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What to See at DM/B

Design Miami

7 golden highlights from the upcoming Basel fair

With just four weeks to go until the doors open on Design Miami/ Basel 2022, we’re excited to share the treasure trove of collectible design we have in store for you. Starting today, we’re launching a series of sneak-peek reports on what you can expect to see at the fair—so you can eagerly count down the days to June 14th with us.

We’re kicking things off with a play on The Golden Age, the theme of this year’s Basel fair conceived by Design Miami/ Curatorial Director Maria Cristina Didero as an exploration of design thinking that envisions a better world. “At its core,” Didero explains, “The Golden Age is an expression of our collective inner force, a reminder to use our wit to overcome difficulties, and to experience a new sense of harmony, with greater respect for human beings and our planet.”

While the fair’s curatorial theme serves as an aspirational metaphor encompassing a range of extraordinary works from the cutting edge to canonical, we are quite literally interpreting The Golden Age with these seven brilliantly gilt and golden designs. Beyond their good looks, together they offer a delectable sampling of what’s to come in Basel next month.


Paire de Sphinxes by Claude Lalanne, 2000

Presented by Galerie Mitterrand, Paris

Photo © Galerie Mitterrand

The Design Miami/ Basel fair is known to be reliably rich in exceptionally rare historical designs, especially top-of-the-market works from 20th-century European masters. This year will be no different. Look to Galerie Mitterrand for highly collectible objets d’art from inimitable French duo Les Lalannes, like this divine set of oversized bronze sphinxes created by Claude.


L’éléphant Console by Alex Roskin, 2017

Presented by Todd Merrill Studio, New York City

Photo © Todd Merrill Studio

As outstanding as the historical works are, the contemporary designs at the fair cannot be overshadowed. Toulouse-born, New York-based artist-designer Alex Roskin offers a next-generation expression of the kind of formal experimentation and exquisite craftsmanship found in the work of Les Lalannes. His creature-like L’éléphant Console, for example, looks ready to spring to life—no easy feat in mirror polished bronze.


Ascend by Nadège Desgenétez, 2019

Presented by Mouvements Modernes, Paris

Photo © Greg Piper; courtesy of Mouvements Modernes

Among the 50 exhibitors presenting at Design Miami/ Basel, you'll find 20 fresh faces. We’re overjoyed that pioneering design gallery Mouvements Modernes is returning to the fair for its 20th anniversary. In their booth, you’ll see both historical and contemporary works that have an undeniable presence. Consider French artist Nadège Desgenétez’s extraordinary mouth-blown, mirrored glass sculpture Ascend, which evoke our connections to place, mining references to the body, familiar landscapes, and the innate qualities of the material.


How Deep Is Your Love? Ring by Alex Pinna, 2018

Presented by BABS Art Gallery, Milan

Photo © BABS Art Gallery

Jewelry is always a crowd favorite at Design Miami/ Basel, and this year you’ll find three new-to-the-fair galleries offering collection-worthy, wearable art. BABS Art Gallery specializes in both historical “art jewels,” as they define their speciality, as well as specially commissioned limited-edition pieces. One standout is this custom-made ebony wood and gold ring by Italian jewelry designer Alex Pinna. His signature motif is a slim, elongated figure balanced between self reflection and keen observation of the world that surrounds us.


Honesty Mirror by Naihan Li, 2022

Presented by 20C GALLERY, Shanghai

Photo © Naihan Li and 20C GALLERY

While European galleries continue to make up the largest segment of exhibitors, the design world's slowly (and long-overdue) shifting landscape is particularly evident in the fair's future-facing Curio program. This year's edition features outstanding rising voices from around the globe like Shanghai-based 20C GALLERY, specialized in contemporary expressions of China’s artisanal legacy. Naihan Li’s Honesty Mirror combines 3D printing with ancient lacquering techniques and gold leaf to manifest a sublime silvered mirror in the shape of seed pods from the Honesty plant—a traditional symbol of the tenet that there is nothing new that does not already exist in nature.


Quartz Low Table Set by Juan and Paloma Garrido, 2019

Presented by Garrido Gallery, Madrid

Photo © German Saiz; courtesy of Garrido Gallery

Design Miami/ Basel’s Curio program comprises a select group of curated installations exploring a focused theme or debuting a new body of work. Madrid-based Garrido Gallery’s contribution includes a series of 24-karat, rose gold-plated functional sculptures inspired by crystalline forms found in nature. Echoing the interlocking components of quartz stone, the Quartz Low Table Set has been designed in three parts that can be merged into one impressive monolith.


Surtout Blanc by Ettore Sottsass for Sèvres, 1994-95

Presented by Galerie de Sèvres, Paris

Photo © Gérard Jonca; courtesy of Sèvres - Manufacture et Musée Nationaux

Lastly, we are proud to welcome first-time exhibitor, Paris-based Galerie de Sèvres, dedicated to preserving the venerable heritage of the legendary French porcelain manufactory, which was founded during the reign of Louis XV.  Though Sèvres’ history is long, the company has kept current by collaborating with contemporary creators. One such fruitful relationship was with Ettore Sottsass. Starting in the mid-1990s, the iconic Italian designer developed for Sèvres a series of porcelain services and vessels in his hallmark bold geometric forms. This centerpiece in white and gold is truly something special, not to be missed. ◆


Design Miami/ Basel is open to the public June 14-19, 2022. Preview Day, by invitation only, is June 13.

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