Experiments and curious showcases at Design Miami/Basel
A celebration of design at its most joyful, whimsical, thought provoking and chic, there is inspiration around every corner at Design Miami /Basel (11-16 June). For collectors of contemporary curios and midcentury marvels, in the halls of Messe Basel, there is some of the best that money can buy.
One thing is certain, so entertaining are Art Basel and its sister fair Design Miami /Basel that visitors are relatively immune from that familiar condition: trade show fatigue. This year on the design side feels particularly fresh with a stronger, more established contemporary showing, and some progressive programming.
At its shared entrance with Art Basel Unlimited, visitors are delightfully transported via the Riviera Rendezvous from Stuart Parr Collection: a series of classic luxury and sports cars from the 1950s–1970s with an emphasis on rattan-seated vintage beach cars. A sky blue Fiat 600 Multipla Marinella by Fissore, anyone? Now we just need to find a beach.
In a new spin on swivel chairs, Philippe Malouin’s unconventional office furniture for Salon 94 Design is a highlight. Inspired by an in-depth study on office furniture, and fabricated using a variety of industrial materials and techniques, the colourful corporate suite includes an executive desk made of nylon, a welded and polyurethane coated steel pen [ot and a steel mesh rug.
New York-based lighting designer Lindsey Adelman exhibits a poetic new body of work as part of the fair’s experimental Curio programme. Entitled Paradise City, the sculptural installation – a fabulous tangle of blown glass and metal suspended above water – sees the light source embedded directly in the surface of the glass and making it virtually invisible.
Elsewhere Mathieu Lehanneur’s Inverted Gravity showcase also pushed the boundaries of blown glass – in his case, by balancing monolithic marble blocks atop a series of fragile bubbles. The compelling new collection of furniture newly tests the huge resistance of this ancient material, while also suspending belief.
At the fifth edition of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award that were annouced during Salone del Mobile, three impressive commissions in crystal – all inspired by water in some way – were on view from Shanghai-born installation artist Juju Wang, Dutch design duo Studio Klarenbeek and Dros, and London-based lighting designer Raffe Burrell.
Brazilian gallery Mercado Moderno dazzles with silver backdrop for its booth. Hosting the very special midcentury furniture of Abraham Palatnik, one of the pioneers of international kinetic art, these are shown for the first time outside of Brazil. The Future Perfect gallery, now well established with outposts in LA, New York and San Francisco, turned heads with its supersized ceramic furniture by Floris Wubben, and beautiful balancing animal lamps by Kristin Victoria Barron.
First time exhibitor Erik Thomsen Gallery’s show of Japanese bamboo ikebana baskets from the 1920s and 1930s was much applauded yet sublimely serene. Magnetic in their craftsmanship and saturated with stories, the vessels provide a perfect foil and discipline to the mad and magical innovation elsewhere in the Messe halls. §