Arts Coverage and Review

August 19, 2017

The Collective Design Fair in West SoHo

Shrimp Peels & Hair

More Peels SPH10-1

After walking through several art fairs, I took a much needed breather from Frieze Week to check out the Collective Design which was a first for me (at least in NY).  So Sunday morning, I headed to West SoHo with a bagel and coffee in tow, and just in time to catch a walk-through with a Collective insider who escorted our intimate group design enthusiasts throughout the fair.  Lucky for us, Collective Design founder, Steven Lerner was also part of the pack.  For novices like myself, I highly recommend walk-thoughs for its curated insight to period styles, coveted collectibles, anecdotes, process and materials, and overall design highlights.  It was a pleasant experience, at a relaxed pace, and a great opp to bring myself up to speed on design trends that included furnishings and accessories….and yes, a little art work too.  I can’t say Collective was about the latest trends, but rather a luxe taste level that caters to art collectors. Oh, and a shout out to the Collective Design’s automotive sponsor, Cadillac, which provided VIP shuttle service in their 2015 CTS — a perfect end-cap reflective of Collective’s elegance and style.

Ingo Mauer light fixture.  Collective Design - Photo, Tony Mangle - Shrimp Peels & Hair

Dana Barnes. Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair


Collective Design Founder, Steven Lerner – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

The third edition of Collective Design’s fair closed on Sunday, May 17, with exhibitors, collectors, and visitors across the board expressing tremendous enthusiasm for the diversity and ingenuity of this year’s presentations. Collective Design welcomed more than 10,000 visitors across its five-day run at Skylight Clarkson Sq in West Soho, a 25 percent increase in attendance from 2014. Its exceptional opening night drew several thousand tastemakers, design professionals, and buyers.

The 2015 fair featured 29 exhibitors from across the globe, including gallerists from Copenhagen, Madrid, Milan, New York, Oslo, Paris, and Stockholm, as well as 14 special installations, which highlighted the depth of Collective Design’s engagement with the creative community. The Collective Influence: Ingo Maurer exhibition and Sight Unseen OFFSITE pop-up, which were open to the public without ticket purchase, created dynamic counterpoints, allowing visitors to interact with the work of a design master alongside emerging voices.


One of the highlights was this recreation of ceramicist Cody Hoyt’s studio….could have spent hours in the booth. Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair


Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

“This has been the most successful year for Collective Design to date—we broke all of our previous attendance records, welcoming both connoisseurs and the design- loving public. It’s been so gratifying to bring together a diverse range of talents to celebrate design innovation and engage with the broader creative community,” said Steven Learner, Founder and Creative Director. “Our exhibitors and partners presented some of the most important historical material and exciting work being made today, enticing established collectors and many new visitors to discover design.”


Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair


Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

Among the prominent figures to experience the spectrum of design innovation and thinking were Maurizio Cattelan, Wendell Castle, Sofia Coppola, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Ronald and JoCarole Lauder, Don and Mera Rubell, Julianne Moore, Emily Blavatnik, Michael Boodro, Olivier Sarkozy, Annabelle Selldorf, Stefano Tonchi, and Glenda Bailey; fashion designers Mary-Kate Olsen of The Row and Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein; gallerists Sean Kelly, Cristina Grajales, and Paul Kasmin; interior designers Jamie Drake, Robert Couturier, India Mahdavi, Steven Gambrel, Anthony Ingrao, and Brian McCarthy; and designers Lindsey Adelman, Max Lamb, Jaime Hayon, Bethan Laura Wood, Sebastian Errazuriz, and Piet Hein Eek; as well as dignitaries from Italy, Norway, and Denmark. The fair also saw high visitation from national museums, including leadership from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Arts and Design; Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum; Carnegie Museum of Art; and Neue Galerie, among others.


This Yves Kein blue paper sculpture by Egg Collective was quite striking. Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

Strong sales of vintage and contemporary works were reported by exhibitors throughout the fair, reflecting a broad range of material, style, and price aimed to attract both the avid collector and those new to collectible design. Maison Gerard sold the 2015 lighting sculpture Entudia by artist Ayala Serfaty for more than $250,000 to a design industry leader. Nicholas Kilner sold a rare and important illuminated desk by Guglielmo Ulrich and a unique suite of furniture by Carlo Enrico Rava—both with asking prices well over $100,000. MMATERIAL, led by Fernando Mastrangelo, sold more than $300,000 in objects from its new outdoor furniture collection. Sienna Patti sold out of the featured Lola Brooks jewelry collection, with asking prices ranging from $8,000-23,000, and J. Lohmann Gallery noted sales across all his featured artists, including Merete Rasmussen, a piece of whose sold for nearly $15,000, and Sandra Davolio, whose work sold at prices ranging from $8,000- 12,000.


Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair


I so covet this mini-beast sculpture by the Haas Brothers – Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

First-time exhibitors LMD/studio, Chicago; Memphis–Post Design Gallery, Milan; and Friedman Benda, New York, drew new and seasoned collectors. LMD/Studio, helmed by Lukas Machnik, sold out their booth of contemporary, minimalist design by Rick Owen, Parts of Four, and others. Friedman Benda sold works by Wendell Castle, Adam Silverman, and Misha Kahn. Memphis-Post Design Gallery inspired significant interest from private collectors and museums across the country in Memphis material, reinforcing its importance to the evolution of design. The gallery sold more than $150,000 in objects, including three pieces by Shiro Kuramata, and is in discussion with a major institution regarding a large acquisition.

Designers featured in special installations and exhibitions highlighted the inclusive nature of the fair, attracting an array of buyers as well. Ashira Israel, of the Brooklyn- based studio IN.SEK, who cast and finished a series of concrete vessels onsite, sold nearly 200 unique pieces. Brian Thoreen, whose work was featured in Sight Unseen OFFSITE’s pop-up at the Collective Design fair, sold eight works, together worth more than $150,000.


Noguchi’s Secret Garden – Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

Among additional sale highlights: Glass Past sold a rare Murrine plate from 1959 by Paulo Venini to private collectors; Donzella sold nearly 50% of its booth, including several Fontana Arte mirrors and lighting pieces; Patrick Parrish Gallery sold more than 30 pieces from Cody Hoyt’s onsite studio; Wexler Gallery sold out of ceramics by Roberto Lugo and sold the Yumi Chair II by Laura Kishimoto to a private collection focused on American chairs; Galerie Gosserez sold a lighting installation by Dutch duo OS & OOS to a New York collector as well as two rare textile sculptures by Simone Pheulpin; among the works sold by Ornamentum were two pieces by Ted Noten at $25,000 each; and R & Company sold more than 15 works, including several of The Haas Brothers’ “Beasts” and glass pieces by Thaddeus Wolfe.


At the ADN Galleria booth. Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair

Exhibitors praised the Collective Design fair on closing day:

“Collective Design continues to grow in strength and importance. Steven Learner continues to prove that he has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in design today, both in New York and internationally.” –Patrick Parrish Gallery

“We are a different type of gallery. We are about collaboration. What we’re showing— this is our lifestyle. Collective Design gave us the opportunity to share our lifestyle with a new audience. The traffic has been so consistent. We’ve been able to create new relationships. It was a terrific experience.” –LMD/studio

“Opening night was fabulous. We were able to meet new clients and made major sales. Collective Design has really become a destination, and there is a clear sense of vision. The special installations and new projects are also stimulating and invigorating to the experience.” –Sienna Patti

“For our first Collective experience, we were excited to introduce Adam Silverman and Misha Kahn to the New York audience, alongside the iconic Wendell Castle. It is gratifying to see the response that these artists of three distinct generations had from the many collectors and curators who came to the fair from across the country.” –Friedman Benda

“Collective Design puts design in context. This experience has been as much about the commercial aspect as education by having such a range and diversity in one place. It’s really helped legitimize design from the 1980s, and expand understanding. The conversations with curators, collectors, and those new to design have been engaging and compelling. We’re looking forward to doing something even bigger next year.” –Memphis–Post Design Gallery


Collective Design – Photo, Tony Mangle – Shrimp Peels & Hair


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