Family Apartment – Greenwich Village, NY

  • In the living room, two splendid French Art Deco armchairs from Maison Gerard are a decorative focal point, while, above the mantelpiece, Kiki Smith’s 1987 collage, Untitled (Heart) shares space with a charcoal drawing by Willem de Kooning.

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When a young couple, both in the art world married and set up housekeeping in a spacious and charming six-room pre-war apartment on lower Fifth Avenue, it was hands to work and minds to Art.  The wife possessed an important collection of contemporary works on paper by artists such as Willem de Kooning, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Spero, Richard Tuttle and Kiki Smith. We collaborated on their home, creating a of place where everyday pleasures could be savored within a high aesthetic order. The arrival of a daughter, brought further joie de vivre, as well as new, playful decorative elements into their home.

Before we were commissioned on the project, the apartment looked much as if it were an art gallery: white walls and floors; masses of art books, not necessarily on shelves! We introduced shelving in the living room, and simple ledges on which framed art works could be displayed. Our selection of furniture–eclectic, yet unified by a preoccupation with the streamlined forms to be found in all eras–ranged from French Art Deco to English country house to Donald Judd. Our common mission was to mesh the originality and quality of her collection with furnishings which evinced the same aesthetic excellence through the language of design and decorative art.