A Design Auction of Sculptural Norwegian One-Offs, and Other News

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Blomqvist’s “Unika” auction. Photography by Anne Bråtveit

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A Design Auction of Sculptural Norwegian One-Offs

Looking to add Scandi flair to a room with pieces off the beaten path? Blomqvist’s new “Unika” auction, which features a range of furniture, lighting, and homewares from more than 30 Norwegian designers, might be the ticket. Initially showcased in Oslo at an exhibition curated by Fold Oslo, the pieces are currently available for viewing at Blomqvist’s Fornebu showroom until the auction ends on September 24. Up for grabs: Ida Hagen’s wall hangings made from bed sheets and fabric scraps that “embrace the beauty of imperfections,” Poppy Lawman’s window-ledge mobiles that bring dazzling light play into a room, and Kim Thomé’s bright, PoMo-influenced wooden bowls. —Ryan Waddoups

Imperial Hotel Tokyo. Renderings courtesy of RSI Studio

Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark Imperial Hotel Tokyo will be renovated and expanded.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1890, is gearing up for a major expansion spearheaded by Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects (ATTA). The Parisian firm has taken an archaeological approach to the renovation, meticulously studying the hotel’s layers of history, styles, and materials. ATTA’s design approach will focus on permanence, depth, presence, and diversity, aiming to rejuvenate the hotel as a modern guest house that retains its historical essence. Their proposal pays special tribute to the Second Main Building, which once symbolized the fusion of Eastern and Western architecture. Through this renovation, ATTA seeks to ensure that the Imperial Hotel continues to serve as a cultural and architectural landmark, resonating with both its storied past and future possibilities.

Steve McQueen will bring his “most abstract work to date” to Dia Beacon in the spring.

Steve McQueen, renowned for his moving-image works and his Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, is slated to unveil a new immersive art installation at Dia Beacon in New York in May. The installation, McQueen’s first collaboration with Dia, will later travel to the Schaulager in Switzerland. Senior adjunct curator Donna De Salvo describes the work as McQueen’s “most abstract to date,” designed specifically for Dia’s expansive 30,000-square-foot basement gallery. The installation will incorporate projected light and sound to create a visceral, bodily experience for visitors. While exact details are still under wraps, the work aims to engage with themes of cultural oppression. A separate exhibition featuring McQueen’s video work “Sunshine State” will also open in Dia’s Chelsea space in September.

Maison Gainsbourg. Photography by Alexis Raimbault

A museum, library, and piano bar dedicated to Serge Gainsbourg has opened in Paris.

After over 30 years, Charlotte Gainsbourg is opening the doors to Maison Gainsbourg, the home of her late father and French pop legend Serge Gainsbourg. The house, located in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, offers visitors a guided tour narrated by Charlotte, capturing intimate memories and showcasing rooms filled with personal artifacts. Across the street, a new museum, library, and café-piano bar designed by Jacques Garcia complement the experience, featuring a permanent exhibition and various artifacts recounting Gainsbourg’s life and career. Visitors can even purchase limited-edition replicas of Gainsbourg’s iconic navy jacket or pick up vintage mints that have sat by his bed for decades.

Alejandro Aravena will build a design-focused facility at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Chilean architect and Surface cover star Alejandro Aravena is designing a new facility called Aulas 10 for the Monterrey campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey. The facility will be the new home for the School of Architecture, Art, and Design. Aravena, who leads ELEMENTAL studio, has been collaborating with the university for more than a year and engaged in workshops with faculty, students, and campus directors to tailor the building to community needs. The facility will offer programs in architecture, design, digital art, and urbanism.

After a 23-year uphill battle, Fontainebleau Las Vegas is preparing to open on the Strip.

Jeffrey Soffer, a Florida real estate mogul, is finally realizing a 23-year dream with the opening of Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a $3.7 billion luxury resort. The property, which features seven pools, 36 dining options, and a top-floor private club, has faced a tumultuous history, including a financial crisis and multiple changes in ownership. Soffer, who acquired the land in 2000, lost control of the project during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and reacquired it in 2021 at a fraction of its original cost. The resort aims to emulate the glamour of its Miami Beach counterpart, featuring similar design elements and even importing Soffer’s LIV nightclub brand. Despite its location on the less popular north end of the Las Vegas Strip, Soffer is optimistic, citing the resort’s closeness to the city’s convention center and plans to tap into his Miami guest database to kickstart the new property. Room rates will start at $300 a night.

Image courtesy of HarperCollins

Today’s attractive distractions:

ChatGPT reviews a Nasher Museum art show that was curated by ChatGPT.

A thrifting woman finds a rare N.C. Wyeth illustration that sells for $191,000.

This illustrated edition of The Hobbit features Tolkien’s artwork for the first time.

A new podcast Crypto Kingpins chronicles the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried.

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