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Books Show

Interior Design Magazine July 2009

Books Show

Show, indeed! This is quite a spectacle not so much a biography of Ralph Pucci and his varied interests or a continuous narrative of his design investigations but a collection of vignettes combining interiors, furniture, crafts, art, fashion, and, of course, mannequins.

t all began in 1954, when Pucci's parents opened a mannequin repair shop in the basement of their house in suburban Mount Vernon, New York. The younger Pucci joined the business in 1976 and transformed it by hiring a sculptor to design the mannequins. Macy's, Gimbels, and Marshall Field's were among his first enthusiastic clients.

After he and Andree Putman collaborated in 1985 on a mannequin for Barneys New York - another hit -she asked him to represent her furniture collection in the U.S. The parade of successes hasn't stopped since, and furniture designers repped by the Ralph Pucci International showrooms in New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, include Vladimir Kagan, Chris Lehrecke, Patrick Naggar, Jens Risom, Kevin Walz, and Vicente Wolf. In addition, Pucci has shown rugs by Christopher Farr, vessels by Abigail Simpson and Jonathan Kline, and photographs by Antoine Bootz.

Here it all is - in a striking book credited to creative director Ken Smart and graphic designer Sarah Morgan Karp. Brief quotations by various friends and colleagues appear every few pages. Painter and Sculptor James Brown writes that, after many experiments in art and design, he and other artists 'often think of Ralph Pucci and his thoughtful magic that provokes...unexpected encounters.' That perfectly represents this impresario's remarkable enterprise.

Edited by Stanley Abercrombie