Hello the 1980s
Dealers present spoke of “a trend towards the 1980s and even the 1990s”, confirmed by several stands featuring chairs with characteristic graphic and playful lines, real exercises in geometry. Etre Moderne ‘s stand is the clearest example of this. But above all, specialists in design buy and sell antiques they love. Christophe Guérard and his Anti Matière concept played the trump card of being different, with pieces of folk art, objects that smack of rural, regional and French traditions, but which appeal to everyone. Rustic, timeless, meaningful objects that have stood the test of time, like the blue workman’s jacket he wears. Farm tables and pews, wooden kitchen utensils, earthenware pots… Somewhere between a cabinet of curiosities and a rural eco-museum, his stand is a real pleasant surprise.
In Damien Vancoppenolle’s collection, fine merchandise goes without saying, such as this Viennese armchair by Otto Wagner from 1910 or this sideboard with leather doors. Seen at the Kortrijk Biennale in 1976, it was published by Hi-Plan. A catalogue testifies to this. Brussels Design Market has always distinguished itself from a flea market by the quality of the second-hand products on display and the affordability of the prices. Despite the crisis, September’s edition remains on target. 1960s-style chest of drawers can be found for €300 to €450, and beautiful lighting fixtures for €60. Signed pieces are still very popular. Signed pieces are still very popular, such as Elio Martinelli’s Serpente lamp in table version for €1000 and floor lamp version for €1200. Also on display on Damien Vancoppenolle’s stand is the Gédéon lamp by Martine Bedin, a member of the Memphis group, a playful model made in 1984 and never re-released, priced at €750. There will also be lots of beautiful ceramics on show…
Focus on Christophe Gevers
This year, the creations of Christophe Gevers are in the spotlight. This Belgian designer, who died in 2007, is the subject of an exhibition at the Design Museum in Brussels (from 29/09/2023 to 08/01/2024), which holds the archives passed on by his wife Françoise. “We only know 10% of his work. Between large corporate restaurants, private construction sites and office cafeterias, his work is immense. In Brussels, he designed the Taverne des Beaux-Arts and the interior (still preserved) of the Au Vieux Saint-Martin restaurant on Place du Sablon, with its vermilion-coloured painted ceiling and characteristic space-saving furniture. A self-taught and now teacher, he was as much a designer as a set designer, interior designer and graphic artist. You could compare him to a Scarpa or a De Lucchi! He developed some very ingenious systems,” explains Thierry Belenger, collector and friend of Christophe Gevers, who organised his second exhibition in 2008. His stand features a chaise longue that turns into a simple chair, a logo designed for the fast-food chain Quick, models and prototypes made by the designer himself. Behind this space is publisher Quattro Benelux , which has been reissuing Christophe Gevers’ creations for 40 years: the TBA and CG73 chairs, the Cap d’argent stool in leather with a laced back, the CG73 and CG66 tables, etc. Other reissues are in preparation and the designer will be the subject of a monograph. Christophe Gevers’ old and unique pieces fetch high prices: €8,000 for a chandelier, €17,000 for a sideboard in teak and bluestone.
Wood in majestic style
At For the Now, Ghent-based designer Alexandre Lowie presents his new collection of tables with wooden tops, available in 12 sizes, 3 widths, 4 lengths and up to 3.75 m, as well as 7 types of wood and 12 colours for the legs. It stands out for its graphic and airy staple-shaped metal legs, which he designed himself. The solid 3 cm thick tops, with bevelled edges, are available in oak, ash, bubinga, ovangkol, elm, cherry or cipo. A bench and a stool complete the range, which can also be made to measure or in another type of wood, to order. At the very end of the room, creations by Frederick Van Humbeeck: this designer works with wood by burning it and treating it with an acid to bring out the material’s grain and velvety texture, which becomes moiré like a textile. One of his coffee tables features a mirror that reflects his carvings on the back of the top and curved base.
Tribute to textile design
Textile design is one of the highlights of this year’s show, featuring the work of Laure Kasiers. She creates rugs using a technique she developed herself. The braids of trimmings that she weaves by machine and folds by hand form organic patterns. On the floor or on the wall, as wall hangings, her creations evoke natural materials and play with light. Emma Terweduwe ‘s vibrant fabrics and Ana Maria Gomez 3D knitted creations, in collaboration with Omarcity (Amgs & Omarcity), are also worth a look. Unconventional rugs, mattresses, cushions and plaids create a cocooning atmosphere. The multifunctional rooms are very cosy and invite you to curl up, relax and let loose.
The silent creations of Julien Renault
Based in Brussels since 2009, Julien Renault has gradually established himself on the international scene. He works with Italian designers such as Mattiazzi, British brand Nine, Scandinavian companies such as Massproductions and Hay, for whom he recently designed the Pastis chair, reminiscent of southern France, bistros and the name of a Parisian brasserie in Copenhagen. His designs are discreet and functional, with an emphasis on timeless forms made to last. Elegant and simple, they are always personalised by a small detail, such as the Notes shelves he designed for Cruso. For this Belgian publisher, he recently designed small coffee tables in Valchromat (solution-dyed medium) that can be combined and separated according to the day’s activities. The playful Otap collection offers 4 round and square models in 7 colours that can be combined as desired.