Art Basel Miami Beach kicks off on Thursday, and to celebrate, furniture and lighting house Ralph Pucci is launching its new 10,000 sq ft gallery space in the city’s Wynwood District.
Pucci has pioneered collectable design since the 1970s, and the New York gallerist’s new eponymous space at 550 NW 28th Street takes over a 1960s warehouse in the Miami neighbourhood, known for its vibrant street art, museums and galleries.
Veteran French designer and artist Élisabeth Garouste has transformed the building’s industrial facade with a whimsical, 100-ft mural called ‘Strange Vegetations’, featuring flora, fronts and cellular structures. It’s the inaugural piece of the gallery’s mural programme, which will feature work by Ruben Toledo next year, further adding to Wynwood’s eclectic streetscape.
The building has undergone an extensive renovation that blends new with old, high with low. Think white epoxy resin floors and concrete, raftered painted ceilings, and black steel framed windows and doors. It’s an elevated backdrop for the gallery’s collection of furniture and art – which launches in its new space with sculptural new works by India Mahdavi, Hervé Van der Straeten and Patrick Naggar.
Mahdavi brings her 6-metre-long Oedipe sofa to the gallery, upholstered in a sumptuous shade of eggplant and staged alongside the new Vers Huit Heures coffee tables and Tartagnan screen.
Meanwhile, van der Straeten’s Fun Ride collection makes its US debut – a dazzling, vibrant series of limited edition furniture, mirrors and light fixtures. (Of particular note is his playful, postmodern Table Agitatino and Lustre Candy light pendant).
Ralph Pucci – and now, siblings Michael and Nicole Pucci, who are steering the company into its seventh decade – have gone all out for the launch, digging deeper into the gallery’s commitment to craft and spotlighting ‘the hand of the artist.’
Lighting designer John Wigmore presents 70 ceramic shades and side tables in the main space, including his Gold Lines triptych light and Stefan Bishop’s sinuous sculptures command floor space. Garouste’s new free-flowing lighting and furniture collection, Beans, is also on show. It includes mirrors and lighting pendants made at Ralph Pucci’s Manhattan sculpture studio in its proprietary plaster glass material.
Large format works by legendary photographer Christopher Makos hang on the wall, including three portraits of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and more intricate contact sheets. Photographer Marjorie Salvaterra also presents her crystal-embellished series, Almost Spring – a collection of works in white on white.
The gallery’s grand opening will take place on Wednesday, 6 December 2023.