Design Miami/ Basel 2014
Gallery Highlights and Emerging Themes At Design Miami/ Basel 2014
May 20, 2013 - Design Miami/ Basel returns with a gallery program that balances contemporary practice at its most cutting edge with strong historic works by some of the world’s leading designers and craft ateliers. More than 50 galleries from 13 different countries have been selected to participate, and this growing international scope in exhibitors is reflected in the increasingly diverse provenance of the works on show.
Compelling themes are already emerging from this year’s gallery program. These include resonant investigation of ancient materials in contemporary works, contributions to the field of design by twentieth-century sculptors, the crossover of craftsmanship and aesthetics between designers in Europe and Asia, and historic works of extraordinary provenance. A number of participating galleries have commissioned new pieces specifically for this June’s show, the first details of which are highlighted below.
Deploying ancient techniques for working with volcanic materials developed in the Mount Etna region of Sicily, Formafantasma’s De Natura Fossilium melds starkly contemporary forms with vital and expressive materials. Jewelry works by the artist Rebecca Horn likewise combine ancient materials and craft methods to new ends – fossilized snail shells are set using Etruscan-influenced lapidary to create spiritually potent new works. Fur, feathers, leather, cording and the symbolic arsenal of the shaman find their place in the works of young Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson, whose pieces for the home owe perhaps as much of a debt to anthropology as they do to design history. At the more purely sculptural end of the scale, Rowan Mersh uses tiny, tubular, tusk-shaped dentalium shells to create captivating architectural elements.
Exchange between East and West
From the meticulous embroidery and trompe l’oeil of Danful Yang’s Packing Me Softly stools, to the beautifully balanced kinetic energy of Reinier Bosch’s Hurricane and Skirt tables, to the fine porcelain of Bouke de Vries’s knowing modern figurines, Chinese craftsmanship brings a refined edge to contemporary design. The meshing of ancient and modern is also celebrated in the slick curves of Satyendra Pakhalé’s Roll Chair, which marries a ceramic body to a carbon fiber surface. Studio ceramics has long been the field of fruitful cultural exchange between Asian and European techniques; and tradition continued in the beautifully ‘monstrous’ forms of the young Japanese designer maker Takuro Kuwata. Antique orientalist works shown by Steinitz and Jason Jacques Inc. hint at the long heritage behind this East-West fascination.
Between Sculpture and Design
Art Deco’s investigation of the sculptural possibilities of the machine age carried from architecture and sculpture through to domestic furniture and started a formal dialogue that stretched the length of the twentieth century. The rich interchange between the formal innovation that design has gained from sculpture, and the aesthetic of technical functionality that sculpture has fetishized in design is celebrated in this year’s Design Miami/ Basel, with works including Yonel Lebovici’s surreal Les Mains Chaude (1979) and Péter Pierre Székely’s anthropomorphic Bar (1950). The theme of Surrealism is picked up again in Claude Lalanne’s work, in which forms from the natural world are put to whimsical use as furniture, sculpture and jewelry.
While storytelling has become an increasingly important feature of contemporary design, twentieth-century works have their stories to tell too, such as the Trapèze table (1954-56) by Jean Prouvé. Designed for the Résidence Universitaire Jean-Zay in Antony, France, the name references the distinctive shape of the table's paired legs and broad tabletop edges. A tribute to French designer René-Jean Caillette will include several unique works and rare prototypes acquired from the designer’s estate – many of which have never previously been exhibited. Other exceptional modern works on exhibition include the Minguren III table by George Nakashima, which was commissioned in 1976, and Jean Royère’s rare Liane floor lamp (c. 1955).
Works Commissioned for Design Miami/ Basel
This June will see the unveiling of gallery YMER&MALTA’s Marquetry: The Sleeping Beauty collection, for which French designers Sebastian Bergne, Benjamin Graindorge, Normal Studio and Sylvain Rieu-Piquet have been asked to collaborate with a Parisian Master craftsman to imagine new, contemporary approaches to marquetry. Carpenters Workshop Gallery has commissioned new pieces from a number of artists, including provocative South African conceptualist Kendell Geers. Other hotly anticipated commissions include Ramy Fischler’s monumental suspended marble works at Armel Soyer, alufoil laminated pieces by American designer Christopher Schanck at Johnson Trading Gallery, R & Company’s Haas Brothers Sex Room and a new suite of furniture by Studio Job at Mitterrand+Cramer.
17.06.2014 - 22.06.2014Messe »
Hall 1 Süd, Messe Basel, Messeplatz
Tuesday-Wednesday, June 17-18/ 11am-8pm
Thursday-Sunday, June 19-22/ 11am-7pm
Preview Day (By invitation only): Monday, June 16, 2014
Design Miami/ Basel 2014 Tickets
Tickets can be purchased for entry to the fair Tuesday to Sunday, June 17-22.
General Admission: CHF 25
Students & Senior Citizens: CHF 20
Combination Ticket: CHF 60