8 Great Art and Design Finds to See at the New Object & Thing Fair
The inaugural edition brings together 200 objects from 32 of the world’s leading galleries in contemporary and 20th-century art and design
A new model for an art and design fair, the inaugural Object & Thing brings together some 200 objects from 32 of the world’s leading galleries in contemporary and 20th-century art and design. Taking place May 3–5 at 99 Scott, a stylish event space in Brooklyn, the new platform was founded by Abby Bangser, the former artistic director of Frieze for the Americas and Asia, with artistic direction from designer—and one of Galerie‘s Creative Minds—Rafael de Cárdenas.
“We wanted to bring together art and design items without a hierarchy between the two, where the viewer could decide whether it’s one or the other based on judgments of quality and significance,” Bangser tells Galerie. “These are the types of works that rarely get seen at fairs because of their lower cost points, with our highest price work being $50,000. We don’t have booths and didn’t charge application fees, so galleries could afford to show smaller-scale objects displayed on island tabletops and the floor throughout the space.”
Bangser assembled an advisory committee that includes Salon 94 founder Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and former Museum of Arts and Design director Glenn Adamson, who will host a series of talks at the fair. The dynamic group of works can also be viewed and purchased online at the Object & Thing website. The on-site fair additionally features a number of international art and design shops, such as New York’s Blue Hill Market and Karma Bookstore and L.A.’s The Good Liver, and a pop-up cafe in the garden presented by Marlow & Daughters.
Among the art and design objects to go on view, Galerie picked eight must-see items. See this specially curated selection below.
1. Gaetano Pesce’s Vase #4 presented by Salon 94 Design
Working with the idealistic notion that design is a form of art, Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce has been experimentally employing resins, polyurethanes, and silicones to produce organically shaped utilitarian objects since the 1980s. Inspired by the cast-glass vessels of the legendary Murano glassmakers Moretti, Vistosi, and Venini, the surreally legged Vase #4 (priced at $12,000) springs from a series of uniquely translucent molded- and cast-resin objects, which the imaginative designer recently exhibited at Salon 94 Design in New York.
2. Amalia Pica’s Souvenir 11 presented by Herald St
An accumulation of seashells that were cast in bronze by the London-based, Argentinean artist Amalia Pica, Souvenir 11 is part of a series of sculptures that were commissioned for the U.K.’s Creative Foundation for Folkestone Triennial in 2017. Blurring the boundary between craft and art, Pica elevated the shells—which are commonly picked up as keepsakes and found in crafty souvenirs in the seaside village of Folkstone—to the level of art by casting groupings of them in bronze and exhibiting them in the shops around town. Produced in a small edition and selling for $8,000, it’s the kind of memento that continually flickers.
3. Katie Stout’s Girl Mirror presented by R & Company
A Brooklyn designer who’s known for her feminist wit, Katie Stout makes colorful household objects in a style she humorously calls naïve pop. A unique piece from a series of lamps and mirrors, where ceramic female nudes are the main characters in these functional objects’ forms, Girl Mirror provocatively shows a contorted woman balancing an oval pane of reflective glass in her butt crack. Comically painting the contortionist’s body blue, her facial features and naughty bits in gold, and her hair a bright red, Stout gives the utilitarian object, which retails for $7,500, a life of its own.
4. Liz Collins and Harry Allen’s Chain Chair Pair presented by Rossana Orlandi Gallery
A collaboration between fiber and textile artist Liz Collins and industrial designer Harry Allen, the whimsical Chain Chair Pair features the frames of a short chair on casters and a taller, adjustable chair covered with violet jersey fabric, which is intricately bundled and woven through the frames and draped to join them. The paired object, listed at $12,000, presents Collins’s colorful weaving intervention on steel frames that Allen previously made for his Dragonfly chairs. An earlier chair collaboration between the duo also featured a pair of bound seating frames woven with hot red fabric.
5. Yeesookyung’s Translated Vase_2017 TVGJW 1 presented by Gallery Hyundai
Like Pica’s bronze souvenir, Yeesookyung’s Translated Vase_2017 TVGJW 1 is an accumulation of related objects, which, in this case, are discarded pieces of ceramic pottery regarded imperfect by the potters who made them. Grafted from fragments that the artist collects from ceramic workshops across Korea, the porcelain shards are joined together with 24K gold leaf and lacquer. A traditional Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics, kintsugi (which translates as “golden joinery”) treats the breakage and repair as part of the history of an object and heightens the beauty of its distress. In Yeesookyung’s hands, the broken bits of Translated Vase (valued at $45,000) are transformed into a lively work of art.
6. Carl Auböck’s Patinated Brass bookends presented by Patrick Parrish
A Viennese modernist designer and craftsman, Carl Auböck II studied at the Bauhaus before taking over his family’s metal business in the 1920s. Best known for his handcrafted brass accessories and household objects, Auböck gained international popularity after WWII through the help of such designer friends as Charles Eames and Walter Gropius. He specialized in small design objects for the home and office, including paperweights, letter openers, and bookends. These vintage bookends (selling for $3,800) are ironically shaped like thought balloons, while their patina and polished brass come together to add light and shadow.
7. Richard Hughes’s Out Time presented by Anton Kern Gallery
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, as they say, and it’s certainly true for Richard Hughes and his rubbish-derived sculptures. Starting with objects saved from the trash pile, the British artist casts his finds in fiberglass and then paints their surfaces to resemble the originals. His sculpture Out Time, priced at $32,000, offers a couple of drain pipes assembled like crossed legs that are amusingly perched atop a replica of a cardboard box. White on white, except for the rust on the pipes, the piece brings to mind the bandaged visualization of The Invisible Man in the 1933 film version of H.G. Well’s science fiction classic.
8. Daniel Valero’s Chipe rug presented by AGO Projects
Mixing industrial and artisanal techniques, Mexican architect and designer Daniel Valero has teamed up with master craftsmen from different regions of his homeland to develop an imaginative collection of furniture and handmade textiles. For the Chipe rug, which is produced by his crowd-funded company Mestiz, Valero collaborated with textile artist Rúben Tamayo on an asymmetrical carpet of collaged floral colors. With its free-flowing arrangement of forms, the cotton, wool, and metallic yarn rug (selling for $2,950) reflects the diversity of the Mexican landscape and the variety of people that occupy it.