Natalie Kovacs reports from the City of Dreams, bringing us the collectible design highlights of her trip.
The Endless Summer at Albertz Benda/Friedman Benda
Excited to visit Albertz Benda/Friedman Benda’s inaugural exhibition, I attended the breakfast and was able to experience the architecture and sculpture in the gallery’s new LA home almost to myself.
Firstly, I was struck by the vista, which was perfectly punctuated by Devon DeJardin’s bronze sculpture, ‘Tutelar’ (2022), apparently his first foray with the medium as he is a painter by trade. Another discovery was ‘The Storyteller’ (2021) – a fantastic book shelf by a new artist to the gallery programme, Barbora Žilinskaitė. It was made from an intriguing, alien material, that I found both irresistible and odd to the touch.
Among the usual suspects, the Campana Brothers’s ‘Bolotas Puff (Cherry)’ (2019), made from sheep’s wool, is a classic, while the piece by British artist Sam Ross, ‘Jut, Impale, Emerge’ (2021) was a bold reminder of his dominance at this last edition of Design Miami/.
The most fun part of the exhibition was my favourite installation in the loo – a universe in itself. It offered a snapshot of a 1930s Hollywood crime scene, with Angela Anh Nguyen’s witty rug placed on the shower floor and ceramicist Carmen D’Apollonio’s lamps. As always, her work makes me smile at her ingenuity and playful nature.
Meanwhile, irritatingly clever as always, Arsham’s brilliant and somewhat affordable new edition prototype ‘Dino Dining Chair’ (2021) really is cute and somehow irresistible, for reasons I have yet to understand. I am not sure what to make of his prod at provenance, or use of materials, but somehow his work always gets under my skin.