Photographs of Design Miami 2013 Vernissage 12/3/13

Design Miami Vernissage on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.  Design Miami is always wonderful with lots of beautiful and interesting furniture, lighting and art.

“Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design.”

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The 2013 edition of Design Miami/, the global forum for design, has come to a close, showing impressive sales figures for exhibiting galleries in sectors across the spectrum, from classic exemplars of twentieth century icons to contemporary digital pieces. 32,000 visitors attended the fair over the course of the week, with 7,000 specially invited guests taking advantage of the exclusive opening preview day—including design enthusiasts Peter Brant, Maja Hoffmann, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Pharrell Williams and Micky Wolfson; leading international architects Sir Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel; and directors from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Vitra Design Museum, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), and Denver Museum of Art.

A competitive selection of the leading design galleries from around the world—including first time exhibitors from Russia and Lebanon—were supported by original commissions created exclusively for Design Miami/. An animated turn by Martha Stewart, in conversation with Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief of W Magazine, was the most high-profile in a popular series of Design Talks presented by The Surf Club and Residences, which featured Richard Meier and Muriel Brandolini among others as part of the fair’s extended program.

“This was our most important show to date in terms of quantity and maturity of the gallery presentations. The installations ranged from museum-quality mises en scène to carefully designed living environments and were rewarded by strong sales across all categories, “says Marianne Goebl, director of Design Miami/.

While eminent commentators admired the fair’s offer (and sales) of blue-chip Modernist and mid-century design from galleries including New York’s R 20th Century and Galerie Jacques- Lacoste of Paris, there was also an excitingly strong uptake of innovative contemporary work. Victor Hunt Designart Dealer of Brussels saw success with works by Swedish collective Humans Since 1982, including their mesmerizing analogue-meets-digital The Clock Clock, 2008-2010. With museum-standard works, including a complete Jean Prouvé prefabricated house on show at Galerie Patrick Seguin, the fair reinforced its reputation as a site to learn about design as well as to collect it.

The longstanding importance of women in the design world was underlined by substantial interest in the exceptional pieces by Charlotte Perriand assembled by Galerie DOWNTOWN— François Laffanour of Paris, all of which derived from the same residence. Demisch Danant of New York also had an elegantly styled booth dedicated to the output of exceptional female designers Maria Pergay and Sheila Hicks, works by both of whom piqued the interest of collectors.

This year’s edition of Design Miami/ dedicated an expanded proportion of the exhibition space to studio and artist-designed jewelry, with six gallerists represented at the fair, including first time exhibitor Louisa Guinness Gallery of London. This was a noticeably popular sector, with significant sales for both contemporary and twentieth century works by artists Alexander Calder, Man Ray and Les Lalanne.

“More and more people are interested in collecting design worldwide. This is clear from the international attendance at the fair and the amount of articles in the press. It’s easier to understand a piece of furniture than an art piece because you live with it. You interact with it everyday. And Design Miami/ is the place where people can become educated about many types of important design,” says Didier Krzentowski of Galerie kreo, Paris

Other emerging trends at the fair included a renewed emphasis on glamorous Parisian midcentury apartment living, as noted by Design Log’s invited blogger, Pilar Viladas, former design editor at T, The New York Times Style Magazine. The New York Times’ blog also noticed a craze for upholstered sheepskin chairs, which together with a wave of pieces showcasing their notably organic forms, including ceramics by the Haas Brothers (R 20th Century, New York) and Nucleo’s resin pieces (ammann //gallery, Cologne), amounted to an unexpected resurgence of natural and body-centric design works. The trend was also reflected in installations that nodded to the natural world of Miami and beyond, starting at the fair’s entrance with Formlessfinder’s beach-inspired pavilion TENT PILE.

“Design Miami/ 2013 was very strong, with an impressive amount of brand new work not seen before—such as R 20th Century and Victor Hunt’s selections—married with the breathtaking Prouvé masterpieces at Patrick Seguin. It is great to have Rossana Orlandi join the mix this year, as well as other newbies like Elisabetta Cipriani with Carlos Cruz Diez’s fantastic jewelry. Some prices are comparable to across the street at the art fair, but it was nice to have something for every price point, like Satyendra Pakhale’s vases at ammann //gallery (and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt shop of course), ” says Caroline Baumann, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

The fair once again welcomed an exclusive group of sponsor partners who presented unique design collaborations including Fragmentation by Audi, Guilherme Torres’s gold-toned, crystalline Mangue Groove for Swarovski Crystal Palace, Simon Heijdens’ Phare n°. 1–9 for Perrier-Jouët, and Maria Pergay for Fendi.

“Fendi has been an active partner of Design Miami/ since 2008, and as such has closely accompanied the development of the fair. This year’s show was certainly the strongest edition to date – mature in content with a great level of energy,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi, head of Accessories at Fendi.

The enthusiastic response from prominent visitors to the fair, journalists and the museum community have reinforced Design Miami’s leading position among fairs of collectible modern and contemporary design. Bourne onwards and upwards by the continually expanding audience for exceptional works and inventive installations, in 2014, the global forum for design will return for its ninth edition in Basel, Switzerland, from June 17-22.

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