September 6 2013
The World of Ymer & Malta
Combining design and poetry, limited editions and natural forms, Valerie Maltaverne propels Ymer & Malta
among the Parisian galleries that count. We met with this woman of extraordinary sensibility.
For those who do not know, Ymer & Malta is simply a remarkable gallery.
Run, on a daily basis, by the efforts of Valerie Maltaverne – and, in the shadows, by Parisian auctioneer Rémy Le Fur – the orchestra gallery relays and supports a collection of talent that forms the young guard of French design. The stallion Benjamin Graindorge, the indefinable Cédric Ragot, the efficient duo of Normal Studio and the perfectionist Sylvain Rieu-Piquet: stitched leather, airy branches, striated marble, diverted light sources…shapes, statements and materials taken on a resolutely contemporary dimension at Ymer & Malta.
The first highlight of the gallery was certainly with the exhibition ‘Marbre Poids Plume’
that celebrated marble with an unmatched lightness and subtlety: we remember the Void stools by Franco-Japanese couple A+A Cooren – a perfect convolution of material that encircled the vacuum – or the Flap lamp by Cédric Ragot, carved in one piece and as airy as a manta ray. Then add the poetic language of Benjamin Graindorge displayed via his illuminating pieces – morningMist, betweenShadows, cristalCane, asphericalSkyLight – his scrambled Mirage mirrors and sculptural FallenTree bench. In recent months, the gallery has been reviving with a skin grain design. The leitmotif of this new creative art: that the leather be exposed in all its glory, sewn with big points or otherwise thermoformed.
“Inseparable from the world of living art, Leather is a material worthy of an oxymoron:
a symbol of strength and endurance, it is no less sweet and sensual,” says Valerie Maltaverne, co-founder of Parisian design gallery Ymer & Malta. “With a firm or soft touch, its odor can be singular, present, even oppressive. Its flower is alive. Over time, it develops a patina, wrinkles, and gains character. I chose leather as the common denominator of this latest exhibition entitled ‘A Fleur de Peau’ because I wanted a unifying material that offers new opportunities for designers. “In situ, the Sofascape banquette by Benjamin Graindorge reveals itself as a pixelated leather landscape while the Blister bench by Normal Studio relied on innovation to stick leather against a perforated diamond frame.
The gallery embodies a contrasting approach on the crossroads between minimalism and poetry
that is not without evoking, in passing, the universe of Valerie Maltaverne. It is designed as an open landscape lined with an interior garden that surprises, around a pillar, its interior is evocative: better still, the natural echoes unfurl at here on the patio just as they would on a shelf or in a work of art that mimics a network of veins on the wall. Similarly, nature can be found in all Ymer & Malta Design Editions: organic forms, they evoke Africa or Japanese zen, breathing gentility and poetry into each collaboration, with an added touch of rigor in order to create avant-garde pieces, destined to become classics.