Home book seller Death Masks and Dopamine Decor by Neri Oxman

Death Masks and Dopamine Decor by Neri Oxman

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Photo: Madeline Toll and French + Tye/House of Joy/gestalten 2022, Honey & Wax Booksellers on behalf of The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, Yoram Reshef/Courtesy of SFMOMA

Every two weeks, I will collect and share the objects, the designers, the news and the events to know.

Photo: Bull’s Head Rare Books on behalf of the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Photo: James Cummins Booksellers on behalf of the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

The 62nd Antiquarian Book Fair takes place next week at the Park Avenue Armory, with 200 exhibitors from around the world showcasing their treasured prints, cards, ephemera and books. There are plenty of these for architecture fans and New York City history buffs: an 1867 map directory of all businesses on Broadway below 14th Street that measures 118 inches long and coils in a maple canister, and the first annual report of the Department of Public Parks, which gives details of the beginnings of Central Park (including all the animals in the zoo!), to Bookseller James Cummins; a first edition by Benjamin Asher Companion of the American manufacturer, the leading resource for Federal-style builders in the United States, at Bull’s Head Rare Books; and a series of prints of French architecture done in the 1960s Day-Glo style from Honey & Wax. From April 21 to 24.

Photo: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

My favorite shapes, Julio Torres’ 2019 HBO special, ended up being one of the weirdest and most charming design review moments I’ve come across. The comedian pondered tiny cacti and imagined a new life for a Happy Meal toy he rescued from the streets. It was mostly about seeing the world and the objects around us in a more imaginative way. Torres has channeled that weirdness into a new children’s book titled I want to be a vase, which tells stories about household items that want to turn into something else, like a plunger that just wants to hold flowers. The cuddly 3D illustrations in Julian Glander’s book are as surreal and endearing as Torres’ imaginative writing. Available for pre-order now; released June 7.

From left to right : Photo: Sel de Palmar, Camille Walala, Belle Mare, Mauritius, Photo Tekla Evelina Severin, Maison de la joie, gestalten 2022Photo: Courtesy of gestalten

From above: Photo: Sel de Palmar, Camille Walala, Belle Mare, Mauritius, Photo Tekla Evelina Severin, Maison de la joie, gestalten 2022Photo: Courtesy of ge…
From above: Photo: Sel de Palmar, Camille Walala, Belle Mare, Mauritius, Photo Tekla Evelina Severin, Maison de la joie, gestalten 2022Photo: Courtesy of gestalten

A book of supremely charming and vibrant interiors, from a Memphis-y hotel in Mauritius to a Aesthetically Optimized Airbnb in Maine. It’s a welcome antidote to doomscrolling. Available for pre-order now; released June 28.

Photo: Matthew Millman, courtesy of SFMOMA

I deeply appreciated Tauba AuerbachThe quasi-scientific exploration of patterns, symbols, typography, math and language over the years: packing an old FDNY fireboat into a red and white marble patterna series of standard samples composed of different shapes, helix rolling papersAnd one Alphabet Bible, among others. I was lucky enough to be able to visit a retrospective of their work at SFMOMA during a trip to the Bay Area a few weeks ago. Individually, each piece reflects a deep curiosity with human perception, and together they represent how there is an order that grounds us in the world despite the general chaos of things. It was like a nerd version of the Exploratory, which was my favorite museum when I was a kid. Although much of Auerbach’s work is visual, I was delighted to attend a brief performance of the Auerglass organ, an instrument they made with musician Cameron Mesirow. It takes two people to play, as one person pumps air through the pipes of the other, and the keyboard on either side is split into alternating notes. The sound is soothing, harmonious and peaceful, representing how beautiful it can be when two people can trust and collaborate with each other. Some excerpts of what the instrument looks like are available online. Rehearsals take place every Friday, before a final performance April 28.

From left to right : Photo: Yoram Reshef, courtesy of SFMOMAPhoto: Matthew Millman, courtesy of SFMOMA

From above: Photo: Yoram Reshef, courtesy of SFMOMAPhoto: Matthew Millman, courtesy of SFMOMA

I finally got a chance to see Neri Oxman’s slightly awful and haunting film Vespers series of death masks up close Nature x Humanity, another captivating exhibit currently at SFMOMA. The masks were made by digital design and fabrication, and they look like something out of a horror movie. Each of them is meant to represent the last breath a person takes during their transition from life to death. Oxman made them by 3D printing what looks like the skull of an alien creature and filling it with pigment-creating microorganisms. The masks are frightening to behold and also so fascinating to behold. Sign me up for one when I die. Until May 15.

From left to right : Photo: Courtesy of HaworthPhoto: Courtesy of Haworth

From above: Photo: Courtesy of HaworthPhoto: Courtesy of Haworth

Patricia Urquiola — the creator of the often copied Glitter table for Glas Italia and Italian sofas which costs as much as a car — has designed hotels in cosmopolitan destinations like Lake Como, Milano, Barcelona, Veniceand Singapore. But its US premiere happens to be in… Holland, Michigan. Created for contract furniture brand Haworth’s conference center refurbishment, the hotel is as chic as anything you’d see in Italy, with a spiral staircase, clean-lined furniture, and rich colors. Patricia, do New York next!