A highlight on the fall design calendar, The Salon Art + Design presents an astounding mix of historical and modern and contemporary design and art. We look forward to seeing the groundbreaking designs, both old and new, each year at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory. The latest edition did not disappoint, and apparently, collectors were delighted as well because opening night yielded an astounding sales volume. Browsing the array of pieces from some of the top international galleries, we had a tough time picking just a few highlights, but here they are!
Friedman Benda Gallery
A gleaming profusion of glass pendants is a chandelier by Ini Archibong of Switzerland. Called Vernus, it is his first collaboration with the Friedman Benda Gallery, which presented the work. The piece is inspired in part by the work of Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass who worked in furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting, and home objects. The varied shapes of the pendants, composed of sensuous forms, collectively create a spectacular chandelier.
Cristina Grajales Gallery
A looping chair that is uniquely woven of steel, hose, foam, custom upholstery piping and cable. Created by Turkish artist Betil Dagdelen, it is a mix of traditional weaving technology and new sculpted forms. The shape and style reflect her apprenticeship with indigenous weavers in New Mexico, Peru and Turkey. The layered coils are stylishly lashed together and morphed into the chair shape that is very comfortable and supremely artistic.
David Gill Gallery
A literal new twist on a bench is Sebastian Brajkovic’s Banquette. Crafted from grey bronze, copper and embroidered greige linen, it is indicative of the furniture designer’s style. Known for distorting common chair shapes into something almost unrecognizable, Brajkovic aims to “unite the future, present and past.” Trained as a cabinet maker, Brajkovic uses his woodworking skills to create pieces that are far more than furniture, but rather works of art.
A stunning coffee table by Ghiró Studios is made from glass panels that are hand carved. The pieces are set into a brass frame that incorporates the tops of the irregularly shaped table legs, also made from brass. The iridescence of the glass top comes from a unique finish treatment. The table is called Artide and was crafted in Italy by father and son glass and crystal artists Michele and Domenico Ghiró. The shape and finish give it a contemporary feel yet somehow it also has an air of elegance more often associated with old world styling. It’s a very striking piece.
The Future Perfect
One of the distinctive aspects of The Salon Art + Design is its combination of both genres because it offers visitors an opportunity to see exceptional works like these vessels by ceramic artist Eric Roinestad. The California-based artist creates precise wheel thrown ceramic sculptures and lighting. More than just decorative vessels, these are sculptures, dramatic in their simplicity. Roinestad’s work is said to meld California folk modernism with his Scandinavian heritage, evident in the white medium and spare silhouettes. These are art pieces that are very collectible and make a real impact displayed in a grouping like this, or as a single piece against a dark background.
A gorgeous living room from Gallerie BSL includes this upholstered Crescent sofa by Charles Kalpakian. The Lebanese-born designer’s work is influenced by motifs from the decorative arts that he then fuses with urban and contemporary culture to create clean, curving pieces like the sofa. The sofa comes in three colors and features stainless steel legs with a brass finish. It is paired with the walnut L’Infini coffee table by Gildas Berthelot. The hand-carved piece has legs that evoke the feeling of a living being, which is because his sculptural furniture pieces are meant to be like imaginary creatures. These works sit against the background of a modern and angular room divider. “Dynamic Landscape” by Francois Mascarello is composed of straw marquetry, stucco and steel. The three-panel divider is a grand example of the designer’s work, which focuses on hand-craftsmanship and the material constraints that contribute to his masterful designs. The one-of-a-kind divider is modern in style yet very versatile for spaces of various decors.
A magnificent antique cabinet from Galerie Hervouet is typical of the style created nearly a century ago. The wood pattern on the inside is also spectacularly repeated on the inside. The striking doors also open to the side, fully displaying not only the interior but also the inside face of the two doors. Also common in that era, the inside of the cabinet includes a hidden compartment for secreting away valuables or sentimental items. The gallery says it was likely a special commission at the time due to the painstaking quality and unusual design.
Art and design can’t all be serious and we fell in love with this whimsical sculpture of a falling vase. Done in pure white, the masterful cascade of joined vessels mimics what would be anyone’s nightmare. It’s a great play on the delicacy of breakable artworks and is marvelously fun.
Galerie Maria Wettergen
A tangle of tension and sculpted chaos, the Maple Mesh Table by Mathias Bengtsson is indicative of his pieces in general. Bengtsson reimagines furniture in shapes that you would never have thought possible. The pieces transform materials and shapes into forms that push the boundaries between art and precision engineering. Created by routing 50 different pieces of wood with a 7-axis robot, the table is a conversation piece and woodworking wonder.
The meandering of a single line has been transformed into an artful chair by Alex Hull. The UK artist has twisted and shaped hand-forged bronze into this funky piece. His work is inspired by a “passion for working with natural materials and building things with your own hands” that he inherited from his father who was a timber specialist and builder. The chair is ideal for a modern or contemporary setting where it can sit at the center of attention.
The Garrido Gallery of Spain is known for its metalwork as it should be considering its origins come from the jewelry sphere. This coffee table is a gem of its own kind, with the brilliant, seamless rose gold base the is formed from cylinders of various sizes. Some of the cylinders have a hand stamped pattern on the top edge while others are plain. The slab or marble used for the top is also very special thanks to its marvelous array of colors including a rich pink shade. Specially selected for this table, the marble was sourced from a distinctive quarry in Pakistan.
American artist Amber Cowan’s pieces appear textural and intriguing at a distance yet from a closer vantage point, they call you to linger and explore the various forms that make up the whole. Cowan upcycles pressed glassware that was made by well-known US glass factories that are no longer. They are a deft weaving of glass history, art and texture into stunning monochromatic works. This is her Diamond in Milk.
Vintage and whimsy go together quite naturally in this great combination. A 1950’s Italian Venetian mirror sports an ornate but rather masculine frame of beveled and etched glass. It features cobalt glass panels with shaped glass appliques a twisted border and little glass flowers. It sits above a swirl of a console table that has a deep-sea coral-like vibe and is ideal for the mermaid tail sculptures on its top.
Lost City Arts
Among the fun artworks, was a collection of ceramic masks that were created by Roger Capron. The late French artist interacted with Picasso and the influence comes through in these masks. He was known for his work in furniture as well as other forms and in his later work was inspired by Scandinavian design. His collection of masks is a set of varies sizes, from larger pieces like this one to miniature versions. They evoke the traditional African style mask, yet have a touch of Picasso-esque cubism
Calling this piece jewelry furniture is almost an understatement. Kam Tim’s amber cabochon encrusted three-drawer cabinet is fully bejeweled on the front and sides. The array of shades among the amber pieces provides a great deal of dimension and immediately draws you in. Philippe Rapin came across Tim’s turquoise chest, became enraptured by it, and bought the brand. The range of single or limited edition pieces includes those made from turquoise, tiger eye and pyrite as well as amber. Each of the works is made by artisans and goldsmiths in Rapin’s German workshop.
With a curvature that is opposite the usual sofa style, Garouste & Bonetti’s Vendome is attention-getting. The two corners look idea for snuggling in, with ample support at the back. The graceful design is a bit unexpected and is a counterpoint to the angular set of three side tables that are paired with it. Designed by François Mascarello, they are fashioned from stucco and have straw marquetry tops. Straw marquetry is a rare and exacting skill that not many artisans practice today, making the pieces very special.
This comfortable space is anchored by a textural wall panel from Etienne Moyat. The floor to ceiling panel has at its center a witch mirror, which gives it some functionality to go with its dominant visual impact. In front, two very comfortable sheepskin-covered chairs are paired with a marble coffee table. The one-armed Petit Frank seats were created by Hervé Langlais in a collection that pays tribute to iconic designer Brancusi. The table is also by Langlais.
Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design
Always a hit with interactive digital artworks or unexpected reconstructions of everyday items. The gallery never disappoints. This year, our pick is Growing Up Gets Me Down by Alex Chinneck. The British sculptor creates surreal pieces like this that are whimsical in appearance but challenging from the technical standpoint. Coaxing wood to bend in this fashion for the clock — which is a working timepiece — is so not easy.
R & Company
When it’s time for something whimsical, look no further than R&Company. This New York-based gallery always has plenty of original and funky pieces, like this Chicken Lamp by Sebastian Errazuriz. The Chilean-born artist who works in New York, is known for creating works that blur the lines between contemporary art, design, craft and technology. This particular lamp is composed of a taxidermy chicken and electrical components. It’s a bold choice and we would love to have it in any room!
We’ve seen plenty of upcycled furniture but this piece reflects an entirely different level of art and craftsmanship. Part of the Delta Collection by Formafantasma, a studio made up of two Italian designers based in Amsterdam, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin. This sleek cabinet entitled Ore Streams is manufactured from metallic car paint on CNC milled aluminum, gold plated aluminum, and various parts from mobile phones. Techies and Luddites alike can appreciate the modern styling and unique recycling of electronic.
Sarah Myerscough Gallery
We’ve noticed more and more woodworking artisans transforming knots and other alterations in wood that were previously considered flaws into design highlights. UK designer Nic Webb takes this concept far beyond the live edge concept to create these large-scale vessels called The Big Reds. Fashioned from redwood, they feature carving that mimics the rings and grain found in various types of wood, making the knotholes prominent design features. They are not only expertly crafted, but have a modern rough-hewn feeling that makes them very versatile, especially for modern decor schemes.
It was exciting to see South Africa’s Southern Guild at the Salon because they bring fresh new artists and innovative pieces to every show. Jesse Ede’s Lunar console is interesting for the way it features the stones — Marmesbury slate — embedded in the recycled aluminum console. The protrusions at the top are mirrored underneath as well. Ede’s work has involved experimentation in open-cast aluminum smelting and the creation of pieces that highlight the contrast between the materials and the process of forming them into furniture.
Todd Merrell Studio
It’s impossible to look at Timothy Horn’s wall art and not think of jewelry. This is for good reason because this piece and others in this collection are inspired by “17th-century jewelry and 19th-century studies of natural forms such as lichen, coral and seaweed.” The large-scale renderings of the old-world embellishments are a little surreal, drawing you in as if you could pluck a pearl and hang it from an earlobe. Horn creates the pieces using wax casting for the tree structure, that is made from nickel-plated bronze. The giant pearls are actually mirrored blown glass.
Twenty First Gallery
It’s hard not to want this charming chair designed by Hubert LeGall. The Maxou chair is upholstered in two tones of velvet and the design is embroidered in black. Whether you see two chicks or something else, the seat is a comfortable addition and a great way to add a light-hearted touch to a room. The fun factor in this chair is only enhanced by the fact that it has elegant lines and is expertly crafted.
With splotches of seats and backs, these Rorschach chairs are aptly named. Designed by metal worker and glass artist Gregory Nangle, the chairs also feature swirls that resemble the cross-section of a tree. Natural elements like wood, rocks and leaves are common natural motifs in Nangle’s work. While these are the right size for being used as dining chairs, we’d hate to see them hidden under a table, with their irregular shapes and tree-limb legs.
The Salon Art + Design is an even made for browsing and marveling. The range of works and artists, both iconic and contemporary, are a delight to behold and represent some of the best design out there. Keep an eye on Homedit as we’ll share more great pieces from this show with you.