Review: At Salon Art + Design, What to Check Out

14 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Review: At Salon Art + Design, What to Check Out.

The Salon Art + Design bills itself as a fair that combines art and design, echoing how people actually live — that is, with both art and furniture, rather than in sterile white cubes or furniture showrooms. It also sets out to reflect how architects and interior designers are behaving today, mixing historical periods and styles to achieve a casual, if studied, eclecticism.

With that in mind, the fair runs the gamut from works that have made the rounds of museum shows to more experimental or even frivolous objects (which doesn’t mean cheap ones). Kraemer Gallery The Paris-based Kraemer, known for its 17th- and 18th-century furniture, is showing a pair of Louis XVI armchairs, stamped on their undersides by Jean-Baptiste Delaunay, that have been transformed by upholstery by Pierre Frey, a contemporary designer. The juxtaposition of 18th-century gilded and molded arms and legs with fabric marked by bold slashes of color is a good entree to the historical and stylistic mixing throughout the show.

At Nilufar’s booth, the dazzling limbs of American wunderkind Lindsey Adelman’s chandelier illuminates canonized designers like Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, and Gabriella Crespi. Seomi International A different kind of eclecticism reigns at Seomi, which is showcasing the work of the Korean ceramic artist Lee Hun Chung and the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, among others. Vasconcelos outfits found ceramic pieces with crocheted covers that change not only their appearances but also their “masculine” or “feminine” ethos. The Italian flavor continues at Robilant + Voena, where Lucio Fontana’s slash paintings hang with the 3D canvases of Fontana’s contemporary, Paolo Scheggi. A standout work, in a slightly different medium, is a 1915 wool tapestry designed by Jean Arp, which was shown at the Cabaret Voltaire, the Dadaist haunt in Zurich, in 1916.

Titled “Diagonal Composition,” the work has also been known by the less modern title “Crucifixion.” Bernard Goldberg A strikingly American version of Modernism, Paul Cadmus’s painting “Venus and Adonis” (1936) riffs on a Rubens canvas from the 1630s depicting the same subject. Intimately sized, these works on paper provide a delicate foil to statement-making furniture like the metal coffee table by Parisian designer Maria Pergay and the Lucite bookshelf by Pierre Paulin one finds at Demisch Danant’s booth. Exhibited in several museums, this is a relatively tame piece by Cadmus, whose work was removed from the Corcoran Gallery in Washington in the 1930s at the request of the United States Navy because of its salacious depiction of sailors. (Cadmus was one of the first publicly gay artists.) Mazzoleni The surge of interest in masters of Italian Modernism is reflected at Mazzoleni, which is showing works by Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana and Michelangelo Pistoletto.

A diminutive 1966 red plastic work by Burri, made by taking a blowtorch to plastic, is like a miniature version of what is on view in the Burri show at the Guggenheim Museum. Mattia Bonetti serves as a fitting ambassador for Switzerland with an appearance at David Gill Gallery, where Bonetti’s furry armchair sits adrift in a sea of clear acrylic furniture by Zaha Hadid and Fredrikson Stallard. Carpenters Workshop A softer approach is taken by the young Dutchman Sebastian Brajkovic, who combines industrial design with an element of fashion in his lovely, chaise-like chair. Staged on white pedestals, their gangly light plays nicely with Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s equally curious stools, which blend sports imagery and ceramics. Made of cherry and walnut, the biomorphic shape recalls sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and functions as both sculpture and sofa.

Lohmann Gallery places Danish sculptor Merete Rasmussen’s work front and center at their booth, where her primary-colored ceramics coils seem defy to gravity and the reality of the kiln. Friedman Benda Nature is corralled in a more humorous way by the Brazilian designers and brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana in their “Bolotas” (2015) chairs at Friedman Benda, near the entrance to the fair. “Bolotas” means “acorns” in Portuguese, and the chairs, covered with chestnut-colored sheep’s wool, do simulate the look of acorns, as well as of unshaven sheep, shag carpeting or bean bags. Deliciously tactile works like their Bolotas Armchair (2015) and Detonando Modular Bookshelf (2015) showcase the Brazilian duo’s ability to flirt with cheekiness and refinement.

Like many of the objects in this show, however, the chandelier is a strong statement against taking art or design too seriously, and for mixing materials, histories, traditions and sensibilities as irreverently as possible. While its Tribeca space is currently outfitted in Brazilian Modernism, at the fair, the New York design gallery played to its home-field advantage with tabletop treasures by The Haas brothers, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Rogan Gregory.

These domestic designers and artists find their place in relation to more unexpected choices like Gildas Berthelot, a Quebec-based designer, whose furniture appears at Galerie Diane de Polignac’s station. A collection of her latest pieces, including her mounted From the Glitter Wall Cabinet (2014), draw visitors into the booth with their dazzling surfaces inlaid with mother of pearl.

Many booths juxtapose different nationalities, eras, and ages, but design collaborative Wolfs + Jung at ammann//gallery might steal the title for most intriguing international collision. The joint effort of South Korean designer Bo Young Jung and Belgian designer Emmanuel Wolfs, Wolfs + Jung’s “Impossible Trees” collection engages the tension between the man-made and the natural through a series of bronze pieces cast from hand-carved wooden sculptures.

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