Tiwa Select opens permanent Tribeca home with a show of new works in Murano glass

Tiwa Select celebrates its permanent New York gallery space with an exhibition of new works by Dana Arbib (until 17 October 2023)

Dana Arbib Murano glass objects and lighting in Tribeca loft space
(Image credit: Courtesy Brian W Ferry and Tiwa Select, 2023)

A year after making the jump from West Coast to East Coast, the roving design gallery Tiwa Select has put down real roots in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood. Located on the fifth floor of a former electric parts factory that dates from 1915, Tiwa Select’s sprawling new home is here to stay. 

‘I had a pretty complicated landing in NYC after the ease of LA,’ says the gallery’s founder Alex Tieghi-Walker (featured in the Wallpaper* USA 300 guide to creative America). ‘My first gallery space basically fell down after one show, the second (temporary) space at the National Arts Club was magical, but was a fifth-floor walk-up and too small to do anything that a lot of people would have been able to experience. I'd nearly given up finding somewhere, then I joined forces with my friend and now-business partner, set designer Currie Ritchie, who lined up a bunch of viewings. This gallery couldn't be a better place to put down roots here. It feels very “old Downtown” – views of brick alleyways and patinaed shutters, lofty ceilings and a patchwork floor of plywood, original floorboards and repaired patches of tin and lead. A rickety elevator, all the things that feel lost from a lot of buildings today.’

Glass lighting and sculptures in a Tribeca loft space

'Radice' sconce in amber and saffron, and 'Pezzi Due' vase by Dana Arbib, 2023; 'Checkers' rug by Beni Rugs; 'Zig Zag' dining table by Tucker Robbins, from Somerset House

(Image credit: Courtesy Brian W Ferry and Tiwa Select, 2023)

To properly inaugurate the space, Tieghi-Walker has staged a second showing of works by glass artist Dana Arbib, who has created 17 unique lighting objects and vessels in Murano glass. Arbib’s first glass works were originally presented during NYCxDesign 2022, in a show that nodded to the colours and shapes found in Roman glass and North African relics, while paying tribute to her Libyan heritage and expressing a romanticised fusion of Jewish, Italian and North African cultures. A self-taught designer who developed a relationship with Murano glass after discovering that a distant uncle, a Libyan migrant-turned-glassblower, owned a furnace in Venice during the early 20th century, Arbib partners with master glass artisans in Murano to produce the works.

In this follow-up group of works ‘Vetro Orto’, which means ‘the glass vegetable garden’, Arbib’s pieces allude to familiar shapes – gourds, brassicas and root vegetables – that expand upon her visual language that draws from the natural world.

Glass lighting and sculptures in a Tribeca loft space

'Rami' chandelier, 'Spina' vase, and 'Avvolgere' candlesticks by Dana Arbib, 2023; ‘Purkersdorf’ armchair by Joseph Hoffmann and Koloman Moser for Wittman, 1970, from Somerset House

(Image credit: Courtesy Brian W Ferry and Tiwa Select, 2023)

‘The pieces mimic fractals and logarithmic sequences found in nature that push the physical capabilities of glass in a spectacular fashion. Familiar forms are paired with unexpected colorways to create an otherworldly body of work,’ says Tieghi-Walker. ‘I find glassmakers in Murano are either making pieces that feel very traditional –historic forms and colour – or they swing so far the other way, making exaggerated and futuristic-looking works that somehow miss the mark. What I love about Dana's work is that it sits between the two, feeling traditional on the one hand, in the way that it references historical glassware, but pushing the colour and ornamentation in a very forward-thinking way. The colours she uses are so vivid and brave, the works look like little aliens.’

Glass lighting and sculptures in a Tribeca loft space

'Gemma' vase by Dana Arbib, 2023

(Image credit: Courtesy Brian W Ferry and Tiwa Select, 2023)

With objects from the Queens-based vintage design gallery The Somerset House, including pieces by Alvar Aalto, Tucker Robbins, and a historic Biedermeier daybed, also on display to create a richer context in which to view Arbib’s work, the exhibition reinforces Tiwa Select’s position in the design community.

‘The aim is for this gallery to operate more like a cultural space, hosting food events as well as different types of artists and exhibitions. We referenced the creative pioneers in this part of town – Paula Cooper, Ingo Maurer, Donald Judd – and how they transformed their spaces. I think what we share with those pioneers is a tight budget,’ says Tieghi-Walker. ‘Currie and I had totally self-funded this project so we were doing things with the resources we had: a lot of late nights stripping varnish from the floors and rewiring, plumbing ourselves. The space feels soulful and breaks the traditional feel of galleries in this part of the city. We're excited to see the space evolve and grow.’ 

‘Vetro Orto’ is on view until 17 October 2023

TIWA Gallery
86 Walker Street
5th Floor, New York City, NY 10013


Murano glass lighting and objects in a Tribeca loft

'Suolo' table lamp, 'Fiorire' sconce by Dana Arbib, 2023

(Image credit: Courtesy Brian W Ferry and Tiwa Select, 2023)

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.

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