Everything You Need to Know Before 2017 Design Miami/ – Exhibitions Feature Utopian Aspirations, Robotic Fabrications, Americana, Monumental Scale, World Debuts, and Solo Exhibitions.
/ 33 galleries represent 14 countries, and include 8 founding galleries & 3 first-time galleries
/ Design for a better world is a narrative that runs across galleries and through time periods
/ Computer numerical control (CNC) continues to change manufacturing forever—see examples on-site
/ Natural wood and craft furniture make a resurgence
/ Galleries bring the large and the statuesque from the outside in, showing works of unprecedented scale
World Debuts and Solo Exhibitions
New works debuting at Design Miami/ this year include jewelry from Allen Jones, Blanca Muñoz, and Emily Young at Louisa Guinness Gallery, which commissions jewelry from contemporary artists. Giampaolo Babetto’s exclusive gold and silver necklace commissioned for the fair by Galleria Antonella Villanova is unique for its distinctive golden patina.
The Future Perfect presents a new body of work by Eric Roinestad featuring ceramic hanging lamps, totemic floor lamps, and modernist wall sculptures. Glazed earthenware by Anders Ruhwald and new wall textiles by Christy Matson debut at Volume Gallery, and Johannes Hemann, mischer’traxler, and Tom Price show new works at Victor Hunt Designart Dealer, which specializes in limited-edition commissions that straddle the digital versus the analog.
Several Design Curio presentations debut new works, including two bowls designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana—one in terra cotta, one in cast bronze—at LIZWORKS, and at Camp Design Gallery, David Lindberg presents a concept commissioned for the fair that melds imagination and engineering in a series of LED light grids attenuated by colored layers of resin.
Solo exhibitions highlight visionary designers across time periods, and include contemporary design duo Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec at Galerie kreo showing a collection of ceramic “chains” that can be mounted as artwork or function as a screen. At Magen H Gallery, an exquisite solid elm 1972 dining set by Pierre Chapo showcases the designer’s architectural influence, interest in noble woods, and craftsmanship anchored in tradition, simplicity, and superior quality.
At Cristina Grajales Gallery, Doug and Mike Starn expand on their series Big Bambú, which debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to become the ninth most attended exhibition in the museum’s history, with stand-alone furniture pieces made from the same materials and technique—twisted bamboo stalks bound with vibrantly colored cord.
Utopian Aspirations: Design for a Better World
Throughout history, during changing times and precarious geopolitical climates, designers and architects have looked to the future to create their own personal versions of utopic environments. Examples of design with an eye toward a better world are on view in a number of immersive presentations. French architect Maurice-Claude Vidili created the Isolation Sphere in 1971, a time in which he felt space and quiet were in short supply. In a world that had grown unwieldy and clamorous, this pod-like piece was meant to provide complete insulation within a consumers’ home—visitors can experience it at Maison Gerard. Converso presents a solo show of furniture designed in 1949 by Swiss architect Albert Frey for his own Palm Springs home. Frey came to envision the California desert as a utopia of sorts, where he could pursue the purity of his architectural ideals; he created a small number of minimalist homes there that seem to disappear into the surrounding desert.
Visitors are invited to enter an imaginative, fairytale-like world inspired by the forests of Finland at Jason Jacques Gallery, where one of Kim Simonsson’s Moss People—a series of life-size ceramic child figures—creates an intimate, hypnotic, and enchanting environment. At Gallery ALL, Ma Yansong of MAD Architects presents a continuation of her project from Design Miami/ Basel, the MAD Martian collection, which imagines what Chinese colonization of the planet would look like, and includes a distinctive dining table based on the shape of an inverted Martian mountainscape.
Computer numerical control (CNC) technology allows machinery to be guided by user-friendly applications, using controls that can be run on a computer, and is typically used for cutting, milling, drilling, and routing all kinds of materials. Access to CNC capabilities is changing the way designers create objects, as the only limits to the technology are the practioners’ imaginations.
Mathieu Lehanneur’s Ocean Memories series uses CNC technology to create realistic, 3-D wave forms in marble tables, benches, and stools. The artist uses various software to make each piece, and the size of the machines and tools used are specifically chosen to generate the size of waves— in the artist’s words, “sometimes stronger, sometimes softer”—to accurately depict the movement
of the ocean. Following these processes, each piece is polished by hand, revealing the color and depth of marble.
Patrick Parrish Gallery and MIT Self-Assembly Lab presents a futuristic manufacturing facility in which a robot rapidly 3-D prints objects of any size or scale in the Design Curio program. The robot is computer numerically controlled, but the CNC machine is it not used in the traditional sense, like for milling away at a material or cutting parts. Instead the machine is more aligned with a 3-D calligraphy process that rapidly creates objects within a gel suspension. The robot instantly prints tote bags and art objects inside the glass tank of translucent gel while visitors observe, and the produced items are for sale inside the booth.
Tom Sachs presented by Salon 94 Design investigates industrialized production with a series of plywood and Lexan furniture that is milled robotically with a CNC machine and then hand-finished and assembled in the studio.
Americana and Woodworking Traditions
In a retreat from more radical design, the fair sees a resurgence of Americana on view at the fair, including craft woodworking that builds on the long lineage of American design, from handcrafted wooden forms to contemporary works that utilize wood for its renewable, sustainable properties. The market has responded with an abundance of pared-down wooden objects and furniture. Works by leading American craft furniture artist Wendell Castle can be seen at both R & Company and Friedman Benda. Philadelphia-based Moderne Gallery’s focus on the American studio craft movement can be seen in its presentation of a rare dining set by George Nakashima as well as works by Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof, Edward Moulthrop, and other major figures of the
movement. Todd Merrill Studio brings a unique suite of furniture to the fair by George Nakashima, on view for the first time publicly, that was commissioned in 1952 by the Strong family, cofounders of Eastman Kodak. The sofa in this set is the only sofa by the designer to date known to include both the live edge, single board back, and two arms.
John Keith Russell’s Design Curio brings Shaker furniture to the fair for the first time. The space features a ca. 1830 shop desk made by Shaker cabinetmakers in Hancock, Massachusetts, a classic example of the ingenuity and purity of design used in these works, even at the level of furniture made to be used in the workplace.
Reflecting on Cultures, Traditions, and Heritage
Many Design Curio and gallery presentations spotlight specific cultures, disappearing craft traditions, and important influences and practices stretching back generations. MANIERA presents Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai, which regularly collaborates with craftsmen trained in traditional Indian building techniques in their architecture projects; here, they translate this approach to furniture that references both Indian and Western culture and is strongly rooted in nature. House of Today presents inscribed cement that creates a visual narrative of the rawness and disparity in the identity of contemporary Lebanon. Works by Rami Dalle, Sayar & Garibeh, and Khaled El Mays invite visitors to explore the Lebanese design world.
Harry Nuriev, founder of Crosby Studios, traveled halfway across Russia to work with a master tinsmith to create a series of floor lamps inspired by the artisanal metalwork found in Russian log houses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Iranian sculptor Ali Alizadeh’s sculptural installation features “fossilized” jewelry-making tools alongside several of Sevan Bıçakçı’s most elaborate and intricate jewelry pieces. At Hostler Burrows, which specializes in Nordic design and decorative arts, Finnish artist Kristina Riska’s work is on view; Riska has been defying and redefining the traditional tenets of ceramic sculpture since the 1980s.
A number of remarkable, oversized works are on view—don’t miss these impressive installations: the circular Jeppestown Play Bench by David Krynauw at Southern Guild, measuring 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter, is a modern play on the traditional South African rempie stool. The revolving structure seats twelve and references the dynamism of the city of Johannesburg and the designer’s Afrikaans heritage.
Salon 94 Design makes a big debut of their US representation of London-based designer Philippe Malouin with Core, a mammoth concrete and modular sculptural bench that measures 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) high, Malouin’s first architectural work. Norwegian Craft’s Insubordinate Creatures features textile and ceramic works reaching 5 feet in length and width by Ellen Grieg and Elisabeth von Krogh that push the envelope in terms of size, bold shapes, patterns, and colors, lending this Design Curio an extraordinary sense of volume.
R & Company fits two monumental works in one booth—a hand-carved, 7-foot-tall black walnut door by the Haas brothers and Sérgio Rodrigues’s Mesa Parker dining table, one of his most rare and important works that measures 10 feet long and is accompanied by a dramatic set of dining chairs with 5-foot-tall backs. Moderne Gallery is showcasing one of Harry Bertoia’s most classic and elegant designs, a Large Willow sculpture standing at 7 feet tall, made of hundreds of delicate stainless-steel wires arcing out from its center in a graceful drape. This is a rare object—Bertoia made fewer than ten in his lifetime.
Design Miami/ 2017 Exhibitors
Carpenters Workshop Gallery/ London, New York, and Paris
Converso/ Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Cristina Grajales Gallery/ New York
Demisch Danant/ New York
Erastudio Apartment-Gallery/ Milan
Friedman Benda/ New York
Galerie kreo/ London and Paris
Galerie Patrick Seguin/ London and Paris
Galerie Philippe Gravier/ Paris
Galerie VIVID/ Rotterdam
Galleria Antonella Villanova/ Florence
Gallery ALL/ Beijing and Los Angeles
Hostler Burrows/ New York
Jason Jacques Gallery/ New York
LAFFANOUR–Galerie Downtown/ Paris
Lebreton/ San Francisco
Louisa Guinness Gallery/ London
Magen H Gallery/ New York
Maison Gerard/ New York
Mercado Moderno/ Rio de Janeiro
Moderne Gallery/ Philadelphia
Patrick Parrish Gallery/ New York
Pierre Marie Giraud/ Brussels
R & Company/ New York
Salon 94 Design/ New York
Sarah Myerscough Gallery/ London
Southern Guild/ Cape Town and Johannesburg
The Future Perfect/ New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco
Thomas Fritsch–ARTRIUM/ Paris
Todd Merrill Studio/ New York
Victor Hunt Designart Dealer/ Brussels
Volume Gallery/ Chicago
Camp Design Gallery presents Residual Time Energy Blowout by David Lindberg
Harry Nuriev presents Stavropol
House of Today presents Construction Deconstruction
John Keith Russell presents Shaker
Lindsey Adelman presents The Edge of What We Know
LIZWORKS and Liz Swig present TFO [Time for Oatmeal]
MANIERA presents Studio Mumbai
Norwegian Crafts presents Insubordinate Creatures by Ellen Grieg and Elisabeth von Krogh
Patrick Parrish Gallery presents Rapid Liquid Printing by MIT Self-Assembly Lab and Christophe
Salon 94 Design presents Tom Sachs: Furniture
Sevan Bıçakçı presents Fossils of Tomorrow by Ali Alizadeh
Schedule of Events/
Preview Day (by invitation only)
Tuesday, December 5/
Collectors Preview/ 12–6pm
Opening Night Preview/ 6–8pm
Vernissage (by invitation only)
Wednesday, December 6/ 10am–12pm
Public Show Days
Wednesday, December 6/ 12–8pm
Thursday, December 7/ 10am–8pm
Friday, December 8/ 11am–8pm
Saturday, December 9/ 12–8pm
Sunday, December 10/ 12–6pm
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Source: Design Miami/