The Remarkable Sale that is Phillips de Pury's Moss: Dialogues Between Art + Design

. Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Phillips de Pury presents a rather unique sale of 20th and 21st Century Art and Design, curated by Murray Moss, himself a New York design institution. Exploring the concept of zygosity, Moss's selection and juxtaposition of art versus design challenges our conceptions that define and divide these two worlds.

Above is Gio Ponti's 1950 wall organizer juxtaposed with Kazimir Malevich's 1931 sketched plan for a ceiling. Moss writes:

Italian architect Gio Ponti's 'Parete Organizzata' illuminated wall organizer would normally be categorized as Design, primarily due to the fact it has an obvious function, whereas, curiously, Kazimir Malevich's design for a ceiling, in spite of the fact that it too has a function, is normally categorized as Art. Flat Art is normally hung on the wall, Design rarely is. Yet in our installation of these two works at Phillips, the Ponti is mounted on the wall, and the Malevich is placed on an eisel, in space. As a result, are they both 're-departmentalized'? Do we allow the wall to become a determining factor in extablishing what is Art and what is not?

Below is Joseph la Pana's Trouble, very effectively juxtaposed with a scale model of the Titanic. Moss proposes:

The Medium is not always the Message. In 'Trouble', the use of embroidery to convey the message suggests a decidedly docile, domestic moment, in spite of what the text is communicating. And of course we know the music played on as the unsinkable Titanic sank.

The auction takes place October 16th. View the full catalog here, as the catalog includes Moss's essays and commentary that explore themes and explains his clever curation.  I've also included a few excerpts from Phillips de Pury's excellent video series on the sale, see the full series here.


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