Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: Display Cabinet By Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard

Gaillard Display Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

Like the side chair designed by Hector Guimard, seen just to the left of this cabinet in the bottom photo of this post, Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard’s Display Cabinet (1900) incorporates bold, animated, plant-like forms in its decoration. Gaillard exhibited similar furniture at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, also known as the Exposition Universalle, which helped popularize architecture and domestic objects with fluid lines and whiplash curves.

Gaillard Display Cabinet
Cabinet Design Detail

This cabinet was part of a larger set of dining room furniture that would have been marketed to both middle and upper-middle class consumers. A key idea of design reform at the turn of the 19th century was that well-designed objects should not be reserved only for the wealthy.

Gaillard Display Cabinet

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Eye On Design: Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Cozy Chair Installation View
Cozy Chair Installation View in the Todd Merrill Studio Booth at The Salon New York (All Photos By Gail)

An annual favorite NYC design event is now behind us for the year, but you can bet I’ll be featuring many of the most spectacular pieces of art furniture from The Salon Art + Design in these pages in the coming weeks. Let’s kick off with a unique chair from Berlin-based, Bauhaus educated, multi-disciplinary designer Hannes Grebin, who has created upholstered seating inspired by questioning traditional domestic decor. Applying the principals of Cubism to design, Grebin masterfully deconstructs the traditional shapes and detailing of a ‘Dad’s Chair’ into simplified geometric shapes and interlocking planes. Presenting The Cozy Chair!

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Grebin describes the chair as a ‘living sculpture,’ which puts the traditional views about comfort and taste into question. The Cozy Chair is a wing-back style that dates back centuries, but has here been re-analyzed, broken down and reassembled into something quite new and different.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

It is both fractured and asymmetric, but perfectly meets the demands of ergonomics. Angular and yet cozy, sculptural and yet functional, Grebin has struck a unique balance that makes The Cozy Chair an alluring work of design. The faceted planes meet elegantly giving the chair changing perspectives with each glance. His design is both a deconstruction and commentary on the mechanization of modern life.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Working with a master upholster in Berlin, the resulting seating is hand-crafted with the highest possible level of materials and workmanship. Grebin, the son of two architects notes, “Ultimately, I didn’t want to make just furniture. It was much more important for me that although all objects function, the design objects should become objects for discussion, in order to lead the theoretical design discourse to new ways and approaches.”

Available by commission from the designer; visit Todd Merrill Studio with all inquiries.

Eye On Design: David Bowie Aladdin Sane Chair

David Bowie Chair Installation View
Story and All Photos By Gail Worley

A definite “Oh, Wow!” moment at the recent BDNY show — (boutique design for the hospitality industry) at Javits Center — occurred when I walked into the booth for Century Industries. Because: David Bowie Chair.

David Bowie Chair Seat Detail
David Bowie Chair, Seat Detail

This gorgeous side chair, upholstered in vinyl imprinted with images of David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, is a show-stopper for sure.  The chair was designed by Century designer Lenny Levine in collaboration with Heloise Godin, another talented designer in the firm’s Connecticut office. Lenny was happy to fill me in on the chair’s origin story.

David Bowie Chair Back Detail
David Bowie Chair Back Support Detail

Heloise and I tried a few different mock-ups before deciding on the model you saw at BDNY,” Lenny told me. “Only two chairs of the Bowie print have been made so far. There’s another, slightly different version in our Connecticut showroom, with a black frame instead of chrome, where the artwork has darker tones, and there are no images of Bowie around the sides of the cushions. We have made this style of chair with different prints and metal finishes for shows such as HD (Hospitality Design) Expo in Las Vegas and HCD (Healthcare Design Conference & Expo) in New Orleans, which were both earlier this year. These design shows are all part of the launchpad for introducing the printed chair line.

Lenny enthusiastically admits to being a Bowie fan. “The image of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane was chosen because Bowie is synonymous with great art and high fashion. He is a seminal artist and his body of work is timeless; his sense of style beyond influential. David Bowie took risks, he pushed art and life to its fullest and, although he was British, he certainly invaded New York.”

Booth View
Installation View

Lenny explained that the chair was given a ‘Warhol‘ vibe, which then inspired Century to go with a Pop Art  / Deco style for its booth at BDNY. “The lightening bolt on the face was over sized and colored  a deep red and blue, giving it a bit of that Superhero feel. Although the vinyl appears to be distressed, that is a printing effect, making the faux leather appear to have texture.”

Bowie Chair Detail

Aladdin Sane Image Detail

“The additional images used are from the same contact sheets from the original album and promotional photo shoot, but they have been treated graphically to evoke motion. The steel frame of the chair was also fabricated on our Montreal factory and finished in a smoked chrome. This finish and the chair’s unique filigree backing gives it an automotive spirit!”

David Bowie Chair

This David Bowie chair is fit for a Rock Star, but priced at just $2500 (a steal), and Century will produce it on-demand for designers, hospitality, restaurants, etc. “We’re also getting requests from retailers to showcase the chair, based on our launch at BDNY,” Lenny added. Exciting! Visit Century on the web to inquire about the Bowie Chair at This Link!

Eye On Design: Sideboard by Edward Godwin

Sideboard by Edward Godwin
Installation View (Photos By Gail)

Though Edward Godwin initially worked in the Gothic Revival style, beginning in the 1860s he was increasingly influenced by the culture of Japan; collecting Japanese art and studying that country’s architecture and furnishings in ukiyo-e prints and Western publications. Inspired by such sources and frustrated with the commercial furniture then available, Godwin created spare designs such as this Sideboard in which the structural supports are the dominant, decorative element. The work’s primary aesthetic is achieved, as Godwin said, “by the mere grouping of solid and void.” Godwin made the first version of this sideboard for his own home in 1867.

Sideboard by Edward Godwin

Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.

Eye On Design: Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne-Marie Lanvin

Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne Lanvin
Installation View (Photos By Gail)

The Nazi occupation of Paris lasted from June 14, 1940 to August 25, 1944. The Nazi authorities initially planned to move the entire Paris fashion industry to the German Reich. Lucian Lelong, then head of the Chambre Syndicale, convinced them that the haute couture could only exist, “in Paris or . . . not at all.” Among those who could legally purchase Paris couture during the Occupation were some 20,000 French women (who had special couture ration cards) about 200 Germans, and citizens of neutral countries, such as Spain and Switzerland.

Jeanne-Marie Lanvin was a French haute couture fashion designer, who founded the Lanvin fashion house and the beauty and perfume company Lanvin Parfums. She designed this gray, black and gold Brocade Evening Coat in 1943.

Brocade Evening Coat By Jeanne Lanvin

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion, On View at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan Through January 4th, 2020.

Eye On Design: Bocca Sofa

Bocca Sofa
Photos By Gail

The iconic Bocca Sofa (also unofficially known an the Lips Sofa) was created by the radical Italian design team Studio 65 for the famed Italian manufacturers Gufram back in 1972. Based on an original design by none other than Surrealist Salvador Dali, who took Mae West as his inspiration, Studio 65 looked to that other iconic beauty, Marilyn Monroe, to create this famous sofa. Both Studio 65 and Gufram are known for being places where the art world and design world collided, and their kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design reached their zenith with this piece.

The voluptuous Bocca Sofa has gone down as a design classic, the perfect blend of playfulness and serious design. It goes without saying that it’s a statement piece, as this sofa would dominate the design scheme of any living room. At a sizable 83 inches in width, the Bocca will comfortably seat three and, despite its artsy background, it retains excellent functionality, being both extremely comfortable and coated with easy to clean polyurethane, while an inner frame of chromium plated steel lends solidity and quality. A guaranteed conversation starter, this is a sofa that expresses a bold personality through its design. (Source)

Bocca Sofa

Photographed at R & Company, Located at 64 White Street, NYC.

Eye On Design: F-4B Electric Bass By Born To Rock

F4B Aluminum Bass Guitar
Photos By Gail

The Born To Rock F-4B Electric Bass (1995) has a patented design with the following specifications:

Hollow aluminum-tube-frame body

One piece ‘headless’ Plexiglas neck and fingerboard

34 Inch scale

Precision bass-style split coil-pickup with volume and tone controls

The bass relies on a lightweight frame that holds the strings at tension over a tension-free neck, which avoids the warping associated with wooden instruments. Since the open, skeletal design has no conventional headstock, the tuners are mounted below the bridge at the bottom of the body. This bass guitar belongs to Steve Miller.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

F4B Aluminum Bass Guitar Installation View
Installation View

Eye On Design: Sea Beauties Vintage Wallpaper

Sea Beauties Wall Paper
All Photos By Gail

Designs inspired by nature form the largest group of more than 10,000 wallpapers in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Often, a wallpaper theme would tie-in with the room’s use: designs of food were popular for dining rooms and water motifs dominated in bathrooms. The modern bathroom. with a designated space indoors, running water and flush toilets, had been developed by the late nineteenth century.  Given the concerns for hygiene and running water, ceramic tiles were the preferred wall-covering because of their durability and sanitary nature. For those on a budget, early wallpapers imitated this look with varnished tile patterns.

Sea Beauties Wall Paper

Around 1910, bathrooms shifted away from this sterile, hygienic look to become a more pleasant, decorative room that was harmonious with the home’s decor. Some moisture-resistant coverings were introduced in the early 1900‘s, but general-use wallpapers at this time were printed with water-soluble pigments and thus were unsuitable for use in bathrooms.

Panel 2

By 1934, the development of washable wallpapers coincided with a new array of decorative papers that had no hint of their sanitary past; rather, scenic designs featuring more panoramic views, as seen here, became popular, appealing to decorators and homeowners who wanted to bring the outdoors inside.

Panels 1 and 2

Sea Beauties Scenic Wallpaper (1920 – 35, Ideal Wall Decoration) seen here in this three-panel set, contains a lively underwater view of fish, shells, coral and plant life in their natural habitat. Multiple sets could be used to wrap around the bathroom, creating an immersive environment.

Panel 3

This early water-resistant design is printed in oil colors, so it could withstand the moisture and occasional splash from the tub, giving the wallpaper both a practical and decorative purpose.

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Upper Manhattan.

Sea Beauties Wall Paper

Eye On Design: Rei Kawakubo’s Tartan Dress

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress
Photos By Gail

Fall weather is slowly creeping into NYC, which means fashionable ladies are thinking about layering-up, integrating heavier fabrics into their wardrobes, and maybe adding a tartan plaid to a traditionally muted seasonal color palette. From the look of it alone, one might assume that this voluminous design by designer Rei Kawakubo is from a fall line, but you would be mistaken. It was Kawakubo’s collection from Spring 2017 that featured enormous garments that engulf the body, such as this geometric Tartan Dress for her label, Comme de Garcons. Her designs have typically embraced abstraction and, more recently, a non-functional style. Since 2014, the designer’s collections have consisted of garments that bridge the gap between art and fashion, moving into uncharted territory.

Photographed at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Rei Kawakubo Tartan Dress

 

Eye On Design: Steer Horn Chair By Wenzel Friedrich

Steer Horn Chair
All Photos By Gail

Trained as a cabinet maker, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the US in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas. In 1880, he realized the potential of the Texas stockyards’ plentiful supply of steer horns for use in the making of furniture. It is likely that Friedrich was inspired by furniture he had seen in Europe, where antlers and other emblems of the hunt were used as décor as early as the 15th century. Friedrich’s horned furniture fulfilled the Victorian fancy for the unusual, as well as symbolizing the Wild West. Heating the horn made the material pliable, allowing Friedrich to create exaggerated curves for his pieces. If you happen to live in San Antonio, you can see examples of his work in the historic Oge House, which is now a Bed & Breakfast.

You can read more about Friedrich Wenzel’s horn furniture designs at This Link.

Steer Horn Chair

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.