ABOUT FACE ::: TECTONIC SHIFTS

Just as babies become the toddlers who grow up to be wallflowers or leaders or parents then grandparents, changing a litle bit every day -- so too does our world change bit by bit.  But every now and again, something huge happens.  Like when tectonic plates inching along crash at last, completely changing the landscape forever. 

Side note: Check out this sweet video that captures the aging of a young girl over a hypothetical span of 70 years.

http://vimeo.com/74033442#share

Like the way cubism, and the representation of multiple planes simultaneously in a single picture, forced so powerful a shift in artistic perspective that its influence extended beyond two-dimensional art into sculpture, architecture, and also the non-visual arts-- literature, philosophy, music.  

Villa Muller

Visiting Adolf Loos' Villa Muller in Prague was that for me - a pivot point.  

Authors like Beatriz Colomina (among many others) more eloquently describe the intensity with which Loos wields architecture - and the juxtaposition of rich and complex interior compositions against a stark facade - as a tool to comment on the human condition and the split between our private and public lives....

Anyway, I remember taking in the sumptuous materials, the spatial genius, the surprisingly vivid colors; and I was stumped by the presence of this table lamp that seemed so out of place. 

 

Villa Muller table lamp.jpg

But I've come around since then, and perhaps Loos foreshadowed the work of Thaddeus Wolfe, whose glass Assemblage pieces illustrate the impact of cubism in three-dimensional art forms.  Loos' table lamp, with its geometric forms, symbolizes "a profound reorientation towards a changed world."


With every movement come faddish elements as well, and geometric forms are trending pretty hard right now, and the fullness of time will reveal each piece's lasting power.  With everything frozen with this winter storm, a little time capsule of related eye candy we can come back to later seemed appropriate:

MARIA PERGAY : STEEL ON MY WISH LIST

For years a piece of furniture by Maria Pergay -- any piece by Maria Pergay -- has been high up on my list of coveted items.

Today, Christie's is having its auction Arts Decoratifs du XXe Siecle, and Lot 63 (below) represents a unique result of a collaboration with Maison Jansen: a table with two layers of glass enclosing decoration in stainless steel. 

 Christie's estimates the gavel will come down somewhere between $54K - $81K USD. 

Christie's estimates the gavel will come down somewhere between $54K - $81K USD. 

I first encountered her pieces when I was working at Studio Sofield and shopping for entry chair options for the NY flagship of Tom Ford.  We presented the Ring Chair, pictured at left (which was ultimately passed over in favor of the Lalanne that sits there now);   the curves of the stainless steel were mesmerizing...

Maria Pergay is known best for unleashing stainless steel's softer, more sensuous qualities that often take the back seat to its more industrial connotations. Her pieces merge fantasy and modernity, bringing warmth and softness to the cold material.

Something other-worldly surrounds Pergay's work, which is furniture, and some.... Each work, to Pergay, is "An expression of — what can I say, maybe like it came from Mars or the moon?"  Brigitte Bardot's alien beauty sits well with the lines of the lit tapis volant!

Pergay, born in 1930, began her career designing store window displays before releasing a collection in 1968 that was snapped up in its entirety by Pierre Cardin.  She is alive and well, still actively producing new work and enjoying revived interest in her oeuvre, including recent exhibitions at Demisch Danant in New York, Place des Vosges in Paris, and Design Miami.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, the department stores in NYC have unveiled their holiday window displays, reminding us that it is gift-giving season...
I'm not holding my breath that whoever secures the bid on the glass and steel dining table on auction at Christie's will just feel like giving it to me -- 
but I'd be happy with just about anything attached to a pouf rouban (image below) ! I'd be fine with the green one too.  

If you're craving more information, check out these tomes: