Design connoisseurs and all-around-aesthetes are in for a treat this Basel Week as Design Miami/ Basel 2014 brings its rich offerings in historic and contemporary design—from no less than 51 top galleries from around the world—to the Swiss city. Themes and threads in the fair’s inventory include Italian design and furniture and objects composed of organic materials (read: volcanic lava, oysters shells, and mother-of-pearl), among others. We took a peek at our analytics to find out which designers are attracting the most attention in anticipation of the fair’s launch.
10. Rowan Mersh
Often straddling art, design, and fashion, Rowan Mersh’s design objects have incorporated everything from toothpicks and leather to dentalium shells. Mersh draws attention to the Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan in Placuna Phoenix, a sculptural wall consisting of some 40,000 windowpane oyster shells harvested in the wake of the typhoon.
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. “Soma”—an ever-evolving project—involves an elaborate process of weaving and intertwining thinly blown glass, then layering the composite objects with tinted transparent glass veins that produce a seemingly gestural surface. Much like her other work, these light sculptures, which can be seen at Galerie BSL’s booth, resemble aquatic forms.
8. Jean Royere
Jean Royère began his design career in Paris’ cabinet-making workshops before receiving his first big commission, designing a new layout for the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs Elysées in 1934. From then his luxurious style caught the eye of the world’s elite, and he spent the rest of his career designing couture furniture and spaces for the likes of King Hussein of Jordan and the Shah of Iran. Among his works on view at Design Miami/ Basel are chauffeuse, a painted metal, fabric, and sheep fur chair.
A rare female voice among the avant-garde designers whose work shaped modern living in the early 20th century, Charlotte Perriand joined the studio of Le Corbusier at 24, where she experimented with steel, aluminum, and glass. In 1940, she traveled to Japan to advise the government on how to export products to the West, and spent WWII exiled in Vietnam, where she discovered local woodwork and weaving techniques and embraced natural materials—as seen in this ash wood dining table.
6. Kueng Caputo
Swiss-born duo Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo are in their element at their native country’s flagship fair this year. Their hand-painted benches, stools, bowls, and lights bring a note of psychedelia to Salon 94’s booth, in dynamic juxtapositions of dyed leather—splattered with organic vegetable stains—and enamel.
A leader of postwar French design, Joseph-André Motte is known for his application of traditional techniques to contemporary forms, and for his combination of established and modern materials. In early work, such as his iconic Tripod Chairs (1949), Motte incorporated artisanal techniques of woven rattan with modern structure. Galerie Pascal Cuisinier features his famous chair, as well as a selection of lamps and tables, at this this year’s fair.
The extraordinarily prolific artist Alexander Calder might be known for his monumental, abstract mobiles and methods of bending wire to create three-dimensional drawings in space, but his restless experimentalism drew him in a multitude of directions. Calder also created toys, puppets, and, as seen at the Louisa Guinness gallery booth at Design Miami/ Basel this year, jewelry.
3. Rebecca Horn
Known for her visceral explorations into the human body and machinery, Rebecca Horn has also created delicate jewelry that integrates fossils and Etruscan-inspired lapidary, as Artsy’s Jessica Backus notes in her post on the organic ingredients that can be found in the works of several Design Miami/ Basel artists this year.
Known for their quirky anthropomorphic furnishings, which include animal fur lounge chairs and chaise-longues, the Haas Brothers are already creating a stir on Artsy, before the doors of Design Miami/ Basel have opened for business. With names like Hairy-Kate Olson lounge chair and Hairy J. Blige double-hump bench, it’s easy to see how the cheeky design duo has captured the hearts of design lovers everywhere.
1. Anish Kapoor
It may come as a surprise that the British Turner Prize-winner Anish Kapoor—best known for lush, monumental sculptures, often installed in public spaces—has also produced a line of jewelry. But his voluptuous aesthetic translates easily to sleek, curvilinear pendants and cufflinks, whose reflective surfaces and curved edges create absorbing textures and plays of light. No wonder these objects are currently receiving the most traffic on Artsy’s Design Miami/ Basel feature.
Explore Design Miami/ Basel 2014 on Artsy.