Framing an Exhibition

Over the years, Lowy has often been called upon to frame a collection of works by a particular artist for various galleries and exhibitions.  This presents a unique framing challenge: how to frame each individual work of art while creating a cohesive presentation for the group of paintings.

Two such recent shows include Jacob Collins  and Shirl Goedike, both exhibited at Adelson Galleries on East 82nd Street in Manhattan.

Larry Shar mingles with Warren & Jan Adelson & guests at the Shirl Goedike opening.

With both shows, Lowy was able to provide frames for each work, which not only suited each painting itself, but also brought together the ambiance of the show and connected the works to one another.  As so aptly put by Larry Shar, President of Lowy, “The key to framing an exhibition of contemporary artists is to choose architecturally appropriate moldings that work in the space and on the art; with sympathetic patinas that compliment the artist’s palette making for pleasant viewing  and enhancement of the artwork”.

Have a look at some examples:

Photos by John Bigelo Taylor, Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, NY.

A Glass Act

One of the most exciting things about art conservation is having the opportunity to work on legendary and unique artworks.  So we were excited when Etienne Drian’s famous jazz screen recently went up for auction at Christies, and were hoping we’d get to have a look at it.

We knew there was some conservation issues, and wanted to be the ones to deal with them.  Fortuitously, the new owner contacted us, and our dream quickly became reality.

The screen is unique;  it’s made out of 24 panes of mirrored glass which have been inserted into 8 painted brass frame panels.  The image is painted in reverse onto the back of the panes — so in areas where there is no painting you just have a mirror.  It also has a rich history, that you can learn more about here.

The screen was brought to us with a couple of problems:  first off there was some flaking and loss of paint, as well as a pane of mirror glass that had been broken into three pieces. The painted black frames were scratched and damaged, and the replacement hinges were too small and structurally inadequate.

Our first step was to carefully remove the panels from the frame, a feat all on it’s own. We placed each panel onto foam pillows for protection.  On closer inspection, we noticed that the paint layer was bubbling, indicating that the paint was asphaltum (a sticky black resin), and that the damage was probably a result of extreme heat and/or exposure to fire.

We then had to set down the flaking areas and inpaint any losses.  This was a challenge on its own since as I mentioned above, its been painted in reverse, and as such, the inpainting had to be, too!

Once that was done and the media layers were stable enough to be moved, we placed the completed panels in custom made slotted boxes fitted with foam, and moved on to the broken panel.

The breaks were pretty big, so we made custom wood strips to act as a temporary frame while we fit them back together.

We adhered the splits with a silicone glue, and then reinforced them with a metal lattice secured with epoxy resin.  You can see our test on our own broken glass below.  We then laid down a piece of treated Mylar so the resin wouldn’t stick to anything, and popped an additional piece of glass on top for added pressure while the silicone and epoxy dried and the splits were secured.

 Meanwhile, in another part of Lowy, folks were busy removing the tarnished, rusty hinges, drilling four sets of new holes on each and every frame, and installing new, custom fitted hinges after powder coating the frames.

Once both sides were finished with their work, the two met up to replace the panels into the frame.  We needed to see how it looked before we once again dis-assembled the piece and shipped the whole thing to the client’s, where we would finally put it all together and situate it into its new home.  It looked pretty cool.

 All in all: a fun, neat and different project.  I love the way this photographs, with the mirror reflecting back the camera and the background of the room…and maybe we’ll get to see this restoration on the pages of Architectural Digest one day, it’s certainly a winner of a piece.

The next generation of Lowy: a framer is born.

Ben Shar, Brad’s son and Larry’s grandson, learns to burnish and gild at a demo by Wayne Reynolds.  His nursery school was here on a tour, and it was amazing how they responded!  Take a look through the photos and see for yourself.

The Lowy All Souls Tour

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Ever wanted to feel a piece of gold leaf?  Or gild a frame?  Or watch as a conservator inpaints losses on a painting?  Stop by the Lowy booth at the 2011 Architectural Digest Home Design Show and these dreams, and many more, can come true!  This year’s show runs from March 17th through March 20th.  Lowy can be found at booth #436.  Learn more about the show here:

Just Folking Around…

You heard it right, Lowy is celebrating all things folk.  Come and visit Just Folk Frames: An Online Exhibition & Sale. Check out our unique selection of affordable folk frames from the extensive Lowy collection.

A Change of Taste Opening Night: a few select pictures

Continue reading A Change of Taste Opening Night: a few select pictures

A Change of Taste Makes the New York Times

Our exhibition made the Times!  Check out their article here:

But more importantly, make sure you stop by!  It’s not often that we have a frame exhibition, it’s a rare and wonderful show filled with some pretty gorgeous frames.