Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christie's 20th Century Design

Well, as I noted in a previous post it is quite the Lalanne affair over at Christie's this December. However, the relative scale of the pieces does not make them overbearing and it was impressive to be able to compare so many designs under one roof. As I suspected the bulk of the 52 Lalanne lots come from a single collection. I am still not totally convinced that this flood of material all at once will bode well for the Lalanne market.

One unexpected surprise was a rather organic bookcase by Marc Newson. While I do feel his works have been overexposed at auction this is a very compelling piece. Once again the artist has pushed the envelope, utilizing technology to bring a traditional material to a new level. The Voronoi Shelf #1 is hewn from a single monumental slab of marble in an organic and cellular arrangement. The work was conceived and exhibited in an edition of 8 at Gagosian in 2006. There was quite a buzz at the time and the edition evidently sold out. We will have to wait and see if the rarity and deliciousness of this recent work will be enough to reach the $150,000-200,000 estimate.
Marc Newson, Voronoi Shelf (#1 of 8), white carrara marble, 2006

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