Decidedly high-end and full of amazing pieces, The Salon Art + Design is one of the annual fairs we look forward to most. A unique mix of modern and vintage, functional design and spectacular art works, the show features top galleries from around the world. The latest edition held at the end of 2019 featured 56 leading art and design galleries from 13 different countries, spotlighting the trends of collectible design. It was also a very strong year for sales, with exhibitors reporting very good results. As always, it was difficult to pick a reasonable number of favorites because there were so many “must-see” designs. Nevertheless, here’s a broad selection of the ones we like most:
This modern, abstract chair is from Venice, Italy, which is renowned for its glassmaking. Part of the Dark Matter exhibit by WonderGlass the piece is one of several created in collaboration with Tokyo-based studio, Curiosity by Gwenael Nicolas and Milan-based designer, studiopluz. The chair and other pieces are said to explore “the transformation of matter, sound, cosmic geometry, and light.” Not only is the glasswork in this chair masterful, but the melange of colors and how they transition throughout the work is also stunning.
Chris Schanck’s Puff and Stuff: Sage were shown by the Friedman Benda gallery and are a great example of the artist’s work style. These two armchairs, upholstered in geometric tufts of matching pale green velvet, are of the type Schanck is perhaps best known for. The Detroit-based artist’s “Alufoil” series uses industrial and discarded materials that are sculpted, covered in aluminum foil and then sealed with resin, which he tints in a variety of colors. The contrast between the plush seating surface and the craggy, organic body makes them even more intriguing.
Dutch-born designer Sebastian Brajkovic’s pieces are far more than just seating. The twists and turns he incorporates in the pieces are meant to evoke movement. In fact, Brajkovic has said that In my study on the expression of movement in furniture, I’ve focused on how a human body folds around its waist…” This piece is titled Taotie Man and is made from black bronze and is upholstered in velvet. The chair was p[resented by the David Gill Gallery.
This chic Italian midcentury chair was presented by the Charles Burnand Gallery of London and is a marvelous piece for the living room or library. The classic midcentury legs lighten the larger profile of the chair, which is super comfortable with its tall back. The two-tone upholstery emphasizes the distinctive shape of the arms and really elevates the whole design.
Vintage is definitely always in style, especially when the design is rare, such as this leather Galaxie chair by Jacques-Henri Varichon., Presented by the Demisch Danant Gallery, the chair was made in 1969 and is a marvelous piece of design engineering in addition to being an artful piece of seating. Adding an amazing vintage item to a room can really change the entire look.
This pair of high-back lounge chairs, presented by Hostler-Burrows, are also impeccable vintage pieces. Designed circa 1940 by Swedish designer Carl Malmsten, they have been restored with new upholstery over the original frame. Malmsten — also an architect and educator — was Sweden’s leading furniture designer in the mid-twentieth century. His work in all realms was considered critical to advancing the Swedish arts.
Lush and dramatic, this angular sofa presented by the Chahan Gallery is what we would call a modern classic. Unique curves and the sweeping incline of the back come together in a very distinctive piece. The plush suede upholstery makes it even more enticing, calling you to come and sit. Mixed with other contemporary pieces – or vintage finds for that matter — the sofa is an eye-catching focal point for a living room.
Low and relaxed, the Soriana Lounge set, created for Cassina in the 1970s, was presented by the Peter Blake Gallery. The set consists of two chairs and an ottoman designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa, manufactured in Italy for atelier International Limited. The frame is made from brass-plated steel and it is upholstered in Dedar Milano ‘Splendido Splendente’ Velvet. Simultaneously elegant and casual, the set is very inviting with its foldover design and plush look.
French designer Philippe Nigro created this intriguing marble bench called the Métissage. Made for the Casati Gallery in Italy, the rounded elements follow form much like a mathematical Venn Diagram. The top features bronze gray marble, Ebano limestone, Grigio Siviglia marble and the legs are made from silver-plated brass. Part of a larger Métissage collection, the unifying characteristic is the interlocking pieces of marble that form the bench.
Magnificent in so many ways, AMeBE’s Cupola Chandelier ‘Cupola’ is an actual replica of the dome in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The studio created 15 editions of the fixture using both hand craftsmanship and the latest technology. Inside the light, painstakingly painted details are the same as those found inside the real dome. Aside from being used in the construction, modern technology comes into play for the user as well because the light can be controlled with an iPhone or an iPad. The piece, presented by the David Gill Gallery, is made from polyurethane resin, fiberglass, nylon, silver and brass.
Feathery and ethereal, this spectacular hanging light is actually made from humble washi paper. Presented by Catalogue Gabriel & Guillaume, the “Gravitation” Chandelier was created by Maria Group + Spockdesign in a limited edition of eight along with four artist proofs. The multitude of organically edged paper pieces create a fixture that glows with amazing light from its center. The Artnet noted that this is a very much sought after work.
Israeli artist Ayala Serfaty created this diaphanous and leafy “Wisteria” light as part of her Soma series, presented by Maison Gerard. Her artful lighting fixtures are creating using a webbed membrane applied over a structure built from hand-crafted glass rods. Serfaty has said that her inspiration for the pieces comes from natural forms found in crystals, coral and Japanese gardens. The glow from the light within creates an almost otherworldly look.
At the vintage end of the spectrum, Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts showed this grand Modernist Table Lamp. Created circa 1931 by French ironworker and artist Edgar Brandt. The antique lamp is ideal for today’s modernist or minimalist decor, with its still-trendy metal and glass look. Brandt was known for combining traditional methods of forging metals with emerging technologies of the day like torch welding and power hammers.
Another very special and rare find is this colorful chandelier by Angelo Lelli for Arredoluce. The 10-arm fixture was created in Italy around 1952 and features shades that pivot up and down, allowing you to adjust where the light falls. Each of the arms is capped with a colored ball in the same colors as the shades. Presented by the Donzella Gallery, the chandelier is in excellent condition and has been rewired. This would be a marvelous addition to a living room or study.
Designer and artist Katie Stout is known for her whimsical and unusual lamps and sculptures and these new pieces are a fresh take on the classic table lamp silhouette. Shown by R & Company, her striped ceramic lamps are hand-built ceramic that is finished with a glaze and luster. Stout calls her work “naïve pop,” because it is actually a caricature of the pieces and motifs found in suburban home life.
With the popularity of crystals consistently growing, this table presented by Donzella Gallery was a big attraction at the show. Called the Coffee Table Irusha created by Jean Arriau, the centerpiece of the design is a spectacular cluster of amethyst. The overall table is made from brass that has been polished and etched to feature a radiant design. Around the crystal on the top is written in French: “Je t’ai trouvée – Pour toujours – La vie est belle” which translates into “I found you – Forever – Life is good.” Arriau says that the table is full of symbolism from its boat-shaped leg that represents the difficulty of the quest and the eye-shaped top that indicates the quest has the same since the origin of time.
Known for their innovative and luxurious silver pieces, the designers from the Garrido Gallery showed this Cilindros Console in gold. The gallery owners have a family history in the studio tradition that cemented their reputation for impeccable designs that focus on geometry and cubism. This particular console is so multidimensional that it takes on a different look depending on how the light hits its various facets.
After the success of showing chairs and stools by artist Reinaldo Sanguino last year, in 2019 The Future Perfect presented his coffee table with a metal frame. The exuberantly decorated ceramic is one of a kind. The Venezuelan-born Sanguino uses the clay both as a medium and a canvas. His designs are freewheeling, abstract and most often colorful, all combined to reflect the iconic energy associated with New York City.
The unique creations of Joy de Rohan Chabot are all inspired by nature and these side tables are a grand example of how she fuses art and nature. Named “Sous bois d’été,” the tables are finished with a grey patina, embellished with gilded flora that stands out against the dark bark of the tree shape, all positioned according to the artist’s vision. The bright, polished mirror-like surface adds another fantastical element to the trunk-like tables. The pieces were presented by Galerie Chastel Maréchal.
The cascades of metal flowers that make up the frame of this wall console table are the signature element of works by Taher Chemirik. Presented by Galerie BSL and titled ‘La Naïve’, the wall console has an array of hand-crafted flowers in brass and gunmetal gray. Each one is completed with a finish that ranges from shiny to brushed, hammered or distressed. The table portion is made from black mirrored glass that reflects the elements that extend up the wall above its surface.
Like the concentric rings that reveal the age of a tree, the circles of steel swirl across the Incontro Dining Table by Francesco Perini. The oak table, presented by Gallery FUMI, is inlaid with the steel elements. In fact, Perini built his reputation on the impeccable marquetry work and inlaid furniture that he produced in the 1980s. He went on to found I Vassalletti, a firm that not only produces bespoke designs but also functions as a design laboratory for exploring new concepts and ideas.
Sure it’s small but this table is a super special vintage piece. Designed in the 1940s by Italian architect and furniture designer Osvaldo Borsani, the mirror top coffee or side table is especially lovely. Presented by Lost City Arts, the table features gracefully curved legs and an elegantly wavy extended edge along the top. The small stature does nothing to take away from the draw of the piece because it is quickly noticeable from across the room.
Netherlands-based Priveekollektie had quite a range of interesting pieces, but we were immediately drawn to the Aqua Fossil Coffee Table. It was designed by Amarist Studio, which is engaged in investigating the formation of alabaster. Their studies led them to create a new collection “where each artwork seems to reveal the main element of the molecular composition of Alabaster Stone; Water.” The studio’s Aqua Fossil series presents Alabaster as a “liquid petrified element.” This is clearly evident in this coffee table design, which has a top that resembles a pool of water and sits atop a base that evokes the flow of water through a tube.
Supremely Ornamental Pieces
Part of the “barocco rococó” series by the renowned Campagna Brothers of Brazil, the Settimio II Cabinet combines commonplace bamboo with ornate sculpture of the baroque and rococo design eras. Intricate elements typically found in the designs of those periods are cast in gilt bronze and massed onto the top of the cabinet as a dome and along the edges of the doors and bottom. Inspired by Italian masters such as Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, the Campagna Brothers looked to artisans in Rome for the execution of the detailing because they are specialists in the jewelry techniques necessary for the intricate metalwork. The two disparate elements created a cabinet that is a true statement piece for the home.
No one can walk past this without coming closer for a look. This Chimney, presented by The Twenty First Gallery, was created by French sculptor Jean Marie Fiori. The artist was a former painter turned sculptor who worked with alabaster and marble before turning to bronze. Much of his work is focused on representing animals in some way. Made from patinated bronze, the chimney is one of eight editions and four artist proofs. This is far more interesting than any fireplace mantle we have ever seen.
Israeli artist Ron Aloni’s wall sculpture might look feather, but it is actually made from painted wire mesh. The contemporary piece, shown by the Karl Kemp Gallery of New York, is a marvelous textural addition to any room. Looking almost alive, the colorful wisps are voluminous and a bit unsettling, but then that’s part of what makes this piece so interesting.
Sculpture, light and art come all wrapped in one package — shaped like an icosahedron. Created by LA-based multi-media artist Anthony James, the piece is shaped with twenty identical triangular facets. The triangles were actually a mathematical experiment in unity by Plato to demonstrate an ideal composition of perfect symmetry in three dimensions. James created the shape with glass and steel, and it is illuminated with LEDs. The sculpture is a fascinating combination of ancient beliefs with modern metals and technology. James’ work was presented by the Opera Gallery.
A shelving piece that nearly defies description, this work by Brazilian artist Rodrigo Almeida is crafted from wood and various ropes and cables. Designed for exclusive for Legado Arte of São Paulo, it uses industrial materials to form designs that focus on artistic manufacturing processes. Almeida says that the piece may be used or simply examined as a design object.
Liz O’Brien of New York showed this fabulous collection of decorative mirrors in her booth at the show. Designed by LA artist Jennifer Nocon, who creates the mirrors from ceramic stoneware embellished with hand-carved drawings. The textured surface is further enhanced with underglazes that really make the design stand out. While one would be cute, we love the look of a whole wall full of these mirrors.
Kam Tin’s Natural Amber Cabinet is jewelry for a room. The wooden cabinet is quite literally covered in amber cabochons that highlight the beautiful variations in these stones and at the same time create a spectacular piece that will leave you speechless. The Kam tin brand was created in the 1970s in Hong Kong but its works was short-lived until Philippe Rapin ran across one of the turquoise chests that had been produced. Since then Rapin has purchased the brand and is releasing new collections made from semiprecious stones. The “meubles bijoux” are very popular and bringing high prices at auction.
The Todd Merrill Studio presented this credenza with an unusual facade. Created by designer Kim Yunhwan of Seoul, the large cabinet door actually started as small, individual hand-carved pieces in what Kim calls “unintended shapes” that resemble spilled water. As the small pieces were being created, a larger design took form composed of all the organic parts. Eventually, by connecting the pieces, Kim created spectacular cabinet doors for the cabinets.
For high-end design, there’s nowhere better than The Salon Art + Design to discover what’s new as well as what great vintage pieces are available. Even though most of us don’t have the budget for pieces of this level, the range of creativity is awesome and very inspiring. So if you’re redecorating or just enjoying the beautiful things, this collection of Homedit’s favorites provides a wide range of styles and genres to feed your designing imagination.