This Year’s Highly International Salon Art + Design Fair Will Have ‘Something for Everyone’

Brazilian mid-century design, California Minimalism, and Russian design make prominent appearances.

Fifty-six leading art and design galleries from 14 different countries will be featured in the 2019 edition of the fair. Courtesy of Salon Art + Design.

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” the starlet Mae West once mused. If that decadent sentiment hits home, then the eighth edition of the always spirited Salon Art + Design should be high on your cultural calendar. The annual showcase of art, architecture, and design, which opens at the Park Avenue Armory next weekend, has plans to be a more lavish affair than usual. 

“There is impossibly great material coming this year,” Jill Bokor, the fair’s executive director, said.  “I hope this is always true.” 

And while high design has always been at the heart of the New York fair, the most noticeable trend for 2019 is a focus on somewhat peripheral collecting tastes, including Russian art and design, Brazilian mid-century design, and California Minimalism.

The shift comes with an influx of new galleries to the fair. São Paulo’s Legado Arte, the fair’s first Brazilian exhibitor, will be showcasing historic and contemporary work including a whimsical “cipo” bookcase by Rodrigo Almeda. Meanwhile, gallery Gabriel + Guillaume (the first participant without a permanent physical space) will be adding top-tier 20th-century and contemporary Lebanese design works to the mix, including a much sought-after “Gravitation Chandelier” by Maria Group. The fair is also welcoming its first Russian gallery, Heritage International Art, as well as the US-based ABA gallery, which specializes in Eastern European art, with works by Malevich and Gorky on view. 

Aleksandra Ekster, Two Women with a Lyre. Courtesy of ABA Gallery.

Aleksandra Exter, Two Women with a Lyre. Courtesy of ABA Gallery.

As for the artworks no visitor should miss, Bokor has a few favorites, including a never-before-exhibited 1956 Christmas card designed by John Cage at Moderne Gallery’s booth. “We’re also very excited about the Campana Brothers’s Settimio Cabinet, from their Brazilian Baroque series that captures all that’s best about contemporary design; the simple form made textural and elegant through the use of linear bamboo and rococo brass,” Bokor said. 

Rodrigo Almeda, “Cipo” Bookcase. Courtesy of Legado Arte.

Rodrigo Almeda, “Cipo” Bookcase. Courtesy of Legado Arte.

Of course, installations in the historic rooms of the Park Avenue Armory are one of perennial delights of the venue. For Salon Art + Design, the French crystal master Lalique is returning for the second year, this time in collaboration with Fromental, the British makers of fabulously floral wall coverings, for what is sure to be a florid affair.  Other special installations will include the debut of a new line of design by the contemporary artisans at Appartus, and a site-specific work by versatile French designer Mathieu Lehanneur. 

Asked about the dizzying array of styles and visions on view this year, Bokor said, “I’m pretty sure there’s something for everyone.” 

Salon Art + Design takes place at the Park Avenue Armory from Friday, November 15, through Monday, November 18, 2019. VIP Preview, Thrusday, November 14, 4 p.m.9 p.m.

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