What makes Italian design so special? That question has no quick answer, but one can easily find out at Artemest’s refreshed gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. There, the lauded interior designer Samuele Brianza has devised a tightly curated display of furniture, lighting, and one-of-a-kind objects by 50 artisans and designers hailing from the country. “Working between Milan and my home base of Manhattan gives me a unique and very global perspective on what Italian design means and how we can communicate this ethos in just one exhibition,” Brianza says. “I focused on the core values intrinsic to Italian beauty and the tectonic value between architecture, design, and even fashion, and how they relate.”
Employing time-honored materials and traditional techniques from specific regions, each piece tells individual stories of creativity and craftsmanship to imbue Artemest with an unmistakably Italian ambiance. Rubelli fabrics reference refined Milanese interiors, polished stucco Veneziano surfaces are juxtaposed against warm lime-finished walls, and earth tones throughout recall the breezy hills of Tuscany. “We want people to know that every time they visit the gallery, they will discover new pieces and learn a new story,” says Artemest founder Ippolita Rostagno. Among them: a spectacular custom walnut counter carved by master artisan Giuseppe Rivadossi, a floral-inspired Mechini chandelier illuminating an array of hand-painted Murano glass objects, and one-of-a-kind works nodding to Antica Roma archetypes by Antonio Fabozzi.