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Salon Art + Design 2020

This spring, the Brooklyn-based lighting designer Lindsey Adelman went on a ski trip to Utah with her husband and son. They didn’t leave the western state again for many weeks. “Everything turned upside down right after we arrived,” she says of her timing, “so we stayed on and did a lot of hiking.” She also created hundreds of artworks – “I did paintings incessantly; ordered watercolor paper in bulk and used it all up” – after which she decamped to the Hamptons to complete a two-year-long evolution of a lighting collection called Paradise. By midsummer, she had also received one of the biggest private commissions of her career. In this, she is not alone. Throughout lockdown and after, contemporary design’s standout names have been receiving more requests for one-off pieces than ever before. “I found myself working with new clients in New York, the Hamptons and Berlin,” says Michael Anastassiades, the lighting and furniture designer, based in London, who is also a major player at the Italian company Flos. “It’s been extraordinary; what might have been a quiet time has actually been an exciting one, especially creatively. The New York commission is at a scale I’ve never worked at before – a mobile chandelier but of the sort of dimensions that takes things to a whole new level. Put it this way, it wouldn’t fit in my house.” Adelman’s commission, likewise, is a room-size installation, which will necessitate 100 feet of chain to complete. While it’s not exactly the size that matters, both stories seem symptomatic of a new set of circumstances that lockdown brought to pass, not least for the wealthy. For those used to incessant travel, the enforced confinement meant more time at home (and in just one home of their several). For those with a schedule previously heaving with appointments, whether work or social, it gave the gift of uninterrupted time (or boredom – take your pick). And many apparently used that time to trawl through social media, and dig deep into designer websites, revealing new levels of unimagined possibilities and a deeper acquaintance with work by designers and artists they might have hitherto brushed past at fairs and in publications. (Left) Lindsey Adelman, Paradise City Caliper pendant, and a portrait of Lindsey Adelman. Photos: Nigel Cox and Stephen Kent Johnson (Right, top to bottom) Martino Gamper’s Off-Cut Lino Cabinet, 2020, and Off-Cut Lino Table in 4 Sections, 2019. Photos: Christian Gufler

Profile for Sanford L. Smith + Associates

Salon - The Intersection of Art + Design