Collecting Art Furniture: One-on-One with La Galerie Nationale’s Guillaume Cuiry

Previous PostSparse Elegance: Marni Spring/Summer 2013 Collection
Next PostCartier Celebrates the Launch of the New Tank Anglaise Watch
Plexiglass chair Coussin W by Piero Alessandrini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art furniture. Interesting juxtapositions, lines, contours and surfaces. Founder of La Galerie Nationale Guillaume Cuiry is an expert in vintage and twentieth century furniture. We caught up with him to learn of how to discover unique pieces of furniture, setting up shop in Dubai and starting a private collection.

What prompted you to open up a gallery space catering to design objects in Dubai particularly in Alserkal Avenue?

The bridge, between Europe and the Middle East exists for more seven years. I have worked with local collectors since 2005, but I couldn’t find “the place to be” in Dubai to showcase and sell these pieces. When I discovered Alserkal Avenue it was different. This developing hub for art showcases the exact spirit we would like in the GCC. It’s not a copy/paste version of Paris, London or Milan. This hub has its own character closer, in a way, to what one finds among the New Yorker galleries which are often found within huge warehouses able to host unique exhibitions.

What is art furniture to you?

Contemporary Art Furniture concerns one piece which cannot be made from mass market production. These are rare and exclusive items of furniture. The designer himself has to work on it. This is a real oeuvre d’art like a painting should be. For vintage art furniture, this is the same approach, the only difference is that the designer is deceased and his creation definitely stopped. Art furniture is furniture with a soul.

What prompted you to open up a gallery space catering to design objects in Dubai particularly in Alserkal Avenue?

The bridge, between Europe and the Middle East exists for more seven years. I have worked with local collectors since 2005, but I couldn’t find “the place to be” in Dubai to showcase and sell these pieces. When I discovered Alserkal Avenue it was different. This developing hub for art showcases the exact spirit we would like in the GCC.It’s not a copy/paste version of Paris, London or Milan. This hub has its own character closer, in a way, to what one finds among the New Yorker galleries which are often found within huge warehouses able to host unique exhibitions.

Plexiglass chair Coussin R by Piero Alessandrini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is art furniture to you?

Contemporary Art Furniture concerns one piece which cannot be made from mass market production. These are rare and exclusive items of furniture. The designer himself has to work on it. This is a real oeuvre d’art like a painting should be. For vintage art furniture, this is the same approach, the only difference is that the designer is deceased and his creation definitely stopped. Art furniture is furniture with a soul.

How would you advise clients on purchasing on design piece of furniture?

The first Step is to know if the client is seduced by the design. In our gallery, you are allowed to touch and try the furniture. The client must experience the piece first; the history of its creation will come later. There’s no better way to appreciate an armchair than to be seated in it, no? After the client has tried the piece out, we then explain the originality of the object and why it is exceptional. Some visitors only know the item from decoration books and magazines. The majority of our clients desire to have an original home – one that is decorated differently from what might be considered standard by many furniture companies. Sometimes just one or two objects in your home decoration are enough to give it a touch of class.

Low table by Piero Alessandrini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do you source your objects and designers?

We source most of our objects from private collections. We have been working with vintage furniture for 28 years now. When we started we were only one of a few of collectors interested by the market. Now Vintage furniture is very fashionable and 20th century Art Furniture is also rising in popularity. Collectors and connoisseurs can easily contact us as can art professionals. A big part of our job is to propose items in exceptional condition encompassing quality renovation work while always maintaining the soul of the object and respecting the art of the designer. We also actively search for objects with a particular story such as those which have survived world wars or various provenances throughout the world.

What are some of the most memorable design objects, which you have displayed at La Galerie Nationale?

We are very proud to have a rare tapestry by Mathieu Matégot manufactured in 1954. We also have a coffee table dating to 1953 by Matégot made for the renowned Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Another edition of the item is located at the Louvre Museum. Visitors can also find the prototype of a cabinet made by Somop in1967 as well as the first “spirale” armchair made by Louis Durot in 1972. There’s also the last original armchair known as the “esox” by JP Laporte, the second of which is housed at the Beaubourg Museum in Paris. Currently, visitors can see and acquire the spectacular Tree sculpture by Arnaud Rivieren in 2012 made specifically for the current exhibition.

Arnaud Rivieren. Untitled. 2008. Stainless steel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would you say are the differences between selling your works in Dubai compared to doing so in Europe? How do Dubai residents relate to the furniture you offer?

For the moment we promote Dubai’s designers who are already established thus making them easy to identify collectors or connoisseurs. In the gallery we have a large choice of items with a variety of prices. In Europe, it is part of the culture to be learned about art and design. But the Emiratis are picking up fast. Many of our local clients have understood that to buy art furniture is a good investment. We’ve already had clients who, after buying their first piece, have returned to start their own private collection of furniture. What more satisfaction can one have than this? 

Arnaud Rivieren. Trophy 8. 2009. Mademoiselle Stainless steel and Steel. From the collection of Ramin Salsali.

 

 

connect with haute living National
Loader