Design and Art Are More Connected Than Ever at New York’s Newest Gallery
Whither Johnson Trading Gallery? The New York design gallery — which in its heyday introduced an American audience to the work of contemporary designers like Max Lamb, Kwangho Lee, Katie Stout, Aranda/Lasch, and more (not to mention Rafael de Cárdenas’s epic first furniture collection) — had been relatively quiet of late. Now we know why: Earlier this month, it was announced that while JTG will continue selling vintage work, the contemporary artists in their stable will be absorbed into a new program at one of our favorite art galleries, Salon 94. Called Salon 94 Design, the new program is headed up by JTG’s Paul Johnson, who curated the inaugural show in collaboration with Salon 94 founder Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. (The two also collaborated on Salon 94’s Gaetano Pesce–focused booth at Design/Miami this year.)
The exhibition, called Ghost Dog and on view until April 15, features new work by Pesce as well as Thomas Barger, Jack Craig, Kwangho Lee, and Jay Sae Jung Oh. The show takes its name from a 1999 Jim Jarmusch film of the same name, about a hitman who follows the ancient Samurai code. “Like the Samurai, these designers work under the radar with their own self-prescribed sets of rules. The designers represent a wide geographic and generational sampling of design practices, yet each privileges the handmade, DIY mode of self-manufacturing.” Our favorite piece in the show might be the man-shaped cabinet below by Pesce, but we’re also partial to the peach woven piece by Kwangho Lee at the top of this post and the dark mystery of Jay Sae Jung Oh’s black, leather-corded chairs. Preview the exhibition here, and stop by Salon 94 Bowery if you’re in the area!