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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Clara Scremini

‘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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work of René-Jean Caillette, a pioneer in modern French design

5-set-of-10-chairs-62-charron-edition-1962Set of 10 chairs, model ’62’. Edition Charron, 1962. Chromed metal, foam and fabric. Photo courtesy of Galerie Pascal Cuisinier.

“I consider design to be wanted, determined, thoughtful and assertive”, René-Jean Caillette (1919-2005)

René-Jean Caillette, the son of an ebeniste and graduate in 1937 of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués, was a pioneer of modern French design. With a focus on simplicity of line and functionality, and with the aim to make modern design accessible to everyone, Caillette’s goal was to create quality mass production furniture. One of his aims was to create signed furniture which would be sold at the same price in all of France. He was one of the founders of ACMC (l’Association des Créateurs de Mobilier de Série) which defended the rights of this budding movement. He experimented with new materials which became available at the time such as plywood, stainless steel, rattan and perspex. His work is characterized by clean, taut lines and rigorous shapes.

2-sylvie-table-charron-edition-1961Sylvie table, Charron edition, 1961. Rio rosewood and chromed metal. This model was presented at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1961. Photo courtesy of Galerie Pascal Cuisinier.

Caillette was very active in design circles in Paris in the 1940s and 50s. In 1949 he organized a prestigious exhibition between the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and the rue Royale in Paris. It gathered together young designers who became known as the group Saint Honoré. This movement created solidarity and cohesion and created a focus for the designers. And in 1954, together with George Charron, a French furniture manufacturer, Caillette formed ‘Groupe 4’ with fellow designers Alain Richard, Genevieve Dangles and Joseph André Motte.

IMG_3529Coccinelle stacking chairs for Steiner, 1957

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Two standing lights, model B10, edition Disderot, 1958. White lacquered metal
Photo courtesy of Artefact Design
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4-diamante-chair-steiner-edition-1961One of a pair of ‘Diamant’ chairs, design 1958/Steiner edition 1961. Plywood, Lacquered and chromed metal. This chair received the Gold Medal at the Brussels Universal Exhibition, French Pavilion in 1958.
Photo courtesy of Galerie Pascal Cuisinier
The ‘Diamant’ Chair’ (above), for which Caillette received the silver medal at the Milan Triennale in 1962, is one of his best known pieces. “It is the most pure and the most easy to fabricate of my models in molded plywood. I designed it with a piece of cardboard, telling myself that if the cardboard could fold, then so could wood.” Sober and elegant, it remains one of the signature pieces of French post-war design.
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This two-seater sofa in molded and lacquered plywood and leather was presented at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1966. Charron edition. Unique piece. Photo courtesy of Galerie Pascal Cuisinier.
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When Caillette died in 2005 he left his substantial body of work to the ‘Petits Freres des Pauvres’ Association. His work regained recognition as being at the forefront of French historic design when it was offered for sale at Tajan auction house in Paris in 2006.
Don’t miss the wonderful exhibition at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier. Runs through to 22 October 2016.
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Wishing you all a great weekend!

Exciting finds at Artcurial’s 20th Century Interiors sale

 

Artcurial has a very exciting and accessible two part sale coming up on the 4th of October.  You have lots of time to browse and make careful choices!  There are over 500 lots just in the day sale! We’ve scouted a few great items for you and have included links to the auction house’s website.

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Mart Stam’s Chaise B43 (lot 204) in molded plywood and tubular steel.

The estimate is  250 – 300 €

This is an incredibly interesting estimate on a chair that arguably launched Modern design! Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe is known to have learned about this chair and told Marcel Breuer, leading to both Mies Vander Rohe and Breuer making their own now iconic versions of tubular steel seating. The chair above it where it started! Evolutionary!

 

 

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A beautiful little ceramic jar by Piero Fornasetti (lot 326)

Estimation 300 – 400 €

It’s worth clicking on the link above and viewing the jar on the Artcurial website where you can zoom in and appreciate the detail of this drawn neoclassical architecture work on ceramic. The lid is original and undamaged.

 

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Daum Nécessaire de bureau (lot 85) is amber-tinted crystal.

Estimation 200 – 250 €

It’s a group composed of a pen holder, a vessel for cigarettes on the left and the middle vessel is a little ash tray.  This elegant set could be used for fresh flowers, more pens, paperclips etc. on your desk today.
H.: 14 cm; 11 cm; 7,5 cm

 

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This 1950s Danish teak table and four chairs by Hans Olsen (Lot 593) is a set we have found several times for our city clients. It’s an elegant and very practical dining solution for apartments.

Estimation 1 500 – 2 000 €

Stamped by Editor: Frem Møbelfabrik
Table : 75 x 106 cm
Chaises : 715 x 48 x 42 cm

 

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This elegant pair of Model 2564-1950 standing lamps in brass, painted metal and wood is (lot 627) by Josef Frank, an important Modernist architect and founding member of the Vienna Werkbund.

Estimation 1 000 – 1 500 €

Stamped by Editor: Édition Svenskt Tenn
h: 152 w: 42 cm

 

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-50-35-pm  A French Silvered Champagne Bucket (Lot 250). We included this as inspiration for finding vintage gifts this year as we slowly head toward the holiday season!

Estimation 500 – 600 €

H.: 19,8 cm

Not to miss!

Roger Tallon – Design in Motion

The French industrial designer left his complete archives to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs who have organized a wonderful tribute to his important work, which includes the TGV and the Téléavia P111 portable television, which we have been asked to hunt down more than once.  This object’s cult following lives on today. This exhibition includes drawings and models of each design.

avia_24-hd-7dec1-resp193Portable television set P111, Téléavia, 1963
Roger Tallon’s archives
© ADAGP, Paris / photo : Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris
p.s. This Reversible Chair model TS from 1978 is some of Roger Tallon’s work. It is lot 496 in the Arterial Sale mentioned above. The estimate is 400-500 Euros!
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‘Art & Design sans Frontières’ at Tajan, Paris

art-and-design-without-boundaries-selling-exhibition-at-ader-picard-tajan-paris‘Art & Design without Boundaries’ at Tajan, Paris

French auction house, Tajan is currently hosting the exhibition ‘Art & Design without boundaries’ as part of their program ‘The Artist and his Supporters’ which launched in 2004. The program, created by Rodica Seward (Tajan’s President) and Jean-Jacques Wattel (expert in decorative art and design at Tajan), was founded to promote innovative art and design and has evolved into a separate entity called the Tajan ArtStudio.

The current expo is a ‘selling exhibition’ or ‘systeme de gallerie’ with pieces coming directly from the artists and designers with a price tag – not the secondary market as one assumes at an auction house. There are no guiding estimates – interested buyers contact the auction house direct with price enquiries. There are four ‘selling exhibitions’ per year.
Exploring the dialogue between contemporary art and design, in this current exhibition the work of several designers is displayed in conjunction with the work of contemporary French artist, François Rouan.
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Wax painting and oil on woven canvas by François Rouan, 2013; Bronze Age chaise longue, 2014, by Frank Tjepkema. Limited edition of 3 + 1 AP
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‘Bronze Age’ chair, 2016, by Frank Tjepkema. Limited edition of 8 + 2 AP.
“For this project I wanted to create something totally opposite to the technology driven trends based on the emergence of new digital tools such as 3D printing. I like the idea that bronze is precious and is therefor implicitly sustainable. It is either preserved or remelted but never discarded. Who knows, maybe these pieces contain a couple of remelted ancient bronze swords !”. Frank Tjepkema
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wax-painting-and-oil-on-woven-canvas-by-francois-rouan-2015-and-chained-up-steel-table-in-polished-stainless-steel-and-glass-2013-by-barberini-gunnellWax painting and oil on woven canvas by François Rouan, 2015; and ‘Chained Up steel’ table in polished stainless steel and glass 2013 by Barberini & Gunnell. Limited edition of 10 + 2 AP.
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Close up of ‘Chained Up steel’ table by Barberini & Gunnell
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 Wax painting and oil on woven canvas, 2016 by Françcois Rouan; ‘Cascata’ table in crystal glass, 2016 by Barberini & Gunnell. Limited edition of 10 + 2AP
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Wax painting and oil on woven canvas, 2015 by François Rouan; ‘Shiqule Lan Se Nuhai’ enamelled ceramic vase, 2015, by Marcel Wanders (limited edition of 8); bench in carbon fibre, 2015 by Il Hoon Roh 
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‘Styrene’ suspension light in polystyrene, 2002, by Paul Cocksedge.  Unique piece
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‘Kon Tiki’ stool, 2016 in aluminium by Misha Kahn. Limited edition of 8
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Table in aluminum with glass top and removable legs, 2016. Il Hoon Roh
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Screen in carbon and fibre optiques, 2016, Il Hoon Roh
We had the opportunity to go up to the first floor and see this spectacular screen by Il Hoon Roh. And look at that fabulous 1930s floor!! The Tajan premises were originally the headquarters of a French bank.
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37 rue des Mathurins,
75008 Paris
Wishing you all a very happy weekend!