From the 1970s through the 1990s, Elisabeth Cunnick, Director and Curator of Artist / Designer (A/D), invited some of the best painters and sculptors of the day to confront the distinctions between fine art and function by designing utilitarian objects; the prototypes for which were translated as editions and offered for sale at A/D. In 1992, Peter Joseph invited Cunnick to pursue this concept at his gallery, mounting the show A/D at the Peter Joseph Gallery. The Cooper Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum) thereafter included some of the A/D Gallery objects in its groundbreaking exhibition Design ≠ Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread.
On May 4, Rago will offer a selection of editions and prototypes from A/D, as well as other items from the A/D archives, in its sale of Post-War + Contemporary Art. Some of these lots were part of the original exhibitions at Peter Joseph and the Cooper Hewitt.
The works on offer will include wallpaper by Joan Nelson, William Wegman, and Roy Lichtenstein, tapestries by Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, furniture by Richard Tuttle and Sol LeWitt and a divergent array of the unexpected. Many of these objects appear only rarely on the market, and with this dispersal of the retained archives of A/D, it is unlikely that such a range of important A/D editions will ever be offered again.
The Archive of Artist / Designer will be crossing the Rago auction block as part of Rago’s Post-War and Contemporary Auction on May 4th, which follows Rago’s American and European Art Auction earlier the same day.
View all work on offer in Rago’s online catalogs on ragoarts.com/fine-art
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