Alvar Aalto, Pair of armchairs, 1930s, Modernity
This birch armchair, a distillation of organic form that epitomizes the French designer’s love of plasticity and natural finishes, has been a minimalist touchstone for many—including Donald Judd, who had a pair in his Prince Street apartment in the ‘70s.
Reinier Bosch, Varoom, 2014, Priveekollektie
Borrowing from Roy Lichtenstein’s 1963 painting, Bosch’s table takes the Pop onomatopoeia icon and re-contextualizes it as a piece of furniture sure to add bold comic-book punch to any room.
Joana Vasconcelos, Side by Side, 2013, Gallery SEOMI
This double urinal, a nod to Duchamp’s Fountain, has been transformed by intricate, floral crochet into something whimsical (and, well, functionless). After a show at Versailles in which the artist constructed giant shoes out of pots, pans and yarn, this is another head-turning fantasy made of everyday objects and materials.
Sebastian Errazuriz, Samurai, 2014, Cristina Grajales Gallery
Errazuriz, whose talents span both the design and artistic spheres, brings his ceaseless mutability to this bookshelf, made of lacquered maple, steel and glass. It’s half DNA double-helix, half the ribcage of a beast.
Enrico Castellani, Superficie Blu, 2003, Mazzoleni Galleria d’Arte
One of Italy’s modern masters closely associated with the ZERO movement (a show of the group is on view at the Guggenheim in New York right now), Castellani started working with sculptural canvas stretched over protruding nails to evoke the tension between color and space.
Wieki Somers, “Frozen Lantern”, 2010, Galerie kreo
The Dutch designer created this frosted and ethereal, nebulous pink orb as part of her series “Frozen in Time,” which is based on Somers’s memories of a spring ice storm that covered Rotterdam, her hometown, in sheets of ice.
Yonel Lebovici “Fiche Mâle” lamp, 1978, Galerie Chastel-Maréchal
“Plugged-in” had a different meaning when this lamp was made in the ‘70s. Lebovici’s lighting fixture is designed to highlight the part of the lamp usually hidden from view. It bears a slight kinship with the Claes Oldenburg version from the same decade—but in a more reasonable, user-friendly size.
Rick Owens, Stag Chair, Salon 94
The fashion designer has been making furniture with brawny, luxe, and unexpected organic materials, such as antlers and marble slabs, since 2007. The objects extend his prowess beyond the runway into wood and fiberglass, while maintaining his grunge-meets-glam aesthetic and architectural forms.
Sam Francis, SF90-362, 1990, Galerie Diane de Polignac
Francis is closely associated with the Abstract-Expressionist painters, but unlike the core members of the group, he spent much of the ‘50s in Paris, which imbued his mode of abstraction with international currents of Tachisme. There are several stunning works on paper by the artist at the Salon Fair, with more joie de vivre—and at more accessible price points—than his American counterparts.
Jean Prouvé, Standard chairs, No. 305, Jousse Entreprise
This iconic set of No. 305 Standard Chairs from 1950 have come to symbolize that era of French design, and reached their cultural apex recently with Kanye West and André Balazs publicly coveting the pieces. I can see why.