Form, a new show that crosses over between art and design, launches at London’s Olympia this week, featuring the work of a range of contemporary designers on show and on sale. Exhibition design has been created in-house.
Billed as the first of its kind in Europe, Form will showcase more than 100 new and established dealers and galleries across contemporary art, design, photography, ceramics and sculpture.
Form creative director Russell Sage and show manager Ruth Minchin designed the exhibition space and created the brand ‘feel and vision’. According to Minchin, the show will feature one-off and limited edition design that targets the collector rather than up-market consumers.
‘It’s along the lines of the Miami Basel model,’ says Minchin. ‘You can buy no matter where you are in the show – everything you see is on sale. And we’re not showing high-end, mass-produced consumer pieces. It’s deliberately about one-off pieces that collectors will invest in.’
At the entrance to the exhibition is a Ross Lovegrove piece entitled Landscape and a ‘feature wall’ of Cole & Sons 1950s wallpaper, which has been reworked to become the event’s ‘signature wallpaper’.
A Gareth Williams-curated exhibition of 20th and 21st century design is a feature of the main space and will include work by Ron Arad, Tom Dixon and Established & Sons.
The exhibition space is designed with a central wedge, rather than the ‘standard right angles’, says Minchin. ‘We wanted it to feel dynamic. The central wedge acts as a sightline and things spin from it into the space. There’s deliberately no zoning,’ she says.
The focal point of the space is a central bar area, which features a series of tents down either side and an exhibition of the work of American furniture designer Karl Springer, focusing on pieces from the early 1970s.
A subset of the show, entitled DNA, will feature 15 up-and-coming designers and artists, including Max Lamb, Magnus Long, Martino Gamper, Troika and Ryan Frank. The DNA space was designed by Sage and, according to a spokeswoman, it was a ‘delicate balance getting the design right’.
‘With the work of 15 exhibitors across furniture, light, art and installation, there are lots of textures and different feelings. It goes beyond a selling space and offers a slower pace, more like a gallery journey or installation.’
DNA exhibitors were selected by an advisory panel, which included Max Fraser and Libby Sellers.
The VIP area is designed by Frederickson Stallard and makes use of distressed antiques and installation pieces.
Form runs from 1-4 March at Olympia.
DESIGN EXHIBITORS AT FORM
• Berg Brothers
• Good Eye Design
• Greenwich Village
• Themes and Variations
• The Carpenters Gallery
• Suzanna Trocme and Paul Verberg (Paul Smith Lighting)
• The Apartment