Archive for April, 2018

Design | The Art of the Useful

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Johanna Grawunder
Specchio d’Italia, from
the Street Glow series, 2005
Acrylic, mirrored glass,
fluorescent lighting.
Produced for Galerie Italienne
.
Estimate £5,000 > 7,000



Important Design
Phillips
London | UK
Public viewing 19 > 26 April 2018
Sale 26 April 2018



Since the early decades of the 20th century when design, as we currently understand it, was ‘invented’, functionality – at least in theory – has been its defining feature. Ettore Sottsass’s Nefertiti writing desk, below, might appear to be more suited to a gallery space than to one that people inhabit but it was designed to be used. And if at first glance, many of the other items in this ‘Design’ sale can be mistaken for works of art, they are all also, notionally, functional. (In saying that, it’s difficult to imagine what objects such as Shiro Kuramata’s Hammer House hammers, see final image, below, could purposefully be used for).

Sottsass is only one of the many Italians, whose work dominates this sale, which also includes a large number of items by French creators, as well as others from a broad gamut of international names. Like Sottsass, while few of them are artists, per se, many of them, such as American, Johanna Grawunder, whose Specchio d’Italia fluorescent light (above) shines like a beacon celebrating the spirit of the event, have produced work across several disciplines. Based in Milan, Italy and San Francisco, Grawunder’s practice extends from large-scale public installations, across architecture and interiors, to limited edition furniture and the lighting for which she is particularly well-known.

Gio Ponti
Two hand mirrors,
designed 1932, executed 1960s

Mirrored glass, coloured glass.
Produced by Fontana Arte.
Estimate £3,000 > 5,000



Jean Royère
low table c 1955

Indian rosewood-
veneered wood.
Estimate £30,000 > 50,000



László Moholy-Nagy
Prototype desk set, 1946
Pen rest and letter holder,
chromium-plated brass, brass.
Parker 51 pen designed by
Kenneth Parker and Marlin
Baker, 1938.
Estimate £60,000 > 80,000



Bauhaus master and polymath, László Moholy-Nagy, is perhaps best-known for his ground-breaking experiments in art and photography but, vehemently opposed to creative limitations of any kind, in 1946 he designed a prototype for the pen rest and holder shown above.

Throughout his long career, unwilling to be tied to a single discipline, at various times, and often concurrently, Gio Ponti was an architect, ceramicist, interior designer, furniture designer and magazine editor. The two minimal, glass hand mirror designs he created in the 1930s, being sold here as a single lot, above, had not dated by 1963 when they were finally put into production.

Ettore Sottsass Jr
Nefertiti writing desk, 1968 > 1969

Plastic-laminated wood, steel.
Manufactured by Poltronova.

Estimate £40,000 > 60,000



Shiro Kuramata
Pair of Hammer House hammers
designed c 1985

Steel, painted steel, painted wood.
Manufactured by WEST.
Property from the Soseikan House,
Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan.
Estimate: £2,000 > 3,000



With a total of 171 lots, Important Design at Phillips, also includes items designed by revered creators such as Harry Bertoia, Gabriella Crespi, Pietro Chiesa, Jean-Michel Frank, Shiro Kuramata, François-Xavier Lalanne, George Nakashima, Ico Parisi, Jean Prouvé, Jean Royère, Gino Sarfatti, Carlo Scarpa and Line Vautrin among a host of others.

Images courtesy Phillips


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, gardens and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier



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Design | If You Don’t Like It, Fight It!

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Germar Wambach,
Terror – Error, 1992
© Germar Wambach



Protest!
Resistance Posters
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Arial,
Zürich | Switzerland
20 April > 2 September 2018



Atelier Populaire
(anonymous collective),
On vous intoxique!, 1968
© unknown



1968. It was to be expected that a whole series of international visual arts presentations would mark the anniversary of such a momentous year. To date, we’ve blogged about three directly and indirectly-related events: Klaus Staeck: Sand in the GearboxDay by Day: 1968, and Power to the People: Political Art Now. No doubt, in the coming months, we’ll cover others as we hear about them.

Bruce Kaiper,
Love, 1974
© unknown



Luba Lukova,
Sudan, 1999
© Luba Lukova



Niklaus Troxler, 1992
© ProLitteris



We make no apologies for this: the turmoil the world is currently experiencing – Trump’s roller coaster US presidency, Russia’s sinister undermining of democracy, the madness of Britain’s apparently inexorable exit from the EU, the resurgence of right wing politics across Europe, the inhumanity of the Syria crisis, North Korea’s dangerous posturing, the destructive nature of Islamic extremism, the economic imbalance caused by globalisation, our growing awareness of the seriousness of environmental issues, as well the battle raging for women’s rights – render 2018 shows, such as these and this forthcoming one in Switzerland, particularly timely and thought-provoking.

Luis Veiga, 2016
© Luis Veiga



Protest! Resistance Posters at Museum für Gestaltung Zürich will bring together a selection of some 300 posters from a host of international designers, the majority of which were produced during the past 50 years.

All posters from Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Poster Collection, courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich


Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, gardens and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being made available to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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