Over 2,000 visitors flooded Salon Art + Design’s opening night on Thursday evening at the Armory. The salon’s 12th edition saw some changes, with many new exhibitors and a more contemporary bent. The opening night cocktail was a benefit for the Dia Art Foundation, co-chaired by Nathalie & Laura de Gunzburg. Committee members for the evening included Paul Arnhold, Guillaume Coutheillas, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Christina Ohly Evans, Linda Fargo, Dennis Freedman, Wendy Goodman, Gabriel Hendifar, Julie Hillman, Colin King, Jeff Klein, Carlos Mota, David Netto, Dr. Daniella Ohad, Suchi Reddy, and Lizzie Tisch.
“The Salon is very different this year,” said Salon Art + Design Executive Director Jill Bokor. “We have much more contemporary representation, and vintage is punctuating that. We have also admitted jewelry for the first time, which adds a lot of color, especially this year when there seem to be a lot of neutrals in the design world. The pops of color in the jewelry booths add lots of excitement. Finally, we have some exhibitors towards the back which are the ‘makers’: Silvia Furmanovich, Abask, and Trunks – these are very different for Salon.”
Dia Art Foundation chair Nathalie de Gunzburg greeted guests at the 4 o’clock opening, along with Dia Director Jessica Morgan.
“Jill Bokor is an amazing organizer; she loves Dia and she wants to help out,” said de Gunzburg, surrounded by a slew of friends and supporters.
“Dia is having its fiftieth anniversary next year, and many things are happening,” said Morgan. “We have a major project with Steve McQueen that’s going to be in Beacon and Chelsea, and another project with an artist that’s less known, but equally amazing, called Meg Webster.”
There were many striking pieces at various booths, including a 2012 Zaha Hadid dining table at David Gill, an art installation at Halcyon by Dominic Harris that updates every minute according to what is being searched on Google, and a Carlo Bugatti table at Guy Regal.
“This is my first time exhibiting at this show,” said Regal. “I wanted to be in an environment where I could present a much more complex look, which involves vintage period art deco mixed with contemporary artisans. The Salon show is the perfect market for that mix.”
Over at Maison Gerard, owner Benoit Drut was optimistic about the fair and the state of the market.
“There have been a few changes this year, new galleries have come in, and that’s good- I like positive change,” said Drut.
The crowd began picking up around 4:30, as Elizabeth Callender, Jamie Tisch, Marcia Mishaan and Nicole Miller admired the abundance of pieces that were truly works of art.
Liz O’Briens’ booth was a collaboration between designer Brian McCarthy and plaster artist Stephen Antonson, who created a frieze by turning cardboard into beautiful, sculptural, plaster-coated shapes.
“We’ve been busy all year, and I’m very grateful for that,” said O’Brien. “There is a great appetite for beautiful, unusual, unique things.”
Silvia Furmanovich was especially fond of a handbag she had designed.
“It’s made of tiger bamboo, which is naturally oxidized, and very rare,” said Furmanovich, “with marquetry inlay and carnelian and 18K gold fasteners.”
Abask co-owner Tom Chapman had never exhibited in a physical space before.
“Abask will be celebrating its first anniversary in a week,” said Chapman. “We are an online business and this is our first physical exhibition. We have about 4,000 different options to ship at the moment on the site. There are 60 to 70 different collaborations in this booth, made by different makers across the world, done exclusively with us. It’s all the beautiful things you surround yourself with in life, that have a purpose and are useful.”