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Design Miami

Design Miamis monthly, cant-miss roundup of design world news and inspiration

Welcome to The Buzz, our monthly roundup of design world news and inspiration for Design Miami’s discerning community of creatives and collectors. Enjoy!


Bliss at Rademakers

Tomáš Libertíny’s beeswax Forest God (2021) and Jules Cat’s Flow Mirror (2022); Photos courtesy of Rademakers Gallery

Amsterdam-based Rademakers Gallery kicks off the new year with a group show reflecting on the notion of bliss. Works by the likes of Tomáš Libertíny, Joana Schneider, and others consider our relationship with nature as well and the impact of spirituality in our lives. Highlights include Libertíny’s monumental sculpture Sentinel Revisited, an ode to nature inspired by honeybees; Jorge Mañes Rubio’s Peak of Eternal Light, a series of objects resulting from his artist residency at the European Space Agency that reflect on humankind’s connection to the universe; and Jule Cats’ Flow, composed of recycled mirrors, natural minerals, and acrylic resin, which posits mirrors as time capsules full of the stories of all those who gaze into them. On view February 16 - April 29.


Friedman Benda Honors Fernando Campana

Yanomami chair by Estudio Campana, named for the indigenous Yanomami tribe of the Amazon rainforest. Photo by Daniel Kukla; Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Estudio Campana

Following the untimely passing late last year of Fernando Campana, Friedman Benda in LA will launch Cine São José, an exhibition that pays tribute to the game changing work of pioneering São Paulo-based Estudio Campana. Together, over multiple decades, the self-taught brothers Fernando and Humberto led a disruptive, optimistic practice that married quotidian Brazilian cultural references and materials with globally resonant narratives—elevating the everyday to something poetic while combining furniture making, storytelling, and social impact. The show includes an extensive range of objects that survey the undeniable influence of Estudio Campana in the 21st century and reference key moments in the brothers' practice. On view February 15 - April 15.


“The show is called Cine São José, recalling the cinema in the Campana brothers’ hometown, Brotas, where the silver screen was their main window to the world. It references the broadness of their shared social and artistic inspiration. The achievement of their most iconic works is that they are often imbued with such touchstones of their youth in Brazil, while always signaling the realities of the moment.” —Jennifer Olshin, Partner and Founding Director, Friedman Benda


Angelo Mangiarotti at Triennale Milano

Angelo Mangiarotti’s IN 301 chair for Zanotta (1969). Photo © Amendolagine Barracchia; Courtesy Triennale Milano. Portrait of Angelo Mangiarotti; Courtesy of Fondazione Angelo Mangiarotti

Last week, Triennale Milano opened Angelo Mangiarotti: When Structures Take Shape, a tribute to the 20th-century Milanese architect, designer, sculptor, and urban planner, which, in the words of Triennale President Stefano Boeri, “aims to showcase the sheer breadth of scope of this cosmopolitan intellectual.” For many design lovers today, Mangiarotti is most remembered for his Eros collection, sublimely proportioned marble tables with gravity joints. But in his lifetime, Mangiarotti’s gift for form was overshadowed by his many practical building projects. This exhibition, according to curator Fulvio Irace, “is the first opportunity we have had to reveal the great master’s truly complex nature.” It’s about time! Angelo Mangiarotti: When Structures Take Shape runs through April 23rd.


“Happiness comes from honesty.” —Angelo Mangiarotti


Double the Fun at R & Company

Collector’s Cloak in patchwork textile by Helen Bitar; Playmate Conditioner Pot in glazed ceramic by Howard Kottler. Photos by Joe Kramm; Courtesy of R & Company

Today, New York’s R & Company launches two new shows: Furnishing Feelings, American designer Luam Melake’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and Robert Pfannebecker: Friend and Collector of the Arts, which explores the prolific collector and patron’s remarkable American craft holdings, spanning the 1960s to early 1980s.

Colorful seating by Luam Melake’s new show, Furnishing Feelings. Photo by Joe Kramm; Courtesy of R & Company

Furnishing Feelings includes new works that exemplify Melake’s delightful penchant for formal and material research alongside designs that aim to facilitate meaningful connections. Her furniture pieces encourage users to assume positions that stimulate intimacy and eye contact, pushing them to reflect on their physical relationships to other people, the spaces in which they move, and the objects they engage with each day. The Pfannebecker exhibition, meanwhile, presents approximately 70 works by 30 artists, including Patti Warashina, Betty Woodman, Dale Chihuly, Ron Nagle, and Henry Takemoto, which exemplify the breadth of American craft. At the same time, the show celebrates Pfannebecker’s vision as a collector and his impact on the craft and design fields through his patronage and friendships with a diversity of designers. Both shows run through April 14th.


Maarten Baas: Play Time

Real Time XL The Artist by Maarten Baas. Photo by Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt; Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Dutch design darling Maarten Baas launches his first solo show on the US west coast this month at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in LA. Play Time will feature works from several of the smile-inducing designer’s critically acclaimed collections, such as the performance-based Real Time clocks, for which Baas replaces traditional clock faces with video of him and others manually creating and erasing the hands as playful reflections on time. Other highlights include the idiosyncratically childlike Clay, for which Baas hand-models industrial clay around metal skeletons, and Close Parity, a series of large bronze furniture pieces that seemingly defy gravity, calling to mind childhood drawings. Collectively, these works reinforce Baas’s unique talent for rekindling the wonder of childhood through surprising, wonderfully subversive, and masterfully executed objects. On view February 14 - May 26.


“In my work I mostly search for a balance in which the rational mind is countered by the intuitive, playful, and fun side of the viewer. I hope to release that energy, of which you don’t know where exactly it came from, but you just know it’s right.” —Maarten Baas


Craft Front & Center at MAD Museum

From left:  A Little Domestic Waste IV (2017) by Sarah Zapata; Column Vessel I (from Echoes of Amphora series) by Eleanor Lakelin (2022). Photos courtesy of MAD Museum

Tomorrow, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York launches Craft Front & Center, a multiyear, rotating installation of historic and contemporary works from its permanent collection that highlight the impact of craft from the golden age of the American Craft Movement to today. To kick things off, over 60 works in an array of media are organized into themes, including material transformation, dismantling hierarchies, contemplation, identity, and sustainability. The curation aims to demonstrate craft’s role in social commentary and expanding definitions of art. The debut iteration includes works by Eleanor Lakelin, Tiff Massey, Joo Hyung Park, and Darren Appiagyei, among others. The show is ongoing and will be updated periodically to further broaden access to the Museum’s remarkable permanent collection.


In Praise of Shadows at Maria Wettergren

From left: Shade (2019) and Breathe (2016) by Akiko Kuwahata and Ken Winther. Photos © Ole Akhøj;  Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Maria Wettergren

Now showing in Paris: Galerie Maria Wettergren presents In Praise of Shadows, the first exhibition in France for Japanese and Danish designer-cabinetmaker duo, Akiko Kuwahata and Ken Winther. The title is derived from Junichiro Tanizaki’s famous manifesto on Japanese aesthetics, and the exhibition considers the role of shadow, silence, rhythm, and tactility in the duo’s acclaimed wood works. Together the pair—born, respectively, in Japan and Denmark—draw inspiration from both Japanese craft and Scandinavian design, combining them in new ways that inspire. On view through March 25th.


“It is important to feel it…For me, it’s about being honest. What I’m doing comes from within.” —Akiko Kuwahata


John Shea at HB381

Standard, Abstract by John Shea at HB381. Photos by Joe Kramm; Courtesy of HB381

Launched last spring as an offshoot of collectible design gallery Hostler Burrows, HB381 is a dedicated space for solo-artist presentations focusing primarily on contemporary Nordic sculpture and ceramics. The Tribeca gallery’s current show, titled Standard, Abstract, features American ceramic artist John Shea’s latest body of work. The series starts from a shaped, wooden base, upon which the artist hand-builds his forms by pinching together small balls of clay; when finished, they’re evocative of crystals viewed through a microscope. Shea’s gorgeously muted color palette is drawn from Japanese painter Sanzo Wada’s 1932 book, A Dictionary of Color Combinations. Think raspberry, dusty green, and bluish-purple. The combination of color and form is at once calming and splendidly curious. ’On view through February 25th.


Alejandro Garcia Contreras at AGO Projects

New work by Alejandro García Contreras; Photos courtesy of AGO Projects

On the occasion of Zonamaco Art Week in Mexico City, AGO Projects and artist-curator Georgianna Chiang showcase a selection of new work by Guadalajara-based artist Alejandro García Contreras. The presentation consists of a variety of ceramic domestic objects—vases, trays, candelabras, and more—marked by sexual references intended as expressions of society’s longstanding and complicated relationship to sexuality, as well as an invitation to viewers to consider their own relationship to sex anew. Every piece is produced in the artist’s studio using the technique of ceramic hand-building. On view until the end of April.


Sensing Place at Sarah Myerscough Gallery

Work from Sensing Place, including A Shift in Footing I by David Gates; Quarry 1, red by Andrew Mackenzie; and Ammil VI (white) and Ammil VII by Helen Carnac. Photo by Michael Harvey, Courtesy of Sarah Myerscough Gallery

In late February, London’s Sarah Myerscough Gallery will present Sensing Place: Three Responses, a group show spotlighting a trio of craft-driven artists exploring place, materiality, and perspective. The exhibition includes haunting landscape paintings by Andrew Mackenzie, interrogating the entanglements of the anthropocene in the Scottish wild; crafted vessels in vitreous enamel fused to copper by Helen Carnac; and architectural, cabinetry-inspired sculpture by artist David Gates. Placed together, these wholly distinct creative practices spark fascinating conversations. On view February 24 - April 15.


Pollen on a West Wind at Jason Jacques

Works from Pollen on a West Wind, curated by Tony Marsh. Photo courtesy of Jason Jacques Gallery

Next week, New York’s Jason Jacques Gallery opens Pollen on a West Wind. Guest curated by ceramic artist, educator, and curator Tony Marsh, this group show celebrates virtuosity in clay, featuring ceramics by several artistic standouts—such as Raven Halfmoon,  Alessandro Pessoli, Amy Bessone, Milena Muzquiz, and Ramekon O’Arwisters, among others (including Marsh himself)—with an emphasis on color, form and experimentation. On view February 9 - March 25.


Blurring the Timeline at Superhouse

Left: Serban Ionescu’s 2018 powder-coated steel chair; Photo courtesy of the artist and R and Company. Right: Richard Snyder’s 1991 pigmented poplar case piece;  Photo courtesy of Superhouse

Last but certainly not least, NYC-based Superhouse Vitrine launches Blurring the Timeline, a group show presenting craft and design from the past 40 years. The show marks the first time the rising star gallery has presented contemporary and historical works in dialogue, and the resulting presentation defies traditional divisions with a happy juxtaposition of furniture, lighting, and textiles. Artists and designers on view include Howard Meister, Ellen Pong, Elizabeth Browning Jackson, Sean Gerstley, and Richard Snyder, among others. The show runs through March 5th.


“Too often we categorize design in terms of when it was created. I want visitors to come away from this exhibition not only understanding the temporal context of each work, but also how the historical work informs the contemporary and how the contemporary work reinvigorates the historical.” —Superhouse Founder Stephen Markos