Paris Art Week, Fall 2017 (with several Design treasures!)

At FIAC in the design section: The genius of Pierre Paulin’s ‘Elysée’ sofa and armchairs 1972, Jousse Entreprise; low table, 1972, Mobilier Nationale

Paris has been buzzing this week with events and Fairs all over town to mark Art Week. Some very exciting news for design aficionados is that for its 44th edition, the prestigious international art fair FIAC has reintroduced its Design section after an absence of 7 years. As Hélin Serre, director of Downtown gallery says, “It is important to remember that FIAC was one of the first international contemporary art fairs to open a section for selected design galleries in 2004 and since then you’ve seen this concept in fairs around the world”. It makes sense to show strong art and design at a single venue as many collectors are interested in the crossover between the two. Jacques Grange has said “Today, if you have bought great works of art but you do not have great design, this is just a sign that you have not really understood the full picture”.  Of the five galleries exhibiting, Kreo is showing contemporary design while the other four (Jousse, Patrick Seguin, Downtown, Eric Philippe) are specialized in 1950s/60s work. Here are a few of my highlights of the week.

At FIAC, ‘This Mortal Coil’, 1993, in steel by Ron Arad; 6-sided wooden table, c1949 by Charlotte Perriand, Galerie Downtown

 

Design in action: Pierre Jeanneret’s cane office chairs and desk, Chandigarh, c1955 on the Jousse stand at FIAC

 

At FIAC, ‘Squarable lune mirror’ in lacquered wood and tinted mirror, 2014 (Kreo edition of 8 + 2AP + 2 prototypes) by Doshi Leven; two low tables in marquinia black marble and rosso francia red marble, 2015 (Kreo edition of 20 + 2 APs + 2 prototypes) by Pierre Charpin from his Marble and Clown collection; standing light by Gino Sarfatti. Galerie Kreo

 

I fell in love with these beautiful vases from the Indefinite Vases collection by Erik Olovsson of Studio EO on Galerie Kreo’s stand. Each piece is unique with exquisitely handblown glass on richly veined marble.

At FIAC, Small Pyramid model (2016) from Indefinite Vases collection by Erik Olovsson of Studio EO. Unique piece. Marble and handblown glass. Galerie Kreo

 

Large Duo model, by Erik Olovsson of Studio EO, 2016.  Edition Kreo. Unique piece. Galerie Kreo.

 

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Design Elysées has a small but strong selection of galleries this year. 11 galleries are showing, with a few newcomers – among them Galerie Glustin and Galerie Chamagne who have wonderful and stylishly created stands. Also new this year is the Rive Droite stand with pieces from several different Right Bank galleries.

 

Charmingly whimsical and decorative light appliqué in alabaster and bronze (2016) by Glustin, Galerie Glustin

 

Love love love this monumental and imposing 1970s desk (L2m60 x H76cm x P95cm) by Willy Rizzo; black and white work on wall behind (which works perfectly with the desk) is by L’Atlas. Galerie Chamagne

 

Gallery Portuondo’s stand was chic and stylish – look at the wonderful leather handles on the commodes and the 1970s low table which sliding surface panels

 

 

‘Mer Noire’ leather and patinated steel low table, 2016, by Damien Gernay

 

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One of the most spectacular events this week is Aurelie Julien’s private presentation of Martin Szekeley’s work. Set in a stunning property on Place François I, and by appointment, it is an absolute must-see. As you go from room to room you see ever more beautiful pieces. The presentation runs through to 17th November.

 

The MAP table (2013) by Martin Szekeley in anodized aluminum is a sort of meccano structure which shifts its shape for different functions. Each piece can be easily removed and placed according to the owner’s preference. The surface panels are all identical in color and texture but depending on the angle of the viewer and the light they look different (as in the image above) and create a very dynamic aesthetic. Aureliejulien

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Over at Paris Asian Art Fair on Avenue Hoche the design section this year is small but I thought this vase noteworthy. ‘Bone Flower’ in porcelain is a unique piece is by Japanese artist Yuki Nara who comes from a long line of ceramists. Galerie Pierre-Yves Caer

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And last but not least, these gorgeous crystal vases by Atelier Swarovski are utterly covetable.  Each one is composed of three pieces which fit into a base, so that with a set of three you could customize each one by color. I think they’re supremely elegant. Just beautiful!

I leave you at the end of this wonderful week with Doug Aitken’s brilliant and dazzling piece ‘END’ on Regen Projects stand at FIAC

Wishing you all a great weekend and a good week ahead.

 

 

La Biennale Paris 2017

Grand Palais, Paris

La Biennale Paris, founded in 1959 by André Malraux, has this year been revamped after a problematic 2016 edition when attendance was down dramatically. It is now a yearly event,  has a new President (Christopher Forbes), a new name (previously known as the Biennale des Antiquaires) a stricter vetting system (with no exhibiting members) and a slim-downed list of exhibitors. Compared to last year’s 130 exhibitors, this year there are 94 galleries, showing furniture, fine and decorative art and jewelry. Approximately a third of exhibitors are from outside France this year in an attempt to create a more international feel. They no longer have the Salon d’Honneur up on the first floor so all is concentrated in the main hall, resulting in a far more coherent whole, and a tighter, more focused Fair.

I always look forward to seeing Galerie Gastou’s stand at La Biennale Paris and the other fairs they do. Consistently dramatic and dynamic, and with spectacular works, their interiors never disappoint. In the image below, look how the panel, reflected in the glass table top,  energizes the room, picking up the colors and tones of the red chairs and bronze table base; while the angular chair forms contrast with the whimsical bronze coiffeuse.

Galerie Yves Gastou

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Rare and elegant cabinet in solid oak and original red leather (1949) by Jean Royere. This piece has the rare distinction of never having appeared on the public market. Galerie Chastel Maréchal

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‘Presidence’ desk, 1950s by Jean Prouvé Galerie Downtown

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Galerie Mathivet

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 ‘Tour Eiffel’ low table (c. 1959) and console in (c. 1960) in gilded metal and gold leaf by Jean Royere; Pair of ‘Canneau de Pomme’ chairs in bronze, iron and brown leather by Diego Giacometti (c. 1962-1963); mirror with gilded and silvered glass frame with shell decoration (c. 1935) by Max Ingrand,  Galerie Jacques Lacoste

‘Herbier’ bar-cabinet in straw marquetry and dried flowers (c.1965) by Jean Royere. Galerie Jacques Lacoste 

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Steinitz gallery

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Based in Versailles, this gallery specializes in exquisite 18th and 19th century furniture. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the vicinity of Versailles. Galerie Pellat de Villedon

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A beautiful pair of beaten and polished brass vases (c.1921). Blue vase on right is hand-blown cobalt Medici glass (1902) Kunsthandel Kolhammer

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Masterful bronze elephants by Rembrandt Bugatti (c.1920).  The nine beautiful painted panels in the background are by 1930s painter and illustrator Camille Roche. Galerie Dumonteil

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A new idea this year is the exhibition of “The Barbier-Mueller Collections: 110 Years of Passion.” The collection was put together gradually by four generations of the Barbier-Mueller family. There are amazing works by Georg Baselitz, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and Jeff Koons.

Young girl with Nasturtium, 1907 by Cuno Amiet, Barbier-Mueller Collection

 

It is a wonderful and important Fair and has been vastly improved by this year’s fine tuning. And as their new President so rightly says: “One of the greatest draws is the city of Paris itself. It has that je ne sais quoi.”

La Biennale Paris,  Grand Palais, Paris

 

AD Intérieurs, Fall 2017, Paris. ‘L’Art de la Matière’

Entrance hall with chandeliers

The beautiful entrance hall with lights by Mathieu Lustrerie

The Paris art and design scene is hotting up again after the long summer break. The 8th edition of AD Intérieurs opened this week at the magnificent Monnaie de Paris. Ten designers and interior architects presented beautiful rooms working to the theme of ‘The Art of the Material’. Each exhibitor chose a specific material as the base of their project. The variety was fabulous, with each space presenting a very different and individual aesthetic, combining colors and elements to create the different moods and stories. I find the size of AD Intérieurs is perfect – by showcasing just ten designers, it avoids that awful feeling of overwhelm.

Mathieu Lehanneur whole room‘Last known address’ bedroom by Mathieu Lehanneur

There is so much talent among the exhibitors, but definitely my personal favorite is Matthieu Lehanneur’s stand. I’ve long loved his work and his space is spectacular, combining colors, textures and shapes to create a seriously chic bedroom with marble as the chosen focus material. The curve of the sofa at the end of the bed, the pink armchair, the low table in Marquina marble with its surface mimicking the movement of the sea, the witty resin ‘fire’ nestled in the white marble fireplace, the sublime console in Irish marble, the metal chandelier, the pink onyx standing lights, the marble barbells……I could go on! All these created a truly luxurious and original interior.

Mathieu Lehanneur mirror, bedMirror and marble bar bells, Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur fireplaceFireplace in white Volakos marble, ‘fire’ in resin, pink onyx standing light, black Marquina marble side table, Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur low marble tableLow table in black Marquina marble for Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur marble consoleConsole in Irish green marble, Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur pink onyx standing lightStanding light in pink onyx, Mathieu Lehanneur

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Oitempo spaceOitoemponto’s spectacular ‘boudoir’

Oitoemponto are showing the most gorgeous ‘wallpaper’ which was hand painted, before gold leaf was applied and was finally finished off with a sprinkling of bronze powder. It looks as fabulous as that sounds! They told me they will be showing at de Gournay in rue de Saint-Pères this week, so that is not to be missed! The interior has a calm and elegant 1940s feel and the magic of the room is the mixture of contemporary and older pieces – a Warren Platner chair mingled beautifully with a 1940s commode, Sottsass circular table and of course the contemporary wallpaper. Their chosen material is painted paper.

OitempoBeautiful hand painted wallpaper, Oitoemponto

Oitempo bookshelvesElegant bookshelves, Oitoemponto

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Elliot Barnes

Salon, Elliot Barnes

Sleek and chic, this salon by Elliot Barnes is graceful and polished. Look at these beautiful columns with the glass disks, and the hanging light encased in a leather structure. There was also a beautiful leather clock, which I sadly don’t have a photograph of (you’ve probably guessed that Barnes chose leather as his material).

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Thomas Broog candle holder

Exquisite candle holder in mother of pearl and seashells, Thomas Boog

Thomas Boog’s signature material is rocaille in much of his work, hence his chosen material here. I loved this candle holder in mother of pearl and shell inlay. There was a LED candle on in one of the holders and the lustrous glow it imparted to the mother of pearl behind was sensational. And look at those beautiful 1940s hand-blown birds on either side. Its all in the details.

Thomas BroogCabinet in rocaille, Thomas Boog

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Isabelle Stanislas kitchen:salon with lightingKitchen/salon, Isabelle Stanislas

Working with cement as her focus material, Isabelle Stanislas created this sleek  kitchen/salon with its severe minimalist lines contrasting excitingly with the richness of the gold embroidery on the velvet stools and sofa, and the dramatic lighting creating a perfect backdrop. I love her work and the way she is able to imbue the rather brutal nature of cement with warmth.

Isabelle Stanislas sofaSofa in velvet with gold embroidery on cement frame, Isabelle Stanislas

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Pavillon dining space in wood, RDAI

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Surrealist bedroom

Surrealist bedroom, Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman

This Surrealist bedroom is gloriously over the top and a real feast for the eyes!

Surrealist bedroom - chair

 

AD Intérieurs (Monnaie de Paris, 11 quai de Conti, 75006 Paris) runs through to 20th September.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Revelations 2017 at the Grand Palais

 

Luna lamp in gilded steel with gold leaf by Nicolas Aubagnac

Atys Console, marquetry in white ebony. Luna light in gilded steel with gold leaf.  Nicolas Aubagnac

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The 3rd edition of Revelations opened to the public yesterday in Paris…and it is well worth a visit! With 380 exhibitors showing exciting contemporary work, the focus of the fair is firmly on the dialogue between the designer and the artisan, and the key role craftsmanship plays in creation. The conversations I had with several of the exhibitors were so exciting and informative as they were keen to speak about the process of creation.

Bowl by Egon Munoz

Egon Munoz bowl

Close up bowl Egon Munoz

Hand carved bowls in Chilean Coique and Rauli woods by Egon Munoz Quezada

Chile is the Country of Honour this year at Revelations and the contemporary creations of 24 Chilean craftworkers are exhibited. I loved the woodwork of Egon Munoz Quezada and was lucky enough to speak with him yesterday. Hailing from Pucon in the region of l’Araucanie in Chile, Munoz Quezada explained that he only works with fallen wood and never cuts down trees. He finds many of the trunks with which he works on the beds of the numerous lakes in the area – the water levels decrease during the summer months so he can access them. He then cuts the trunks with an electric saw (the only part of the process using a machine), dries the wood, carves the forms by hand with a spoon-shaped lathe which he has designed and had made, sandpapers them and finishes the pieces with wax and oil. All this work is done by Munoz Quesada and his wife. The work is so incredibly beautiful and organic and the woods are indigenous to the area (Coique and Rauli). I found his approach inspiring and the work spectacular. Definitely an artist to watch!

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'Barbara' ramp by Bernard Pictet

‘Barbara’ stair rail in reinforced glass by Bernard Pictet for Ludwig & Dominique

I also spoke with Atelier Ludwig & Dominique whose pieces are gorgeous. They work with a stable of craftworkers of the highest caliber and stressed the importance of having each artisan at the same top level in order to maintain the homogeneity of each piece. Verrerie Bernard Pictet who collaborates frequently with the company was showing some beautiful pieces. He told me that this ‘Rampe Barbara’ stair rail (image above) was inspired by the work of Barbara Hepworth and this can be clearly seen in the shapes of the reinforced glass. It was technically challenging to maintain a uniform line at the top of each piece of glass but as Pictet said, “the excitement lies in the challenge”.

Hammered glass with gold leaf, straw marguetry. Bernard Pictet verrerie with Ludwig & DominiqueMirror in hammered glass with straw marquetry frame. Glass by Bernard Pictet. Ludwig & Dominique

Ludwig and Dominique were also presenting this beautiful mirror in hammered glass with gold leaf and straw marquetry. The collaboration of the artisans works beautifully as Pictet worked on the glass sections and the straw marquetry was created by an artisan specialized in this field. This creative collaboration is so inspiring.

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Screen by Franck Chartrain

‘Antique Light’ screen in bronze and wrought iron by Franck Chartrain

Close up of screen by Franck Chartrain

Close up of bronze screen by Franck Chartrain

This magnificent screen in wrought iron and bronze was one of the first pieces Franck Chartrain made (2005). Mr Chartrain and his charming wife Angelique were on the stand and happily explained that the feather pattern on the bronze panels and the bronze studs was painstakingly etched by hand, and so of course the piece is unique. I particularly liked the triptych form with the larger central panel – a form not often seen in screen design.  Another piece for my wishlist!

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'Nuages' Van Cleef and Arpels commission. Jean Baptiste Auvray in collaboration with Robert Four Aubusson manufacturer

Close up of 'Nuages' by Jean Baptiste Auvray with Robert Four for Van Cleef and ArpelsAubusson carpet project commissioned by Van Cleef and Arpels, designed by Jean Baptiste Auvray and made by Robert Four

While talking to the lovely people on their stand, I learned that Robert Four is one of the last manufacturers of Aubusson carpets and textiles in France. They work closely with clients to produce pieces to the client’s design and also create their own. This stunning wall of textile clouds was commissioned by Van Cleef and Arpels, designed by Jean Baptiste Auvray and produced by Robert Four. Again, I was so impressed with the collaborative creative process of the designer with the artisan.

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Salagnac Pierre

Bonsai Gingko Biloba tree in bronze and gold leaf by Pierre Salagnac. Charles Paris

Maison Charles, founded in 1908, have their atelier on the outskirts of Paris and have long put great emphasis on the key position of craftworkers and artisans in the creative process. At Revelations they were showing this exquisite Bonsai Gingko Biloba tree in bronze and gold leaf by Pierre Salagnac who is the chef de l’atelier and chef de projet at Charles. The work is breathtaking with painstaking work on each of the 380 leaves. This piece is No 1 of 3 produced.

'Intensité' art carpet by Celine Alexandre‘Intensité’ art carpet in black felt, gold leaf and resin by Celine Alexandre. Charles Paris

The ‘Intensité’ art carpet in black felt, 22 carat gold leaf and resin is by Celine Alexandre. I find it bold, innovative and sensual and adore the idea of walking on gold (which is obviously made possible by the resin finish!). The creators have been involved in textile design for Haute Couture since 1990 and you can see this cross-disciplinary inspiration in these art carpets. Exquisite!

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Close up of screen by Meriguet-Carrere

Close up of screen in wood and gold leaf in the style of Armand-Albert Rateau. Atelier Meriguet-Carrere

Founded in 1960, Mériguet-Carrère are specialists in painting restoration, trompe l’oeil techniques, decorative panels in leather, gold leaf, eglomized glass and many other decorative techniques. In their atelier they have a large stable of expert artisans working side by side and pride themselves on maintaining and continuing with the traditional methods while also incorporating contemporary elements in their commissioned work. They have been involved in the restoration of La Galerie des Glaces at Versailles, and the foyer at Opera Garnier among other projects, and painted the Nymphea wall decoration for Pierre Berger and Yves Saint Laurent’s house in Deauville (supervised by Jacques Grange, it was produced on canvas in their workshop and then mounted in situ). At Revelations they are showing this gorgeous screen in the Art Deco style of Armand-Albert Rateau which they created on wood with hand applied gold leaf. They will work in collaboration with clients to make possible an idea, and also produce their own designs. The people on the stand were fascinating to talk with, and I spent ages with them!

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Here are some more images of pieces at Revelations for you to enjoy. This is really an exceptional fair and I highly recommend a visit if in the vicinity. The fair runs through to 8 May.

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I love the organic work of Birchbarkfurniture. They work with antique pieces and overlay marquetry birch bark onto the surface. I’m a big fan.

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Glass bowls by Alexa Lixfeld

Beautiful hand blown glass bowls by Alexa Lixfeld

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Charles Kalpakian chair

Franck fauteuil by Charles Kalpakian

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Over the Top low table by Atelier Bettenfeld-Rosenblum and Christian Ghion‘Over the Top’ low table by Christian Ghion and Atelier Bettenfuld-Rosenblum

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Cabinet. maison Taillardat.

Cabinet with revolving inset globe. Maison Taillardat

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Wishing you all a very happy weekend!

AD Collections: ‘1937/2017, the decorative arts from yesterday to today’

'Waves' light by Maurizio Galante & Tal Lancman

‘Waves’ light in Inox steel by Maurizio Galante & Tal Lancman for Opinion Ciatti.

This third edition of AD Collections is presented in the magnificent 1930s Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, a building originally created for the Exposition Internationale of 1937 on the banks of the Seine. With historic Art Deco pieces nestled in among the contemporary design, it presents this year a subtle connection between the noble materials and artisanal expertise of works by such legends as André Arbus, Pierre Chareau and Jean Dunand and those of contemporary designers.

Chair in sculpted wood by Paul Frederic Follot

Chair in sculpted, lacquered and gilded wood by Paul Frédéric Follot (1877-1941). Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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'Lamm' chair in patinated bronze by Charles Tassin

Contemporary ‘Lamm’ chair in metallic patinated bronze by Charles Tassin  for Galerie May

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Desk chair by Michel Dufet

Armchair, c1930 in bois de palmier and python skin by Michel Dufet. Collection Musée d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris

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Jean-Luc le Moinnier

Contemporary armchair in ebony, bronze and leather by Jean-Luc Mounier for Galerie Scène Ouverte

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'Eden' chair in forged iron by Elizabeth Garouste

Contemporary ‘Eden’ chair in forged iron by Elizabeth Garouste for Galerie Avant-Scène

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Lacquered wood chair by André Arbus

Lacquered wood chair, 1937, by André Arbus. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

This focus on the role and skill of the artisan is at the very root of the rich tradition of the decorative arts in France. A skilled artisan practices his craft and through experience and aptitude can reach the expressive levels of an artist. He has a key role in the production of the pieces and when working with  exceptional materials the results reach the heights of the work of such Art Deco legends as Ruhlmann, Printz and Chareau and Arbus, and contemporary designers like Joseph Dirand, Majd Baezerij, Nicolas Aubagnac, Emmanuel Bossuet, and many others showing at this AD Collections.

Secretaire (1926) by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann

Secretaire, 1926, Burmese loupe d’amboine wood, crocodile skin, ivory and ebony by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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Cabinet in patinated steel by Delos & Ubiedo

Contemporary cabinet in patinated iron by Delos & Ubiedo for Galerie Mougin

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Commode by Eugène Printz

Commode with drawers, 1933, in rosewood, sycamore and copper by Eugène Printz. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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Ingrid Donat

Contemporary ‘Tribal’ commode in bronze by Ingrid Donat for Carpenters Workshop Gallery

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Pair of monumental vases by Jean DunandPair of monumental amphora vases, 1930 in lacquered gilded copper by Jean Dunand. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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Large porcelain vase painted by Barthélèmy Toguo for Sèvres

Contemporary ‘Grand Charpin’ vase in porcelain by Pierre Charpin, painted by Bathélémy Toguo, for Sévres

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Ann Sevrin, responsible for the scenography for this edition, has arranged the exhibits on small stands set against the walls. Each backdrop is in a subtle pale pink which acts as a discreet foil to the splendor of the design pieces.

Desk in bois de palmier and canon de fusil metal by Eugene Printz

Desk in bois de palmier and ‘canon de fusil’ metal, 1932, by Eugene Printz. Collection Musée d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris

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'Oscar' desk by Joseph Dirand

Contemporary ‘Oscar’ desk in leather, polished steel and wood by Joseph Dirand.

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Coffre à linge by Pierre ChareauCoffre à linge, c1927 by Pierre Chareau. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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André Arbus

Console, 1937, in tortoiseshell and bronze by André Arbus. Collection Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

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'Expansion' console by Patrick Naggar

‘Expansion’ console in ptinated bronze by Patrick Naggar for Galerie Dutko

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'Hommage' cabinet, 'Ce n'est pas' pouf and 'Lis-moi une histoire'' side table by Pinel & Pinel

Contemporary ‘Hommage’ cabinet and chair, ‘Ce nest pas’ pouf and ‘Lis-moi une histoire’ side table in leather and crocodile skin by Pinel & Pinel

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Bedside table by Chahan MinassianContemporary bedside table in bronze, straw marquetry, leather and rock crystal by Chahan Minassian

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Bout de canapé by Majd BazerjiContemporary side table in brass, patinated bronze and inbox by Majd Bazerji for Galerie Patrick Fourtin

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And a few more beautiful pieces:

'Gallipoli' armchair and 'Ruffano' bench by Stéphane Parmentier

This ‘Gallipoli’ armchair and ‘Ruffano’ bench in travertine and sheepskin are a fabulous use of these materials, combining the coolness of the stone with the warmth of the sheepskin. Love these! Stéphane Parmentier

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'Aelita' light and 'Orgues Redux' light by Emmanuel Bossuet for Maison Charles

‘Aelita’ and ‘Organ Redux’ in brass, canon de fusil metal and silver by Emmanuel Bossuet for Maison Charles

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'Helios' low table by Nocolas Aubagnac

Contemporary ‘Helios’ low table, maple and straw marquetry by Nicolas Aubagnac

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'Landscape' lamp by Raphael Navot

Contemporary ‘Landscape’ lamp in bronze by Raphael Navot

Great design truly transcends time, reinventing itself while remaining true to the expertise of the artisan and to the value of superior, carefully-chosen materials.

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Wishing you all a lovely weekend

Highlights of PAD Paris 2017

Following a break from the blog we’re back and will be posting periodic art and design updates to keep you connected and engaged!

We hope you enjoy these highlights from PAD Paris 2017

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The jury prizes for this year’s PAD went to:

Best Stand – Gallery Flak

Best 20th century Design – Galerie du Passage for (Ernest Boiceau’s exquisite 1930 silk carpet – see image below)

 Joint prize for Best Contemporary Design – The Collection by RoWin’Atelier at Galerie Alexandre Guillemain and ‘Sleeves’ by Laura Santillana at Clara Scremini Gallery (see images further down).

Marcilhac, daybed and screenLit de repos attributed to André Arbus, 1940s, and folding screen ‘Les Fils d’Ombre’ in stained wood and precious thread by Hoon Moreau. Galerie Marcilhac

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Strolling today through PAD Paris on Preview day I was struck, as always by the scope of the exhibits and the standard of excellence upheld at this special Fair. PAD has long been one of my favorite fairs; I love it’s eclectic nature. For its 21st edition, the galleries elegantly, and with panache, displayed treasures of 20th century and contemporary design and decorative art, Asian and Pre-Colombian art, ceramics, glass, jewellery and fine art with each booth expertly creating its own inspired scenography. It has often been described as having the atmosphere of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’. While the exhibitors are predominantly French, I spied a couple of Hong Kong galleries and several from the rest of Europe, but none from the States this year. Here are a few highlights from the Fair.

Studio Pad, Pierre Gonalons and Pierre FreyStudio PAD created this year by Pierre Gonalons 

I’ve long been an admirer of the spectacular and monumental marble works of Pierre Gonalons. This this year he has created a beautiful interior inspired by Rudolf Nurevey’s 1980s Paris apartment for Studio PAD, using Pierre Frey fabrics and pieces of his own along with several from the Mobilier Nationale collection. Running throughout on the walls, furniture and floors is the Frey motif ‘Rue de Richelieu and this play on pattern and surface creates a powerful visual effect. A veritable tour de force which greets you to the right as you enter the Fair!

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Jacques Lacoste, Hector Guimard table.

A rare Art Nouveau table by Hector Guimard, Galerie Jacques Lacoste

The theme of Jacques Lacoste’s stand this year is Art Nouveau and this rare and beautiful table by Hector Guimard (provenance Castel-Henriette), quite rightly, takes centre stage. The smooth, curving legs are remarkably seductive. Guimard was a French architect and a major figure in Art Nouveau design. He designed several of the beautiful metro entrances in Paris.

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Pierre Passebon galerie, Ernest Boicea carpet and Gio Ponti sofa

Carpet by Ernest Boiceau; sofa by Gio Ponti, Galerie du Passage

Ernest Boiceau’s magnificent silk carpet in delicate Point de Cornely stitch was one of my favorite pieces in this year’s Fair. The refined colors and beautiful Zodiac pattern are subtle and harmonious particularly as a backdrop to the elegant sofa by Gio Ponti.  Provenance of the carpet: Louise de Vilmorin. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this carpet won the Jury Prize this year for the Best 20th Century object.

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Maison Rapin

Mirrors made for Coco Chanel by Robert Goosens; and Orione cabinet by Roberto Giulio Rida. Maison Rapin

These mirrors were created in 1972 by Robert Goossens for Coco Chanel for her private showroom and her home. However she died a few months later so the mirrors were never delivered for her project and were kept in the artist’s private collection from where they have now come. The piece beneath the mirrors is the ‘Orione’ cabinet in brass, crystal glass and wood by the contemporary Italian designer Roberto Giulio Rida. Its is a unique piece. They work wonderfully together.

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88 Gallery, Max Ingrand

Dahlia light by Max Ingrand in gilded brass and glass, 1960s. 88-Gallery

The gallery explained to me that this ‘Dahlia’ light by Max Ingrand for Fontane Arte could be used as a chandelier or a wall light. They had found an old photograph of it mounted on a wall and had decided to show it this way at PAD. Gorgeous either way!

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Gastou mirror by Victor RomanSurrealist mirror in bronze by Victor Roman. Galerie Yves and Victor Gastou

On Galerie Yves and Victor Gastou’s stand the sculptural forms of this Surrealist mirror by Victor Roman (1937-1995) in bronze create the most wonderful shadows on the wall behind. Roman, born in Bucharest, became a naturalized Frenchmen and created several important monumental public sculptures in France. You can see the beautiful Jean Royere ‘Persane’ wall light (1954) from Galerie Chastel Marechal’s stand opposite in the reflection.

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Gastou Ado Chale.Goutte d’Eau table in aluminum and bronze and table top in aluminum hung on wall, both by Ado Chale. Galerie Yves and Victor Gastou

I also loved this signed ‘Goutte d’Eau’ table by Ado Chale in aluminium and bronze and the creative way they hung another aluminium table top by Chale on the wall above with spectacular results. The Hiquilly candlesticks look amazing too.

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Antonine Catzeflis table by Benjamin PagetConsole/desk by Benjamin Pagart, Galerie Antonine Catzeflis

Over at Galerie Antonine Catzeflis, the contemporary designer Benjamin Pagart’s sleek console/desk in exotic Ovangkol wood is well worth seeing. The smooth and fluid lines and the sheer beauty of the wood are thrilling – impossible not to want to run your hands over it!

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Wettergren. Grethe Sorensen and Ilka Suppenen‘Fusion’ in murano glass by Ilke Suppanen; and ‘Reflections’ by Grethe Sorensen. Galerie Maria Wettergren

Maria Wettergren never fails to astonish with her poetic and thoughtful works. This beautiful and statuesque piece (Fusion, 2016) in Murano glass is by Finnish designer Ilka Suppanen. The light reflects gently off the thick glass creating both translucent and enchanting green effects. Strongly influenced by Humanism in his work Suppanen says: “I believe that design is basically the act of changing existing situations into preferred ones”. Behind it you see Greta Sorensen’s short film ‘Reflections’ showing the early morning light on the water in Venice played out on polyester sheets. The rippling water and effects of depth created by the layers of polyster is mesmerizing. Danish artist Sorensen is an important pioneer in the field of contemporary textile art and her work is always thought-provoking.

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Armel Soyer, lightsAluminium lights by Lambert & Fils. Galerie Armel Soyer

Armel Soyer is showing new and exciting international design this year. Lambert & Fils, Canadian designers based in Montreal created these sculptural and minimalist lights with smooth cutting lines in edgy aluminium, crossing the lines between the borders of art and design.

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Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Floor Lamp Concret Base 10 by Nacho Carbonell

Floor lamp concrete base 10 by Nacho Carbonell, Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell’s work is highly sculptural. This remarkable light was created with manually shaped metal mesh sprayed with powder, sand and a hardener. The cast concrete base was mixed with pigments and hand sculpted while the tree trunk is in welded steel.

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Contemporary 'Extraction' armchair in Grand Antique marble by Pierre Gonalons. Studio PAD

‘Extraction’ contemporary armchair in Grand Antique marbre by Pierre Gonalons.

Alexandre Guillemain

The wall appliqué on the back wall by Max Ingrand is one of ten the gallery has from Maison des Arts et Metiers, Paris, 1949. Galerie Alexandre Guillemain, Artefact Design

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Lamp by Rowin' Atelier

Table lamp in ‘4 Seasons’ marble and beaten brass by RoWin’ Atelier. Galerie Alexandre Guillemain (Joint prize for Best  Contemporary Design with the Laura Santillana piece below)

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‘Sleeves’ in glass by Laura Santillana. Clara Scremini Gallery

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Eric Schmidt for Galerie Dutko

Floor lamp in alabaster and brass by Eric Schmidt. Edition of 12. Galerie Dutko

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Olbia by Roberto G Rida, 2017. Maison Rapin‘Olbia’ cabinet in opaline black and white glass by Roberto G. Rida, 2016. Maison Rapin

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Perpitch & Brigand, vase by Joran Briand

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These ‘Acropora’ vases in marble and brass by Joran Briand are absolutely enchanting. Galerie Perpitch and Brigand

Wishing you all a great week! Look out for a post soon on the upcoming AD Collections in Paris.

L’esprit du Bauhaus

2_bauhaus-meister_2The Bauhaus masters on the roof of the Bauhaus building in Dessau. From the left: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemmer.

“The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building”, Walter Gropius in the introduction to the Bauhaus manifesto.

For anyone interested in the history of design, the exhibition ‘L’Esprit du Bauhaus’ at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs is an absolute must-see. With over 900 works on view (furniture, objects, textiles, drawings and maquettes), the exhibition traces the ideology and development from 1919-1933 of the Bauhaus, the most important school of art, architecture and design of the 20th century. The exhibition is beautifully presented and clearly leads you through in a chronological pattern, explaining the development of the ideology from Early Modernism in Germany, developments in Vienna, the Bauhaus in Weimar and then Dessau, and on towards the school’s eventual dissolution in Berlin in 1933. It terminates with a wonderful tribute to the international legacy of the ideology and far-reaching influence of the Bauhaus on the next generation of designers (more below).

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Early Modernism in Germany. Deutsche Workbund,  founded in 1907 in Munich by Herman Muthesius,  admired mechanized production and the industrial aesthetic.

Founded in 1919 in Weimar in the interwar period following Germany’s defeat in WWI, Bauhaus director Walter Gropius’s aim was to create a universal environment in which the students and professors could work as part of a communal effort – artists alongside ceramicists, craftsmen, metalworkers and eventually manufacturers – to build a new world. This ideology was loosely inspired by the communities created by Medieval Guilds. The school’s mission was to revolutionize the way people think with the emergence of a new society and to do away with the boundaries between artistic disciplines by combining the fine and applied arts in its teaching program, far from the dogmatism of the 20th century Avant Garde movements. In this utopian world of communal living, the teachers and students lived together so that artistic practice and collaboration was continuous. There were workshops for metalwork, stained glass, ceramics, wall painting, photography and woodwork among others, and eventually in 1930 architecture.

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Stained glass window, Josef Albers, 1921. Created in the Bauhaus Stained Glass Workshop.

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Metal and woodwork workshops

rietvelt-and-breuer-chairs-1918-1923(Left to right) Militaire chaise, 1929 and Red-Blue chair 1918 by Gerrit Rietvelt;  Lattenstuhl chair, 1923 by Marcel Breuer

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Reclinable chair, 1928, Marcel Breuer

The 14 years of the Bauhaus’s existence were marked by raging conflicts and disputes due to the wide variety of opinions of the professors and the development of the school’s programs. In 1923 Gropius, recognizing industry as the defining force of the age, moved the focus of the program away from its founding expressionist tendencies towards collaborations with industrial manufacturers and formulated a new approach with the motto, ‘art and technology – a new unity’ . The ensuing conflict resulted in the resignation of Joseph Itten (expressionist painter, designer, teacher and part of the core of the Weimar Bauhaus) who was succeeded by Lazslo Moholy-Nagy (an artist influenced by Constructivism). 1923 also saw the important exhibition ‘Staatliches Bauhaus Ausstellung’ with its presentation of the house ‘Haus am Horn’ on which all the different workshops of the Bauhaus collaborated in the spirit of unity envisioned by Gropius. There is a wonderful old black and white film of the house with still images at the exhibition which is fascinating.
Outside influences played their part. In 1923 Theo van Duesburg (co-founder of the De Stijl movement with Piet Mondrian) was offering an independent course in Weimar which the Bauhaus students attended,  so spreading De Stil’s radical ideas of abstraction and simplification of forms.
Gropius left as director in 1928, to be succeeded by Hannes Meyer (who established the Architecture program) and finally by Mies van der Rohe in 1930. The Nazi party ordered the closure of the school in Dessau in 1932. Van der Rohe consequently moved it to Berlin but the school itself voted for its own dissolution in 1933 when the Gestapo made unreasonable demands in order to keep it open.
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‘Bottine tricolore’ by Pierre Hardy, various works by Fabio Viscogliosi, Fabien Cappello, Ligia Dias, Liam Gillick, Franck Scurti, dress by Courrèges, sink and toilet by Atelier van Lieshout.
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Works by Leonor Antunes, Bojan Sarcevic, Sebastien Bergne, Muller van Severen and Comme des Garçons.
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As you move into the final rooms of the exhibition you see the pieces chosen by French artist Mathieu Mercier to show the legacy of influence the Bauhaus has left on successive generations of artists and designers. The students and teachers emigrated all over the world and so spread the spirit and teachings of the Bauhaus. In 1938 MOMA in New York had an exhibition on the Bauhaus. Mercier has chosen 100 objects created by 40 international artists and designers (born mostly after 1960) arranged in such a way as to suggest a collective workshop. It creates a strong and impressive impact.
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I can’t recommend the exhibition highly enough!! I left feeling inspired, and in profound awe of the vision and commitment of Gropius and the other Bauhaus directors, teachers and students to build a new world.
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Wishing you all a great weekend.

Art Contemplating Design

 

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Photo still from Christie’s video

In a recent video produced by Christie’s, (click on photo above to watch this 3 minute video) the globally appreciated Chinese contemporary artist Wang Jianwei contemplates and questions the meaning and role of art.

His project above, entitled Distance, is a tower constructed from 407 abandoned cabinets.  He says, “It represents a utopia. We are turning art into a tool.”   This artwork strikes me as a political and social statement about our level of consciousness as a global society when it comes to collecting design in our lives. What does it say about a society that produces, consumes and discards furniture at such a high rate that one artist can find so many ‘abandoned’ cabinets?  What progress can be made and how can we change our relationship with the the objects in our life that will result in meaningful relationships and consequently less waste?

Investing in narratives that resonate with us on an instinctual level is where we start.

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The Global Design Theme of the week is traditional craft.

Below, are some photos from the upcoming  MoCA Tuscan ‘Meeting the Clouds Half Way‘ exhibition created by the architecture firm of Aranda\Lasch and  Terrol Dew Johnson, a Tohono O’odham  (Native Americans living primarily in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico) basket weaver.

Using indigenous materials and traditional basket weaving techniques such as the coil this exhibition seeks to find parallels in the worlds of architecture and weaving and to create relevant contemporary design that utilizes traditional craft in an authentic way.

Mr. Dew Johnson referred to baskets as ‘essentially  something that holds conversation’, in an article by Ariela Gittlen for Artsy. These baskets aren’t functional in the traditional sense but successfully explore the complexities of interacting with design. This quote is a wonderful insight into the social and cultural value of functional creativity. It gives us a peak into the idea of phenomenology which addresses the meaning things have in our experience, notably, the significance of objects as they are experienced in our ‘life world.’

On a surface level they are quite beautiful and pleasing. Acknowledging them as a social practice bringing together groups of people and ultimately the witness and result of their work together supports the poetic idea of them their ultimate function being that of “holding conversations”.

 

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Photos courtesy of MoCA Tuscan and Artsy.

 

 

 

 

Art Elysées, Art & Design 2016 (October 20th-24th)

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A coffee table/ bar by Aldo Tura,  c1970. Image courtesy of Portuondo Gallery

This year is the 10th edition of ‘Art Elysées, Art & Design’. It takes place on the Champs Elysées between Place Clemenceau and Place de la Concorde at the same time as FIAC which is just a few steps away at the Grand Palais.  Indeed, it was originally conceived as a complementary, rather than alternative, fair to FIAC with a particular focus on French galleries.  The design section is relatively small with only 13 galleries exhibiting this year (as opposed to approximately 65 galleries in the Art section), but the variety of 20th century and contemporary design available is worth a visit if you’re in town.

Espace VIA (Valorzation of Innovation in Design) will have a stand at the Fair. It is a network platform and exhibitors venue set up in 1979 by CODIFAB (French Furniture Industries Development Committee) with the support of the Ministry of Industry. Its goal is to promote contemporary furniture and lighting design along with decorative objects in France and abroad.

Enjoy these preview images!

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Unique large mirror by Ado Chale composed of round agate slices inlaid with bone and brass details. Image courtesy of Portuondo Gallery

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Guéridon in aluminium and gold-leafed bronze by Audrey Galais. 2016. Limited edition of 8. Image courtesy of Galerie Scene Ouverte. This is the first time exhibiting at Design Elysées for this gallery.

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Small table in bronze, limited edition of 8. Laurence Bonnel. 2016. Image courtesy of Galerie Scene Ouverte.

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Hamada commode by Jean Luc Le Mounier in black inox, enamelled copper plaques, interior in citronnier de Ceylan wood. 2013. Limited edition of 8. Image courtesy of Galerie Scene Ouverte.

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A low table in resin de marcassite by Ado Chale, 1970s. Image courtesy of Maison Rapin

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‘Cerf Volant’ standing light in black and white lacquered metal and brass by Pierre Guariche. Edition Disderot. Image courtesy of Meubles et Lumieres.

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Standing light a contrepoids by Robert Mathieu, c 1955. Brass, black lacquered metal, perspex shade. Robert Mathieu Editions. Image courtesy of Meubles et Lumieres.

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Low table in brass and lacquered metal by Raphael, c 1950. Lacquered by Béka. This was a public commission for the offices of the Haut Commissariat de Sarrebruck. Image courtesy of Meubles et Lumieres.

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Large carpet by Mathieu Mategot, c 1960. Signed bottom right. Image courtesy of Meubles et Lumieres.

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Table lamp, Serge Mouille. Image courtesy of Galerie Avril

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Chair by Viggo Boesen. Image courtesy of Galerie Mikael Najjar

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Art Elysées, Art & Design 2016. 20-24th October 2016

Have a great weekend!

Themes and Thoughts about Collecting Design

What are some of the characteristics that make a great collector?

Access – cultural and monetary, sustained interest, superior ‘taste’, patronage, and desire for self expression through objects are few that come to mind.

As design has been formalized into a market category since the turn of the century it has gained a much wider audience as we start to internalize and adopt the idea of living with design.

3D printing, vintage, up-cycling and traditional craft and human experience are five large themes leading the way in the 21st century design industry. They all suggest a generation with a growing awareness of the impact creating objects has on our environment and suggest perhaps the importance of aligning our personal environments with the larger themes impacting the world.

Commissioning and acquiring design that contributes to themes and naratives we believe in creates ultimate luxury.

This week we share some recent exhibitions and collections that inspire us to think about the impact each of our acquisitions has on the world around us and also propose glorious objects that align with some global goals for the a better world.

Enjoy!

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Scraps | Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum. This exhibition explores uses for textile waste. Furniture production is confronting the same issues. In Paris we found a young company that is part of the solution.  Maximum Paris partners with manufacturers who provide their waste material – excess dye  and left over raw materials for example. Maximum then designs products to incorporate these materials thereby eliminating waste through up-cycling. Her are three currently available projects.

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This perhaps doesn’t qualify as collectible design the way we have recently come to know it. But I would argue that this furniture has a very important place in the evolution of design and material culture. It is responding to a global issue.

If you’re looking for more exclusive design with an equally powerful message, Physical, a collection presented last spring in Milan by Kiki and Joost and presented by Nilufar at PAD London this week is an exciting project.20160519-_dsc0927 “We wanted to make physical things with our hands, with materials that you can touch and experience,” says Kiki. “We see how babies experience physics by playing with water and other things, and we were very inspired by this. It brings you back to the most important things in life,” she smiles. As reported in the Telegraph

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Joost van Bleiswijk’s Meccano-inspired constructions with every single component handmade.

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In Paris, preserving craft a major initiative for one of the most influential galleries: In 2015  Carpenters Workshop Gallery, opened Carpenters Workshop | Roissy, a 8,000 m2 space dedicated to artistic research and development, bringing together the elite of artisans, an homage to the heritage to French ‘Arts Décoratifs’. Vincenzo de Cotiis’ Pop Nouveau is the gallery’s present exhibition that is part of this project,  explores two themes: a rebellion against stereotypes and the liberation from mechanized forms using salvaged and reclaimed materials.

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Side table

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Large hanging wall cabinet

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Coffee table

These are just a few of the projects and themes that design is tackling. Every couple of weeks we’ll present a company or designer whose works is forging links between our strong global themes and our individual instincts for aesthetic expression.  Is it collectible? Let’s discuss as we go!

Have a great weekend!