Flatiron furniture gallerist Ralph Pucci celebrates the work of glass artisan Lianne Gold and woodworkers Chris Lehrecke and Gabriella Kiss
Artisans make impression on Pucci, who sells to the best interior designers in the world
BY JASON SHEFTELL
At the end of New York’s first design week, Flatiron furniture gallerist Ralph Pucci threw an opening to introduce two lines from artists in his internationally acclaimed stable.
Dancers in the Art of Motion Dance Theatre painted gold moved around expressing an art form as modern as the furniture that surrounded them. More exotic, a man sat crossed- legged on a dining room table playing a Bansuri bamboo flute.
The event feted the work of glass artisan Lianne Gold and woodworker Chris Lehrecke who presented in unison with his wife, jewelry maker Gabriella Kiss. Both made an impression on the stylish crowd and Pucci, who sells to the best interior designers in the world and A-list furniture lovers like Kanye West.
Gold presented her first collection of lighting. As the night drew near and Pucci’s 15,000-square-foot loft grew dark, her collection took on new meaning. Large chandeliers in the entryway showed solid blocks of glass formed by sculpted wax molds. One of the pieces glowed like a burning bush made of bricks. It cost $86,000.
“For a first show, I have never seen an artist come so far,” said Pucci. “This will lead the next generation of handcrafted luxury lighting.”
Gold, who lives blocks from the beach in Venice, Calif., anxiously walked guests from sconce to chandelier to standing lamp, showing off pieces with names like Big Sky and Ice.
“Thick, beautiful glass from Italian designs of the 1940s were my inspiration,” she said. “But then you add something that hasn’t been done before like glass 2-by-4s and you have something strong, elegant and simple.”
Downstairs in the ninth-floor loft, photographer Deborah Turbeville (she shot fashion models in Versailles) held court on a Jens Risom couch in front of her work. There, Lehrecke and Kiss mingled among their pieces.
Taking wood to a new level, Lehrecke found remnants from a fallen tree on a bicycle trek through the Hudson Valley, where they live. He used every element of the elm to combine fine woodwork with the harsh reality of nature. The result is a new sensibility that furniture made of wood has never approached —they are American frontier and American Indian at once, refined but still raw.
His wife took the pieces further. Kiss designed bronze insects, placing each on select pieces in specific locations. It takes the outside in, adding frolic to science.
“We wanted to step into a more exaggerated direction,” said Lehrecke of the first time he and Kiss worked together in a formal way. “There is nothing normal about these pieces.”
That’s how Pucci likes it.
“You push artists to hit new levels, it’s what you hope for,” said Pucci. “When it happens, everyone feels it.”