Design – Through 26 gallery exhibitions, installations, and satellite presentations, DesignMiami/ Basel 2023 “celebrates the fair’s history as a platform that has helped uncover and establish some of the greatest names across both historic and contemporary design while continuing to spotlight new and emerging talent,” says Grela Orihuela, Senior VP of Fair. Archipanic’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Enrico Zilli, has selected seven highlights on display.
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Galerie Patrick Seguin presents an exceptional selection of 16 Jean Prouvé chairs, each a different model or colour. From the early 1930s, with the historic Cité chair, to the 1950s, with his signature Métropole no. 305 chairs and rare seats designed in Cameroon. The selection provides a remarkable testimony to the French architect’s unique vision and technical and aesthetic evolutions throughout his career.
Foreign Agent focuses on emerging and mid-career contemporary designers from Africa. The Lausann-based gallery debuts At DesignMiami/ Basel 2023 with the Bolibana series by Hamed Ouattara from Burkina Faso. The furniture designer has created consoles upcycled from colourful oil barrels discarded on the side of the road.
New York City gallery Friedman Benda presents a survey titled Iconoclasts and Icons highlighting masterworks by Ron Arad, Daniel Arsham, Gaetano Pesce, Samuel Ross, Ettore Sottsass, and more that mark the evolution of contemporary design through eight decades. We were particularly impressed by the Bone Chair prototype, an aluminium chair designed by Dutch designer Joris Laarman harnessing Artificial Intelligence.
Gallerie Mitterand presents L’Âne Planté by François-Xavier Lalanne. Halfway between a sculpture and a planter, this donkey sculpture has saddlebags that double as planters, currently potted with daisies. As a student at the Académie Julian in Paris in the 1940s, Lalanne met the Surrealists Man Ray, Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp. The ‘planted donkey’ is a friendly furniture pet worth between €5m and €6m.
Parisian gallery Meubles et Luminières recreates a 1970s Space Age dining room featuring a rare set of eight screens by Verner Panton – each comes with an aluminium metal structure wrapped in white velvet – framing a table and chairs made of fibreglass velvet by Jean-Pierre Laporte.
Lyon-based artist Cyril Lancelin presents Flap³, an interactive artwork that explores the relationship between the viewer, the artwork, and technology. In partnership with Google and Design Miami/, the installation uses twelve miniature radars developed by Google ATAP that understand human motions at various scales. Visitors can influence the form and create a unique ever-evolving shape through their movements and speed, resulting in a dialogue and gesture between the viewer and the artwork.
All photos by James Harris, courtesy of DesignMiami/ Basel 2023.