Category Archives: Decorating

Highlights of the Highlights

International art fair “Highlights” in Munich is klein aber fein. It is also very young: established only in 2009 as a joint initiative from several galleries, it still managed to position itself as an important meeting point for true experts in fine and contemporary art. Here one can find icons, ancient Japanese art, contemporary drawings, baroque furniture as well as fine calligraphy from high-end galleries in the region.

I am presenting you my highlights of this year’s Highlights.

Russian malachit vases, Czar workshops in St. Petersburg or Ekaterinenburg, around 1820

Emil Nolde: “Blumen”, around 1930-1935

Ogawa Machiko: “White Vessel with Blue Glass Glaze”, 2009

Corall diamond collier, France, around 1870

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Way overdue…

Having Art Basel and dOCUMENTA(13) around the corner, I thought that those could be a good intro to my tragically overdue report from ART COLOGNE this spring. It was its 46th edition, which took place in April 18-21.

According to last reports, ART COLOGNE was a huge commercial success and raves were terrific. Historically it was the first art fair ever, established in 1967 and held annually since then. It had its ups and downs, last one being approx. 5 years ago, when was almost proclaimed as ‘dead’. However, many see that new director Daniel Hug brought it back to life and I am sure that he did a fantastic job this time as well: ART COLOGNE had some highly acclaimed names within the artists and galleries this year as well, such as David Zwirner from New York, Thaddaeus Ropac from Paris/Salzburg, Hauser&Wirth from Zurich, just to name few. It also hosted NADA, a non-profit collective, which is regarded “as a much-needed alternative assembly of the world’s youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art” (Miami Art Guide).

Almost now an inseparable part of Art Basel Miami Beach, this was also my favorite area in the fair. Yes, I loved the whole fair and I have spent there almost a day not noticing it but – what I was missing was variety. I might be ignorant, but I wished to see more  presence of other Europe wide galleries, not to mention Asia and Middle East. Therefore, my hopes go to Basel!

However, from what I have seen there, I was absolutely mesmerized and here are some personal highlights:

Yves Klein, “Eponge bleue”, 1960

Lina Kim, Michael Wesely, “Congresso Nacional”, 2004

Hans-Peter Feldmann, “Schattenspiel (Shadow Play)”

Ken Lum, “Grace Chung”, 2001

Gilbert & George, “Thirteen Locations”, 2003

Don Dudley, “Red Corner”, 1979

Hellmut Bruch, “Konzentrische Doppelprogression”, “6 Vertikale – 3 Tiefen”, 2010

Arne Quinze, “ChaosLife 060212”, 2012

Mounir Fatmi, “Technologia No. 2”, 2011

… and many more…

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Salone del Mobile or “Two Alices in the Wonderland”, Part II

I had a chance to visit this time Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most prestigious design furniture fairs in the world, together with its accompanying content outside the fair premises. That included visiting the city center, Brera and other areas within FuoriSalone, fair program that is being shown for many times in the row now outside of the regular fair content. Second day was reserved for the furniture fair itself.

The day after we went to official fair areas, which was expectedly overwhelming. As we were not looking for anything in particular, we hit first SaloneSatelite and in  the end of the day, that remained our favorite spot. Satellites are those relatively smaller boots, mostly arranged by less established younger designers, such as Zeljka Kavran or design schools, such as New York Institute of Technology or American University of Sharjah, just to name few. This area was boosting of freshness and new vibes – it is not to say that others were not, but we found this one more to be more innovative and dynamic.

I hope you liked Salone del Mobile 2012!

(Please note that I have marked the design objects to the best of my knowledge. If there are any objections, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can remove the picture from this blog right away.)

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Salone del Mobile or “Two Alices in the Wonderland”, Part I

I had a chance to visit this time Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most prestigious design furniture fairs in the world, together with its accompanying content outside the fair premises. That included visiting the city center, Brera and other areas within FuoriSalone, fair program that is being shown for many times in the row now outside of the regular fair content. My personal highlight was Tortona Design Week in Zona Tortona.

 Zona Tortona is a rather non-conventional area, which is normally populated by young people with artistic inclinations. During the time of Fiera, it transforms into an open-air art fair, with a huge mass of people checking out the design spaces and art boutiques hiding in Zona Tortona streets. We* absolutely loved the atmosphere here and enjoyed the sun, crowd and also beautiful sights and innovative design ideas!

What we have seen there was a variety of funky design commercial products, such as senz°/the orignial storm umbrella or the o bag, which I will try to cover in some next posts. There were a lot of events in Via Tortona and Via Savona as well, but what we like the most were huge pavilions and halls, all with different themes but all equally interesting. Again, it is very difficult to make a right selection but here is some preview.

– to be continued –

* by ‘we’ I mean, my host / guide / artistic advisor & my lil sis (Please note that I have marked the design objects to the best of my knowledge. If there are any objections, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can remove the picture from this blog right away.)

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When your lap gets hot

Hihihi … I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling today: I’ve got a present this morning! In fact, I got it several days ago but only today I went to post office to take over my ‘delivery’ and I had absolutely no idea what it could be. It turned out to be this:

You might be asking yourself, ‘what is that ?!’. Well, you know probably how inconvenient it is in summer to surf with laptop in your lap. After some time it gets really hot. Now this laptop pillow allows air to circulate and the material in between takes care of proper isolation.

However, how I got it is a funny story. I have participated several months ago in a lucky draw organized by a magazine “Schweden Aktuell” and scandinavian lifestyle. I am not sure that I knew what the prize is; I was more in the mood to  drool over my favorite Scandinavian design that I have at home. And, today – voila! Scandinavian lifestyle, a store that specializes in Scandinavian brands for home decorations, such as Kosta Boda, Royal Copenhagen, Marimekko, just to name few, sent me this cute present. It could not be a better day to start of my week.

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Smile!

Last winter I went to an exhibition that I was not sure that I wanted to see (?!). But you know what – I loved it! The exhibition on Jules Cheret was truly refreshing in gloomy December days, relaxed me and brought smile on my face. Being called as ‘father of modern poster’, he was the one who brought the posters to salons and made them popular enough to be applied to furniture and product design as well. I loved that his posters exuberate with life, pleasant mood and good time, and remind us today on this parisian spirit from the beginning of the last century.

Here are some of my best shots.

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Go North!

Yes, North is the place to go and be this year! And when I say North, I mean on Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti. These cities are hosting a wide range of events throughout 2012 as Helsinki has been selected and awarded to be World Design Capital, after Seoul and Torino and right before Cape Town in 2014.

Totally agree – there is hardly any city in the world that incorporates design in such natural born and spontaneous way as Helsinki. Or, in true democratic way – to express it as recently being said in the event that I visited. Design in Finland is not something elite and that belongs only to secluded artistic circles; there is hardly household that does not have dishes from Iittala, table cloths and curtains from Marimekko or Tapiovaara chairs, just to name few. On a big scale, Aalvar Aalto enriched with his idea not only urban skylines and exteriors but also came in our living rooms. Furniture such as … belong today to classics. After all, Nokia revolutionized the design of telecommunications equipment at its early stages and brought product design to masses throughout the world. On a much smaller, but more exclusive scale, there is also Mia Maljojoki, with her avant-garde jewelry design, who I had chance to meet in the event and who belong today to one of the most prominent designers in the field.

Source: miamaljojoki.com, 2010 | Photo: Mirei Takeuchi

Another thing that I learned the other evening were less arty in its nature and more ‘practical’ and money related. Did  you know that extremely positive market development of financial portfolio of design industry companies is almost identical to the one of emerging industries and is way above the standard S&P 500 companies?

This will be a hot year and a hot summer up north. There is hardly a nation that is so quiet and subtle in conventional communication and so loud and distinctive in artistic expression. And I would love to somehow be part of it!

For more information, I would recommend to check the program here and for concrete ideas for collaboration, just get in touch with Finpro.  

 

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