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New York Dispatch

Summer 2019

Summer 2019

By Daisy Alioto / 10th September 2019

According to conventional wisdom, the design world decamps from the city in August. However, there was plenty to see in New York City last month.

Cristina Grajales Gallery closed their inaugural ‘Encounters’ exhibition (April 25th– August 30th), an annual series in which a friend of the gallery curates a show. Collector and Brooklyn Museum board vice-chair Stephanie Ingrassia was the first curator. The gallery succeeded in their aim to highlight the “fuzzy intersection between art and design,” with standout pieces like a Big Bambú chair from twin artists Doug and Mike Starn. The category-defying structure, composed of bamboo and climbing cord, is titled ‘All the Nightmares Came Today’ and was first shown in 2017 in the exhibition ‘Sits Like a man, But Smiles Like a Reptile’ at Cristina Grajales Gallery.

Mike and Doug Starn, ‘All the Nightmares Came Today’, 2017 COURTESY: Cristina Grajales Gallery

Mike and Doug Starn, ‘All the Nightmares Came Today’, 2017
COURTESY: Cristina Grajales Gallery

Summer 2019 also marked the anniversary of two iconic American events: the moon landing, and the first concert at Woodstock. With that in mind, Stephen Somple’s mouthful of a piece ‘December 21 2017 at 11:32 AM 165 lbs from 40 in twice’ (2017) shown in Egg Collective’s ‘Material Matters’ (21st May – 23rd August) – appeared like a lunar eclipse.

Stephen Somple, ‘December 21 2017 at 11:32 AM 165 lbs from 40 in twice’, 2017 COURTESY: Egg Collective

Stephen Somple, ‘December 21 2017 at 11:32 AM 165 lbs from 40 in twice’, 2017
COURTESY: Egg Collective

If you prefer a less abstract take on the “giant leap for mankind”, Paul Meuser’s book Moon: Architecture Guide reframes the Space Race as a form of architecture, cataloguing every object that has been sent to the moon.

Image from Moon: Architectural Guide. “One of the strategies of the state-run lunar programmes: considerations of a stationary lunar station and the mining of raw materials.” COURTESY: DOM Publishers / © European Space Agency, Foster + Partners

Image from Moon: Architectural Guide
COURTESY: DOM Publishers / © European Space Agency, Foster + Partners

It was hard not to gravitate towards pieces that capture the feeling of late, urban summer – like holding up a mirror to sweltering subway platforms, dripping ice cream cones and the simple joy of a neighbour’s music wafting up from the street. At Objects of Common Interest, the ‘Opal Bent Stool’ (2019) in marble and opal made for attractive poolside seating.

Objects of Common Interest, ‘Opal Bent Stool’, 2019 COURTESY: Objects of Common Interest

Objects of Common Interest, ‘Opal Bent Stool’, 2019
COURTESY: Objects of Common Interest

Brooklyn-based sculptor and furniture designer Bailey Fontaine showed off his ‘Giacometti Lamp in Silicone’,  which the designer describes as “squishy and a little jiggly,” much like a beach body that has given up on impossible standards. “Video of the jiggly?” inquired one Instagram commenter. Alas, the lamp is already in Paris, where Fontaine has just won Maison & Objet’s rising talent award.

Bailey Fontaine, ‘Giacometti Lamp in Silicone’, 2019 COURTESY: Bailey Fontaine Studio / PHOTOGRAPH: Ian Cochran

Bailey Fontaine, ‘Giacometti Lamp in Silicone’, 2019
COURTESY: Bailey Fontaine Studio / PHOTOGRAPH: Ian Cochran

Article By

Daisy Alioto
Daisy Alioto has written about art, architecture and design for The New York Times, GQ Style, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure and Wallpaper*, amongst others.