Aesthetes heading to Miami for Art Basel this week might want to take a slight detour to Design Miami/2012, a meticulously curated wonderland of high-end furniture, lighting, and objets d'art from 36 international galleries. It's enough to make a loft-owner dizzy, so we hand-picked the 10 exhibitors showing the most exciting work at this year's show.
Marble Bowl, David Huycke
This Brussels-based gallery is all about jewelry, but don't expect any ordinary baubles. Think paintings and sculptures that reinterpret the very idea of jewelry, including sacrilegious broaches and geometric sculptures made of silvery beads.
Bookshelves, Charlotte Perriand
François Laffanour claims to be the first person in France to show off the works of Charles and Ray Eames, which is just one example of the modernist leanings of his collection. Expect a who's who of 20th century furniture designers, including the legendary self-taught architect Jean Prouvé and his equally notable contemporary, fellow architect/furniture designer, Charlotte Perriand.
Coffee Table, Pierre Charpin
Gallery owners Clémence and Didier Krzentowski have been collecting vintage lamps for the last 30 years with a focus on avant-garde Italian pieces dating back to the 50s. If lighting isn't your thing, this Paris gallery also has an extensive collection of works from contemporary designers such as Pierre Charpin (known for his cheerful furniture collection for Ligne Roset) and designer brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Cellular Chair, Mathias Bengtsson
If your knowledge of Scandinavian design stops at IKEA, consider this your reeducation. This Paris gallery's collection encompasses 20 years of cutting-edge designers from Finland, Sweden, and Norway. We especially love Astrid Krogh's glowing light sculptures and the wildly inventive, customizable furniture of Danish designer Ditte Hammerstrom.
Cité armchair, Jean Prouvé
Owner Philippe Jousse has a passion for 20th century furniture, two decades in particular: the '50s and the '70s. He has a gallery committed to both, showcasing museum-worthy names such as Swiss-born architect Pierre Jeanneret and the legendary Le Corbusier.
Aluminum, glass, and carbon fiber abound at the appropriately named Industry Gallery (first image, Chemine Inox, Peter Pierre Vera Székely), located in a 4,000 square-foot converted automotive repair shop in Washington D.C. If you're looking for a place to rest your favorite fashion mags, we recommend Jens Praet's gorgeous low table made out of recycled magazines, cleverly named "Elle Décor."
From the Mutation Series by Maarten de Ceulaer
La Borne, nestled in the middle of France, is known as the "potter's village," home to some of the finest ceramics in Europe. That's where this New York gallery finds much of its inspiration. Specializing in "French post-war design," it houses an impressive array of sculpture, decorative arts, and ceramics, much of it displayed in the gallery's new book La Borne: 1940-1980.
Nature / Nurture (After Otto Herbert Hajek), RO/LU
With an emphasis on up-and-coming and even anonymous designers, you're guaranteed to see something entirely new at Mondo Cane, the Tribeca gallery with a unique predilection for design from 1880 to 1980. At Design Miami the star is Ro/Lu, the Minneapolis studio that's made a name for itself with experimental and environmentally-conscious furniture.
Table, Peder Moos
Located on Milan's upscale Via della Spiga, Nilufar Gallery likes to match antique Oriental carpets and furniture with works from contemporary designers such as Michael Anastassiades, a London-based artist whose stark, glowing pieces are constructed with free-blown glass and polished metal.
Capelli d'Angelo, Ritsue Mishima
It's not all about Europe and the United States at Design Miami. Pierre Marie Giraud, located in Brussels, represents a number of top Japanese artists (along with Europeans and Americans) who specialize in glass, ceramics, and silver, including Ritsue Mishima, a Japanese expat living in Venice who creates mesmerizing vases out of complex glass forms.Design Miami/2012 runs December 5 - 9, 2012. See all 400+ works on display and learn more about the fair via Art.sy's sneak peek.
—Keith Wagstaff is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Follow him @kwagstaff.
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