Furniture gallery striving for the retro look

Generally I keep quiet on this blog, supplying only a location and allowing the images to speak for themselves. I’m mindful of the verbose captions on the photographs at the Metropolitan Museum, so pretentious and overwritten that they could make you gag. But I do have a few things to say about today’s excursion to Chelsea, where after only three years’ absence I felt like Rip van Winkle, if not Woody Allen in Sleeper. There went the neighborhood even before the High Line opened three years ago and attracted throngs of tourists; expensive galleries line the 500 block of West 20th and West 21st Streets where loading docks and warehouses once clogged the streets with trucks. It’s like Soho at a certain point in its development,  while it still had art galleries and before it became a tourist mall. No wonder the young artists moved to Williamsburg and Bushwick years ago.

Although the gallery with photographs I wanted to see was closed, serendipity led me to ET Modern at West 20th and 11th Avenue, a gallery and bookstore featuring the work of sculptor Edward Tufte. Most fascinating. He self-published four books on analytical design, for sale in the gallery; leafing through Beautiful Evidence, I thought at times that it was a goof, post-modern and ironic. Certainly the man has a terrific sense of humor, as evidenced by a photograph of a Soviet military parade in Red Square overlaid with a wicked sendup of Power Point. This is great fun.

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