Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Fornasetti enamelled brown glass, 1937. Courtesy of Alexandre Biaggi.

Fornasetti enamelled brown glass, 1937. Courtesy of Alexandre Biaggi.

Call it name-dropping, call it trend-setting, brand-cladding is an art for urbane New Yorkers. These global nomads, whether local or international, are well versed in the language of brands. They show a flare for branded apparel, define their lifestyle according to branded neighborhoods, and consume branded art by means of branded funds and trust accounts.  To see some of them welcoming the SALON: ART+DESIGN at the Park Avenue Armory from November 8 through November 12 was a delightful change.

While the SALON: ART+ DESIGN looked like another art fair to the uninitiated, it was, in fact, a fair dedicated to art but primarily to luxury. This inaugural edition of The Salon was conceived as a collaboration between American dealers and “France’s renowned Syndicat National des Antiquaires, an association of the most prestigious dealers in the world.”  56 exhibitors staged their holdings of primarily 20th century and contemporary works of art and design, including jewelry. The vast array of exceptional product turned The Salon into a fast-track seminar on luxury. From Jean-Michel Frank’s shagreen-covered furniture, to Fornasetti’s rare enamelled work from the 1930s, all the way to Salto’s Danish exuberance in clay, The Salon was a feast of texture, innovation, and creativity. In short, The Salon was the much-needed return to the core of luxury, away from the triviality of contemporary brand-naming. We hope that the project’s finances guarantee the return of The Salon to New York next year.

© Thomaï Serdari