This month, a special exhibition at Gagosian’s Davies Street gallery in London will see the space arranged to resemble Casa Malaparte’s main room, a stone-floored space with ocean vistas that features in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film, Contempt. Tommaso Rositani Suckert, Malaparte’s youngest descendant, has produced editions of three of the most iconic furniture pieces from Casa Malaparte for the exhibition: a table, a bench, and a console, all manufactured in Italy and comprised of solid walnut, pine, Carrara marble, and stone.
Collectible has evolved to be one our favorite design fairs, what with its mix of established galleries and emerging designers, its long arm of experimentation, and its emphasis on *great* sceneography. Our favorite booth this year was obviously our own, a pink oasis framed by layered, tonal, sculptural mirrors by Ben & Aja Blanc. Called Chasing Beauty, Ben & Aja's collection explores the very nature of reflection; at the fair, mirrors on opposite walls reflecting each other added yet a another meta layer of interpretation.
The Brussels-based Collectible design fair returns for its third edition next week, from March 5-8, and though we may be biased — this is also the third year in which we'll be participating with a special curatorial project, by the Providence-based studio Ben & Aja Blanc — the fair has established itself as something of a beloved favorite on the European fair circuit.
This week, Artsy ran an article entitled "To Attract Young Collectors, Auction Houses Tap Rock Stars, Sneakerheads, and a Spice Girl." But Canadian designer Jeff Martin is taking a slightly more subtle tack: Starting today at noon, Martin is dropping a collection of small and "extra-medium" glass objects on the new webshop for his Excavated Vessels line, which we wrote about earlier last year. While Martin's larger vessels can go for as much as $12,000 depending on the scale and complexity of the work, nothing in this collection with be over $1,000, inclusive of shipping and taxes
Whatever anyone's opinion on last week's Design Miami fair, we could all agree on at least one thing — thank God there were no bananas. There were a few cheesy star power moments, to be sure, but compared to the circus at Art Basel, the design fair felt like a bastion of integrity and sound judgment. In our tent, we had lustrous, emerald-green consoles, a sustainably-sourced hairy pink bench, and the coolest hand-sculpted fireplace we've ever seen. In theirs, people were lined up for miles to take a selfie with a piece of fruit.
Whither the design gallery? After seeing Pierre Yovanovitch's new show at R & Company in New York this week, we're beginning to wonder if we'll ever see a traditional gallery show — you know, the kind with a bunch of white walls and plinths — again.
It's gift guide season, and if our budget this year was $12,000 instead of $200, we would definitely be buying someone we love one of the new Franz West chairs available at David Zwirner as part of their latest online Viewing Room exhibition. The late Austrian-born artist was not known for making especially functional furniture, but these chairs might be the closest he came to pure design.
EJR Barnes is interested in the ways furniture can become poetic or dreamlike when reframed with unexpected materials, forms, and juxtapositions. His creations engage a wide range of materials and techniques — birch plywood, gilded silver leaf, lacquered oak, powder-coated steel, pressed cane, cork, paper pulp slathered in wheat paste, even faux fur or scruffy suedes. Through all of this experimentation, Barnes seeks a quiet sort of subversion.
Casa Perfect — the shoppable interior concept from The Future Perfect — finally opened in New York City this weekend after the success of previous Los Angeles iterations, and it was predictably awesome: Copacabana-like tropical lights by Chris Wolston, ethereal glass pieces by John Hogan, lush velvets by Lazzarini & Pickering, oil-finished tables by Floris Wubben, and a spectacular Chipperfield-designed wood staircase that flies up the home's central void, all the way from the subterranean kitchen to the roof.
For Design Miami, the way to announce itself as different from all other design fairs is to, well, embrace the Miami-ness of it all — whether that means an ultra-saturated backdrop (as with Atelier Courbet this year and Demisch Danant last year), an exhibition devoted exclusively to water fountains (Sabine Marcelis x Fendi), or, as with the Chris Wolston light for The Future Perfect at top of this post, an explosion of hyper-colorful flora and fauna.
Remember the house tour that published a few years ago in T Magazine, with its Ekstrem chairs, velvet couches, 18th-century wooden toilet, and circular bed covered in fox fur? We've pretty much been obsessed with its owner, the Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi — aka the man who designs all the Prada stores — ever since. His latest works for Nilufar Gallery, which we spotted on Instagram and are publishing here today, only serve to fan the flames: a series of six geometric floor lamps, with materials like brass, slate, iron, and velvet stacked into neat totems.