Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2017: Curating Today's Best Modern Design Studios
If there was one theme that ran through Sight Unseen OFFSITE, it was color.
Much like Sight Unseen itself, the fair was tightly curated, boldly bright and unabashedly elegant. Featuring 25 stands hand-picked by site founders Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov, the show’s multihued offerings ranged from the perfectly pastel Pieces Collection by Brooklyn-based creative agency An Aesthetic Pursuit to the more pared back collection of five Norwegian studios, displayed together here as part of Norway X New York. Upon entering the venue on Avenue of the Americas, the first stand to greet you stayed true to Sight Unseen’s remit of exploring “what’s new and what’s next in contemporary design”. Twyla, the Austin-based art marketplace startup, sell limited edition works that make art more affordable. For the fair, Sight Unseen asked visual artist Tom Hancocks to create a series of seven hypothetical VR interiors designed around a few of the prints available on Twyla. Viewed through VR headsets, the interiors ranged from an intense, color-blocked Scandi-inspired setting to a neon-tinged interior reminiscent of both ’80s Japan and the furniture of Shiro Kuramata.
It was clear that luminous colors reigned supreme when it came to wallpaper, and both Calico Wallpaper and Wallpaper Projects focused on dreamy, iridescent colors from the former’s soft, blurry design inspired by aural mapping to the latter’s dramatic fuchsia backdrop for TWNS Studio.
In contrast were Sight Unseen favorite Fernando Mastrangelo’s monochrome pieces. Though Mastrangelo’s work usually alludes to the outdoors in all its colorful glory, at the showcase he favored sand dyed in various shades of black and grey, poured against a pale cement backdrop.
Further along were LA-based Elyse Graham’s kaleidoscopic vases, cast in resin and sanded down to reveal a psychedelic medley of colors. Part of her Black Magic range, Graham tends to work intuitively, experimenting and feeling as she goes along. At the fair she said she named each of her vessels after a place, and while sometimes she creates with a specific place or ambience in mind, more often than not, the places are simply revealed to her.
More from Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2017
Atelier de Troupe
Ben and Aja Blanc
lacoli & McAllister
All photos by Charlie Schuck