Cultured Magazine

Winter 2015

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Clémence and Didier Krzentowski's Galerie Kreo isn't just a place for exhibiting the latest in furniture design. Since it first opened in Paris in 1999 it has steadily become one of the design world's most important showcases. Along with its London-based outpost, which opened last year in Mayfair, it also functions as a laboratory where designers are able to bend rules, challenge traditional aesthetics and create objects in limited- editions. "Research is very imporrtant to us," says Clémence Krzentowski of her approach, "so we let designers unleash and develop their wildesst ideas. We let them experiment and develop what interests them and this freedom produces things we've never seen before. It's because they're utilizing materials and techniques they couldn't choose for regular pieces." Thankfully, time spent on innovation doesn't amount to an attempt to differentiate so nothing ends up looking purposefully fussy. In fact, a quick look through the Krzentowskis' inventory confirms that functionality and simplicity reign. One of their most prized pieces is the Karbon long chair by Konstantin Grcic, the winner of this year's PAD London Prize for Contemporary Design. Constructed from a single sheet of carbon and finished with a Ferrari-red lacquer, it's just a couple millimeters thick. "Even though it's so thin," says Krzentowski, "its subtle concave shape allows anyone to lay down," Periods of experimentation also yielded Hella Jongerius' angular Gemstone side table and Studio Wieki Somers' plexiglass chest. Then there are the hand-painted Marbles & Clowns vases Pierre Charpin included in his recent solo show at Galerie Kreo in London. For Design Miami, the gallery will showcase Alessandro Mendini's new Umbria table and Jaime Hayon's sports-inspired Ice Skating daybed from the Game On collection. More recognized pieces will include Grcic's London Calling Steps that formerly appeared in the inaugural show in Mayfair. Grcic will continue to have a strong presence at Kreo's booths at San Francisco's FOG Design + Art Fair in January where the gallery plans to present pieces from his 2011 Champions collection alongside a white gold version of Mendini's Poltrona armchair, Marc Newson's Carbon Ladder and a selection from Charpin's Marbles & Clowns collection. 144 CULTURED SCIENTIFIC METHOD At Galerie Kreo, Clémence Krzentowski gives the future icons of contemporary design a place to hone their craft. BY SAMANTHA TSE PORTRAIT BY JEREMY LIEBMAN The design dealer pictured in her Paris gallery with Gino Sarfatti's vintage ceiling light.

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