The best of Design Miami 2016

From Le Corbusier classics to contemporary pieces by Gaetano Pesce, Maria Pergay and the Bouroullec brothers

The Bullet cabinet by Gloria Cortina
The Bullet cabinet by Gloria Cortina

Winter sunshine and a wonderful range of highly collectable design pieces are two good reasons to visit Design Miami 2016, where more than 30 international galleries are set to unveil their wares. Now in its 12th year, this prestigious annual fair promises a heady mix of debut designs and sought-after 20th-century pieces when it opens its doors on November 30-December 4.

Embau bench by Hugo França at Mercato Moderna
Embau bench by Hugo França at Mercato Moderna

Among the exciting new exhibitors are Mercado Moderno from Rio de Janeiro with a solo show by Brazilian designer Hugo França; Salon 94 from New York, with an exhibition of work by Gaetano Pesce, including vintage cabinets and new resin vases. Miami’s own Giovanni Beltran (Noguchi Breton) gallery, meanwhile, explores the emerging market for collectable outdoor furniture with designs by Lex Pott, Jonathan Nesci, Deon Rubi and Jonathan Gonzalez.

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An emphasis on unusual materials is evident at Cristina Grajales Gallery, where bold new furniture (Bullet cabinet, $48,000; Mathias coffee table, from $35,000; Silent A jewel boxes, $5,000)by Gloria Cortina combines her native Mexican obsidian with bronze and quartz.Galerie Kreo is showing Konstantin Grcic’s angular Hieronymus Minero table/seat, made from a resin and concrete composite, and Friedman Benda is presenting Chilean studio gt2P’s new Remolten Lava table lamps made from lava excavated from Chile’s Villarrica volcano.

Hieronymus Minero table/seat by Konstantin Grcic
Hieronymus Minero table/seat by Konstantin Grcic

Noticeable too are the monumental new suspended lights by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec at Galerie Kreo. And, making their debut at Patrick Parrish Gallery are sculptural table lamps in bronze, leather and glass by New York-based lighting designer Bec Brittain, who took inspiration from construction cranes on the city’s skyline for these innovative pieces.

Anneaux armchair by Maria Pergay
Anneaux armchair by Maria Pergay

South African design platform Southern Guild has become a must-see booth at Design Miami and certainly does not disappoint this year. Check out the showstopping sideboard Kassena Horseman (£32,400) by Dokter and Misses, Porky Hefer’s Piranha 1: Nerina nest (£27,500), Atang Tshikare’s fantasy giraffe light, Le Bone Lebone (£30,000), and Charles Haupt’s elegant bronze and glass Num Num dining table (£29,000), inspired by an indigenous thorn tree.  

Joseph Harrington Ravine glass sculpture
Joseph Harrington Ravine glass sculpture

Several other returning galleries are offering tightly focused presentations. Hostler Burrows is showing eye-catching, handblown lustres – jewel-like chandeliers by Swedish artist Frida Fjellman. And Thomas Fritsch-Artrium is holding a solo exhibition of work from the 1950s and 1960s by Parisian ceramicist Denise Gatard (the eldest sister of revered ceramicist Georges Jouve). Meanwhile, a trio of stalwart French exhibitors are presenting exceptional 20th-century pieces. For the first time in the US, Laffanour-Galerie Downtown is devoting its entire booth to furniture by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret originally commissioned for the Indian city of Chandigarh, along with work by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé. Aspects of modernism at Galerie Patrick Seguin contrast Prouvé’s restrained designs, including a bed and lamp set, with Jean Royère’s more whimsical approach to lighting and furniture. At Jousse Entreprise, there’s a solo show of Maria Pergay’s alluring stainless-steel designs from 1968-72.

Martin Rusak Flora coffee table, £8,928
Martin Rusak Flora coffee table, £8,928

Off-piste from the fair, head over to the new 1 Hotel & Homes on South Beach to see the latest craft work by British makers including Edmund Byrne’s ceramics (from £2,160), Juliette Bigley’s bowls series (£5,160), Joseph Harrington’s glass sculptures (from £3,600) and Marcin Rusak’s intriguing Flora coffee table (£8,928). British Craft: The Miami Edit (from November 28 to December 2, by appointment), is curated by Miami and London-based interior designer Natalia Miyar in partnership with The New Craftsmen and Crafts Council UK. Like the Miami sunshine, it’s guaranteed to lift the spirits.

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