Friday, June 23, 2017

Design Plus Art at the Decoration & Design Building

Artist Cy Twombly's apartment in Rome photograhed by Horst in 1966 – 
Art and design – two of my favorite subjects! A couple of weeks ago I attended Spring Market Day at the Decorating & Design Building here in New York City. The handsome D & D Building on Third Avenue houses over 130 manufacturers' showrooms, which are open to-the-trade and welcome design industry professionals from around the world. The day was called Art X Design, and was dedicated to exploring how art and design work together in interiors. Showrooms were open to visitors, plus there were three keynote speaker panels, 14 in-showroom programs, three cocktail receptions, and more.

I started the morning with a panel on "How Art of the 20th Century Shapes Design" which was moderated by Town & Country Editor in Chief Stellene Volandes and included artist Sophie Matisse, who is the great-granddaughter of Henri Matisse; interior designer Stephen Sills (pictured below); and Molly Ott-Amber, Senior Vice President at Sotheby's. In discussing how to decorate with art, Sills warned, "Don't do color schemes or rooms around art, ever." The designer said he is inspired by old photographs of artists' studios. "Great artists were great decorators and very conscious of their environment," he noted, citing Matisse, Picasso and Cy Twombly (pictured above) as favorite examples.
With the great American interior designer Stephen Sills at the D & D Building –



Next I headed to "Art Smart: A Primer for Designers" with moderator Galerie magazine editor-at-large Margaret Russell and designers Jamie Drake and Robert Stilin and art advisor Lorinda Ash. The panel discussed favorite art galleries to visit in New York which include Gagosian, Marianne Boesky, Chiem Read, Pace and Eleven Rivington. Later I hit "The Curatorial Designer: Interiors for Contemporary Art Collectors" moderated by NYC&G Editor in Chief Kendell Cronstrom with author Alisa Carroll, designers Gary Hutton and Amy Lau, and art advisor Blair Clarke. "A job is not finished until there is art on the walls," observed Amy Lau.

The art world can be intimidating place for buyers but throughout the day, discussions offered advice on navigating that world and how to best incorporate art into interior design. "The purpose was to provide a service to the design community and give them access to a variety of vetted experts including art advisors, art galleries, and auction houses," said Liz Nightingale, Vice President, Director of Marketing at the D & D Building, who organized the successful event. After a glass of wine at one of the cocktail parties, my head was swimming with all of the conversations of the day and the power of art to enhance and inspire. As Margaret Russell said during her panel, "Art elevates everything."