This week, Collective Design Fair opens its second edition with an impressive selection of contemporary and 20th-century design pieces, offering a comprehensive vision of design today. Using data from Artsy’s online preview, we’ve pulled together the top ten trending designers and artists at the fair, the perfect touchstone for any new or seasoned collector when doors open this Thursday.
10. Ayala Serfaty
Inspired by luminous underwater plants and wildlife, mixed-media artist and designer Ayala Serfaty translates the structural and aesthetic qualities of the natural world into furniture and lighting. Find her cozy seating and sculptural lights at Galerie BSL and Maison Gerard.
Sebastian Errazuriz uses art and design as a vehicle for social commentary. The prolific Brooklyn-based designer explores themes of life and death, as in works like Body of Work and, on the more playful, often overtly political end, he makes statements that have earned him comparisons to art world pranksters Maurizio Cattelan and Marcel Duchamp—as in Human need not corporate greed (Protest Chair).
Charlotte Perriand was a rare female voice among the avant-garde designers whose designs shaped modern living in the early 20th century. As a student, she rejected the popular Beaux-Arts style and found inspiration instead in machine-age technology. She became part of the studio of Le Corbusier, where she experimented with steel, aluminum, and glass, developing a series of tubular steel chairs that remain a modern icon. Find her elegant work at 1950 Gallery.
7. Jean Prouvé
Inspired by avant-garde architects and his idea of design as a moral issue, influential 20th-century designer, architect, engineer, and teacher Jean Prouvé played a major role in the development of systems for mass production in the postwar Modernist period. From his beginnings as a blacksmith's apprentice, he gained an understanding of metal and its limitations, driving him to seek new materials and processes like steel, aluminum, and arc welding, producing prefabricated houses, building components, and furniture for the social sector. Find one of Prouvé’s “Compas” tables at 1950 gallery.
Matthias Merkel Hess’ mission is to make ceramic objects that relate to both contemporary art and the history of pottery. He is most famous for creating ceramic casts of functional, everyday plastic containers, such as crates, jugs, and buckets. Visit Volume Gallery to find examples of his hive-like “Thing” series.
5. Finn Juhl
As an architect and interior and industrial designer, Finn Juhl was best known for furniture designs that uprooted traditional historicist styles embellished with ornament and plush prevalent in the late 1930s, instead creating modern furniture along the lines of the International Style. Make sure to seek out works by Juhl at Modernity, Vance Trimble, and Hostler Burrows.
4. Alvar Aalto
Recognized as one of the most influential architects of Nordic Modernism, Alvar Aalto was inspired by the relationship of architecture to the physical and cultural landscape, and thus formed a body of work that reflected the growth and industrialization of his home country during the early 20th century. Modernity gallery features a sinewy armchair circa 1940s, plus more from Aalto.
Marcel Breuer holds a legacy as an accomplished architect, furniture designer, and master of Modernism who pioneered the design of tubular steel furniture. Find his Long Chair, an experiment in bent and formed plywood at Modernity gallery.
Donald Judd’s sculptures and installations, constructed out of industrial materials such as Plexiglas, concrete, and steel and arranged in precise geometric shapes, were intended to emphasize the purity of the objects themselves rather than any symbolic meaning they might have—“the simple expression of complex thought,” Judd once said. At Nicholas Kilner, find an example of Corner Bench, a piece Judd originally designed for his own use and then put into production.
Alexander Calder changed the course of modern art by developing an innovative method of sculpting, bending, and twisting wire to create three-dimensional “drawings in space,” which his friend and fellow artist Marcel Duchamp coined “mobiles.” Along with his angular, spindly mobiles, the artist was also prolific in making “wearable art,” such as earrings, necklaces, brooches, and bracelets, mini mobiles that could be dangled from one’s body—as seen in the booth of Didier Ltd.