Focus on George Nakashima

George Nakashima was a Japanese-American woodworker born in Spokane, Washington, who studied architecture at the esteemed École Américaine des Beaux Arts outside of Paris, and then received a Master’s degree in Architecture from M.I.T. Though this architectonic training would impact his woodwork and style, it was perhaps his forced internment during World War II which had one of the greatest effects.

Design Miami/ Basel, furniture, George Nakashima, Sebastian + Barquet

Lars Kinsarvik/ Viking Design

Sometimes, the phrase “carving out a national identity” is to be taken quite literally. Lars Kinsarvik, the Norwegian woodcarver and designer, was working in Norway in the early 20th century. This was a time when the country was asserting an independent status from Sweden which had controlled Norway until 1905 (Denmark had reigned over Norway before Sweden for about 400 years). Working mostly on commissions, Kinsarvik’s inimitable elaborate carvings and palette helped change the landscape of Norway’s churches, homes, restaurants, hotels and furniture.

Galerie Franck Laigneau, Lars Kinsarvik

The Enigmatic Robert Loughlin

Robert Loughlin was a figure of legend. During his lifetime, his uncanny talent for scouting important design work on the secondhand market – together with his nearly compulsive penchant for painting a particular motif on the objects he found – made him an icon among a select group of art and design collectors…

Andy Warhol, furniture, Johnson Trading Gallery, Paul Johnson, Robert Loughlin, Robert Mapplethorpe

The Rugged, Refined Individualism of Wendell Castle

This month, Wendell Castle, one of America’s most distinguished artist-craftsmen, celebrated his 80th birthday. Throughout a 50-year-long career, Castle forged a highly distinctive path, merging the aims of craft, design and fine art to bring forth forms entirely of his own vision.

furniture, R20th Century, Wendell Castle

Eames Storage Unit/ Customization and Industrial Production

“The role of the architect, or the designer, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests – those who enter the building and use the objects in it.” -Charles Eames, Arts & Architecture, December 1945

Charles and Ray Eames

Joseph Frank/ Cabinet of Curiosities

During Design Miami/ Basel this past June, Stockholm-based gallery Jackson’s exhibited a unique set of cabinets designed by twentieth-century architect-designer Josef Frank. Produced in 1958 by Swedish interiors company Svensk Tenn for a private residence in São Paulo, these objects are a perfect embodiment of Frank’s approach to design. While throughout his long career Frank upheld a principled and progressive design philosophy that kept modern human needs at the forefront, he disparaged the austere environments and puritanical aesthetics endorsed by modernists of his day.

Accidentism, Jacksons, Josef Frank, Svensk Tenn

Roger Tallon/ Module 400 Series

It is difficult not to romanticize the biography of Roger Tallon’s Module 400 series. This story unfolds within the swinging 60s in Paris – amid the music of Serge Gainsbourg and the fashion of André Courrèges; amid radical transgressions of social mores and sweeping challenges to the traditional boundaries between the arts. The protagonists include…

Jousse Entreprise, La Piscine, Module 400, Roger Tallon