When you walk into the Salon Design & Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York you immediately see the diversity of the exhibitors. Look to the right and you are hit with the impact of London’s David Gill gallery which features contemporary designers ranging from the kitsch “Jungle V.I.P.” chandelier by Barnaby Barford to the beautiful chairs from Zaha Hadid’s “Liquid Glacial” series. Look to the left and you see London’s Yves Macaux and Richard Nagy combine to present a walk thru Vienna, Brussel’s or Berlin at the turn of the 20th century. Museum quality furniture and decorative arts from Otto Wagner, Henry Van De Velde, Koloman Moser and Gustav Serrurier Bovy with works on paper from Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Max Beckmann and Otto Dix. A glass chandelier with a monkey hanging off of it to minimalist nickel plated ceiling lamps. Stark contrasts but a feast for the eyes.
Once you get past the the opening booths you begin to see the important trends and it begins with 2 words “Viva Italia” Over the past 10 years Italian Art and Design has been gaining momentum to its importance and it was prominent at the Salon show. Italy’s Mazzoleni and Robilant & Voena galleries presented “Concetto Spaziale paintings by Lucio Fontana, oil, acrylic embossed paintings by Alberto Burri and bronze sculptures by Marino Marini. Although Impressionist oils by Renoir and Monet were the draw at London’s Connaught Brown gallery what caught my eye were a pair of oil paintings by Afro Basaldella. Basaldella an abstract expressionist artist was a founder along with Fontana and Burri of the Scuola Romana in Italy.
New York’s Bernd Goeckler, Italy’s Nilufar and Gallery O. Roma along with Belgium’s Anne Autegarden presented mid century and contemporary designers the likes of Gio Ponti, Max Ingrand, Gino Sarfatti, and Roberto Rida. Outstanding examples included a 1950s 6 wood, brass and ceramic panel glass top console by Leoncillo Leonardi, contemporary colored glass mirrors by Roberto Rida at Bernd Goeckler and a glass chest of drawers also by Rida at Nilufar. Another highlight is the resin coated stools and tables by Torino based Studio Nucleo shown exclusively at Ammann Gallery. For many years Italian design never received its just due as the work was not catalogued so the ability to attribute was difficult. Now with the attention being paid the market is growing and gives the collector great design that is easy to live with and compliments different decades and styles of art.
For many years French mid century design has been king at most design fairs. Prouve, Perriand, Jeanneret and Royere let the way, but this season saw a strong return to Art Deco. Vallois Gallery presented an outstanding lacquer screen by Jean Dunand along with the iconic desk of palmier wood and metal by Eugene Printz. Alain Marcelpoil focused on the geometric designed furniture of Andre Sornay. Sornay is not as known a many of his contemporaries but his exotic woods and nail head framed tables, desks and chairs are distinct, functional and were influential to the mid century aesthetic. Larc en Seine is showing an important selection of Diego Giacometti bronze tables, lamps and a rare glass top vanity with matching stool. A great example very rarely seen.
Words/Photo: Jerry Kwiatkowski © Artlyst 2015
The Salon Design & Art Show Park Avenue Armory New York until 16 November