Santa Fe show features 2 of Picasso's rare silver platters

Two of Pablo Picasso's silver platters are among the hundreds of rare items curated from collections around the world that will be on display and sold during a special exhibition in New Mexico's art capital of Santa Fe.

The Objects of Art show , which runs through the weekend, also includes furniture from the home of the late comedian Garry Shandling, a collection of early Navajo weavings and more modern work from several Korean painters.

Picasso's plates are expected to be one of the main attractions given their rarity and association with one of the art world's most recognizable names, said Kim Martindale, the exhibition's co-producer.

Martindale and others have been busy for the last couple of days setting up as dozens of exhibitors position their wares throughout the maze of booths and makeshift gallery spaces that make up the annual show.

"Even people here at the show, they say 'Oh, that looks like a Picasso.' When you tell them that it is, they just light up," Martindale said. "It just shows how people get excited about seeing his work in person and the silver plates are just so unique."

Known for his paintings, Picasso also was a prolific sculptor and ceramicist. During the late 1950s and 1960s, he commissioned French silversmith Francois Hugo to cast a series of plates and medallions in gold and silver after his original ceramic models and designs. Only 20 editions of the 24 designs were ever produced.

Last year in Hong Kong, Sotheby's auctioned the first complete set of plates to a Japanese collector for $2.5 million.

The plates have been gaining value in recent years and the two on display in Santa Fe are expected to fetch $80,000 and $90,000 each. They are part of the personal collection of Beverly Hills gallery owner and longtime art dealer Gail Feingarten Oppenheimer.

More than 4,000 people are expected to pass through the Objects of Art exhibition over the next three days, organizers say.

Aside from the plates, they'll see Shandling's Spanish colonial dining table and chairs, armoires and some of the driftwood art pieces that he displayed in his home. The Santa Fe exhibition offered the first public viewing of Shandling's art collection last year and almost all of the pieces sold, drawing collectors from abroad.

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Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM

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