Pottery, the Paranormal and Other Visions


Ceramics Fair and Metro Show Offer Inspirations

New York’s art fairs are often filled with work by contemporary artists, but here are two that artists themselves might like to attend. With objects culled from attics, forgotten storerooms and the bottom of the sea, or thrown more recently by potters, the fairs this year also seem marked by the marvelous, fantastical and paranormal.
Just inside the entrance to the Metro Show, Ricco/Maresca has a large grid of human handprints collected by Marianne Raschig from 1925 to 1935. One of the premier palmists in Berlin during that period, Ms. Raschig read the palms of people like Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Fritz Lang, Peter Lorre and Leni Riefensthal. She also recorded them in ink and, as you can see here, had the subject sign the paper with the handprint, and included her own rubber-stamped insignia.

Nearby is another amazing collection: a rare group of drawings called “The Sheridan Pages” at H. Malcolm Grimmer. The drawings were made by Cheyenne Indians around 1870 in colored pencil on ledger paper brought into the area by white businessmen to keep track of financial transactions. Originally collected by a lawyer, John L. Sheridan, who was the brother of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan and discovered inside one of John’s books, they show the courtship rituals of a tribe better known as warriors.
Stranger rituals are on view at Stephen Romano, captured in 19th-century spirit photographs by William Mumler and William Mortensen’s silver gelatin prints that make up “A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft” from the 1920s. Mortensen was a budding publicity photographer, but his shot of a young, nude Fay Wray (later known for her 1933 role in “King Kong”) practicing the black arts — on view here — got him blacklisted from Hollywood.

Mr. Romano is also showing early drawings by the visionary artist Charles A. A. Dellschau that complement those of A. G. Rizzoli at Ames Gallery. Where Dellschau, a retired butcher from Houston, drew speculative aeronautical diagrams in the early 20th-century (later abandoned on a sidewalk and salvaged by a junk dealer), Rizzoli, a draftsman in an architectural firm in San Francisco, made portraits at night in the form of elaborate architectural drawings. The one here, from 1939, depicts his father, who committed suicide.

Visionary art by “insider” artists is on view at Fahey Bodell Stein/Umbrella Arts, which is showing a selection of ’80s East Village work by artists like Andrew Castrucci, Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz. Over at Allan Stone, the ceramic sculptures of California Funk artist Dennis Clive are the centerpiece.

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RED Writing

We are very pleased to announce that two Pratt  lounges will be featured at this year's METRO Show. The lounges were designed by a team of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Interior Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, which is committed to social and environmental responsibility.  ┬áMore

Interesting Juxtapositions | METRO