Albert Frey, Fendi and Tom Sachs: all the highlights from this year’s Design Miami

2020-11-10 04:34:58 -0500

BY BETHAN RYDER for Telegraph

Albert Frey and Gertrud & Otto Natzler at Converso

Sublime in its understated simplicity, the booth of gallerist Lawrence Converso is devoted to never-seen-before furniture by the great Swiss-born modernist Albert Frey. A vision of pared-back pieces in washed pine plywood, pale green and cream, they were created in 1949 for the Palm Springs home of his longtime companion Elise Wolfe.

“These are pieces purpose built for the interior, with some things from Frey’s house which was destroyed and also his office.” Converso obtained the pieces from a dealer who had purchased them after Wolfe died several years ago. He decided to show them at Design Miami to mark the opening of his new showroom in Los Angeles, which follows his Chicago and New York outposts.

The furniture is paired with a series of ceramics in diverse glazes from the same period by the Natzlers. This husband-and-wife duo emigrated from Austria to the US during the Second World War and went on to become leading ceramicists of the 20th century. Wife Gertrud threw the forms, Otto mixed and applied the glazes. “He got really technical,” says Converso, picking out a deep blue vase covered in tiny stars. “This crystalline snowflake effect is one of their most prized glazes and the three dots underneath the pot mean it’s one of his favourites.”