Since the ’70s, purveyors of luxury from Yves Saint Laurent to Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld to Princess Caroline of Monaco have called on French designer Jacques Grange to reimagine their homes. Named by TIME Magazine as one of the world’s most influential designers and awarded the prestigious Chevalier de Légion d’honneur by the French government for “bringing haute French style into contemporary life,” Grange is known for a style that is equal parts opulent and eclectic. This week, he should feel right at home as co-chair on the Honorary Committee of The Salon: Art + Design fair—and co-host of the opening night gala—of an art fair that, like Grange, is known for an eclectic mix of art and design.
The fair holds court at New York’s Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side, an area the Paris designer has come to know well through designing interiors for various clients in the neighborhood. Most notable was his 2008 transformation of the early-1970s interiors of The Mark Hotel on nearby Madison Avenue. It’s no surprise then, in a chat with Artsy, that Grange is quick to suggest the revamped five-star hotel—now filled with art by renowned artists and artisans—as a favorite local haunt. (Grange also suggests Sant Ambroeus, the Uptown cafe that doubles as an art world hangout.)
What else does Grange advise? When it comes to the fair, “Be curious,” he says, “be surprised by some regards nouveaux,” and be “open to ‘catch’ what you see.” Beyond his work with clients—many of the world’s biggest art collectors—Grange has his own collection, and over the course of 40 years, he too has bought what has caught his eye. In his Paris apartment, Grange lives among his favorite works: “Marc Newson console, Jean-Michel Frank furniture, Irving Penn photos, [Alexandre] Noll objects, Roman antiques,” he lists, while we visualize a charming and luxurious, art- and design-filled space. But like all of his projects, we imagine a mix of old and new, antique and modern. “[An] eclectic mix brings energy, creativity, [and] inspiration in my work,” he says.
Portrait by Eric Jansen