Paris-based design gallery Ymer & Malta may only be 4 years old, but boy are they getting great reviews! As a gallery supporting some of the top emerging and established French talent in modern/contemporary design, Y&M exhibits unique and limited edition works. Even the renown and finicky Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris has acquired work, which should tell you about the uncompromising level of quality and design that goes into these pieces.
The brains behind the gallery are Valérie Maltaverne and Rémy Le Fur who are presently working with 6 designers. Today, I highlight personal favorites that I’d consider when shopping for seating alternatives.
Normal Studio is the brain behind the far from normal “Blister” bench (main image) of black calfskin “netting” draped over a metal frame. The draped netting only looks as such … it’s actually an integral part of the bench. What I like about this piece is that the bench is reduced to a folded surface that barely touches the ground (since you can’t really see the metal structure). Very creative.
Cédric Ragot designed the “Bone” stools out of Carrara marble and natural oak wood and got his inspiration from traditional Japanese headrests and Japanese chess pieces called “shogi”. What I’m fond of is the balance between the polished sophistication of the marble and the polished “natural” aspect of the wood. Can’t you even see these in a Scandi interior?
Made of Carrara marble, the “Void” stool was designed to use the least amount of marble to give it a physical and visual lightness. This also means it’s not too heavy. Designed by Franco-Japanese duo A+A Cooren.
“Fallen Tree” bench is the magnificent work of designer Benjamin Graindorge. It immediately reminded me of the work of another Frenchman, Vincent Dubourg in its whimsy of design. But Graindorge’s work is much more literal AND very different. It’s made of sculpted oak, and aside from its practicality, what I appreciate is the link Grandorge makes between natural and the man made.
Made of calfskin, the minimalist “Victory” pieces by designer Sylvain Rieu Picquet are made to get better with time, both in comfort and in color. The shapes are sooo beautiful. I can see the “bench” by itself with nothing else in a room or I can see it in a busy traditional room gasping for modern infusion. Not quite a bean-bag, these pieces are more grown-up (and solid!).
I can’t wait to see what else comes out of Y&M, but it’s bound to be exciting.
image credits: © Bernard Maltaverne courtesy of Ymer & Malta, Paris