History lessons at the Fair
This year’s Design Miami stands not only served the most recent collectible furnishing debuts, but brought wonderful design stories from the past to life. In Converso, the subject of the AD100 party earlier in the week, a suite of pieces from John Dickinson’s famous 1963 fire station were reassembled in an elegant ode to the legendary decorator’s unforgettable home in San Francisco. Included are a hand painted trompe l’oeil bathroom cabinet, a galvanized metal table that appears to be draped in pewter, and an original version of the famous African table finished in plaster by Dickinson.
Meanwhile, at Salon 94, a captivating array of metal works by the relatively unknown artist Gloria Kisch – a bench that evokes a washboard; an industrial-looking rocking chair; a series of larger-than-life metal flowers brought a fresh take on the work of this long neglected talent.
Design gallery owners have been busy during the pandemic – and Design Miami has turned out to be the perfect time to meet some of the new dealers who have emerged in recent years. Objective Gallery, which was launched in Shanghai during the pandemic, showed sculptural lighting by Eny Lee Parker and distant furniture by J McDonald. The Room 57 gallery showcased a range of works by artists straddling art and design, including Brecht Wright Gander, who unveiled several light fixtures with an almost alien look. Meanwhile, Tuleste Factory, another New York design destination, debuted with a warm-hued stand dotted with designs by Facture, Timbur and Jt. Pfeiffer.
We made a few morning stops at some of our favorite furniture showrooms to see what new work they had in store. First, Stephan Weishaupt, founder of Toronto-based brand Avenue Road, offered a tour of his show home, a 1932 Art Deco house built by Martin L. Hampton. New designs from longtime collaborator Sebastian Herkner like a giant oak dining table and coordinating console, mixed with artwork from their latest project, a new in-house gallery program, dubbed 5oz.