Jean Marc Fray, French Antiques & Decorative Arts

Le Blog

News, views, reflections and musings about French Antiques, Art, Architecture, Culture, France, Italy, Austin (Texas) and a passion for good living.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sit Pretty this Spring with 30% Off All Seating - One Week Only

Sit pretty this Spring!

Now through Friday, we are offering 30% off all our of seating -- that's dining chairs, armchairs, sofas, side chairs, benches, desk chairs, stools, and club chairs!
Click here to view the full selection.
Don't miss out -- this offer ends Friday, April 10!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Artist Reception With Meredith Pardue

"Wild and Free"

Jean-Marc Fray Antiques
1009 W. 6th St.- Austin, TX 78703

"My Blue Wings" - 60" x 84"

Meredith Pardue
Artist Statement:

I combine the random actions of painting with controlled, deliberate mark making to describe each form in my work, which often appears floral or plantlike in structure. The canvases are composed of organic forms that are similar to, and possibly even derivative of, those found in nature, but ultimately the paintings are a visual record of an unplanned dialog between myself and a blank canvas. Together the marks and forms create a visual language that reads as something unique to each viewer.

I could say that I intimate a certain relationship between physical and psychological space in my work, because in a sense that is true. But my approach to making a painting is much more comfortable, intuitive, and personal than that. And so, the result of this visual investigation, the painting reflects that process. I am most interested in extracting singular experiences from life's endless cycles of growth and decay, and in transforming the public worlds of nature and human dynamic into a place of private knowledge.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Save 20% with your Holiday Shopping Card! 


American Cancer Society Holiday Shopping Card


Join us in supporting the annual Holiday Shopping Card program benefiting the American Cancer Society, the nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Get 20% off your purchase* when you use your 2014 Holiday Shopping Card.
 Cards are available in our gallery ($50), and valid at all participating Austin merchants. 
100% of card proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

This is a perfect time to start your holiday shopping and make a difference!
Support the American Cancer Society today. 
*Fine art excluded.  Offer cannot be combined with any other store discounts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Niki de Saint Phalle Paris Retrospective

Niki de Saint Phalle, painter, sculptor, and filmmaker

From model to social activist, painter and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle was an icon and most notable female artist of the 1960s when she came blasting onto the avant-garde art scene with her "Shootings" series -- literally shooting paintings with color. She soon became renowned for her sculpture as well, most notably here "Nanas" (French slang for women), brightly colored female forms in resin and plaster.

Niki de Saint Phalle Brunnen

A major retrospective of her work is on exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris. The show runs through February 2, 2015. If you're in the capital city, make sure to stop by to view beautiful and powerful works from her four-decade-long career!

Niki de Saint Phalle: Miles Davis, Hotel Negresco, Nice

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Biennale des Antiquaires

The 27th Biennale des Antiquaires just opened yesterday at the Grand Palais, Paris. If you happen to be in Paris, you won't want to miss this extraordinary event!

Founded in 1962 by the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, this biannual event was dreamed up, “to create an event where the beauty of the objects displayed would rival that of the women who would visit the exhibition.” 

Decorators, designers, collectors and celebrities from all over the world come to this Parisian event to peruse a plethora of museum quality fine art, antiques, jewelry and collectibles, exhibited by close to 100 world renowned dealers in exquisitely designed "salons" or stands.

Running now through September 21st, here is a sample of some of the treasures you will find there this year:

Commode in Boule marquetry, Galerie François Leage.

"Bureau de Dame" in cherrywood and pear wood with chair by Dominique, Galerie Michel Giraud.

"Femme Au Turban" by Renoir, Galerie Tamenaga.

Polished Kekwood buffet with sliding doors, Galerie Marcilhac.
Cartier Luxuriant bracelet, Cartier Salon.
PHOTO: Julien Claessens & Thomas Deschamps.

27th Biennale des Antiquaires
Sept. 11 - 21, 2014
Grand Palais
3, avenue du Général-Eisenhower
75008 Paris, France

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Places We Love: Villa d'Arte

We discovered the most wonderful place this summer during our travels to France and Italy: The Villa d’Arte in Mortola, Italy, just across the French-Italian border near Menton.

Nestled into a hillside village in Mortola Superiore, reminiscent of the village scenes in the film “Mama Mia!”, Villa d’Arte is an outdoor art studio and BandB run by the lovely and beautiful owner-artist Nicole Durand. It is a place of tranquility and inspiration where you can learn to carve stone, paint, make mosaics, model clay, draw or just take in the incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea that awaits you there.

Walking up to the studio.

Juliette, Jean-Marc and Nicole at work.
Nicole and Jean-Marc.

The outdoor studio sits on the highest point on the property, where artists work under fig trees, olive trees and a covered area for the stone carvers - the view is stunning! The surrounding bougainvilleas, lemon trees and lush Mediterranean flora tower proudly above the Mediterranean Sea - the perfect backdrop for creativity. The sound of cicadas, seagulls and nearby church bells make for an incredibly peaceful setting indeed.

Lunches are potluck style, served under an oversized umbrella, a place that seems to attract a permanent, delectable summer breeze. Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea are all shared here throughout the day. 

Hungry artists!

Maura and Paul taking a much needed break after a morning of stone carving. 

You can schedule your lessons as you like – some stay for a day, some have pieces they work on year round and they come when they can. Some people come for a week or 2 or 3… Nicole offers lessons year round, workshops in July and September, but takes a break in August when she focuses on the BandB and the visitors it harbors from all over the world. She also organizes annual stone carving workshops in Greece that sound amazing!

The lucky artistes that stay and work for a week or more are enchanted – not just by the idyllic locale and excellent instruction they get from Nicole, but also by the excursions she takes them on to complement the art lessons and provide further inspiration. Nearby villages offer beautiful landscapes to draw or paint, world renowned exhibits in Monaco - just a short drive from Mortola - are a treat and nearby Menton and Ventimiglia have much to see as well.
"Hanging Heart" by Jeff Koon at ArtLovers exhibit in Monaco.

Stone carving takes center stage, as Nicole is a reputable and successful stone carver - her art has been sold worldwide, particularly in the US where she lived and worked for several years. Everyone learns to carve stone and we were amazed by the quality of the instruction and the results. 

Juliette contemplates her sculpture.

Jean-Marc joins in.

Nicole demonstrates.

Torso taking shape!
Finished product - nice work!

Grazie mille Villa d’Arte! Thank you for an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experience, fond memories and wonderful new friendships. We will be back!

Check out Nicole and her BandB at

Villa d'Arte
29 Via Moretti
18039 Mortola Superiore, Italy
Villa d'arte on FaceBook