Posts Tagged ‘Phillips’

Ceramics | The Handmade Tale

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Yoshitomo Nara,
Untitled, 2007
Glazed ceramic.
Estimate £60,000
> £80,000



Shape & Space:
New Ceramic Presence
Phillips
London | UK
Sale 5 October | 2018
Ticket-only admission.
Exhibition 28 September >
5 October 2018



Lucie Rie,
Footed bowl, 1985
Stoneware, matt
blue glaze with
golden manganese lip.
Estimate £40,000
> £60,000



Kathy Butterly,
Overgrown, 2001
Glazed earthenware,
glazed porcelain,
Estimate £12,000
> £16,000



When artist Clare Twomey’s interactive installation, Factory: the seen and the unseen, comprising a 30-metre workspace, with eight tonnes of clay, a vast area of drying racks, and over 2,000 fired clay objects, opened this time last year at Tate Modern it was seen as a sign of the times.

The carefully-curated items in Phillips’ forthcoming sale encapsulate the story of contemporary ceramics up to the present, when the medium has finally cast off its poor-relation-of-fine-art status, and is recognised as a major art form.

Many contemporary potters have chosen to preserve the customary feel and look of the 20,000-year-old craft. The influence of Picasso’s early, decorated, utilitarian pieces – he produced 633 different ceramic editions between 1947 and 1971– is apparent in Yoshitomo Nara’s 2007, Untitled plate (top), which also evokes traditional Japanese pottery. Others opted for experimental approaches and unconventional aesthetics. Phillips’ lots include Kathy Butterly’s quirky, anthropomorphic Overgrown (above), from 2001. Butterly took her cues from the revolutionary California Clay Movement’s Ken Price, whose elemental 1983 piece, Edo, also in this sale, fuses painted ceramic, maple, painted wood, and glass, but went further.

Ai Weiwei
He Xie, 2010
(Detail and
complete work).
Porcelain, in
approximately
2,300 parts.
Estimate £400,000
> £600,000



While each finely-crafted, porcelain crab in Ai Weiwei’s He Xie (Chinese for crab but also meaning ‘harmonious’), above, emotes the intimacy and human scale of the handmade, the complete piece, suggesting mass food production, mass population, and mass politics, has a more sinister undercurrent. Twomey’s Factory installation, in which the public could mould or cast jugs, teapots and flowers was inclusive and democratic, and, although it hasn’t worked out that way, Picasso’s idea was to make his work accessible and affordable.

Roy Lichtenstein
Ceramic Sculpture
#10
, 1965
Painted and
glazed ceramic.
Estimate £250,000
> £350,000



This tightly-edited auction includes an exclusive group of 31 items by 24 artists, among them, Lucio Fontana, Lucie Rie, Sarah Lucas, Hans Coper and Ron Nagle. The viewing exhibition for Shape & Space: New Ceramic Presence at Phillips is open to the public. The auction, in which lot estimates vary between £7,000 to £600,000, is a ticket-only event.

All images courtesy Phillips


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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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Auction | Art for Change

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Catherine Opie
Surfer for One Drop, 2018
Pigment print.
Estimate $80,000 > 120,000



Art for One Drop
Phillips
New York City | USA
Charity Auction
21 September 2018
7pm EDT / 12 am GMT,
Public Viewing
15 > 21 September



Nate Lowman
Smells Like Water, 2018
Oil on canvas.
Estimate $40,000 > 60,000



Ai Wei Wei
Wave Plate, 2014

Porcelain, from a series
of unique variants.
Estimate $140,000 > 190,000



One Drop founder, Guy Laliberté, who co-founded Cirque du Soleil in 1984, is aiming to transform 200,000 lives via the charity auction Art for One Drop.

‘Art,’ says Laliberté, who has become a major collector and whose wider ambition is to bring positive change to the global water crisis, ‘is very powerful and can be used to change the world in a positive and impactful way.’

The eagerly-awaited sale featuring a diverse selection of specially-created and recent works that Laliberté has persuaded world-renowned contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Gabriel Orozco, Christopher Wool, Jenny Holzer, Olafur Eliasson and Tracey Emin to donate will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be used to provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to vulnerable communities in Latin American.

Nicolas Party, 2018
Sunset

Pastel on canvas.
Estimate $60,000 > 80,000



Olafur Eliasson
Tidal Pool Star, 2018

Coloured glacial-rock-flour
glass (light green),
coloured glass (red, yellow)
and driftwood.
Estimate $40,000 > 60,000



Tracey Emin
I Listen To The Ocean
And All I Hear Is You
, 2018

Neon.
Estimate $150,000 > 200,000



In 2007, moved by the shocking statistic that a child died from a water-borne disease every 8 seconds, Laliberté set up One Drop as a global not-for-profit organisation with a clear objective of delivering long-term impact and sustainability. Over the past decade, it has financed 13 international development projects in the water sector, in the process earning itself world-renowned accolades, including the prestigious UNWater Award for Best Practices and the International Water Association’s Innovation Award.

Collaborating with hundreds of artists across the world, One Drop assists and encourages them to bring about change within their own communities. It is also working with several international and local partners to help enable governments to reach the United Nation’s goal of ensuring access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.

The Art for One Drop charity auction will take place at Phillips in New York, where the works can be viewed in advance but bids can also be placed online.

All images courtesy Phillips, One Drop and the artists


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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’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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Exhibition | Laura Wilson in the American West

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Donald Judd
Marfa, Texas,
November 3, 1993



That Day: Laura Wilson,
Pictures in the American West
Phillips
New York City | USA
Exhibition 3 January > 9 February 2017



Hutterite Boy on Appaloosa
Golden Valley Colony
Ryegate, Montana,
June 15, 1993



Hutterite girls during
haymaking season
Surprise Creek Colony,
Stanford, Montana,
August 22, 1991



When I first met her in 1992, Laura Wilson’s sons, Luke, Owen and Andrew Wilson destined – along with their friend Wes Anderson – to become huge Hollywood names, were unheard of. Meanwhile, her claim to fame was that from 1979 to 1985 she had assisted Richard Avedon on his epic journey to photograph 752 people in seventeen Western states for his In the American West project. Laura had since become established as a successful photographer in her own right in the US, where her photo book, Watt Matthews of Lambshead Ranch (Texas State Historical Association, 1989) had earned five major honours; she was now keen to spread her wings internationally.

To date I had found the hubristic attitude of many of the photojournalists with whom I’d come into contact, and whose work – however much I admired the images – was often interchangeable with that of their contemporaries, somewhat repellent. But here was someone quietly spoken, modest and polite, with a big box full of extraordinarily stylish and striking photographs that had little in the way of shock value, but which were as moving as any The Sunday Times Magazine – at the time, I was its deputy art director – had ever published.

The following year, having been promoted to the position of art director, with a brief to modernise the Magazine and to give it a more stylish edge, I wasted no time in commissioning Laura to shoot a portfolio of images of the artist Donald Judd (1928 > 1994). Judd’s untimely death would occur shortly before the issue that featured the story over 10 pages, appeared.

In 1997, by which time I was art director of the German edition of Elle, and Laura was shooting fashion for our direct competitor German Marie Claire, we met up in Munich. She was disgruntled with Marie Claire’s proposed layout of her pictures, and showed it to me. At the risk of losing my job, I secretly rejigged it for her, and everyone was happy.

Laura and I had become friends. We got together when I visited New York to attend the fashion shows and on her subsequent visit to Munich I invited her to my home; we drove up into the mountains together, where she kindly photographed my family and I.

Simone, Lesley, Natalie
and
Pedro Silmon
c 1998, on the Brauneck,
Bavaria, Germany



Some of the first images that she had shown me were of the Hutterites – a religious community Laura had already visited several times, that shuns the modern world and leads an isolated existence on large farms and ranches, on the prairies of Montana. In 1998, we decided to compile a book of the Hutterite material. Laura told me that she loved my layout proposal, and, in the middle of our discussion of the project’s logistics, I was invited to New York to talk about a job opportunity. Laura went with me to look at property in Greenwich, where – had things worked out – I proposed to live. During the trip, however, a personal misunderstanding occurred between us. Yale University Press subsequently published her book, Hutterites of Montana, in 2000; I was not the designer.

Our relationship deteriorated further after I commissioned Laura to take photographs of the tiny, independent island nation of Tuvalu in the South Pacific for Weltbild, one of several German magazines that, as creative director, I supervised from 1999 to 2001. She produced a wonderful set of images, but, sadly, I was on a family holiday when they were delivered; I had no hand in editing them, or any involvement in the disappointing layout that was published. But all that was a long time ago…

Cowboys Walking
J R Green Cattle Company,
Shackelford County, Texas,
May 13, 1997



Shiprock
Shiprock, New Mexico,
November 17, 2009



Among many other prominent magazines, Laura Wilson has worked for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, British GQ, Wallpaper, and The Washington Post. Her book, Avedon at Work, was published by The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center/University of Texas Press, in 2003.

I would like to wish Laura the success she deserves for her forthcoming exhibition, That Day: Laura Wilson, Pictures in the American West at Phillips.

All photographs by and © Laura Wilson.
Images 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, courtesy Phillips.
Image 4, writer’s own


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent 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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Photography | Mert & Marcus: Generation Sex

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Mert & Marcus
Tied Up, 2001



Mert & Marcus
Works 2001 > 2014
Phillips
London | UK
24 October > 3 November 2016

>

Phillips
Paris | France
9 > 16 November 2016



Mert & Marcus
Time for a Swim, 2005



For all the fetishism and indeed, nudity, of their imagery, sexiness, as such, is often in short supply in the work of fashion photographers Mert & Marcus, a selection of which will go on show from next week in a series of selling exhibitions at Phillips in London and Paris. But has ’sexy’ fashion photography gone out of fashion and, if so, how has the situation come about?

It was no co-incidence that M&M were commissioned by Vogue Paris to create the magazine’s September 2013 Grunge Fever cover. When grunge had emerged in Seattle’s music scene in the mid-80s, it brought with it a certain attitude personified by the band Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – in photos he invariably appeared tortured and listless – who struggled with an addiction to heroin before committing suicide, aged 27, in 1994. That year, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, both born in 1971 – Alas in Turkey and Piggott in Wales – met in England. Piggott was assisting fashion designer Alexander McQueen and taught Alas how to use a camera. Deciding to work together, three years later they took their first photographs to style magazine Dazed & Confused, who used one on the cover.

In 1990, photographer Corrine Day’s first collaboration with Kate Moss for The Face had captured grunge’s so-called ‘truth over perfection’, zeitgeist. Day and Moss’s deadpan British Vogue debut in 1993 would prove enormously influential, sending shock waves throughout the fashion industry and setting fashion photography on a course from which it has since struggled to break free. Overnight, the accessible sexiness that had first appeared in David Bailey’s pictures of Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s vanished. It was as if the life behind the eyes of the waif-like models the agencies began recruiting had been switched off. Encouraged by fashion editors, as the models stared into the void, their angular limbs falling into ungainly shapes, the younger photographers’ lenses drooling unaccountably, eroticism in fashion photography simply drained away.

Like fashion itself, sexual allure is a generational thing, but the phenomenon couldn’t be put down entirely to that – what was construed as alluring in the 1920s was still relevant in the sexually excessive 60s and 70s and the hedonistic 80s. Grunge, however, while dumping flirtation entirely, replaced the closeness of the model, who wore either a wary expression or one of of sheer boredom that communicated nothing, with distance.

Looking back, it’s not difficult to conclude that Beaton’s theatrically-posed fashion photography had lacked intimacy; Parkinson’s were too polite, and that Penn was more interested in lighting their elegant shapes than he ever was in expressing the sexuality of his models. Taking a cue from Germany’s Twen and French Elle, in the 60s and 70s, British magazine Nova made sex a mainstay: its photographers, such as Harry Peccinotti, Hans Feurer and Duffy inviting everyone to the seductive orgy that extended across its fashion and feature pages. Peccinotti’s 1971 landmark How to Undress in Front of Your Husband cover was a sensation, and the same year the magazine published a cover featuring a fetishist image of a masked blonde model in a black corset and fishnet stockings holding a coiled whip. Guy Bourdin’s photography for Nova and elsewhere was dark, sexy and challenging. Darling of the foot fetishists, interestingly, a search for his shoe images on Google, yields, among others, M&M’s Parallel Lines (included in the Phillips exhibition), miscredited to Bourdin on Pinterest. But Helmut Newton is generally given credit as the photographer who introduced fetishism, S&M and bondage into commercial photography. M&M’s inspiration is clear, but the lust and pent-up energy in Helmut Newton’s Big Nude (1978) is totally missing from their coolly stark, Lara, 2010. In his earlier work, technique and personality were foremost for Avedon, but his 1992 fetishistic photographs of model Stephanie Seymour, probably exerted an influence on M& M’s direct approach and cropping. The pair undoubtedly looked at Herb Ritts work, too, when creating Peeling Apple, 2010.

The chill wind of minimalism blew through fashion photography in the late 90s, crystallising it into frigid images of stiff, skeletal models – sexless beings that relentlessly haunted the pages of style magazines from Paris to Milan and London to New York. It was as if passion had suddenly died. The legacy of grunge wasn’t entirely to blame; in Comme des Garçons’s Spring / Summer 1997 show, Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body, Japanese designer, Rei Kawakubo, by freely adding to and adapting the female body’s lumps and bumps, was attempting to re-cast womenswear as gender-neutral.

Mert & Marcus
Peeling Apple, 2010



Mert & Marcus
Lara, 2010



A polished slickness began to materialise around about this time in the work of the emerging fashion photographers, amongst them Mert & Marcus, that would lead to enduring careers at the pinnacle of their profession. The emotion and inclusivity that are essential elements of sexy fashion images, however, remained absent. Mario Sorrenti and Miles Aldridge’s work still bears that same sense of detachment – the eroticism rarely ringing true.

Of the most successful photographers who have consistently produced glamorous and erotic fashion or fashion-based portrait images in recent years, M&M’s stablemate at the Art Partner agency, Mario Testino, stands out. Bucking the trend towards making sex a dirty word in fashion, it was Testino who helped Tom Ford present 1990s Gucci fashion as the antithesis of Kawakubo and Miuccia Prada’s deliberately unattractive, unsexy aesthetic. And Testino has stuck by his guns. In his cover shot of Claudia Schiffer, for German Vogue’s Sex issue in 2008, a fetishist game is suggested by the patent, black mask, while eye contact and body language act as an invitations to play. When he shot a nude Kate Moss for Vogue Brazil’s May 2011 cover, though she coyly turns her body away from the camera, Testino ensured that she only had eyes for you. In the 1990s – he relentlessly continues to employ the same technique – working with the healthy bodied supermodels, mixing them with the most presentable of the new, and by using sophisticated hair and make-up, Steven Meisel, was able to acknowledge grunge, but to retain a high level of sexiness in his fashion photography for Italian, French and American Vogue. Elsewhere, from the 1980s onwards, photographers such as Ellen von Unwerth and Wayne Maser, flew and continue to fly the flag of sexiness, notably through their work for the Guess jeans campaigns.

With German photographer Juergen Teller, who arrived in the wake of grunge, it was always clear that he could do sexy if he wanted to, a fact that shines through in his more recent work, and especially when Giselle is the model. When he isn’t being too crass, Terry Richardson, too, consistently creates sexy and current fashion output.

There is one other twist in the story of fashion photography, which leads back to Marcus Piggott’s old boss, Alexander McQueen, and more specifically to his muse, Isabella Blow – both, sadly, like Kurt Cobain, took their own lives – whose gothic preoccupation with death and sex, though talented in many ways, cast a funereal pall over almost every shoot she was ever involved in.

No lust for life, no joy of sex.

For the exhibition Mert & Marcus: Works 2001-2014 at Phillips’ London headquarters which travels on to Phillips’ Gallery, Paris, the photographers have selected 18 works to be made available for sale for the first time, with subjects including Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, Karen Elson, Lara Stone and Natalia Vodianova. In addition, four unique-sized one-off works will be offered in the Photographs auction at Phillips London on 3 November 2016.

All photographs by Mert & Marcus, © Mert & Marcus,
courtesy Art Partner and Phillips

Design consultant, photographer and writer, Pedro Silmon is a former art director of The Sunday Times Magazine and of German Elle, and creative director of Condé Nast UK’s Tatler 2001 > 2008. His book, The Bikini, was published by Virgin Books in 1986


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent 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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Auction | I Buy & Sell Therefore I Am

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Roberto Capucci
The Butterfly Dress, Haute Couture, 1985
Full-length gown in pleated and
stiffened silk taffeta.
Estimate £3,000 > 5,000



A Visual Odyssey
Selections from LAC
(Lambert Art Collection)
Staged by Jacques Grange
Christie’s, King Street
London | UK



Gordon Coster
Fashion for Marshall Field, c 1934
Gelatin silver print
Estimate £600 > 800



Of collectors, Baroness Marion Lambert once said: ‘[They're] hoarders, and probably fodder for shrinks. I’m no exception, although with the years I have learned to control myself, while weeding out the mediocre and superfluous from the essential and best…’. Doyenne of the art, and particularly photography collecting world, she has also learned exactly when to buy and how best to sell. On Friday 14 October, around 300 items from the Lambert Art Collection, which she amassed with encouragement from her late husband Baron Philippe Lambert of the Belgian banking family, will be sold in London via a groundbreaking sale by Christie’s in association with Simon de Pury.

The baroness achieved certain notoriety in 2004, when, having pioneered the collecting of photography as an art form since the early 1980s, she named her collection Veronica’s Revenge, after the patron saint of photographers (and, incidentally, laundry-workers). Roman Catholics, apparently, believe that a woman called Veronica, later canonised, wiped the face of Jesus when he fell under the weight of the cross on the way to Calvary, leaving an image of his face on the cloth, thus creating the first example of image transfer. Lambert’s intention had been to hang her collection in the new headquarters of the Bank Brussels Lambert Suisse in Geneva. However it contained, among other works deemed perhaps understandably by the bank’s senior executives as too shocking for their clients, Larry Clark’s Tulsa, (1971), a portfolio of ten prints of naked teenagers playing with guns and injecting amphetamine.

Giving up on that idea, shortly afterwards, with the help of Swiss auctioneer de Pury – once described for his flamboyant auctioning style and jet-set lifestyle as ‘the Mick Jagger of art auctions’, then chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company – the 300 works were sold for a total of $9.2m in a record-breaking 100% sell-out, single-owner New York sale that far exceeded the $6.3m estimate. When the last item, Barbara Kruger’s iconic 1983 image, I Shop Therefore I Am, fetched $601,600, spontaneous applause erupted in the saleroom.

Marilyn Minter
Twins, 2005
Chromogenic print
Estimate £20,000 > 30,000



Erwin Blumenfeld
La Pudeur, 1937
Gelatin silver print
Estimate £8,000 > 12,000



It was Baroness Lambert, always keen to try out new ideas, who again and more recently approached de Pury – his having left Phillips in 1997, set up his own company which later merged with Phillips, which he once more had left, now running an art consultancy de Pury & de Pury with his wife – asking him if he would be prepared to embark on an internet-only auction of the collection she had built up in the intervening years. He accepted the challenge, but in the end a hybrid solution was agreed upon, which involved his teaming up with Christie’s.

Not a company to stint on its sale pitch, no less than eleven videos, each an introduction to artists or other aspects of what became the Visual Odyssey event appear on the Christie’s website, the first being an introduction by Simon de Pury and Christie’s Chairman and Head of Postwar and Contemporary, Francis Outred, who talks about this sale as being an evolution of the legendary 2004 auction. Describing the main difference between that and next week’s sale, Outred, who praises Lambert’s ever-restless eye, is that although it contains a good deal of photography, A Visual Odyssey, spanning three centuries, and which includes objects that are as diverse as a wonderfully minimal Donald Judd desk and two chairs from 1989, to a 1953 Fiat 500 C Topolino, is about how to acquire a variety of great things and how you can successfully put them together. To that end, and as if the idea of Simon de Pury teaming up with Christie’s wasn’t going to turn a enough heads, exalted French interior designer Jacques Grange – his customers included Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Isabelle Adjani, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Alain Ducasse, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Paloma Picasso – he owns and lives in Colette’s former Palais Royal home – was invited to stage the exhibition, assembling all of the items together for twelve preview days at Ely House in London’s Dover Street.

A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC (Lambert Art Collection), the sale, takes place on 14 October at Christie’s, King Street, London, the first day of Frieze Week 2015. It will be presented on both the de Pury and Christie’s websites.

All images courtesy Christie’s


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and 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 sent 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 | Serge Mouille Lights up New York

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Serge Mouille
Simple floor lamp with Lampadaire shade,
designed 1953
Painted aluminium, painted tubular steel, brass
Produced by Atelier Serge Mouille, editioned by Galerie Steph Simon, France
Estimate $10000 > 15000 / £6370 > 9550 / € 8070 > 12100



Design
Phillips
New York City, USA
Exhibition 10th > 16th December
Sale 17th December



Born in Paris in 1922, and best known for his elegant, minimal, insect-like lamp designs of the 1950s, Serge Mouille originally trained as a silversmith at Paris’s École des Arts Appliqués, where he graduated in 1941, and taught from 1945. That year he opened his own metalwork studio, producing commissioned hand-rails, wall sconces and chandeliers for a small list of clients. A somewhat subdued start for a man whose design work would come to be compared with Alexander Calder’s sculptures, and who, in 1952, was to create a revolutionary stainless steel car, the Zebra, that, sadly, never made it to production.

Serge Mouille
Pivoting two-armed wall light with Lampadaire and Casquette shades,
designed 1953

Painted aluminium, painted tubular steel, brass
Produced by Atelier Serge Mouille, editioned by Galerie Steph Simon, France
Estimate $12000 > 18000 / £7639 > 11460 / €9680 > 14520



Perhaps it did all begin with Calder. But Calder himself had probably seen, or was aware of, the pioneering work of the constructivists and dadaists, of Naum Gabo and Marcel Duchamp, who invented kinetic art, imbuing their modernist works with movement. And Mouille, certainly knew Calder – 24 years his senior – well enough for the sculptor to have given Mouille’s girlfriend a small mobile as a present, so the comparisons that have been made could have some justification. It may have been, however, that in his design work, Mouille was reacting to the feelings in the air at the time, and whereas Calder’s work is about equilibrium and enlivened space, the younger man’s was based on simplicity and static balance.

As an antidote to their dreary post World War II existence, Europeans had begun searching for a new, more optimistic aesthetic. Wartime advances in technology had made it possible for designers to produce new types of furniture and home accessories that were stronger, but lighter in feel and look, than anything that had existed before, and the fast-expanding post-war population, would provide a ready market for them. Meanwhile, by the early 1950s interest in avant garde kinetic art was growing. Ernest Race’s jaunty Antelope chair, commissioned to furnish the outdoor terraces of the newly built Royal Festival Hall for the 1951 Festival of Britain, fulfilled its practical requirement, but had echoes of the playfulness of Calder’s work. It had the lightness of structure that was associated with kinetic art and shared something with the organic flavour of modernism that designers like Arne Jacobsen in Denmark, and Gio Ponti and the brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in Italy, were also experimenting with. In the USA Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia and Eero Saarinen championed this same warmer, humanist approach to design.

Gino Sarfatti
Floor lamp, model no 1003b, c 1946
Painted aluminum, painted tubular brass, brass, marble
Manufactured by Arteluce, Italy
Estimate $5000 > 7000 / £3180 > 4460 / €4030 > 5650



Great Magnusson-Grossman
Grasshopper
floor lamp, model no. 831, 1950s
Painted aluminum, painted tubular metal, brass
Manufactured by Bergboms Malmö, Sweden.
Interior of shade impressed with G-33-BERGBOM
Estimate $8000 > 12000 / £5090 > 7640 / €6450 > 9680



Pierre Guariche
Equilibrium
floor lamp, c 1951
Brass, painted aluminum, painted steel
Manufactured by Disderot, France
Estimate $12000 > 18000 / £7639 > 11460 / €9680 > 14520



Mouille had claimed that his lighting fixtures were ‘… a reaction to the Italian models, which were beginning to invade the [French] market in 1950,’ and which considered ‘too complicated.’ He may have been referring to Gino Sarfatti’s (1912 > 1985) work, which is relatively simple and functional, while sharing a similar aesthetic to his own. A few years younger than Mouille, Pierre Guariche (1926 > 1995), and sometimes referred to as one of France’s most famous, post-war furniture designers, also created finely balanced lamps, such as his Equilibrium floor lamp, produced c 1951. From Sweden, the anthropomorphic Grasshopper floor lamp – more giraffe- than insect-like – was devised in the 1950s by prolific industrial designer, interior designer and architect, Greta Magnusson-Grossman (1906 > 1999).

In 1953, the French furniture and interior designer, Jacques Adnet, who had first risen to fame in the art deco period, asked Mouille to design lighting fixtures for him, and, having found his forte, Serge Mouille would devote himself almost exclusively to it for the rest of his life (d 1988). He received a Diploma of Honour at the Brussels Expo in 1958, and at about the same time began to design institutional lighting – over several years creating items for the University of Antony in Strasbourg, for a school in Marseilles and for the Bizerte Cathedral in Tunisia. With the invention of neon tubes, in the 1950s, Mouille was inspired to design a series of floor lamps that combined incandescence and fluorescence. Mouille’s legacy of 1950s lamps remain, however, the last word in timeless elegance. Several exquisite early examples will be included, alongside others by his contemporaries, and many fine items of classic modern furniture, in Design, Phillips forthcoming auction in New York.

All images courtesy of Phillips. © Phillips



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Auction | 20th & 21st Century Design

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Design
Phillips
New York City, USA
Viewing: 5th–11th June, 2013
Sale: 11th June, 2013

On 25th April this year, auction house Phillips’ London Design Auction achieved the company’s highest ever result, totaling a humongous £6,109,375 / $9,286,250 / €7,147,969. Diego Giacometti’s (1902-1985) Torsade table and Marc Newson’s (b.1963) Orgone Stretch Lounge, each of which sold for£248,500 / $377,720 / €290,745, were the top two lots. Hoping to repeat that success in the forthcoming Design sale at their flagship galleries at 450 Park Avenue in New York, Phillips have gathered together some 115 interesting and diverse works by important, international 20th and 21st century designers.

While another of Newson’s Orgone series, produced around 1993 in aluminum and made by British coachbuilders specializing in the restoration of Aston Martin cars, is included, Ron Arad’s (b.1951) polished aluminium Important unique ‘Afterthought’ chair, 2007, (below) will also be sold.

Prominent amongst the Scandinavian items on sale is a large, double-spiral wall light – one of only 26 originals – from the Scala Cinema and Concert Hall, Århus Theater, circa 1955, by Danish architect, Poul Henningsen (1894-1967), or PH, as he is better known, who, synonymous with Danish lighting design, produced more than 100 lamps in his lifetime.

French designers will be strongly represented by, among many other items, a pair of doors designed by Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) for the Maisons Tropicales project, circa 1949. Prouvé’s studio produced Charlotte Perriand’s (1903-1999) architectonic Bibliotheque, circa 1954, that is also included in the sale and for which, incidentally, artist Sonia Delaunay chose the colours. French sculpture has a presence in the form of Alexander Noll’s (1890-1970) carved, abstract, elm wood piece, Untitled, circa 1970, and François-Xavier LaLanne’s (1927-2008) patinated bronze, Singe Avise (Grand), circa 2005, which, estimated at £613,560-920,160/$400,000-600,000/€523,480-785220, leads the auction.


Images from top
Poul Henningsen
Large double-spiral wall light, from the Scala Cinema and Concert Hall, Århus Theater, circa 1955
Estimate £230,014-383,325/$150,000-250,000/€114,630-327,150

Charlotte Perriand
Bibliothèque, circa 1954
Estimate £306,700-460,080/$200,000-300,000/€261,720-392,550

Alexandre Noll
Untitled, circa 1970
Estimate £184,030-276,085/$120,000-180,000/€157008-235,530

Ron Arad
Important unique ‘Afterthought’ chair, 2007
Estimate £306,700-460,080/$200,000-300,000/€261,720-392,550

Images courtesy of Phillips


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Architecture | Design | Objects des Architects

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Arts Décoratifs du XXe siècle & Design Contemporain
Sotheby’s
Paris, France
Exhibition: 22nd, 23rd, 24th & 26th November, 2012
Sale: 27th November, 2012

If it isn’t a contradiction in terms, the phenomenon of modern architects creating furniture, and sometimes decorative items, for use in the buildings they design and elsewhere might well be termed a ‘tradition’. And the importance of this tradition is confirmed in the upcoming Arts Décoratifs du XXe siècle & Design Contemporain sale at Sotheby’s, Paris, which features items by, among others, Le Corbusier (with Pierre Jeanneret), Gio Ponti and Tadao Ando: architects whose work overlapped in a time span stretching from early 20th century modernism, through mid-century modern to whatever label we’re currently attaching to 21st century contemporary.

Sir Norman Foster, and Foster and Partners, responsible for many of the world’s key buildings of the last 30 years have designed sofas, lamps, bookcases, door handles and even sanitary ware for a range of clients, including Knoll, Molteni & Co, Acerbis and Nomos. There’s even a Gherkin lamp available from Kundalini. If modernism hadn’t already caught up with the future, Zaha Hadid’s and Amanda Levete’s respective oeuvres might still be referred to as futuristic. Zaha Hadid ArchitectsZ-Scape Furniture, designed in 2000 and produced by Sawaya & Moroni, is an ensemble of lounge furniture, whose forms derive from geology, glaciers and natural erosion but the company has also created equally-arresting and sculptural vases, lamps and tables. At Future Systems and currently, at AL_A, Levete has produced sinuous benches for Established & Sons and, in collaboration with Phillips, lighting, notably the Edge light. Always keen to control every aspects of the furnishing of his interiors, John Pawson, too, has had several of his spare furniture pieces produced by Driade. Common amongst all of the products created by these architects is quality design and a high degree of craftsmanship.

The fine, glazed earthenware Classical Conversation/’L'architetto’ bowl included in the Sotheby’s sale was produced by him around 1924, just one year after Gio Ponti began his career as an architect, during a period when he was influenced by and associated with the Milanese, neo-classical Novecento Italiano movement. Ponti would go on to become one of his country’s most important 20th century modernist architects, industrial designers, artists and publishers – he founded and was twice editor of Domus magazine. Building offices for Fiat during the war years, the attention attracted by his Pirellone/Pirelli Tower (completed, 1960), in Milan, earned him worldwide fame and international commissions, including the Denver Art Museum, 1971. His renowned furniture designs for Cassina include the 1957 Superleggerra/Superlight chair, and he produced lights for, among others, Artemide and Fontana Arte.

Le Corbusier – still probably the most famous architect in the world, and certainly of the 20th century, his array of built work too vast and familiar to list here – and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret’s wood and partially grey lacquered free-standing cabinet, was made in 1927, having been designed for The Poplars/Maison Guiette residence. Built by the practice in Antwerp, the house is an early and classic example of the International Style. Having been joined by Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Jeanneret presented their new concepts in furniture design at the 1929 Paris Salone d’Automne. That same year, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whom Le Corbusier had probably met, along with Walter Gropius during a sojourn in Berlin, created the Barcelona chair for his avant garde German pavilion at the Barcelona Exposition. Although only two Barcelona chairs were made for the exposition, the design was put into production and became so popular that, with the exception of a sixteen-year period, it has been continuously manufactured. Earlier, In 1908, Le Corbusier had studied architecture under Joseph Hoffman in Vienna – himself an architect who loved to design furniture – and would have been familiar with Hoffman’s designs, based famously on the square, and particularly the Kubus chair, 1910, which was almost certainly an influence on his and his co-designers’ very cubic Grand Confort armchair, albeit the construction is entirely different. Centre-piece of the Salone d’Automne show, the famous design was reissued by Cassina in 1965. The company makes some fourteen other Le Corbusier furniture items, including the equally familiar LC4 chaise longue and LC6 dining table.

In a kind of reversal of the process, in 1924, furniture-maker, Gerrit Rietveld built the Rietveld Schröder house and filled it with objects he designed. When Eileen Gray, famous for her sumptuous Art Deco lacquered screens suddenly became a modernist convert, she built her exquisitely modern home, Villa E1027, designing for it radical, but equally luxurious pieces that required production by skilled craftsmen. Her Bibendum chair, originally created for the the rue de lota apartment in Paris, in 1925, lay largely forgotten until an original re-surfaced in a 1972 auction, which prompted a new production of the design classic. Eero Saarinen, studied sculpture in Paris and architecture at Yale before working on furniture design with Norman Bel Geddes and practicing architecture with his father, Eliel. His furniture for Knoll includes dining and low tables, the Executive chair, the Tulip chair, and the Womb chair and ottoman.

During the 1980s, when Alberto Alessi took over the management of the Italian Alessi kitchen utensil company, he began collaborations with designers, and especially with architects, to produce high-end, exclusive products. Among the best known of the company’s product range from this period are Richard Sapper’s kettle with a two-tone whistle and Michael Graves‘ kettle with the bird shaped whistle.

By 1941, when future Pritzker Prize winner (1995), Japanese architect Tadao Ando was born, modern architecture was firmly on the world map. Having taken no formal training Ando travelled the world visiting buildings by Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn, then established Tadao Ando Architect and Associates in Osaka, in 1968. Strongly influenced by his traditional Japanese background his architectural style emphasises empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity, placing the inner feeling of a structure before its appearance. Working primarily in exposed cast-in-place concrete, from a formidable list of 154 completed projects, Ando is best known for The Church of Light in Osaka, 1989, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St Louis, 2001, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 2002. Current projects include a mausoleum for fashion designer, Tom Ford. His minimal buildings are designed to contain little in the way of furniture, however he has lately collaborated with Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Son on a project to develop a prototype chair honoring the aesthetic of the late Danish designer Hans Wegner, which will be available in 2013. In 2011, to mark their 90th anniversary, he created a limited edition vase for leading Venetian glassmakers, Venini, established in Murano in 1921. At an estimated sale price of €35,000-45,000, a set of three of these vases, all signed and dated and coming from a private collection in Germany, is included in the Sotheby’s sale.

Objects included in the Sotheby’s sale, from top
Tadao Ando
Set of three coloured glass vases in anthracite, red and ochre, 2011, for Venini
Estimate €35,000-45,000

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret
Wood and partially grey lacquered wood, double-sided cabinet, circa 1927
Estimate €12,00-15,000

Gio Ponti
Glazed earthenware bowl, Classical Conversation/’L'architetto’, 1924
Estimate €15,00-20,000

Photographs ©Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio

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

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