the “California roundover”—a style characterized by pleasingly flowing lines and gently-contoured edges that feel almost supple to the touch. LAMA’s May 22, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction includes the graceful, comfortable Wishbone chair–Carpenter’s signature design–as well as a drop-leaf table with organically curving struts. Rendered with skill and affection, such offerings exude the gentle warmth of the hand-made object.

Floating Bohemia: Gordon Onslow Ford and the S. S. Vallejo

April 21, 2016

Lot 154, Gordon Onslow Ford, In Vironment (2002)

Though best known as the last and youngest member of the Surrealist group that convened in Paris in the 1930s, Gordon Onslow Ford was no stranger to the Bay Area vanguard, either. Between 1947 and 1959, Onslow Ford made his studio aboard the S.S. Vallejo, a decommissioned ferry docked in Sausalito, which he shared with the Greek collagist and poet Jean Varda. Together the two made the vessel a salon of sorts—a floating clubhouse for an astonishingly diverse group of artists and writers, from Beat poets to members of the Bay Area Figurative movement.