When fine furniture dreams, in its comfortable parlors, on plush carpets and rare flat timbers, does it picture people flitting through doorways with haste and concern, on their swift mobile legs? Or does it instead imagine a great sparrow nesting madly in the master bedroom, scuttling gracefully from corner to corner, while vectors of impossibly delicate thread connect the floor to the ceiling? In Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors, the home is considered not as a comfortable extension of the family, but as an abstract, reflecting on its own embellishments and concerned with its own possibilities. The exhibition, staged in a lush Upper East Side apartment, will last from April 18th until May 10th and represents the efforts of Lisa Fayne Cohen, the founder and director of Galerie Magazine, Manon Slome, chief curator and co-founder of No Longer Empty, and with additional curation from Michael Steinberg, arts editor of Galerie.
Despite a serious focus on design and staging, this is no simple tastemaker’s ball. As with Teresa Diehl’s El Nido, installations dominate the living spaces, and repurpose or reconstitute them; a bedroom becomes the downy belly of a bird’s nest, and guests litter the feathered floor. A duo known as GHOST OF A DREAM papers the formal dining room with $70,000 of discarded lottery tickets in an incredible Rococo smear, and Barbara Bloom does an entire room in wit, plush whites, and the particularly fantastic Steinway Piano Carpet, which, in this setting, appears as clever and self-deprecating as it ever could. There are also grand portraits from Mickalene Thomas, as well as pieces by Ena Swansea, Misha Kahn, Jean Shin and a children’s room devoted to the at-risk and homeless youth represented by the Hetrick-Martin Institute.
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