Notes from the Architectural Digest show (with photos)
The annual New York Architectural Digest show typically draws the creme de la creme of the interior design profession,n which participates with imaginative settings culminating in the "Dining By Design" exhibitions benefiting Diffa.
Here, designers can let their fantasies come to life whether imagining a colorful birthday party, a dinner built on sheer glitz -black and gold all over with "mink" covered seats - appropriately named "Design Lush" for MMPI - or the over-the-top Aspen Mountain Lodge proffered by Ralph Lauren, complete with antler chandelier, Indian blankets, a roaring fire inside and icicles on the outside.
A substantial part of the show consists of product presentations aimed at the interior designer as customer. Understanding designers' preference for exclusive pieces and custom designs, a company called The New Tradition featured fuchsia lacquer on some of its show furniture pieces along with an expanded palette of many different colors and finishes which may all be specified as its all-important "conversation pieces."
Robert Stern furniture designs on the other hand stood out with their pristine beauty of an enlarged fretwork frame on stylized wing chairs and accent tables finished to look like bronze metal but were actually made of Mica.
Ligne Roset's triple layer coffee table fully extends into 3 level surfaces as needed or folds up into a neat cube. Upholstery consists of a layer of fat quilted padding draped over metal frames. It may not sound like it but made for a terrifically stylish and comfortable look.
Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams, the dynamic duo currently enjoying extensive media coverage, once again grabbed attention with a basically white and chrome furniture setting highlighted by upholstery covered in ocean blue and brilliant yellow, a rare tribute to color at this show. It stood in refreshing contrast to mostly darker settings around.it.
Often the most interesting sights at this show tend to be accessory companies with unique offerings, many of them inspired by craft, often organic in shape, handmade or bearing the touch of hand. That includes the self-taught folk sculptor Mark A. Perry whose extraordinary figures of man and beast, which seem both traditional and modern at the same time, can be found in many public settings and important homes from Nantucket to Santa Barbara.
Another would be LA Johnson, who magnifies familiar forms of nature in carved wood, elevating walnuts, cherries and such into startling pieces of sculpture.
A different genre strongly represented here is wall décor, including original artwork and, increasingly, photography. Two whose images were outstanding are Christine Triebert and Maxwell MacKenzie.
Triebert creates images of natural grasses not with the camera but by committing her subjects directly to film in her darkroom. The results are intensely graphic.
Showstoppers in their own way are the wide mural size photos of bare Minnesota landscapes by MacKenzie - bare only to focus on a single heritage school house under dramatically clouded skies or the remote beauty of a tiny church lost to the infinity of the Midwestern flatlands. MacKenzie was trained as an architectural photographer, which accounts for his fascination with structures.
Art Addiction, on the other hand, specializes in large scale black and white photos of horses and floral close-ups.