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Salon Art + Design 2020

By Design

WENDY GOODMAN The design editor of New York magazine on bold choices and her magpie eye You have a lot of design objects in your home. Would you call yourself a collector? I wouldn’t, only because to me a collector signifies a quite disciplined person who really zeroes in on a certain thing. I’m like a magpie feathering their nest, and I collect anything that interests me. It’s usually books, paintings, or ceramics. I’ve got an amazing wood chain with an anchor hanging on my bulletin board that is made from one piece of wood. I look at it over and over again and think, “How did that artisan do that?” Is there anything you are particularly proud of in your collection? When Murray Moss had his eponymous store, Moss, down in Soho, I would go in and say, “OK, who’s the new designer we’ve never heard of that we have to know?” One day he introduced me to the work of Job, that incredible team, and a ceramic candelabra. I thought, “This is the most beautiful, unusual thing I’ve ever seen. I must have it.” I spent way too much money, but today I’m so glad I got it because it was number one of a limited edition; I got the first piece. I was right to invest in something I loved, you can never go wrong if you do. Tell me about a work that got away. New York City used to have a wonderful, giant flea market in a Chelsea parking lot. One day I saw these black and white prints of court ladies – it looked like Louis XIV, let’s say – with amazing hair and all with different pearl necklaces. I thought about it, and then I went back and they were gone. To this date, it tortures me, because I’ve never seen anything like them again, ever. It just shows you that if you see something, do not hesitate. Be bold.

What trends do you see coming up? What will come to define design of the future? Because we’re so starved right now and because this digital world is our only world, I think the appetite for actual objects – for beauty, for tactility, and color – will increase. I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, but this is the genius of artists and designers; they provide things that we didn’t know we wanted, and we’ll go, “Oh, thank God I can sit in that, or hang that on my wall, or put my fruit in that kind of a bowl with that new material that I didn't know we had.” So it will be a series of revelations. What draws you to Salon Art + Design every year? It is just a constant wonderland for me. There are so many beautiful, riveting, inspiring designs and designers. It’s a bouquet of so much that is so wonderful, and we need it more than ever these days. I think the solution of a magazine is fantastic… and also to have it online, perhaps more accessible for a bigger public, is a terrific thing. Is there one design object that you look back on and think, that was the best work I've ever seen? There's this wonderful gallerist, Cristina Grajales, here in New York. She introduced me to the work of Alexandre Noll and I became obsessed by his work. I bought a tiny little Noll box in Paris at Gallerie Pierre Passebon. I was obsessed to the point where I went and I actually found Nol’s daughter, Odile, and I went and visited their house outside of Paris and his studio. I think he’s one of the most extraordinary and important woodworkers, if you can even call him that. He is, to me, a sort of a magical spirit who just happened to work in that medium.

Profile for Sanford L. Smith + Associates

Salon - The Intersection of Art + Design