Week of September 20, 2021
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: tables inspired by California’s kidney-shaped pools, Gustaf Westman’s latest furniture drop, and a colorful installation by Germans Ermics at last week’s Design Miami Basel show (above).
This digital artwork is actually currently in an exhibition — Blue Strokes at GR Gallery in New York — but we had to move it up to the top because it truly was one of our favorite discoveries this week. It’s by Mamus Esiebo, a a self-taught artist from Lagos, Nigeria, whose works focus on the lives of simple people, and how these images can feel so optimistic even if the circumstances of those lives are difficult. The colors are so good, and the art-in-art moment in the image above is pretty major. You can see the rest of Esiebo’s work on IG.Still dreaming of a puffy mirror but don’t want to make your own? Exhibition A has a limited-edition series of “inflatable” mirrors by Nashville artist Amelia Briggs in four fun colors. You won’t be able to see much of your face in this one, lol, but it makes a nice statement piece on an empty wall.
Love the idea behind the new German brand Boee, which commissions designers and artists to make mobiles. I’m very pro-mobile and can appreciate new points of view in the genre, in which many models tend to look the same. Above are mobiles by Nadine Göpfert (mini blinds!!) and Johanna Gauder.
The only thing we appreciate more than the playful designs of Francois Champsour for Pouenat — now available in the US exclusively through the online gallery Lustare — is the fact that Pouenat is not primarily a furniture brand, as we previously assumed, but “the premier ferronier in the design industry, creating balustrades, gates, and bespoke architectural elements for some of the most recognizable buildings in the world.” We’d rather have a bright-blue bean-shaped coffee table, but still, pretty neat that they wear both hats (and have a manufacturing heritage that goes back to 1880).
For some reason I can’t stop finding myself drawn to objects with body parts lately. Well not just body parts, but weird body parts, weirdly deployed. Which is probably why I perked up when Greek ceramicist Maria Oikonomidou submitted her works to our inbox this week, including a blue vase with two giant, perfectly formed ears on top. She makes espresso cups with ears too, because why not.
The latest incarnation of Germans Ermics’s colored-glass furniture series is a suite he created for Peter Blake’s booth at Design Miami Basel earlier this month, in which his usual gradual, even-toned ombre fades have a bit more asymmetry and intensity — the blue fading from almost black to a really beautiful neon turquoise.
When we first started Sight Unseen back in 2009, we had the genius idea to open an online shop where we’d ask our favorite designers to create not bulky furnishings that were hard to ship, but little jewelry pieces that were a lot more accessible (but still a worthy creative canvas). That’s what we were reminded of when we first heard about Postmodern Collection, a shop founded by Woes van Haaften that commissions small works by artists and designers. Favorite thing in the shop by far: these ridic glass animal-topped jewelry boxes by Bernard Heesen and Nienke Sikkema.
We sell Anahit Pogosian‘s ceramic vessels in our 1stdibs store, but she recently took a break from working with clay and reimagined her works in glass instead, with four vases designed by her and blown by friends of hers. DM her with any inquiries!
The fare at the Hudson, New York gallery Gilded Owl usually runs more towards Ico Parisi shelves, Gio Ponti tiles, and “German Art Deco Chinoiserie” chairs (that was a thing?). But owner Andy Goldsborough recently decided to move the whole operation to Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, and to celebrate, commissioned his friends Charlap Hyman & Herrero to create a series of asymmetrical, mirror-topped tables whose unusual shapes are (loosely) inspired by California pools.
We aren’t even going to say what this large decorative tray by Cara/Davide for Muuto may or may not have been inspired by — if you’re American, you probably know what we’re thinking — but we love it even more for that reference. It’s made from wavy stainless steel, and you can scope it here.You know you’re a serious goddamn influencer when you can go to a company that makes a chair you like, ask for it in a crazy fabric that’s incongruous to the brand’s own collection, and not only do they oblige, they add the chair to their collection. That was the deal recently when designer and Instagram darling Gustaf Westman wanted to wrap Massproductions’s Crown Chair in Raf Simons’s Muppet-y Argo fabric for his new headquarters in Stockholm, and now, poof, it’s a thing. (Sidenote, this has been one of my favorite tables for years, and I still wish I could own one.)
This coffee table by Simone Fanciulacci for Edizione Limitata has an elaborate sculptural shape, but done in all-white — white-painted and coated polystyrene, to be precise — it’s understated enough to not take over the room (and to go with everything else in it).Perhaps you follow the inspo-image account @steffan on Instagram, but did you know it had a shoppable sister account and store “defined” by its aesthetic? We spotted this killer vase on that account, @steffanstudio, and asked about it — it’s made from cold-cast bronze, and was designed in a partnership between the studio and Belgian sculptor Florian Tomballe. You can snag one here, though sadly the cool wooden plinth is not included. Launched during 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen, the Momentum collection by David Thulstrup Studio for Søuld comprises two tables, a pillar, and a room divider made using the Danish brand’s acoustic mats. They’re made from eelgrass — “a CO2-storing, environmentally friendly, and healthy building material made from an abundant local sea plant” — which has a very rough, rustic appearance, but which Thulstrup has managed to sleekify by carving it and stacking it into columnar elements accented with glass and chrome.There’s a long list of inspirations behind Campbell Rey’s new collection of rugs for Nordic Knots: the ribbons that appear in late 18th-century Gustavian furniture, mazes in the gardens of the iconic English landscaper Russell Page, colors taken from the plant taxonomy book Werner’s Nomenclature, etc etc. Yet if you saw them without knowing, you might just think they were contemporary patterns with an excellent, refreshingly non-neutral palette — a nice mix between something more eye-catching (grid), something more understated but still fun (zig-zag), and something more classical (vines).
Considering its status as one of the most beautiful museums in Europe, if not the world, it’s not so left-field that the Louisiana in Copenhagen would have its own series of furniture — the lounge chair and small sofa it just released in partnership with Ferm Living lets you bring the graphic lines and cozy modernism of the museum’s architecture straight into your living room. Though to be fair, we’d rather have its soaring floor-to-ceiling windows and seaside sculpture park, but this is a bit more realistic.
As much as this interior reminds us of pasta, it’s actually a new pop-up store in NYC devoted to sustainable fashion and products, called Figure Eight. Designed by Leanna Diller and Elizabeth Kiester, the interior features clothing racks made of repurposed copper, nontoxic wallpapers, and recycled-paper walls around its fitting rooms. Also these epic pasta-y chairs by the Swedish studio Reform Lab. The shop is open now through December.
It’s pretty amazing to see what a teeny East Village alcove studio can look like when a great, proper designer with a budget gets their hands on it. Really makes me realize how much better my own Brooklyn one-bed could probably look if actual effort were put in, but I digress. This one’s designed by David Lucido, who characterized it as “chock-full of interesting vintage,” and we would agree — the way that chrome and wood table fits that breakfast nook is true perfection.
The solo exhibition of Kenjiro Okazaki at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles actually ended last month, but we were on hiatus then, and didn’t want to miss out on sharing his works here. Mostly because we love how these paintings are actually really tiny (click here for perspective) but that just makes their high-relief brushstrokes feel even more epic. Each one has a very specific list of non-abstract references, but we prefer to appreciate their topographies and palettes tbh.
When we first saw these works by British artist Paul Hosking, on view now at Nathalie Karg gallery, we assumed they were colored mirrors overlaid with actual painted chain-link fence segments, but they’re more complex than that — both elements are actually just meticulously cut painted mirror inlaid into aluminum panels, creating visual uncertainty over “the exact border between us and the image beyond.” Stars gallery in Los Angeles just opened a solo exhibition of works by the late abstract painter Jim DeFrance, including three of his Whale paintings from 1990 — pictured above top (acrylic on veneer, definitely click here and check out slide 7 to see the detail of their construction up close) — and Dazzler, pictured above bottom, which was made in 1965 during the height of the Finish Fetish movement in LA.