Legendary dealer and art-merchant extraordinaire, Barry Friedman, has announced his retirement from Barry Friedman Ltd. after nearly 50 years in business. He will close the gallery at the end of March 2014 with a number of auctions at Christie’s under the title, “Barry Friedman, The Eclectic Eye.” The sales will offer artworks that span the various periods and mediums in which he has dealt.
Friedman, a long-established presence in the international art market, is known for introducing important 20th century European fine and decorative art works to an American audience. Recognized as a visionary dealer with a collector’s eye, Friedman has continually forged new paths in the decorative arts fields, both period and contemporary. He started to collect and then deal in the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite paintings of Gustav Moreau, Khnopff, Hodler, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, and others. In the late 1960s, he was one of the first American dealers in Art Deco, which later included the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka.
Friedman’s shared interest in the works of Ettore Sottsass and Ron Arad with his then gallery director, Marc Benda, led to a partnership in the Friedman Benda Gallery in 2007. “Which I am proud to say continues to represent the work of these two artists, as well as Wendell Castle, Joris Laarman, and a new generation of young designers, painters and photographers,” states Friedman.
Friedman played a major role in exhibiting contemporary ceramics with an excellent stable of artists; showing and representing David Regan, Kukuli Velarde, Takahiro Kondo, Akio Takamori, Tip Toland, Sergei Isopov, Allesandro Gallo, and Christina Cordova. His penultimate exhibition was Clay Bodies (September 19 – October 30, 2013).
Above: Tip Toland, Jesters, Surely, Yep and Mum, 2012. Stoneware, paint, charcoal, paste. 31 inches height. Courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd.