Curatorial Alchemy

Our paths first crossed, unknown until many years later, at an intimate yet bustling wedding reception in a south Chicago apartment. This was probably 30 years ago, perhaps even the same year a new gallery, Torno Wright, opened at the end of my street to a fanfare of Eames, heralding new changes to come. Criss-crossing breezes of chance encounters, meandering spirits, hazy focus of time and space, of enthusiasm and knowledge sought, now united again in the same city.

That same serendipity, prompting impulse and discovery, guided welcome reward in the crucible of that great industrial city, still littered with the artefacts of the American mid-century. It was within this uneven yet fertile terrain, hidden slightly below surface, that Patrick’s intuitive talent—honed first as photographer then embellished as artist—would treasure the valuable neglected as passionate collector, and then as the inspirational dealer that I was to meet again, years later in New York City.

If asked to select one word to describe Patrick, I would resist and pick two. The first would be curiosity—a fundamental essential, to stimulate inquiry and rigour in all things, both great and small, of any era or region, type or surface. Even the most fleeting survey of this selection for sale is a celebration of innovation and of inspiration—an unerring eye for the unusually exceptional, or perhaps the exceptionally unusual. The chances are, that these are indeed discoveries that you have not yet realized that you needed to make.

Mentor, would be my second word. If artefacts and objects articulate visual, cultural and historic language, then the fluency of skillful mentorship—to guide, nurture, describe and explain—releases the eloquence of murmuring histories. In this capacity Patrick is that most earnest and sincere of excellent narrators. If ever I had friends, clients or colleagues visiting New York looking for unusual inspiration, there was always the certainty that Patrick’s gallery would offer them a glimpse of the hitherto unseen or the unusually seductive, always with the reassurance of the most fascinating story waiting to be told.

Mentorship and curiosity, when balanced in equal measure, reveal the precious alchemy of a curator. And it is the duty of the mature curator to discern and detect, to cultivate change, and from there to pioneer, and to share. Innovation is never static, and the Present is already the Future. Fresh dialogs evolve, energies to be nurtured, opportunities to be guided. Renewed and re-orientated, Patrick now faces fully forward—as benefactor, interlocutor and mentor to a new, inquisitive generation of talented creators, and the quest for discovery rejuvenates.

— Simon Andrews
andrewsartadvisory.com

Poul Kjaerholm 1929–1980

Furniture designer Poul Kjærholm was a significant figure in Danish modern design uniquely blending craftsmanship and industrial production. Trained as a cabinetmaker in Hjørring, Denmark in 1949, he later studied furniture design at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, graduating in 1952. In 1955, he was hired by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as a lecturer and also designed the, now iconic, school’s desks. In 1976 he was welcomed back as a professor.

Kjærholm’s timeless designs are functional and durable. He often worked in steel, leather and glass, placing importance on the relationship of the piece to its environment. Kjærholm received many awards throughout his career including two Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale, the Lunning Prize in 1958, the Eckersberg's Medal in 1960, and multiple ID awards. In 2006, Kjærholm was the subject of a major retrospective at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. His work is included in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York where designs are featured throughout the galleries and restaurant. Poul Kjærholm died in 1980.