Gloria Vanderbilt may not be left handed, but as her latest painting exhibit at 1stDibs, “The Left Hand is the Dreamer” references, she perhaps wishes she were. Alluding to mythology and palmistry, she explained the left ring finger, the only one on which she wears polish, is a direct conduit to the heart and her imagination, from which the new works emanate.
Seeing her the other evening at the opening for the show, above with 1stdibs editor Tony Freund, it was hard to imagine that she is 90 and that the 50 + paintings, mostly pastels, were all completed in the last year. With quite a few surprisingly oversized pieces, they are marvelous colorful works, some with a Chagall like figurative fantasy
Garden of Earthly Delights, 2013 via 1stDibs
others with a Matisse like graphic boldness
Lunar 2013 at 1stDibs
and yet all quintessential Gloria Vanderbilt with her signature love of color and pattern. Many of the paintings have an autobiographical theme and even more of her design sensibility can be gleaned from the salon vignette she created in conjunction with designer Matthew Patrick Smyth.
The eclectic space is anchored by Gloria’s graffiti wall flanked by a fabulous pair of Gothic revival gilt wood mirrors. A chic corner combines color, textures and eras with a Milo Baughman orange lacquered campaign desk, gorgeous Max Kuehne screen from Liz O’Brien and several of a series of Curtis Jere metal tree sculptures that adorn the space.
With an HBO documentary of her in the works, we will soon all have additional insight into her fascinating life and creative process. But in the meantime, you can drop by 1stDibs before March 28th to see the exhibit and if you’re lucky enough, perhaps purchase a painting for your own left handed inspired space.