In 2007 auctioneers Phillips de Pury created a new brand name to catalog limited editions of furniture, often made in luxury materials, that had a sculptural quality. Design Art was born and with it a demand that pushed prices skywards.
Since then there has been a debate raging regarding the validity of the term. In an article this weekend on The FT.com entitled The Great DesignArt Debate , art dealer Rabih Hage supports the new label as “’de-functionalising’ an object and looking at it from the pure emotional angle" while Karen Ryan, an artist who repurposes pieces of furniture to turn into art, argues that no new label is needed to categorize her work.
Is it just a way to inflate prices for furniture that reflects the disproportionate increase modern art has had over classical art in the last few years or is it a fair description of a whole new branch of design? How would you describe Fernando and Humberto Campana’s 2004 Alligator Chair?
Design? Art? or DesignArt?