Cabbage Chair by NENDO

Design Auction at Phillips de Pury

25 May '11

New York

In recent fine art auctions we have finally seen an improvement over the stagnant sales earlier in the year; on May 25th Phillips de Pury have put together an auction that will hopefully do the same for the design market. This auction has a large selection of contemporary lots; moving away from the safer earlier 20th century works, this auction may spark the excitement lacking thus far in the design auction community.

As with most auctions offering contemporary designers, Ron Arad is present. In this auction however, we are bidding on his earlier works. We are able to see the building blocks that lead to the objects that come to mind when we think of Arad. For example lot #99, Rocking Chair, was created in 1981. Estimated at $3,000-5,000, this work provides a bit of insight into the earlier career of the designer; before he was selling through art galleries and heading the design products department at the RCA. Lot #98 , Light Table, created in 1990 and estimated at $80,000-100,000 shows a new progression in Arad's work. Here we can see his movement towards the aesthetic and ethos that eventually gets him a career retrospective at the Barbican twenty years later (2010).

Arad's work often sparks the familiar debate between art and design; while many critics are arguing, artist's like Richard Tuttle are creating and defining through action. Known most often as a fine artist, Tuttle is represented in this auction with his marble and plywood dining table he creating circa 1992 for his New York Apartment. (Estimated at $15,000-20,000)

Curator Elizabeth Smith writes:

“Whereas he sees the making of art as very much an individual act, he defines the participatory aspect of design as ‘a way to overcome the artist’s natural alienation...’” His table becomes that place to eat, talk and overcome.

Other works we are watching are Philip Michael Wolfson's Prototype “Line” low lounger created in 2007 estimated at $10,000-15,000. As well as NENDO's “Cabbage Chair” created circa 2008 estimated at $15,000-20,000.

Rocking Chair by Ron Arad
Rocking Chair by Ron Arad
Light Table by Ron Arad
Light Table by Ron Arad
Dining Table by Richard Tuttle
Dining Table by Richard Tuttle
Prototype “Line” low lounger by Philip Michael Wolfson
Prototype “Line” low lounger by Philip Michael Wolfson



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