On Thursday night, I went to the Armory for the opening of The Salon: Art + Design. I’ve returned to the fair three times since then, so obsessed am I with the Salon dealers and their offerings! Unlike some fairs, this one seems quite manageable: it’s smaller than most hosted by the Armory – it has only 53 dealers, while most have in excess of 60. And this fair just oozes cool – the majority of dealers are European, many coming from Paris; and the American dealers are showing some young designers, like the Haas Brothers, who are 28. Mostly, though, The Salon is a great place to learn and to find inspiration: the exhibitors are showing both blue-chip designers, like Les Lalanne, and Gio Ponti; as well as relatively new designers, like Vincent Dubourg, and the aforementioned Haas brothers, who have recently created a collection for Versace Home.
Here are some (of the many!) galleries whose exhibitions caught my eye:
Galerie Jean-David Botella, Paris
Talk about blue-chip! Jean-David Botella has a rare suite of furniture by Carlo Bugatti; an incredible collection of convex mirrors with resin frames by Line Vautrin; and a blue rhinoceros and topiary turtle by François-Xavier Lalanne. These artists are “have-to-knows” for your cocktail conversations!!
The Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London and Paris
I was blown away (quite literally) by the work of Vincent Dubourg, whose aluminum console tables and cabinets look as if they are exploding right in front of your eyes.
R 20th Century Design, New York
Most of the pieces in this space were by living (and in many cases, young!) artists. In the reflection of the blossoming tree branch mirror by David Wiseman (b. 1981), you can see a group of serpent-like candlesticks by Jeff Zimmerman (b. 1968), made of white handblown glass.
On my third visit to the show, I went on a tour led by Steven Gambrel (my new idol!). He was also drawn to R 20th Century, but for something totally different: a Unique “Hex” Stool in brass tiles by the Haas Brothers. I have to admit that I’d never heard of the designing duo. Now I’m looking forward to seeing more of their animal-form creations at Art Basel in two weeks. I’ll keep you posted!
Robilant + Voena, London | M.F. Toninelli Art Moderne, Monte Carlo
I remember the dealers, Edmondo di Robilant and Marco Voena, from my days as a cataloguer in the Old Master Paintings department at Sotheby’s. I loved this Mirror Painting by Michalengelo Pistoletto (b. 1933). The artist made his first Mirror Paintings between 1961-1962 as a way to directly include the viewer and real time in his work, and to open up perspective. What a fun concept!
I hope this post has provided some mid-week distraction (if not inspiration!). It certainly has for me !
- Elizabeth Pyne