02 December 2011

Impressions from Design Miami

Calling Design Miami an "appendix" to the annual Art Basel Miami would be unfair. 

The show, billing itself as "the global forum for design... in celebration of design culture and commerce" takes place in a rather large white tent erected in a parking lot next to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Once you found the entrance (on the north-east corner), you encounter an – at times stunning – collection of high-class pieces, albeit some with extraordinarily high-class prices. I'll get to that in a bit. 

On Tuesday, the show opened its doors, for collectors and the press. Easy to imagine what calibre of collectors get first dibs here. To the public it opened on Wednesday and runs until Sunday. If you're a modernist, you should go; details are here.  

Graciously invited (thank you very much, Brittany) to the Vernissage, which took place Tuesday evening, here are some scenes that caught my eye:

Wooden gazebo in front of the entrance by David Adjaye, 
winner of the show's Designer of the Year award.

A leather craftsman at Fendi. Yes. Fendi.
Melting Chairs at Industry Gallery.
Indescribable spatial feeling that can't be photographed (by me): a room-filling chandelier, made from white porcelain by Jenne Quinn. Todd Merrill 20th Century Gallery.
Detail of a large wall-installation by Jenne Quinn, Todd Merrill.
Room divider and art, made of lacquered wood, Galerie Seomi.
The most visitors, and the most styled ones to boot: Audi stand (official VIP transporter, 
with a fleet of A8 outside). Highlight: savouring Veuve Cliquot on a pressure-sensitive LED floor, by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. Turn-off: all-male bartender crew was hired purely on over-the-top arrogance.
Where do you meter the photo, on the brilliant white paint of the concept car or?
A Nakashima wall case and what the gallerist called either "wall art or a coat rack" by an unknown artist. Crappy photo–sorry. Great piece.
No, you can't faint into these: chairs by Jean Royere for the Queen of Saudi Arabia, 
ca. 1950. The pair for $180,000 at Magen H Gallery.
Extraordinary ceiling-mounted chandelier (isn't it, or is it a "lamp"?) 
by Jeff Zimmerman at R 20th Century Gallery.
The next cardiac arrest: stunning desk by Jean ProuvĂ© at Gallerie Downtown. Sold to a collector before the show for an undisclosed price. Asking was € 350,000.
Whimsical floor lamps by Studio Job, at Galerie Vivid from Amsterdam.

All photos ©tckaiser

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