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Best of Design Miami

In homage to Art Week’s essential annual exhibition—the Miami Beach brainchild of Craig Robins—Interiors South Florida bestows honorifics on the fair’s most superlative pieces.
 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

BEST COLLECTIBLE // BALLOON DOG PLATE
BERNARDAUD, PARIS
When Jeff Koons wanted to immortalize his endearing and enduringly popular “Balloon Dog” sculptures—one classy canine even makes an appearance in Tom Ford’s film Nocturnal Animals—he chose the fine-china brand Bernardaud, which traces its roots back to 1863 Limoges. In 2013, a stainless steel “Balloon Dog” broke the world record for a work by a living artist sold at auction; it fetched $58.4 million. The original dogs (1994-2000), part of Koons’ Celebration series, stood 10 feet tall, but now they’re available—and more manageable—as limited-edition porcelain dinnerware, in magenta, yellow, and—like the Christie’s record-breaker—in resplendent orange. The orange version is available exclusively at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art until Dec. 31, 2017.
From $8,000

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

Most ELECTRIFYING // PINOCCHIO FLOOR LAMP
R & COMPANY, NEW YORK 
Funny what a lightning bolt of red neon can do to a black metal floor lamp, but Florentine artist Lapo Binazzi has the electric touch. The wry pop piece, created in 1985, is available at New York’s R & Company, which was founded in 1997 by Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers to preserve 20th and 21st century design. Their Tribeca showroom offers a robust program of exhibitions and other events, so illumination—neon and otherwise—is a given. Price upon request 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST TIMELESS // SOFA, 1968
MODERNE GALLERY, PHILADELPHIA
At first glance, Wharton Esherick’s piece suggests a century-old handmade work from the Arts and Crafts movement, but then, of course, its Googie-era boomerang shape pegs it to the 1960s. Indeed, the sofa was completed in 1968, two years before its maker died. Esherick’s long woodworking career began in Philadelphia in 1920, and his furniture found its way to the 1940 World’s Fair in New York, and to the collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum, also in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Moderne’s founder, Robert Aibel, had made it his business to nurture Esherick’s legacy, and he carries the master’s tables, chairs, cabinets and sculptures in his 20,000-square-foot gallery in Esherick’s hometown. $125,000

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST OTHERWORLDLY // CAVIAR SCONCES
PATRICK PARRISH, NEW YORK
This enigmatic sconce invites close inspection: First, its charcoal-gray base reminds the viewer of lava rock or a moonscape, but look into its glass lens, and the material—steel shot mixed with epoxy—is magnified and, indeed, caviar-like. Patrick Parrish, in downtown New York, carries the conversation piece, which was crafted by the five-year-old design studio Chen Chen & Kai Williams. The pair of Pratt Institute graduates specialize in mixed media to conjure their mysterious functional art. $1,200 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST VISIONARY // CITRONNIER AU LAURIER
PLUSDESIGN GALLERY, PARIS
Boldly fanciful, this surprisingly functional sculpture was created by French designers Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M (Paris). The design duo demonstrate their fascination with signs, and they describe their piece as an “illusory object—perhaps a shrub, almost a lemon tree or a laurel that reflects the world around in a flock of bright yellow and blue eyes.” It contains a colored and plain mirror, small and large convex mirrors and a magnifying mirror. Demanding 360-degree contemplation, the piece was crafted from brushed metal, semimatte painted wood and memory foam. The eyes have it. Price upon request

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST SENSUAL // JUG VASE #2047
THOMAS FRITSCH, PARIS
Parisian Thomas Fritsch swept into Miami Beach with a range of vintage postwar French ceramics and decorative art from his personal collection. Chief among them was this 1956 black silver pitcher with red inside (one of only three in the world) made by—and signed by—esteemed ceramicist Poterie Pol Chambost (1906-1983). With its abstract feminine lines, the piece communicates serious attitude: It is as seductive as it is distinctive. The silhouette is beautifully balanced and sublimely shapely, and the color tease is truly eye-popping. Price upon request

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST MONUMENTAL // CHAINED UP MIAMI
AMMANN GALLERY, COLOGNE 
As gallery founder Gabrielle Ammann tells it, artisans Francesco Barberini and Nina Alexandra Gunnell were so influenced by their seaside base of Ancona, Italy, that they went to work to honor our very different resort town. Chained Up Miami was intended to make a big splash during Art Week, and it did: Audacious and monumental, forged in stainless steel and marble, the table’s “chain” base was inspired by ships’ heavy-duty chains that let sailors drop anchor on the Adriatic coast. Price upon request 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST LIBERATING // ENIGNUM SHELVES
SARAH MYERSCOUGH GALLERY, LONDON
One end is a functional plane; the other end is something else entirely: It wraps and crosses and moves and grooves. With the Enignum Shelf XXVI and XXVII (both part of the larger Enignum series), Joseph Walsh takes that most utilitarian of objects—the display shelf—and makes it the display. Little surprise that his work has been shown at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Dublin’s Embassy of Japan. By turning thin strips of olive ash into free-form sculptures, the Ireland-based artist enables wood to run like the wind. Prices upon request

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

Most SURPRISING SEATING // COCOON
LOUIS VUITTON, PARIS
As participating designers for Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades installation for Design Miami/, the Campana Brothers (Fernando and Humberto) say that they created the mod suspended seating for two reasons: “First, for the opportunity to explore the Louis Vuitton universe; second, to send a message about unique ways of working with recycled materials.” The hook is gilded steel and brass, the perforated pod is vacuum-molded fiberglass and the supple surface is calfskin and quilted leather. Together, the materials achieve a uniquely cozy spot in that rarified LV universe. Cocoon is available in red, yellow, turquoise, purple, caramel, light blue,
dark blue, coral, gray and green leather. Price upon request 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST TACTILE // SEDIMENT VASES
GALERIE VIVID, ROTTERDAM 
Fresh from Maison&Objet Paris and a show at the Cooper Hewitt in New York, Olivier van Herpt closed out 2016 on a high note when he showed his 3-D printed ceramics at Design Miami/. The 27-year-old industrial design graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven has proven a young master of innovation by producing his own means and methods of digital fabrication. But beyond their stories of creation, the vases are special objects—beautiful and textured and, most of all, touchable. Price upon request 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST COMFORTING // INTRO
NATUZZI, APULIA, ITALY
Fabio Novembre intrigued fairgoers with his experiential installation that married Natuzzi’s Re-vive leather recliners with a sensory dome that guests could enter. “Intro is an introspective process I undergo for myself, but at the same time, it is an invitation to share with others,” Novembre explains. “The room is soft and welcoming, like an egg, and invites visitors to lie down and find themselves.” Once inside, guests enjoyed clips from Fellini’s 8½. Back outside the egg, quilted Re-vive armchairs in red, plum and black—which recline naturally and responsively, without requiring mechanical adjustment—stood ready for their test drives. Natuzzi’s Miami flagship in the Design District carries two sizes and five upholstery styles. Prices upon request 

BALLOON DOG PLATE BERNARDAUD JEFF KOONS

MOST MESMERIZING // ONE POINT PERSPECTIVE
VICTOR HUNT, BRUSSELS
Each year, Victor Hunt Designart Dealer makes the journey from Brussels to dazzle fairgoers with playful, limited-edition lighting installations by emerging designers. This year, owner Alexis Ryngaert unveiled a new artist, Dutch designer Arnout Meijer, who sculpts with delicate illumination. The latest talent to be commissioned and presented by Victor Hunt, Amsterdam-based Meijer was listed as one of the top 30 artists under 30 by Forbes in 2016. Meijer explains the visual appeal of One Point Perspective, which seems to add a dimension as the viewer changes position: “Optical illusions are not independent deceiving sights; they define our way of seeing, just as our view on imagery in media and internet depict the world around us.” From $3,500