“This certainly isn’t the tenth anniversary we expected to have,” says Jill Bokor, director of Salon Art + Design, “but we couldn’t be happier that we are able to hold a live event this year, particularly on the occasion of this momentous anniversary.” Like most fairs that have taken place in person this year, Salon Art + Design lost several European exhibitors due to travel restrictions put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But Bokor is excited to feature close to 50 galleries from across the globe, many of which will be showing a more contemporary, comfortable type of design when the fair opens on 11 November at the Park Avenue Armory.
“The emphasis over the last few years has shifted to more contemporary design,” Bokor says, noting that in the past dealers and collectors focused on mid-century modern pieces and would “punctuate a room or collection with a more contemporary piece.” The style of contemporary pieces has shifted as well. In the last two years the harder angles and jagged lines that were the hallmark of contemporary design have been ground down. The edges have softened. This can be directly linked to the pandemic. With many people working from home for at least a year, “it really is all about comfort now” Bokor says, “with perhaps a mid-century piece to accent the collection”.
Many of the fair’s standby dealers will return, including Friedman Benda, R + Company, Maison Gerard, Galerie Chastel Marechal and Vallois. The fair has also managed to woo several new exhibitors: Culture Object, Dobrinka Salzman Gallery, Les Ateliers Courbet, Lebreton Gallery and Lobel Modern are among the galleries who will be joining Salon Art + Design for the first time.
It may not be what the organisers expected, but given the excitement surrounding Frieze New York, the Armory Show and the forthcoming Art Basel in Miami Beach, there is little doubt that Salon Art + Design will see its share of eager attendees. “We anticipate a new, reinvigorated audience of design collectors and enthusiasts who have become more interested in the aesthetics and function of the home this past year,” Bokor says.
- Salon Art + Design 2021, Park Avenue Armory, New York, 11 November-15 November.