Design Miami/ Basel 2018 Achieves Record Footfall as Unseen Private CommissionsCome to Market for the First Time
Design Miami/ Basel concluded a week with highest-ever footfall, exceeding 30,000 visitors including representatives of leading museums and the world’s most significant collectors of modern and contemporary design. Galleries from thirteen countries were met by visitors from more than thirty countries.
René Kamm, Chief Executive Officer of MCH Group (Co-owner of Design Miami/), said, “Design Miami/ continues to grow and attract wider audiences for its specialized and unmatched offering in design. With greater attention on its gallery exhibitions and programming internationally, it is no surprise that critical reception this year has been resoundingly positive. Design Miami/ has confirmed its place as the highest-quality fair for collectible design in the world, and we are delighted to witness this continued ascendance.”
“The fair’s continued growth is both supported and evidenced by the quality of partner programming and satellites that enhance and diversify the exhibitions,” said Jennifer Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Design Miami/. “This year, we introduced a multiyear partnership with Calvin Klein under the visionary direction of Raf Simons, which integrates seamlessly with the gallery program. We look forward to continued collaboration with brands as dynamic and influential as Calvin Klein.”
Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer of Design Miami/, said, “For me, after five years, this June felt like a good moment to reflect a bit. François Halard’s curation of and personal exhibition within Design at Large was fundamentally about time, about both looking ahead and looking back at how design shapes our experience, hopefully for the better. His exhibition at the entry of the fair established a structure for the entire endeavor, allowing the historic material to provide context for contemporary work while the contemporary gives us insight into the future. At Design Miami/ we constantly endeavor to not only show collectible design, but also to impact the world around us through augmenting our knowledge and understanding of how good design allows us to live better. This annual meeting of the world’s greatest collectors, curators, and institutions in Basel is an excellent opportunity to push each other forward.”
The material on view in this edition sets Design Miami/ apart for a wider audience, but also across a wider span in time. With the first ever presentation of ancient material at the fair, Origins: Design from the Ancient World, a Curio presentation by Oscar Humphries in partnership with Galerie Chenel, work dating from 400 BC was on offer and of note were two Roman marble entry columns. On the other end of the spectrum, entirely new bodies of work were conceived to debut at the fair. These included Shape of a River Series by South Korean artist and designer Kwangho Lee at Salon 94 Design and Watercolour Collection at Friedman Benda by Japanese design studio nendo, who spent more than two years developing the series of delicate metal furniture pieces inspired by watercolor painting.
Special commissions dating much earlier than those developed with Design Miami/ Basel in mind also made an impression, with several privately held works shown publicly for the first time. Galerie Mitterrand offered a bed by Claude Lalanne in cast bronze, a commission for a Paris-based collector in 1997, the asking price of which was the highest of the fair at €1,500,000. At Galerie Jacques Lacoste, a commissioned set of needlepoint sofas, armchairs, and bench by Jean Lurçat was brought to market for the first time since they were custom designed for George Salles in 1927 when he was Chief Curator of the Louvre. Also at Lacoste was a dining table by Pierre Chareau, which sold this week on its first outing since 1932 alongside a set of dining chairs by René Herbst. A number of rare pieces were sold at both LAFFANOUR–Galerie Downtown and Galerie Patrick Seguin of Paris as well as R & Company and Salon 94 Design of New York.
Lee Mindel, New York–based architect and scholar, said of the exhibition program of this edition: “We are in ever changing times . . . challenging times. Historically, times of struggle have provoked new directions, thoughts, and inventions. We also see this today at Design/ Miami Basel 2018, which was one of the most inventive, informative, and thrilling expressions of a century of sociopolitical culture being translated through the decorative arts. We see how technology can make us more humane, how new materials expand possibilities, how nature emerges as a muse. As more and more galleries present contemporary design alongside twentieth-century icons, we keep sight of the fact that the best of the past surrounded by the best of the future gives us an understanding of where we’ve come from and where we’re going.”
Other sales of note include a rare dining table and chairs in solid mahogany by Frank Lloyd Wright, designed as part of the Taliesin series of furniture, at Galerie Eric Philippe. The set, strikingly low in height, was produced in low quantity due to the fine handwork required to achieve the Taliesin pattern, which originates at the iconic Wright-designed residence. At Galerie VIVID of Rotterdam, a Gerrit Thomas Rietveld zigzag chair sold alongside the first ever example of 3D-printed Dutch porcelain in a series of three vases by designer Olivier van Herpt for €21,000. Siegelson, dealer of fine jewelry, sold a circa 1957 emerald bib necklace by Suzanne Belperron, Paris, and an Art Moderne smoky quartz “Cambodian” cuff by the same artist, circa 1932 (asking prices were $650,000 and $400,000, respectively). Galerie Mitterrand sold a one-of-a-kind chandelier for €200,000, while fellow Basel newcomer the Future Perfect sold nearly its entire booth of contemporary American design objects.
Of note for its success was also the Design Miami/ Basel Satellite An Expansive International Landscape, which included fifty of the one hundred limited-edition Gaetano Pesce–designed Feltri chairs, each customized by Calvin Klein Creative Director Raf Simons using one-of-a-kind antique American quilts. All fifty available at the fair were sold by early Tuesday.
At ENDANGERED, by Porky Hefer, a project realized by SFA Advisory in collaboration with Southern Guild gallery of Cape Town to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, five endangered species were represented in handmade large-scale functional sculpture. The project, aimed at calling awareness to the link between extinction and climate change through the employment of eco-friendly fabrication, meant artisanal communities in South Africa worked with Hefer to bring to fairgoers a sense of agency and optimism. Lisa Schiff, Founder of SFA Advisory and initiator of the project, said, “Participants and onlookers were reminded what it is to be childlike, innocent, loving, and joyous while taking in an important message. Every visitor who might normally feel powerless in the face of such formidable topics as climate change and endangered species, were filled with hope. They were reminded of the importance of spirit. How spirit, when combined with knowledge, can move mountains, change the world, and possibly save us.”
Adam Lindemann, Arik Levy, Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor, Bob Rennie, Caryl Englander, Catherine Lagrange, Christophe Van de Weghe, Daniel Arsham, David Mugrabi, Don and Mera Rubell, Duro Olowu, Edward Tyler Nahem, George Economou, Glenn Ligon, Helen Britton, Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Jean Pigozzi, Kris Hinson, Lapo Elkann, Luca Cipelletti, Maja Hoffmann, Michèle Lamy, Noam Gottesman, Philippe Ségalot, Pierre Frey, Prince Pierre D'Arenberg, Raf Simons, Robert Wennett, Rolf Sachs, Ronan Bouroullec, Rosa de la Cruz, Sandy Rower, Silvia Karman Cubiñá, Simon de Pury, Thelma Golden, Virgil Abloh, Yana Peel, Yusaku Maezawa.
Design at Large
For the fourth edition of Design at Large, Design Miami/ Basel presented large-scale historical and contemporary design curated by photographer François Halard, known for his distinctive images of interior spaces and architecture. Focused on the theme of twentieth and twenty-first century architectural expression, the nine Design at Large projects were unified by Halard's concept, how the past has influenced the now and how the now may influencetomorrow, which rests on the lasting impact of good design on our lives and on the world around us. The space also housed a wall featuring images from the iconic photographer’s repertoire of work throughout his career.
Statement works were presented with the support of Design Miami/ Basel's galleries, including Galerie Patrick Seguin, LAFFANOUR–Galerie Downtown, Salon 94 Design, Galerie Philippe Gravier, Gallery ALL, and Nilufar Gallery. The exhibition included monumental works by Italian master Gaetano Pesce and iconic work by Jean Prouvé and Lina Bo Bardi as well as contemporary exhibits by Atelier Luma, Gufram, Masatoshi Izumi and Koichi Hara, RDAI Architecture, and Zhang Zhoujie Digital Lab.
Returning to Basel for the fourth year, the Curios offered snapshots into today’s design landscape through ten focused vignettes created specifically for Design Miami/ Basel. Inspired by Renaissance-era cabinets of curiosities, the Curio spaces provided installations for guests to explore that uncovered departures from previous interpretations of collectible design and offered new ideas, experiences, and materials. Curios were presented by Galerie Chenel and Oscar Humphries, Galerie Meubles et Lumières, Ivan Mietton, Nadia Morgenthaler Haute Joaillerie, Nouvel Limited, Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design, Spazio Nobile, Swarovski, Syz Art Jewels, and TORRI.
The 2018 Swarovski Designers of the Future––Frank Kolkman, Study O Portable, and Yosuke Ushigome of Takram––presented new works responding to the brief of “Smart Living,” showcasing and illustrating new ways of connecting with each other and existing in our environment. These new pieces were showcased alongside a retrospective exhibition of works by past award winners.
Stuart Parr presented selections from his collection of classic 1950s, '60s, and '70s Italian motorcycles and cars in the following three categories: The Mini, The Mighty, and The Moto.
The Collectors Lounge, presented by ETEL and designed by Superluna, was a space where collectors and members could enjoy a drink from the Perrier-Jouët bar and relax in an atmosphere designed to mirror a domestic environment filled with pieces related to Brazil's rich contemporary themes and history.
In addition to collectible design available for acquisition, Design Miami/ Basel presented two pop-up shops stocked with items curated specifically for fairgoers. JUNE Basel showcased a hand-selected collection of Swiss design while the Berlin bookshop do you read me?! returned to the fair for the eighth year featuring a wide range of books, periodicals, and publications.