Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
This year’s Design Miami/ Basel brings together presentations from 47 galleries, including a new exhibition of large-scale work curated by an American fashion designer. In addition to contemporary pieces, a good deal of historic material will be on view, including works from Ettore Sottsass, 1950s-era objects from Studio BBPR, and iconic examples of Art Nouveau. Whitewaller spoke with the fair’s CEO, Jen Roberts, about that debut program, as well as what visitors can expect from the 2017 Basel edition, its most international to date.
WHITEWALLER: Can you share some notable first-time galleries that are participating this year?
JEN ROBERTS: Mercado Moderno, our first Latin American gallery in Basel, will showcase important historic pieces by luminaries including Joaquim Tenreiro and Zanini de Zanine. In 2016, Etage Projects was a part of our Curio program, and this year they have since graduated to become a part of the main gallery program. Chamber is bringing unusual objects as well as a platform for design experimentation. Robert Zehil Gallery is bringing Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles to this year’s program—we are extremely excited about this. Siegelson is adding new typologies of collectible design to the gallery program with its rare jewelry, gemstones, and objets d’art, including Belperron pieces and the Mughal Heart, a heart-shaped Golconda diamond necklace. An interesting addition to this year’s Curio program is Suzanne Syz Art Jewels. Suzanne Syz, in collaboration with American artist Alex Israel, is re-envisioning the jewelry box as a sculptural proposition for their curio space.
WW: Can we expect to see any solo booths at this year’s fair?
JR: Yes, we have some very exciting solo shows: Friedman Benda’s exhibition celebrates the centennial of Ettore Sottsass’s birth with rare works of his on view; Galerie Alain Marcelpoil’s space is dedicated to works by the innovative French designer André Sornay; Gallery ALL is launching a unique, new collection with MAD Architects that brings guests on a journey into science fiction, called the Mad Martian Collection; and, of course, the 6-feet-by-9-feet demountable Prouvé House at Galerie Patrick Seguin is going to be a guest favorite.
WW: Are there any up-and-coming designers we should watch out for?
JR: I am really enjoying the playful designs by Katie Stout. Her pieces will be on display at R & Company. I would also be sure to stop by Salon 94 if you want to see debut works by Max Lamb and Lucas Samaras. Gallery FUMI is another fantastic gallery with many up-and-coming designers.
WW: Within your role at Design Miami/ you must travel a good deal. Are there any under-the-radar cities with design communities more of us should know about?
JR: Latin and South America have some very interesting design communities worth exploring, specifically Mexico City and São Paulo. Inhotim is also another great location to visit!
WW: Have you made any new recent additions to your personal collections?
JR: I recently purchased a Raymond Loewy chest of drawers from Mark McDonald, a former exhibitor.