My Highlights from Design Miami/ Basel 2014

Felix Burrichter
Jun 11, 2014 11:58AM

My Selection:

Georges JouveTwo Rooster Sconces, 1946, at Thomas Fritsch-ATRIUM

Every homeowner should aim to have such a beautiful pair of baby blue, vintage Georges Jouve porcelain cock sconces adorning his or her wall.

In his native Austin, Texas, artist Andy Coolquitt reigns supreme over a stunning and endlessly eclectic junk-turned-art empire. And yet, taken individually, his pieces, such as this chandelier, boast an almost miraculously purist restraint.

Jean Royère“tour eiffel” coffee table, circa. 1950, at Galerie Jacques Lacoste

Jean Royère: Just when you think you have seen it all, Jacques Lacoste manages to pull out a beauty like this one. And if the formal elegance of this post-war gem of a coffee table wasn’t already enough, the Tour Eiffel reference seals the deal.

Alessandro Mendini“Poltrona” chair, 2013, at Galerie kreo

I love this chair less for the flashy Bisazza tiles that cover every inch of it, and more for its shape which I find both comfortingly familiar and yet completely outrageous. Why aren’t there more Mendinis et al out there on the market?

The Haas BrothersBok Hudson from the Beast series with four Chester Cheetah feet, 2014, at R & Company

The Haas Brothers are obsessed with craftsmanship and will spend days, weeks, even months on a single piece such as this one. Which doesn’t mean that they don’t have a sense of humor—as is evident in the names of the pieces: from the unforgettable Sissy Space Egg to Bok Hudson (pictured), which comes complete with a pair of brass testicles.

Chris SchanckAlufoil desk, 2014, at Johnson Trading Gallery

Alufoil desk, 2014
Johnson Trading Gallery

It’s hard to imagine that a piece of such beauty, precision, and shiny elegance is the result of a backyard workshop in gritty downtown Detroit. And yet that’s precisely where Cranbrook graduate Chris Schanck, with the help of a handful of neighborhood friends, puts together design wonders such as this massive desk, which is made from aluminum foil laminate and car lacquer.

Sofa, 1966
Demisch Danant

Leave it to Suzanne Demisch and Stephane Danant to find that extra rare treasure even among the already niche market of mid-century French modern. Case in point is this beautiful René-Jean Caillette two-seater. The fact that it’s made from plywood instead of then-omnipresent plastic—which would have lent itself well to this shape—only adds to its appeal.

Mattia BonettiCabinet ‘Fakir,’ 2004, at David Gill

I first came across Mattia Bonetti’s work in 2006, when I saw it at Sotheby’s auction of David Whitney’s estate. I remember being both repulsed and fascinated by the remote gaudiness of it all, with every piece treading that fine line between perfect and the worst taste. This cabinet is relatively tame compared to most of Bonetti’s other work, but it still bears his hallmark of exquisite craftsmanship and expertly cheeky mauvais goût.

Felix Burrichter