Friday Finds! Alexandre Logé and the Reinterpretation of Design Elements

585b9c_8539f8d1630a46e1b78b765d81b713d8.jpg_srz_640_479_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Atlante X stool in black patinated bronze. Upholstered in ‘gold bronze’ material by Alexandre Logé
17.75 x 22 x 16.5 inches / 45 x 56 x 42 cm.

~~

This Atlante X Stool in patinated bronze is by Paris-based designer Alexandre Logé who cites Primitive Art as his primary influence for the bronze structure. ‘Atlante’ is the male equivalent of the ‘cariatide’ figure which is often represented in tribal art artefacts.  His choice of materials is significant and intentional. The beautiful woven cotton  fabric of the upholstery has the appearance of Galuchat or sharkskin leather but is obviously less fragile as seating upholstery.  As Logé says “this is perfect.  I love this mix….I mean we are dealing with ‘sharkskin’ and an ‘Oceanic Chieftain symbol’ (thats how I saw the Atlante structure) but concretely we have precious fabric, bronze,  smooth finish and black patina, all  ‘Art Deco codes’. Logé’s personal reinterpretation and bringing together of broad and seemingly disparate influences allows him to combine the familiar with the new, breaking down the mental pathways which the human mind is so expert at solidifying. 
He is clear about his own priorities in his work: “To me aesthetic appeal and creative expression are definitely the most important things….functionality in design is a constraint, this makes the difference between Art and Design. But it is a good challenge to work out what I can do with an idea I love…. and the compulsory height of a bench….” he says.
 
Some of these striking stools are in the Dior boutique in Place Vendome and in the Royal Palace in Morocco.
What drew us to this piece was the really beautiful shape of the structure.  We in fact saw the form of a gently pointed Gothic arch in the legs along with the Art Deco reference but having talked to the designer we discovered the Primitive Art influence. This opened up a whole new and exciting perspective for us. 
Isn’t it interesting what our own experiences and outlook bring to our personal reactions? 

American in Paris – Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright, Frank Lloyd, ensemble 1

 

Frank Lloyd Wright created the philosophy of organic architecture.
His idea of “organic architecture is a reinterpretation of nature’s principles as they had been filtered through the intelligent minds of men and women who could then build forms which are more natural than nature itself”, according to  Kimberly Elman, Ph.D., in her essay Frank Lloyd Wright and the Principles of Organic Architecture 

This suit of furniture designed by Wright in 1955 is important and rare as it was only between 1955-57 that he made furniture independently of a larger scale architectural projects.

Grey mahogany table with metal engraved border and six chairs
Heritage Henredon Workshop, USA, 1955

Table : H. 24 in., D. 54 in. / 1 extension : 13,75 in.
Chairs: H. 28 in., W. 20,5 in., D. 23,75 in.

tal

Detail of the table edging

Wright, Frank Lloyd, ensemble 4

Detail of the leg carving

Wright, Frank Lloyd, ensemble 6 chaise

Above: One of the six chairs; Below: detail of the leg carving

download.php

“So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no ‘traditions’ essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but—instead—exalting the simple laws of common sense—or of super-sense if you prefer—determining form by way of the nature of materials…”
— Frank Lloyd Wright, An Organic Architecture, 1939

For inquiries:
contact@arte-case.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds! Vive La France! Innovative and Measured Design

ac283201-7ce8-449c-abe7-6d1bcf0fdb58

Wall light in polished brass, walnut and white perspex (circa 1960) by Robert Mathieu

15c4f68d-dbbd-4a81-a703-b995d1e3859f

The 1950s and 60s was a particularly prolific period of optimism and creativity  for French designers. We are seeing more focus on French design of this era and it is definitely a market to watch. Robert Mathieu (1921-2002) is one of the most interesting, and perhaps least known of the designers working in this period. His production was small as he manufactured his own designs. 
We saw this wall light (c.1960) by Mathieu in a Parisian gallery which is known for creating the market for lighting. It is functional and beautiful, simple and inspired.  Its sleek system of delicate counterbalance, using a simple pulley system to adjust the height, gives the user complete flexibility. The light switch is weighted on the electrical wire as you can see in the second image. It could be used as a reading light next to an armchair or placed on the wall above a desk. Its white perspex shade was innovative for its time with its ability to reflect light. It is a highly collectible piece.
Mathieu originally trained as a watchmaker and it is the organic and symbiotic nature of the creative impulse which interests us here with his development towards lighting design. With his personal vision he took his knowledge and applied it to the field of lighting design.  You can feel Mathieu’s fascination with balance, mechanism and function in the simple almost clock-like workings of this light and this was reflected in the name of his production company,  ‘R. Mathieu Luminaires Rationnel’. Please click here to see another of Mathieu’s lights in an earlier post.
~~

Friday Finds!

 
Screen-Shot-2014-11-10-at-09.37.32

Ying Yan dining table in polished varnished brass and ivory lacquered wood, from the Plurimi series (1979) by Gabriella Crespi

Screen-Shot-2014-11-12-at-10-1.57.37

 “I was inspired only by the universe” said Gabriella Crespi of the motivating force behind her astounding body of design work.

 We love the purity of form of this Ying Yan three-part dining table (c1979) from the Plurimi series with its smooth biomorphic shape cleverly opening up to reveal hidden storage. In ancient Chinese philosophy, the duality of Yin and Yang represents complementary oppositions which together make up the sum of our existence. Yin represents the moon, femininity and the negative element while Yang reflects masculinity, the sun and the positive element which coexist side by side and form a cohesive whole. Crespi has here referenced the ancient philosophy while reinterpreting it in her search “for the infinite” by adding a third element – the brass centre piece provides the smooth interlocking link for the two outer sections. This third element can be interpreted perhaps as the overlapping meeting point of the other two which otherwise maintain their independence. This is further reinforced by the altered spelling of the Yin and Yang elements.
For us, the way Crespi  balances philosophy, design and  sculptural abstraction in her work is intriguing and thought-provoking.

What do you think?

~~
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2015.

Friday Finds!

 

ff33d69b-4afc-4521-8d79-f809540fe65896cde434-e071-491d-b039-c6abe0ff17ae Flemming Laasen’s (1902-1984) ‘Tired Man’ chair, originally designed for the Joiners Guild Exhibition in 1936 is intriguing. The curved forms can be interpreted as the designer’s individual response to the austere internationalism prevailing in the pre-WWII years of the 1930s. The sheepskin upholstery renders the design even more organic and unashamedly luxurious.  Laasen wrote that he wanted the person sitting in it to feel “like a polar bear cub held by its mother in the middle of the ice cap feeling safe and warm”. This idea of creating a dialogue and encapsulating emotive feelings of maternal reassurance in an object interests us. The chair has soul and purpose and to our mind it is this which renders its appeal still strong today.

It achieved a record price at auction (191,000€ which was nearly three times the estimate) earlier this year, suggesting that the desire for organic design and comfort in our furniture transcends time. What do you think ? Should design fulfill the human need for comfort as well as utility ? Is comfort essential in design?   An ongoing discussion…..

~~

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Antoine Vignault

Rigel-dessus

 This tabouret is named Rigel after the brightest star in the Orion constellation. The straw marquetry on the top, which could be interpreted as an elegant explosion, seems to then refer to Rigel’s potential to become a supernova. Eventually Rigel will become a black hole. The form of this tabouret portends to this conclusion.

Laquered blackwood, gilt brass, straw marquetry
Limited edition of 8
~~

Rigel-face

We are excited to share with you two of our favorite designs from the forthcoming collection by Bordeaux-based designer Antoine Vignault.His work is, to us, an inspiring example of the potential that objects have to tell stories and carry meaning which connects us to each other and the world beyond our daily lives.Vignault consciously seeks to “transmit common codes between former civilizations that still apply today such as sacred geometry, golden proportions and secret messages hidden in old symbols and astronomy”.

Each of the objects in this collection are named after a star or constellation. Vignault says, “Stars were here before us and will still be here after us. Our ancestors used their movements and positions as a core science to explain all other ones : mathematics, geometry, geography, time… and most government architectures worldwide were designed in closed relation with celestial events.”

The beautiful materials and elegant forms in this collection intrigued us and upon investigation we are now completely enchanted by the way Vignault interpreted the night sky and has brought to life these eternal concepts that link our current lives to those of some of our greatest forefathers.
The entire collection will be on view in Paris this spring. We will post the details as soon as they are announced!

OCTANT-det-or-2OCTANT-face

Octant Side Table – named after the Polaris star constellation. It is  an essential reference point around which the night sky turns.

White marble, black waxed leather, oak inlay, gilt brass, straw marquetry
Limited edition of 8
~~

Your interior is your platform for making your own statement about your views and aspirations. What objects will help tell your story?

~~

 

Nanda Vigo

Nanda Vigo by Nilufar

‘Due Più’ (Two More) set of 6 chairs, 1971

Wow! These chairs really grab your attention.
Do you love them or hate them?

Designed by Italian Nanda Vigo in the 1970s in the Post Modern spirit, they actually disrupt one’s preconceptions about the function of a chair and demand of someone considering purchasing them to actively consider their own lifestyle and needs.

Do they give 1st priority to function, comfort, aesthetics, concept?

Our initial thoughts/experience was – “These are strong, sexy, sculptural and provocative. They will start a conversation about comfort and aesthetics rather than provide an unconscious or easy comfort.”

We’ve tried them and they are comfortable – for a time. They made us a bit self-conscious about how to position ourselves. It’s an interesting exercise. It lead us to question whether chairs should really be endlessly comfortable, anyway?

~~

1159892627b

This is a photo of an exhibition Vigo made with  Alessandra Pescetta e Saverio Todaro in 2006. (This is well before contemporary art exhibitions at Versailles!) The  juxtaposition of a contemporary art installation in a period interior forces the viewer to consider a potential relationship between the two elements. Instinctually we try to find connections – a story or explanation. In so doing we are given the opportunity to experience with fresh eyes what might have otherwise overlooked.

~~

Your interior is your platform for making your own statement about your views and aspirations. What objects will help tell your story?

~~

Friday Finds!

5888d63c-5e20-4554-9f95-5717fc38e2d6 Fauteuil ’44’  (1957) by Dangles & Defrance at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, who is showing for the first time at Design Miami/ this year.
(click on the photo to link to previous post on Mid-20th century interiors) 

87fbbfac-56d7-4ec2-85d0-f704c46a9162Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, booth at Design Miami/  2014

~~

Mid-century French design, a period including the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and referred to in French as “Les Trentes Glorieuses,” is one of our favorite themes here at Artecase as you know.

This week at the 10th annual Design Miami/ fair, with 6 of the 35 galleries focusing on this period,  it is evident that the beauty and seductive nature of this era continues to transcend time and in fact grow in appeal. 

As confirmed by Artsy in their pre-fair trending report based upon the most saved works, and the New York Times article on highlights from the fair, French mid-century design continues to be the most sought after category of collectible design.

Here are a couple of the highlights from this period at the show and some thoughts on why this period is so attractive. 

f3d4f04a-8f67-457a-bfb4-ea588b300816In situ image of the Hall of honor, Prefecture of Val d’ouse with interior design and furniture by Joseph André Motte whose work Demisch Denant Gallery is showcasing this weekend in Miami.
Image courtesy of Demish Denant

Clean lines, organization, practicality and comfort come to mind when looking at design from this period. When considering it from the perspective of the period when they were designed … new materials and brand new forms also play an exciting role.
The fact that these elements have come together to represent an aesthetic that resonates with collectors far and wide, speaks to something that’s actually deeper than an aesthetic.
We know the creators didn’t set out to make beautiful objects, but rather were focused on making objects that worked for the environment they were being designed for … The sublime marriage of form and function that they achieved using materials that were new at the time creates a feeling of possibility and excitement.
~~

43a84871-268d-4d5f-a4fc-de7bf19d1961dffe965d-3e1e-4a63-8a69-7db63f43a1feThe work of designer Pierre Paulin has been a near constant presence at the fair since its inception at galleries like Demisch Denant.  This year the fashion house Louis Vuitton has realized for the first time a design by Paulin for Herman Miller dating from the early 1970s. The maquette, normally displayed in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, is on view at Design Miami/ this weekend next to 18 furniture designs, which are based on an expanding grid configuration. This concept acknowledges the need for individuality, comfort, flexibility and function.
These are enduring themes indeed.

Design Miami/ 3-7 December 2014

~~
Watch this video about our sourcing services!

Friday Finds!

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.29.34 PM

Upon reading a story in the NY Times about design  earlier this week we were inspired to contemplate the idea of copying vs. reinterpreting. 

These reinterpreted 18th century Chinese vases by Studio Droog’s are part of the New Original Project collection – an experiment focusing on copying as an important “driver of innovation”.
The design of the vase is well informed by past traditions. The colors and proportions of these specific colors match the originals and  the form is a fusion of four traditional styles from the 17th and 18th century.  These original specifications are interpreted through a contemporary filter.

The resulting 3-D printed vase is a beautiful object on it’s own.

However, placed next to the “original” the viewers experience becomes infinitely broader. The vase becomes a platform from which to question and inquire about Chinese traditional decorative arts, from materials and methods of production to their significance and impact on international culture over time.

Wow! Pretty heady stuff for a vase made of sand!

Our surroundings say so much about us.What stories do your surroundings tell?

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.29.49 PM

Friday Finds!

IMG_0850

This beautiful sculptural portemanteaux designed by Felix Agostini,  straddles the worlds of Art and Design – it can as easily be described as a piece of sculpture as it can a functional piece of design. Sculpturally it has a personal and playful quality, as does so much of Agostini’s surrealist-influenced work with expressive attenuated lines created in patinated bronze. As a place to hang your coat – its functional purpose – it is perfectly efficient with several hooks for coats and a curved space further down to hook your umbrella. We think it would be a shame to hide the elegance of the form with coats but perhaps just a beautifully draped cashmere coat or scarf….
Agostini was self-taught and worked for a time around the 1940s with Giacometti in Paris. The latter’s influence is clear in the whimsical lines and textured surfaces mastered through the medium of bronze and metal.  In the 1950s Agostini had a shop at 3 rue de Penthievre in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and it is during this period that he produced many of his famous lights and standing lamps. Please click on the image of the ‘Ouragan’ lamp below to read an earlier post.
In this unique portmanteaux, dated 1970,  you can see how the original mid century maxim of ‘Form follows Function’ had moved on and evolved and the boundaries became blurred in an exciting and challenging way. To our mind, it is that which makes this unique piece inspirational and absolutely worth owning. Just think how sharing in this narrative would enhance your life. 
H160cm x W60cm.  
~~
tumblr_mbznowiW0G1rpfe9vo1_500
We saw this striking lamp by Agostini and although several of his vintage designs are now being reissued in numbered editions by Donghia, we can find you the much sought-after original pieces.
~~
IMG_0844This is a pair of mahogany armchairs from 1950 by Domenico Parisi (1916-1996), better known as  “Ico” Parisi.   His early work can often be identified by the curves he incorporates to connect opposing angles. While minimal and certainly aware of the Moderinst movement, his work seems to identify more with the concurrent atomic age movement in design. Simultaneously it echoes the futurism movement that started in Italy in the beginning of the 20th century and was expressed in the Art Deco movements in Europe and the United States in the ’20s and ’30s.  We think his work is grounded and optimistic.  Original powder blue velvet upholstery.
Height/Hauteur: 75 cm (29.53 in)
Width/Largeur: 69 cm (27.17 in)
Length/Longueur: 72 cm (28.35 in)
~~
FullSizeRender
We love the casual yet dynamic elegance of this beautiful pair of Swedish lounge chairs in oak and leather (‘Model 204′) by brothers Uno & Osten Kristiansson. Named the “Hunting Chair” (1954) it was produced by Luxus, a company founded in 1950 by the Kristanssons. This is one of the rare furniture pieces designed by the duo as they mainly concentrated on lighting. Supremely comfortable, the design is ergonomically brilliant as the flexible leather cradles the sitter.  
Hookl Und Stool of Belgrade currently produce an adapted version of the ‘Hunting Chair’ called  the Masterpeace MP-04. While it looks quite nice there is nothing as elegant and enriching as acquiring the original with its gorgeous patinated leather.
H77cm x W53cm x L78cm
~~
Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@arte-case.com or 06 47 25 09 66