Designer Spotlight: Kelly Behun
Once upon a time, Kelly Behun was destined for Wall Street. She spent a few months at Salomon Brothers after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, but quickly discovered that she had actually been more interested in how the lighting and ambiance of her environment could affect her learning of economics than in the learning of economics itself. A quick U-turn landed her at Bergdorf Goodman’s as an assistant buyer in a gorgeous office that overlooked Central Park and filled her with lofty feelings, which is when she knew that her destiny lay in the creation of unforgettable interiors.
After working with Ian Schrager Hotels’ design studio, where she was the protégé of Philippe Starck, and was introduced to the practical negotiations of space as sculpture and true innovation, she founded Kelly Behun | Studio in 2008. She has been crafting Narniaesque cloud-white perches in elegant apartments overlooking Manhattan in her signature white palette ever since.
Most recently, Behun has launched a line of unique furniture pieces in collaboration with artist Alex P. White. Inspired by the power of art and the desire to pioneer an alchemical site where art and design come together in startling functional treasures for the residential environment, Behun and White are at the forefront of a marvelous invention. Their first collection of experimental furniture and wallpaper is currently on show at R 20th Century in New York City and features Behun's organic, futuristic, intelligent creations, all named after or inspired by an artist or artwork, along with a smattering of archival pieces by Oscar Niemeyer, Sally England, Julia Krantz and Wendell Castle. The show, entitled After, runs through October 27.
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Charlotte Perriand (1903–1999), one of the most innovative interior and furniture designers of the 20th century, did not only strive towards a change in forms but also towards an improvement in social conditions. After the tubular steel furniture, which she developed particularly in partnership with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, she preferred the natural material of wood with its free forms. At the same time her photography, which she approached in a radically modern way, became an impulse for her work. There followed grand stagings of magical objects found on beaches or in junkyards. Charlotte Perriand shared this interest for the poetry of “Art Brut” with Pierre Jeanneret and Fernand Léger, with whom she repeatedly worked. The opening of the archive now provides a longoverdue opportunity to rediscover this important pioneer as a furniture designer, as a photographer and—with her reconstructed large-format collages—as a socially committed woman.
The exhibition is on view unitl October 24th at the Musem of Design Zurich.
The first retrospective examination of the artist’s prolific print practice since 1988. The exhibition includes over 100 prints and five paintings. The exhibition is organized thematically in order to explore Kelly’s key formal motifs: grids, contrast and curves.
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