Collective Design opens to the public this Friday, on view March 9-11. Taking place at Skylight Clarkson North, it has become one of the most looked forward to events in New York’s design calendar. Whitewall caught up with Collective’s director Steven Learner to learn more about what to expect from presentations from artists and designers like Harry Nuriev, Alex Schweder, Jusin Morin, Jamie Bush, and Ryan Korban.
WHITEWALL: For this year’s fair, who are some of the fair first-timers we should keep an eye out for?
STEVEN LEARNER: This year we created a new program entitled “Hybrid,” for those creating work that specifically challenges the distinction between art and design. Artist Emmett Moore uses the age-old technique of weaving to create new images as tapestries that are presented by Miami gallerist Nina Johnson. New York upstart gallery Fort Gansevoort brings us Sam Stewart’s playful sculptures that question the American obsession with exercise and the functionality generally associated with design.
New exhibiting gallery ULAE is the master print studio established in 1947 in Long Island. Consistent with their mission they will present works created in their studio with legendary artists Terry Winters, Richard Tuttle, Martin Puryear, and 102 year old Carmen Herrera as well as work from younger artists Wyatt Kahn, Julia Rommel, and Mark Fox.
To show our visitors alternative ways to see design, we created a new program entitled “POV” and invited three notable interior designers Alex Papchristidis, Jamie Bush, and Ryan Korban to share their perspective of the design landscape. From Bush’s installation of deeply hued, large scale photos to vitrines filled with eclectic objects selected by Papachristidis to a full room setting complete with matching marble sofas by Korban, each has created an environment showcasing their individual points of view.
WW: What are some of the highlights from this year’s edition of Collective Features you’re excited to see?
SL: This year’s show is organized as a curated exhibition more than the conventional fair, with seven experiential installations commissioned by Collective Features and spread throughout the expansive, day-lit space.
Artist and architect Alex Schweder, who will also have a piece at The Armory Show, brings a piece of his “performance architecture” to Collective. Visitors are offered a moment of relaxation where they sit, two at a time, on a pair of furry, sofa-like forms.
Leonidas Trampoukis and Eleni Petaloti of OBJECTS OF COMMON INTEREST and LOT office for architecture have designed a VIP Lounge with formations of glass brick furniture scattered in space on islands to form seating arrangements on a hard surface of warm, earthy color tones. A white wide-meshed net spanned around the area creates a whimsical boundary separating the fair from the lounge area, revealing glimpses of the interior at close distance.
Artist Justin Morin has created an immersive installation inspired by the film Mishima by director Paul Shrader. Each of the four chapters of the film is represented by a section of Morin’s deeply hued, gauzy silk panels, juxtaposed against the muscular column grid of the industrial setting.
WW: What are some movements in design you’re seeing more and more of?
SL: There is a continuing trend toward inclusivity, a blurring of the boundaries between art, design, fashion, performance and film that I fully support. We’ve encouraged new ways of presenting work, expanding our program to include galleries that present both vintage and contemporary work, both art and design.
Collective presents installations from galleries, independent designers, interior designers, filmmakers and artists, bringing together many of the voices and structures of the community today and reflecting how culturally, we see and collect art and design.
WW: Are there new materials or technologies you’re seeing designers experiment with?
SL: I’m seeing designers experimenting in “non-design” areas such as film and performance as well as returning to traditional techniques such as glass blowing, ceramics, etc.
WW: In May, for the first time, Collective will present Collective Concept at ICFF 2018. How did this partnership come about?
SL: When we decided to move our show from May to March, aligned with Amory Arts Week, I wanted to keep a foot in NYCxDESIGN, New York’s de-facto design week in May. My friend Kevin O’Keefe of ICFF asked me to curate a selection of works as a featured element of the fair and to bring new our audiences together. I focused on Collective Concept, our platform for contemporary designers who present independently. CC@ICFF will launch this May with presentations from Harry Nuriev, Fort Standard, and Gradual, a new brand from the founders of Stickbulb.