Last week saw the run of the first annual Collective Design Fair, the first of the many art and design events and exhibitions in New York City this May. Organized by architect and interior designer Steven Learner, the Fair is the 'collective' effort of a "passionate group of designers, curators, collectors and gallerists who recognize a need for a new commercial and educational platform for the design collector and connoisseur. With the avid support of the New York creative community, Collective intends to showcase a compelling vision of design today."
If BKLYN Designs has long been an alternative to the ICFF, the Collective Design Fair was more a complement to Frieze, which returned to Randall's Island after a very successful showing last year—the newcomer offered design-centric galleries and dealers an opportunity to get in on the action. Although both BKLYN Designs and the Collective Design Fair took place in former industrial spaces, they could not have been more different. Where the St. Ann's Warehouse hosted a range of young and emerging designers from as far afield as Bushwick, Pier 57 housed some two high-end design galleries from the world over, exhibiting an eclectic but unequivocally upscale wares.
Sebastian Errazuriz's cheeky installation was legible from afar
Yet so too was the work consistently interesting: just beyond Sebastian Errazuriz's 'statement piece' in the foyer, a special exhibition of Gaetano Pesce's eccentric works of design-art—a dubious categorization at best—set an interesting tone for the show. In his practice, Pesce expresses the necessity of working in a multi-disciplinary way, breaking down boundaries between artistic languages. Observing that the culture of the object has been growing rapidly in the past two decades, he insists that objects are the art of our time.The fair closed its four-day run over the weekend, but we're pleased to bring you some of our favs—motorcycles, an animated GIF and much more after the jump...
Grey Area commissioned a custom ping-pong table from Snarkitecture, whose wares were on display at a couple booths.Grey Area commissioned a custom ping-pong table from Snarkitecture, whose wares were on display at a couple booths. They were happy to oblige with "Slice," a sort of inverted topography per its name. Sam Baron is among the other designers represented by Grajales Todd Merrill's booth; "Equinox," by Joseph Walsh, at center
A couple of the designers on Todd Merrill's roster are showing concurrently at the "Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft and Design," on view at the Museum of Art and Design until September 15. The "Equinox" sculptural wall, in particular, caught my eye: Joseph Walsh's hand-carved, vertical 'blinds' are set at shifting angles to create a passive-dynamic lighting effect:
Also at both Merrill's booth and MAD, the "Palombaggia" table by Ian Spencer and Cairn Young, a.k.a. Yard Sale Project (below), demonstrates their mastery of the craft with a highly technical array of 26 different hardwoods.
The "Roccapina" chair reveals more of the process, as each piece of wood has been left intact at the bottom.
Mondo Cane presented a fairly strong showing of vintage and contemporary furniture and lighting Maison Gerard presented work by Aurelien Gallet, among other designers. The "Samsara" coffee table is made of hand-hammered & patinated bronze, patinated steel and glass.
In addition to several of NYC's own gallerists and dealers, exhibitors hailed from Chicago, Philadelphia, Paris, Stockholm and Johannesburg.
Stockholm-based MCM specialists Modernity stood in contrast to the rather more ostentatious showpieces by contemporary designers. (Note: Their site is a veritable trove of MCM design porn. You've been warned.)
Desk by Børge Mogensen Cabinet by Hjalmar Jackson
All told, the Collective Design Fair lived up to its billing as "an important addition to the city's cultural calendar," and we certainly hope it returns next year—seeing as the new NYCxDesign umbrella spans nearly two weeks, the new show is a welcome counterpart to the likes of Frieze and BKLYN Designs.
Once more with feeling...