Nordic specialist gallery opens a showroom in a spectacular, dilapidated 18th century mansion in London’s Marylebone.
ON 18th FEBRUARY the Stockholm based gallery, Modernity, specialised in 20th century Nordic furniture, opened its new London premises in a grand Georgian mansion on Cavendish Square. Founded in Stockholm in 1998 by the Scottish dealer Andrew Duncanson, the gallery has long sought a base in London, a vibrant centre for the international collectible design market.
The chance to exhibit in this Grade II listed mansion, built in 1770 in the Palladian style, which has recently been stripped back to the brick by its new owners, was irresistible. “The mansion not only offers the opportunity to showcase our pieces, but also to create inspiring environments built around a mixture of furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles and art,” comments Isaac Pineus, co-owner of Modernity.
On opening night visitors were invited to explore eight rooms over several floors, connected by the original staircase, encountering a series of Modernity’s well-known atmospheric room sets. Classic pieces by leading Finnish, Swedish and Danish twentieth century designers created islands of elegant domesticity, set against the rawness of broken plaster and unpainted shutters. The effect is awe inspiring. As Duncanson describes it, “The fact that the house is beautiful – a kind of fallen beauty – creates an interesting contrast between the rough interior and our beautiful vintage furniture”.
Modernity has taken up residence just for the interim, until restoration begins in earnest and the romance of dilapidation is dispelled.