May 10 2013
A new venue on the New York scene, the Collective .1 fair is borrowing the language of Design Miami / Basel: collectable designs and modernist pieces and objects of a new genre where interiors are riding the wave “Americana”, marking a point.
While New York is preparing to launch a new edition of Frieze and its festival Design ICFF, Collective .1 invites you to Pier 57, a huge abandoned warehouse lined with a jetty on the Hudson River. A place could not be more industrial and decadent, a New York relic with undeniable charm.
Far from the private jets landing at Basel for Design Miami, the fair nonetheless still has an air of “Collector’s Paradise” with some players that are veteran attendees of the Swiss event like Todd Merrill, Jousse Entreprise, Southern Guild and R20th Century. Prominent decorators, keen-eyed art dealers, high heels and various bodyguards were definitely out.
Upon entry, the ‘Blow Me’ installation by Sebastien Erazzuriz – represented by the Cristina Grajales Gallery – is a literal appetizer for the expectations of visitors who always need to be surprised, impressed, according to the organizers…a thought that made the VIP visitors laugh softly because, in the figurative sense, the term has a strong sexual connotation. Art or Design, the question on everyone’s lips at the opening night, in regard to the retrospective dedicated to the unclassifiable Gaetano Pesce at the entrance or the incredible corner dedicated to the furniture of the great Mexican architect Luis Barragán corner (presented by Sebastian + Barquet).
The timeless pieces of Finn Juhl, Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer and even Gerrit Rietveld (Modernity Gallery) cut beautiful figures alongside the timeless designs of Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Jean Royère (Galerie Jousse Entreprise), reminding one of the European domination of modernist design.
Among the pleasant surprises are: the screen of blown glass (Optic Twist Screen #2) by American designer Andy Paiko or the luminous UFO sculpted out of naive clouds (Passage # 2, October Duk) by Mark Peiser presented by the Wexler Gallery based in Philadelphia. The sublime, fragile ceramics by Danish artist Sandra Davolio at the New York J. Lohmann Gallery consisted of poetic landscapes in contrast to the ‘Flowers’ of Turi Heisselberg. Further on lie the embossed shelves by Snarkitecture for Grey Area and the bouquet of tables by Sam Baron for Cristina Grajales representing the ‘purely decorative’ aspect of the fair with talent.