NEW YORK – The Frieze fair isn’t the only attraction this week for collectors this week. Building on the success of its debut last year, the Collective Design Fair is back for its second edition. Founded by New York architect and interior designer Steven Lerner, Collective launched at Pier 57 and drew such collectors as Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti, Roman Abramovich and Sid Bass; and interior designer and tastemaker Delphine Krakoff. The event, which runs 8–11 May, has a new venue, the Skylight space at Moynihan Station, the historic McKim, Mead & White-designed post office in midtown Manhattan. There will be 37 international exhibitors on hand (up from 23 last year) including Dienst + Dotter, R & Company and Patrick Parrish, all of New York; Modernity, from Stockholm; Galerie BSL of Paris and Ammann Gallery, of Cologne.
With 125 design fairs and festivals dotting the globe, what was the impetus for Collective? “I was traveling abroad to source contemporary and vintage work because the fairs in New York were mostly antiques-based,” says the event’s founder.
From the array of 20th and 21st-century objects on view at Collective, here are five worth a closer look:
Donald Judd’s Corner Bench #53, 1990.
Donald Judd at Nicholas Kilner
The Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd also designed furniture, and his spare creations – benches, chairs and tables – are defined by the same rigorous honesty as his stacks and boxes. Judd’s 1990 painted aluminum Corner Bench #53 is just one of ten produced by Janssen during the artist’s lifetime, says New York dealer Nicholas Kilner, “and the only one in brilliant Traffic Blue.”
Arne F. Tidemand Ruud’s Holmenkollen chair, circa 1959.
Arne F. Tidemand Ruud at Fuglen
Americans have long been drawn to Scandinavian mid-century design and with the popularity of the TV drama Mad Men, its appeal has only grown stronger. Lesser known than his contemporaries such as Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner is the Norwegian craftsman Arne F. Tidemand Ruud, who designed for his family’s furniture business. Ruud’s 1959 low-slung teak and leather Holmenkollen chair, whose shape was inspired by that of a ski slope, is featured at Oslo and Tokyo gallery Fuglen. “What’s new for us is the explosive interest in Tokyo for his work,” says Fulgen owner Einar Kleppe Holthe.
Bae Se Hwa’s Steam 21 bench.
Bae Se Hwa at SEOMI
Gallery SEOMI showcases art and design in their Seoul location as well as in the unique venue of Pierre Koenig’s historic Case Study House #21 in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. At Collective, the gallery has examples by Korean designer Bae Se Hwa from his Steam series. Se Hwa uses steam to bend walnut to create seating that is “more like rhythmic, organic sculpture than purely in the arena of functionality,” explains Linus Adolfson, who heads up SEOMI.
Ayala Serfaty’s Asina light sculpture, 2014.
Ayala Serfaty at Maison Gerard
For her artful take on contemporary lighting, Israeli designer Ayala Serfaty melts masses of thin Murano glass rods to form an intricate skeleton, which she then cloaks in layers of polymer in subtle tones. Her 2014 Asina is formed of seven ‘clouds’ and measures a stunning 12 feet across. “It’s far more of an illuminated sculptured installation than a routine ceiling lighting fixture,” says Benoist Drut, managing partner of Maison Gerard.
Joseph Walsh’s Enignum III Low Table, 2014.
Joseph Walsh at Todd Merrill
The New York dealer Todd Merrill is showcasing the free-form designs of Irish designer Joseph Walsh. He may be a new talent on US shores but has admirers in the UK – the Duke of Devonshire. For Walsh’s 2014 Enignum III Low Table in olive ash, he strips wood into thin layers. “Then I manipulate and reconstruct them into sculptural compositions,” explains Walsh, adding that the series title derives from enigma and lignum, the Latin for wood.
Collective 2 Design Fair
Skylight at Moynihan Station, 360 West 33rd Street
8–11 May, VIP Preview 7 May, 6-7pm.