NEW YORK - This new sale concept originated from an increasing trend that has been observed across the 20th Century collecting categories of Prints, Photographs and Design. Now, more than ever, people are not putting together collections focused on one singular category per se, but rather creating environments in which to live with objects from various disciplines that resonate together. Mixing and matching objects that “speak” to each other, either visually or thematically, seems to be an increasing trend in the way in which today’s modern interior is created. The Contemporary Living sale is representative of this trend, and is meant to provide an array of quality material from each of the three disciplines at price points that do not require having an advisor or spending large amounts of time and energy to understand the commitment.
This sale provides a platform for people both new to and established in the worlds of art and design to material that is meant to be accessible, fresh and young. It also presents an interesting opportunity to see works by major artists within different media that are available for purchase and speak to a broad audience.
DAVID HOCKNEY’S POOL MADE WITH PAPER BLUE INK, 1980. ESTIMATE $10,000–15,000.
One work that directly fits into this line of thought is David Hockney’s 1980 Pool Made with Paper Blue Ink. Pool compositions are quintessentially “Hockney” and stem from the period of time that he lived in Los Angeles, which he first visited in 1964 from London and subsequently stayed many years. Instantly recognizable, pool imagery can be found in the Hockney’s prints, paintings, works on paper and even in a wool carpet from 1988. As Luke Barley wrote in Architizer, “No artist captured the thrill of the quick plunge, or leisurely submersion, quite like David Hockney.”
(SHOWN RIGHT) NINO MIGLIORI’S IL TUFFATORE (THE DIVER). ESIMATE $4,000–6,000.
Another work that "makes a splash" is Nino Migliori’s Il Tuffatore (The Diver) from 1951. Migliori is a key figure in the Neorealist School of photography that emerged in the immediate post-war era after WWII in Italy. Throughout the 1950s, Migliori documented with reverence the fleeting moments of everyday life in Italy. The Diver draws us into a world of spontaneous lightness, action and authenticity.
Another iconic work in this sale from the same era but this time in America is the Charles and Ray Eames Lounge Chair. Working collaboratively, Charles and his wife Ray Eames, introduced a unique design and architectural vision in the immediate post-WWII era, responding to the needs of a postwar American consumer. Their design vision is now synonymous with the American midcentury design aesthetic, and the Lounge Chair offered as lot 119 is arguably one of the most recognized design product of the 1950s in America, and is still in production today.
CHARLES AND RAY EAMES, LOUNGE CHAIR, MODEL NO. 670, AND OTTOMAN, MODEL NO. 671. ESIMATE $5,000–7,000.
Also featured in this sale is Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Barcelona Daybed. Designed for the Barcelona Pavilion that represented the Weimar Republic in 1929 at the International Exposition in Spain, Mies’ focus on clarity and simplicity in architectural and interior spaces is reflected in his furniture designs. Both the iconic Barcelona chair and related daybed model (lot 65 in this sale) demonstrate Mies’ focus on materials and construction in combination with elegance and functionality. Mies, friendly with Florence Knoll, granted the production rights on this iconic design to the Knoll firm in 1953. This model has subsequently become one of the most identifiable forms in 20th Century furniture. Paired with the print below by Adolph Gottlieb Black Splash under Red Sphere, one can see how similar formal concerns are articulated – a crisp, clean simplicity of thought.
(SHOWN ABOVE) ADOLPH GOTTLIEB’S BLACK SPLASH UNDER RED SPHERE. ESTIMATE $1,000–1,500. (BELOW) LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE, "BARCELONA" DAYBED. ESTIMATE $8,000–12,000.
In the increasingly fast-paced and chaotic world in which we live today, it seems that people are becoming increasingly aware of and sensitive to their immediate surroundings and focused on creating a domestic habitat that is coherent, simple and uncluttered. This was the inspiration and goal for the inception of Contemporary Living – to provide objects relevant to the way(s) in which we live today, in a presentation that is visually simple, calm and clear.