What's Happening in Asian Art...: Interior Design

Joan B Mirviss LTD at the Winter Show 2021
January 22-31
Online only

January 12, 2021

Kondo Takahiro (b. 1958) "Black and White Drop," 2005-06
Glazed porcelain with silver mist, 31 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.

To mark their fortieth year participating in The Winter Show, and its first ever online-only edition, Joan B Mirviss LTD presents Masterworks of Modern Japanese Porcelain alongside a selection of woodblock prints by celebrated 19th century artists such as Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). A pair of small two-fold screens by Matsumara Keibun (1779-1843) depicting a spring landscape is also on display.

The survey of modern Japanese porcelain includes a fine white porcelain vessel by the great Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) who marked the turn from traditional modes of clay creation toward the approaches that define the modern era. His profound influence lives on in the innovative forms and techniques of Kondo Takahiro (b. 1958) and in the distinctive gold and silver patterned decorations of Maeda Masahiro (b. 1948).

Works by the groundbreaking artists of the Sodeisha ceramic movement Suzuki Osamu (1926-2001) and Yamada Hikaru (1923-2001) and an emergent group of younger artists exploring porcelain's possibilities in sculptural form such as Kino Satoshi (b. 1987) and Fukumoto Fuku (b. 1973) are also included.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Juan Montoya

January 12, 2017

Above: House in Miami. Photo by Ken Hayden

Juan Montoya, one of the most acclaimed and prolific interior designers in the world today, was born and spent his early years in Colombia. After studying architecture in Bogotá, he moved to New York where he graduated from Parsons School of Design. Following two years of work and study in Paris and Milan, he returned to New York, where he founded the design business he has presided over since. His firm specializes in residential and contract interior design, with projects located throughout the United States and Internationally. He is a member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame, as well as a recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, the Star of Design Award, and the Legends Award from Pratt Institute. 

Juan Montoya is not wedded to a particular style or period. Through the careful placement of objects that often reflect his interest in a variety of cultures, Montoya enhances the qualities of a room or of an entire apartment or house. His firm, Juan Montoya Design, is based in New York City.


Park Avenue Apartment, NYC. Photo by Billy Cunningham.

"Since the beginning of time Asian art has taken an important role in interiors and architecture," comments Montoya. "Therefore, incorporating Asian art is almost like a necessity for me. I find Han Dynasty clay pieces especially beautiful, and also like to incorporate 17th and 18th century Japanese screens as works of art in modern and contemporary interiors."

See more of Juan Montoya's designs below:


Apartment in Miami. Photo by Ken Hayden.


Apartment in NYC. Photo by Scott Frances.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Geoffrey Bradfield

October 18, 2016

Geoffrey Bradfield with Liao Yibai's Fake Ring, Pink Iceberg (2010).

Refined, luxurious, exquisitely curated, fearless, bespoke, and completely of the moment—these are the essential elements of Geoffrey Bradfield’s signature style, sought after by Fortune 500 clients and others for whom the firm long ago coined the phrase “silent celebrities,” which include some of the most prominent aristocratic and royal families in the world. Among Bradfield’s many highly celebrated projects are: a major overhaul of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Westbury, Long Island estate, restoration of the late King Hussein’s mansion in Maryland, and the design of Hollywood director Oliver Stone’s riverside New York apartment. Geoffrey Bradfield Inc. is headquartered in New York.

"I am particularly intrigued with burgeoning Asian artists," Bradfield shared with us. "Their creative vision puts a new spin on the genus. Among the many, Liao Yibai's current collection “Real Fake” is stunning. I am also enamored with the work of the Luo Brothers and Sui Jianguo, whose pieces I have showcased in famed movie director Oliver Stone’s New York residence."

See more of Geoffrey Bradfield's designs below:

Interior Designer Spotlight: Ronald J. Bricke

August 11, 2016

As an internationally acclaimed interior designer, Ronald Bricke is sought worldwide for his innovative approaches to both traditional and contemporary design. His scores of projects include the Elsie DeWolfe townhouse in Manhattan (featured in House & Garden, July 1999), the Frank Lloyd Wright house in New Canaan, the Mauksberry Club in London, various homes in the Hamptons and across the United States and residential apartments in Paris, Japan, and New York. One of the rare inductees as an Honorary Member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Mr. Bricke has served on the Board of Directors of the Isabel O’Neil Foundation for the Painted Finish and as a member of the Board of Governors of his alma mater, Parsons School of Design.


Forged fine silver organism by Junko Mori and  two crystal “silver mist” ceramics by Kondo Takahiro rest upon an ivory and marquetry inlaid table (approximately 1790) and are accompanied by a Valdavian sculpture (1580 BC) and a Farnes Harakles sculpture (1st-2nd century AD).  A “Celestial Realm” photograph by Wang Wusheng hangs in the background.

We asked him: What do you collect and how do you combine Asian works of art into your interiors?

"The exquisite nature of simplicity is the inherent characteristic that prevails upon my collection.   With this aesthetic in mind, I have made the discovery that differing cultures and artwork combine seamlessly.  Our global connections are invaluable in finding these uniting features."

"My collections incorporate contemporary Asian works of art with Roman, Greek and Valdavian sculptures.  I also rely heavily on other collectors (for example, Adrian Sassoon, Joan Mirviss and Erik Thomsen) for their inspirations, perceptions and vast knowledge."

See more photos of Ronald Bricke's work below:


In the background, placed upon the window ledge is a tall fluted vessel  (stoneware – sand glaze) with pinched waist and incised surface patterning by Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958).  A Japanese bronze bird, a black lacquer scroll box and a forged fine silver organism by Junko Mori have been placed upon the coffee tables.


Two pieces of stoneware with colored clay inlays by Kishi Eiko (Japanese, b. 1948) reside behind a white ceramic Japanese bowl in the shape of a flower by Ito Hidehito (b. 1971).   A porcelain with blue underglaze and a four-legged rectangular vessel with green glass cover and “silver mist” both by Kondo Takahiro (b. 1958) are placed in front of a brass urn by Gustave Serrurier-Bovy.  All items are placed upon a cipollino marble, custom “outrigger” table.


Frank Lloyd Wright House: A six panel Japanese screen of “Matsushima” (Pine Island) with finishing nets beneath Mount Fuji by the Kano School, circa 1800 provides the backdrop for a Frank Lloyd Wright dining room and is complemented with a Dale Chihuly sculpture in the foreground.

Photography by Michael L. Hill

Interior Designer Spotlight: Sandra Nunnerley

June 17, 2016

Photo by Richard Corman

Born in New Zealand, established in New York, and a natural globetrotter at heart, Sandra Nunnerley’s inimitable style is often described as “art de vivre” bringing together the past and the present, to create “classic interiors with a twist," reflecting the designer’s own love of travel, art, and exploration. Nunnerley’s work is grounded in a sophisticated understanding of architecture and periods, and special attention to the role of art.  She studied architecture at the University of Sydney, art history in Paris, and worked for the Marlborough gallery in New York. Each year she makes a point of going somewhere new and has hiked Machu Pichu in Peru and floated down the Sepik River in New Guinea. “These are voyages of discovery and although you never know what exactly you’re going to take home—a piece of art or an appreciation of a new place—they’re crucial experiences to have for inspiration,“ Nunnerley explains. 

 
Sandra’s Study, photographed by Emily Andrews. Art: Tai Xiangzhou, ‘Beautiful Sharpe Peaks’; 89”L x 16”H
 
We asked her: What do you collect as an interior designer, and how do you combine Asian works of art into your interiors?
 
“I love to introduce my clients to collecting, starting them on their own journey of exploration, whether it’s painting, photography or sculpture," says Nunnerley. “My latest passion is collecting Chinese contemporary ink paintings. This began when Pierre Durand and the late Khalil Rizk, world-renowned owners of Chinese Porcelain, first introduced me to the work of Beijing-born Liu Dan. At the time Liu Dan was living and working in New York City, creating works of art in brush, ink, and watercolor. Immediately I fell in love with his spiritual landscapes of nature, pushing the boundaries of classic Chinese tradition with western art.  As a collector of contemporary and primitive art, I knew that Liu Dan’s Cloud Root III belonged in my own home, alongside the other treasures I have collected, including an early 20th century carved wooden Senufo bird from the Ivory Coast, and a pair of Maori clubs, known as a mere, a one-handed weapon from New Zealand."
 
Sandra’s Living Room, photographed by Emily Andrews. Art: Liu Dan, ‘Cloud Root III’ (2004); 109”L x 52.5”H
 
"Through the years, I have continued to stay in touch with Liu Dan and to collect his Chinese contemporary ink paintings. He is considered to be one of the most gifted and sophisticated Chinese artists today. His unique ability to blend Western drawing with Chinese brushstroke techniques is captivating. Trained in Chinese classical style and having studied the Confucian classics, poetry and calligraphy, Liu Dan creates these contemporary Chinese monochromatic ink paintings, which so effortlessly bring together the East and the West, classic with modern."
 
"Tai Xiangzhou studied under the master ink painter Liu Dan himself.  Xiangzhou’s vibrant and expressive style also approaches landscape painting with a fresh eye, creating a purely modern style of art that is also being widely collected today by both private collectors and museums. I purchased Beautiful Sharp Peaks in 2001 from The Chinese Porcelain Company. It sits above my sofa today, reminding me of the artist's long romance with classical Chinese landscapes and his poetic vision of mountains, lakes, and rivers. Last year I added to my collection a Tai Xiangzhou ink painting from the 2015 “Celestial Tales” exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery."
 
Tai Xiangzhou, Untitled, 2014. 签名: 2014 Xiangzhou; seal: Xiangzhou. Ink on silk. 86 3/4 x 50 1/4 英寸 (mounted size).
 
Not all of Nunnerley’s clients come to her with an art collection in place, but she enjoys sharing her passion for collecting and encourages her clients around the globe—from Hong Kong to London to Paris—to display their art throughout the home.  “There’s nothing better than starting a client on a lifetime of collecting, “ she explains. Nunnerley has a fairly freestyle approach to displaying art collections. She is happy to place art in the kitchen or bathroom (‘It doesn’t all have to go in the living room’) and to juxtapose different styles and periods, like the Georges Jacob Louis XVI chair and works by contemporary sculptor Joel Shapiro in a Park Avenue apartment, or a 19th-century Bugatti chair with a mid-century Murano lamp, art by Kim MacConnel and a Maori canoe in her own home.