The Salon Art + Design takes place this week, November 8-12, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The fair brings together modern and contemporary art and design for a covetable mix of collectibles. Presenting work and objects from the 19th century to today are 56 galleries from 11 countries.
In advance of the opening on Thursday evening, Whitewall caught up with director Jill Bokor about what to expect from the 2018 edition.
WHITEWALL: This is the seventh edition of the fair. What were you looking to focus on this year—creating a more international roster of exhibitors, or a greater dialogue between art and design?
JILL BOKOR: I love the question about the dialogue between art and design. Certainly, its been a conversation since the beginning of the fair. More recently , we’re talking about the synergy of the two. As more collectors lean into the totality of art and design it becomes clear that there is more symbiosis than contrast between the two.
Certainly, the international piece is high on the list of considerations. There are so so many fairs that I think we all look for a discrete way of standing out from the rest. For The Salon our goal is to show as much work—both vintage and contemporary—as possible in an experiential way. Collectors are more likely to stop in a booth that creates a homelike—albeit a very upscale home—aesthetic.
WW: Over half the galleries presenting this year are from outside the US. Can you tell us about some of the exciting new countries that will be represented this year?
JB: We’re particularly excited to welcome South Africa’s Southern Guild gallery, our first from Africa. They’ll be bringing work by a range of African artists including this lamp by Adam Hoets and this highly
colored narrative rug, Miss Azania in which Athi-Patra Ruga adopts the tropes of myth in response to the post-apartheid era. Finally, very excited to see the work of Conrad Hicks, an artist and blacksmith who forges
metal into implements. He uses his tools and tool-making process to investigate the artist/human existential relationship with his material environment. Each of these works represents a new way of thinking about design.
Norway will also be represented this year with a booth of Nordic furniture and design at Dansk Melbekunst. The gallery specializes in rare, original works of Danish furniture and art created in mid-century from about 1920–1070. A standout from the booth is a dramatic petalled light designed by Paul Henningsen in 1927. Finally a young Parisian gallery, Movements Moderne, presents a host of contemporary items by both new and known designers. This perfect ceramic sculpture by Matthew Chambers is just one of the items to be seen on their stand.
WW: Who are some of the fair first-timers you’re excited about?
JB: From this side of the pond, we’re excited to welcome Glass Past, specialists in highly sought mid-century Murano glass. And even though we have Italy’s finest exhibitor in Italian material we’re also excited that
another American specialist, Paul Donzella, will join us this year. Along with other perennial favorites, the booth will include this imposing desk by Gio Ponti
WW: Are there any special booth exhibitions or solo presentations to look out for?
JB: For the first time, we’ll have a booth that will exclusively showcase of Frank Lloyd Wright. Bernard Goldberg has painstakingly assembled material from a number of Wright houses and institutions. Garrido gallery exhibits its beautifully crafted pieces of furniture—all angles and metallic shine.
WW: For those in town to New York for the fair, are there any exhibitions outside the fair you would recommend visiting?
JB: There’s a Warhol moment happening. If you’re still in New York on November 12, The Whitney. They are opening a comprehensive look at the work of the master who, arguably defined art from the mid-20th century forward.
At the Met Breuer, there’s an exhibit of the largely unknown sculptures of Jack Whitten alongside his better known entire black Monolith Series dedicated to African American leaders in art and politics. At MOMA
the sinuous sculpture of Constantin Brancusi will be exhibited. And at The Museum of The City of New York, the timely exhibition “Rebel Women, Defying Victorianism” is perfectly timed.