My Highlights from Design Miami/ Basel 2014
It is not an easy task to single out a small number of pieces in a design exhibition of this scale and quality. However, I have chosen the works that “speak” to me; the pieces that inspire me. In the end, what I look for is poetry.
This set of ceiling lamps beautifully expresses the singular vision of this brilliant architect and urban planner. Wagner incorporated many of the new materials and forms developed in the late 1800s in Austria. This is a great piece by an extraordinary architect who designed the iconic Postal Office Savings Bank Building in Vienna.
Eske Rex is one of the most intriguing designers working today. Trained as a carpenter and joiner, he now creates work on the border of art and design. His installation piece Drawing Machine is a highlight of the Design at Large exhibition.
This rectangular ceramic dish by André Borderie is one of the most hauntingly beautiful objects I have ever seen. Like all great works of art, this dish is ambiguous, mysterious, and elusive. The influence of Paul Klee is apparent, however Borderie has developed a language of his own. At a time when many artists and designers rely on large scale to provide impact, Borderie shows how the most intimate of objects can be the most powerful.
This brilliant aluminum and polyester surrealist fireplace was designed by one of France’s most idiosyncratic artists. Lebovici rejected commercial production, in favor of very limited series and one-off pieces. This is a singular piece that is both poetic and disturbing.
This extraordinary desk-table by the Jacob Brothers is one of the standout pieces in the exhibition. Created by one of the most influential furniture workshops in Paris and inspired by antiquity, this piece is the ultimate example of how exquisite craftsmanship combined with inspired design can produce a masterful, timeless, work of art.
This is one of the most seductive pieces of furniture that I have ever seen by Jean Royère. I have always admired his work, but this is the single piece of his that inspires and fascinates me.
I have seen many ceramic pieces by Axel Salto, but this vase, in my opinion, is the most extraordinary. The sprouting tendrils, covering the entire surface of the piece, electrifies this simple vase into something undefinable and unforgettable.
In her review of one of Ron Nagle’s solo exhibitions at Garth Clark Gallery in New York, Roberta Smith, art critic of the New York Times, wrote, “Mr. Nagle works small but thinks big. His ambition, inventiveness and superb craft make his art capacious to both mind and eye.” It is evident that his exploration and experimentation continues to this day.