My Highlights from FOG Design+Art

douglas durkin
Jan 9, 2014 7:36PM

As you can see by the selections, there is a great diversity expressed in this grouping. Perhaps as an interior designer, I am drawn to the unique and unexpected, forms large to small, functional to purely aesthetic. In all cases, something has to be beautiful to my eye, and in all selections here that was foremost in my process.

My Selection:

Paul Cocksedge, Poised, 2013, at Friedman Benda

I saw a show of Paul’s work at Friedman Benda in the fall. What could be more compelling than this simplest of forms, visually light and self supporting, though rendered in steel, quite complex to produce, and extremely heavy. His work feels like it draws inspiration from the work of Richard Serra, though refined to a human scale, and with human function at its core purpose.  Truly elegant and inspiring.  

Koen Van Den Broek, Sidewalk, 2000, at Friedman Benda

I am a great fan of Koen’s work. Simple landscapes of space that are at once abstract, though familiar as well. This gem of a painting at first appears quite abstract, though draws your eye into shapes and forms that begin to make sense to your psyche.  

Like a fine piece of jewelry, this small vessel looks simple though is quite complex, not only in form, but in finish as well. There is a lot here for a discerning eye to absorb and enjoy.  

Stefan Kürten, Exposed, 2013, at Hosfelt Gallery

I am really drawn to Stefan’s work. Perhaps as a designer, his renderings into modernist worlds draw me in, though also challenge what I see in his dark, foreboding use of color. It feels as if in all of the familiar order and ubiquity and commonplace themes of the subject, something extraordinary has happened, devoid of human life, like a post apocalyptic condition that has descended upon the American dream.

Finn Juhl, Wall Unit, 1953, at Hostler Burrows

This, at first glance, simple piece by Finn Juhl is an architectural tour de force. At once familiar to our eyes, it was groundbreaking in concept, super elegant, and highly functional. I want to see the house it came out of, as it was so site specific. As such, I would design a room around something like this, as opposed to using it to fill space. And the materials are so refined.

Masatoshi Izumi, Tsukubai—Water Stone, 2005, at Japonesque Gallery

Masatoshi Izumi’s contemplative works always pack a punch. The most simple and elegant containment of water, in the most robust of hewn rocks. Very powerful dynamic play between that which contains, and that which flows … Wonderful. 

Michel Anasse, "Relation Humaine" Sculpture and pencil drawing, circa. 1954, at Magen H Gallery

I am not familiar with the work of Michel Anasse, though am very drawn to this work. An incredible object, expressing human form as an unfamiliar creature. Surreal and in motion and unique in perspective. Not for the faint of heart!

Carrie Mae Smith, Single Place Setting, at March

Lovely, a literal picture though with twists in forms and space. It has a Morandi-esque quality that elevates these simple objects towards an elegant and contemplative place.  

Wendell Castle, Unique jewelry box, 1973, at R 20th Century Gallery

Gorgeous, elegant, natural ... this is my favorite period of Wendell's work, the 1970s, where I think his natural forms were most poetically expressed. It’s a box that stands on its own as an object, though like all great boxes, you really yearn to open it!

Bae Sehwa, Steam bench 21, 2012, at Gallery SEOMI

I love the work of Bae Sehwa. Large scale and robust, though lyrical and fluid at the same time.  Furniture as sculpture. And very original in concept and form.  

I love Matt’s work as my eyes always dance around his playful arrangement of images … this case, a bookshelf of imagery from the past, like a library of archetypes in conversation … truly engaging.

douglas durkin