Another good edition!
Since its inception in 2002, the quality of creations exhibited at Brussels Design Market has evolved into an increasingly sophisticated offering. The original pieces are identified by antique dealers and design specialists. They are not copies of old ones, even though each creation has been the subject of several successive editions. While some rare pieces are destined for collectors, others are offered “in the style of” at more affordable prices. Some have also been restored, especially seats whose upholstery has been damaged through use. So the mix of exceptional pieces and furniture by unknown but well-made designers is still trendy. Sale prices range from less than 30 euros for a fine Bakelite citrus press to several thousand euros. Some 7,000 visitors strolled through the cobbled alleyways
Homage to the year 80’s
The stand of Olivier Biltereyst, a Brussels-based exhibitor who shares the space of his gallery in Uccle with a bookseller specialising in art and design, features pieces by Paolo Pallucco, an Italian architect and designer who emerged in the 1980s. His 100 chairs are known, of which only four were produced, including a chair with three legs. A screen with austere lines by Garouste and Bonetti, designed for Christian Lacroix, contrasts with their neo-Baroque works and their label En Attendant les Barbares, alongside a lighting fixture by Gio Ponti from the late 1970s. A chair published by Zeus, a creation by Philippe Starck, the most important French designer of the 1980s, as well as a resting bed drawn by Lucas Meda with the comfort of soft bamboo slats… the selection is remarkable. Jean-Claude Jacquemart, a famous antiques dealer who started his career on Sablon and is now based in the Brugmann Square neighbourhood, presents Italian furniture from the 1980s, a rare lamp by Artemide and a milky and smoky glass floor lamp by Stilnovo. The Gravita lamp, designed by Antonio Macchi Cassia for Stilnovo in 1969 (now reissued), is on display alongside bronze statues and sculptures. The lines of the 1980s designs add a modern touch to today’s minimalism.
Pieces from the 50s/60s and 70s are still in vogue, such as Pierre Paulin’s iconic chairs. Here are two that were designed for the public areas of Roissy airport. They stand next to anonymous lampposts made of parchment and rope. A piece by Gerrit Rietveld stands out. This Dutch version of Le Corbusier decided to publish all his plans before his death. Antique dealers admit to travelling 4-5,000 km a year to find vintage pieces, but often prefer to sell them at reasonable prices once restored, like this P 40 chaise longue by Oswaldo Borsani (still published by Tecno). This copy dates from 1954/56, the first edition recognisable by the push buttons that allow part of the seat to fold up.
The stand of Mobilier design 20 (@mobilierdesign20), from Besançon, features French design by Pierre Guariche, Pierre Paulin and their work based on functionalism. There are also some exceptional pieces, such as a Villeroy and Boch plate set from the 1980s and 1990s. At Modern Living, there are re-upholstered Togo sofas and chairs and a first-edition Eames lounge chair by Herman Miller.
A rain of lights
At Leonet Hoang we find Christophe Gevers’ beautiful brass wall lamps and at Funky Interiors several examples of the famous Mante Religieuse, a floor lamp by Rispal (now reissued) from the 1950s. Expect €3495 for this type of antique piece. The elegance of this iconic model’s base and pleated shade match the allure of a pair of Danish floor lamps by Svend Aage Holm Sorensen, sold for €2295 each. On show at Polar Décor are black and white lamps like the Shogun lamp, also made in the 1980s. At the Brussels Design Market, some exhibitors are only seen at specialised fairs and are appreciated for the particularities of their often highly personal selections, such as those of Frédéric Letaconnoux, from the Rouen area. At the Un Cercle Rouge stand (www.uncerclerouge.fr), stone lamps, real luminous sculptures by Albert Torpos, which he mixes with contemporary creations, engravings and collages by the artist Soizic Menut, are on display. In one corner are curious glass-fibre lamps by Japanese artist Hajime Goto, fitted with cushions and made in the 1980s. They are signed and dated thanks to a fingerprint of their maker.
The largest space was awarded to the selection of Céline Hellin, who is participating in this event for the 4th time. Her favourite piece is a steel cabinet by Frank Robichet. It stands next to a series of rare chairs by Tobia and Afra Scarpa, the model Africa, offered for 7500 € each! At Leonet Hoang, a round table by Beppe Vida is framed by Léon Stynen’s SL 58 chairs (reissued by Bulo). There will be a book on his work and a retrospective is planned for April 2023 at Sotheby’s. Another Romanian stand features two rare rattan chairs by Dirk Jan Rol and Geneviève Abraham, for Rouger.