Cultured Magazine

Summer 2012

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Page 93 of 107

EvErything is illuminatEd From vintage pieces to new technological innovations, lighting takes the spotlight at Design Miami/. BY LINDA O'KEEFFE Didier Krzentowski, director of Paris' Galerie Kreo, satisfied a childhood fasci- nation with design by collecting key chains, and as his taste evolved he amassed a large number of watches, photography, art and furniture. His passion continued on to lamps, and over the course of 30 years he acquired and meticulously cat- alogued a formidable array of lighting from the second half of the 20th century. "I began with a few pieces from the '50s. That's my favorite period," Krzentowski says. "For me, the two key countries were Italy and France." Needless to say, Pierre Paulin, Serge Mouille, Pierre Guariche, Michel Mortier and Joseph-André Motte as well as Nanda Vigo and Alessandro Mendini, are well represented in The Complete Designer's Lights (1950-1990), an informative catalogue by Swiss publisher JRP-Ringier based on the gallerist's vast inventory. In addition to nearly 500 lights, the book includes a set of discussions between Krzentowski, Constance Rubini, a curator at the Museum of Decora- tive Arts in Paris, and design journalist Pierre Doze. An essay by critic Alex Coles draws parallels between American artist Dan Flavin's fluorescent instal- lations and Italian designer Gino Sarfatti's innovative light fixtures. "He never repeated himself," Krzentowski says of Sarfatti, who founded Arteluce in 1939 and subsequently created a portfolio of more than 400 lights. "Over his entire 30 year career he constantly experimented with new materials and showed their technical potential in immediate ways." While Krzentowski clearly respects vintage design, he first opened Kreo, the Esperanto word for "creation," as an experimental lab where he could the- orize and innovate new work he commissioned from an impressive pool of tal- ent, including Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Wieki Somers, Adrien Rovero, Pierre Charpin and Hella Jongerius, all of whom have work at the show. "It's important to speak about the future of design," he says, "because we need to dream." A snapshot of Galerie Kreo's collection of lighting, amassed over the last 30 years. 92 CULTURED PHOTO BY FABRICE GOUSSET COURTESY GALERIE KREO

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