By PAUL LASTER, MAY 2017
Now in its fifth year, Collective Design returned May 3 – 7 to Skylight Clarkson Sq during Frieze Week and NYCxDESIGN with 28 international exhibitors and 21 special presentations.
Our favorite dealers showing furnishings were London’s David Gill Gallery, who presented a solo show of Fredrikson Stallard’s clear acrylic tables that looked like chunks of glaciers and a rock-like, fabric-flocked armchair, and Beijing and Los Angeles-based Gallery All, which offered the design team Aranda/Lasch’s new Railing Series that consists of whimsically bent stainless steel railings partially covered with Australian sheep fur and Zhipeng Tan’s brass tables and chairs inspired by environmental and figurative forms.
Combining furnishings with functional and decorative objects, New York’s R & Company displayed Jeff Zimmerman’s hand blown glass Splash sculptures, which resemble spurts of water hitting the wall, alongside Porky Hefer’s Wasp Nest sculptural hanging seat, The Haas Brother’s sheepskin covered stools that look a lot likebizarre beasts and Johnny Swing’s metal couch made from hundreds of U.S. nickels that have been welded together one by one.
Initiated as a design fair, over the past two years the show has added fine art and photography galleries to the line-up with great success. The galleries of Yossi Milo and Yancey Richardson presented a smart mix of figurative and abstract photography that would look good in any home, while Bryce Wolkowitz and Julie Saul added paintings by Jose Parla and drawings by Maira Kalman and Zachari Logan, respectively, to their otherwise photographic presentations.
Standouts among the special exhibitions were Mattia Bonetti, Noguchi/Stadler and Brook Landscape. Bonetti, the 2017 Collective Influence honoree, presented a survey of design pieces made between 2004 and 2014—including a cabinet that looks like a big wrapped birthday gift, a surreal purple side table that resembles stacked toast and a colorful leather sofa that brings to mind Matisse’s cut-out artworks. Designer Robert Stadler, who is currently showing at the Noguchi Museum, collaborated with the Noguchi curator Dakin Hart to transform a loading dock into a waiting room that mingled Stadler’s sculptural furnishings with Noguchi’s lamps and bronzes. And, with another nod to surrealism, Brook Landscape turned the entry to the fair into recycler’s dream space with its classical garden passageway—complete with a deck made from salvaged timbers from the Rockaway boardwalk and planters from its new Natural Workshop line.
Scroll through to see more pieces from our Collective Design dream collection. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, independent curator, artist and lecturer. He is a New York desk editor at ArtAsiaPacific and a contributing editor at Whitehot and artBahrain. He was the founding editor of Artkrush.com and Artspace.com and art editor of Flavorpill.com and Russell Simmons's OneWorld Magazine; started TheDailyBeast.com's art section; and worked as a photojournalist for Artnet.com and Art in America. He is a frequent contributor to Time Out New York, New York Observer, Modern Painters, ArtPulse and ArtInfo.com.view all articles from this author