Calling All Furniture and Design Buffs! Here Are 6 European Galleries You Should Know
These European galleries are go-to spots for modern and contemporary design for enthusiasts and amateurs alike.
Are you ardent about armchairs? Crazed for credenzas? High design is known to inspire a level of perfectionism and passion among its followers that few areas of collecting can rival. And devotees can espouse some hard-line opinions—like when influential Modernist architect and designer Le Corbusier categorically declared, “Chairs are architecture. Sofas are bourgeois.” But not everyone interested in design is as stringent, and some galleries offer a wide mix of styles, across centuries and schools.
So whether you’re manic for the Memphis Group or don’t know your Lalanne from Lalique, there is a design gallery out there for you. Here are six of our favorite design-centric galleries across Europe to suit all tastes.
About the Gallery: Gallery founder Paola Colombari has quite the pedigree. She’s the fourth generation of one of the oldest antique-dealer dynasties in Italy. After a professional skiing career, she went on to found her first gallery with her sister in Turin in 1981, opening a second gallery space in Milan in 1989. Since the get-go, important 20th-century Italian design as been at the heart of the gallery, with Colombari taking a leading role in promoting the legacy of legendary Turinese architect and designer Carlo Mollino. Since 2000, the gallery has expanded to include contemporary art from around the world.
What You’ll Find Here: Contemporary and 20th-century design by an international set of artists, with a particular strength in contemporary Brazilian design with works by Ronald Scliar Sasson, Sergio J. Matos, and Juliano Guidi along with a mainstay of contemporary and Modern Italian designers.
Location: Via Maroncelli 13, Milan
About the Gallery: Founded in 1997, Galerie Jacques Lacoste actively promotes and seeks rediscoveries of important French designs from the 1930s to 1950s. Special to the gallery is a particular emphasis on lighting fixtures and lamps.
What You’ll Find Here: This is the go-to spot for enthusiasts of French designer Jean Royère. Dealer Jacques Lacoste acquired his archives in 1997 and has a wealth of his original plans, drawings and photographs. Other famed French designers whose works you can find here include Serge Mouille, Max Ingrand, and Pierre Chaeau, among others.
About the Gallery: Gothenburg’s aptly named Frozen Palms channels the cool of California but in the wintry climes of Sweden. This playful art venture partners with artists to create stylish home and lifestyle objects from skateboards to throw pillows.
What You’ll Find Here: A rotating group of artists collaborate with Frozen Palms, but their gallery’s most serious wares are exclusive collections of art carpets with designs by the likes of Richard Prince, Mickalene Thomas, Marilyn Minter, Lawrence Weiner, Nan Goldin, among many others.
Location: Heurlins Plats 1, Gothenburg
About the Gallery: The New York- and Paris-based Galerie Vallois has been a go-to spot for Art Deco art and objects for over 40 years. Expect a wealth of lacquer, mother of pearl, precious exotic woods, and other eye-dazzling materials.
What You’ll Find Here: The Art Deco era is often considered the apogee of French design and here you can find important works from 1920s and ‘30s artists such as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Pierre LeGrain, and Jean-Michel Frank.
About the Gallery: Since 1969, Edition Schellmann has been a leading collaborator for artists prints, but the gallery also offers a range of works that straddle the border between fine art and design.
What You’ll Find Here: The gallery’s first significant collaboration was with Joseph Beuys, which resulted in some of the artist’s most famous prints, but also some intriguing furniture. More artist-made furniture, from desks to bookcases, is available by Richard Artschwager, Donald Judd, and Gerhard Merz to name a few.
Location: Ainmillerstraße 25, Munich
About the Gallery: In the years since its 1989 founding, Galerie Patrick Seguin has become one of the world’s leading galleries of 20th-century design.The gallery director Patrick Seguin has been especially influential in promoting the legacy of architect and designer Jean Prouvé, but the expansive Bastille neighborhood gallery is a modern design devotee’s dream with all of the big names on view.
What You’ll Find Here: Here you’ll find the top-tier of French post-war design including works by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret, Jean Royère, Le Corbusier, Serge Mouille, Georges Jouve, and Alexandre Noll.
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