Martin Albert Interiors is excited to be a part of the Whitney Museum Biennial Exhibit — which will also be the last exhibit featured in the museum’s Madison Avenue location. Donna DeSalvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, has called this particular exhibit “…one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.”

Speaking of diverse, the piece that we helped artist Bjarne Melgaarde create is perhaps the most diverse piece Martin Albert Interiors has ever been commissioned to create.

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Recommended to MAI by one of our long-time clients, Ralph Lauren Home, who knew Martin Albert Interiors could guarantee both quality and expediency, Melgaarde visited our Midtown Manhattan studio with his plan for a sofa. The final product was to be 3 pieces — 2 attached and 1 separate.  And there was nothing “normal” about the piece, from the arm heights to the back.

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The framework was constructed and covered in muslin. Then Melgaarde returned with images custom-printed on fabrics, and proceeded to sketch a “map” of where the pieces should go right onto the muslin. The trick was to get the elaborate patchwork of fabrics to fit, while maintaining the integrity of all the images used.

 

The piece took about 3 weeks to create. The exhibit runs from March 7 to May 25, 2014.

Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street

New York, NY 10021

(212) 570-3600

info@whitney.org

When Martin Albert Interiors is commissioned to create a piece of furniture, we don’t simply consider how that piece of furniture will look in a space, but how it will live in the space. Aesthetics are important, but so is action. For that reason, we take a holistic approach when creating a piece, large or small.

Take for example the Hudson Chair.

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The client, an interior designer, asked us to create a set of low chairs to be used in a formal living room. The directive was that they be simple, elegant, white. And low.

That was the concept we are given. For many furniture makers, those specifications would be enough to work from, but we wanted more. We take the concept beyond the request, and we help the client think through what they are asking for, and why. Again, we don’t just see the piece. We see the piece in the room, as part of a lifestyle.

By asking the designer a a number of different questions, including How often will the room be used? and Will the room be used for casual entertaining? Or more formal entertaining? and Who will be using the room? we were able to explain to the designer why the specification needed to change.

How? When the designer instructed that the room would be used for special occasions, for which people might come dressed up, and that a considerable number of women would likely be using the room, we surmised that the chairs, at 6 inches off the floor, may be too low. When the designer asked why, we explained that a woman wearing a dress or skirt sitting at this height may inadvertently expose what was under that dress or skirt.

It wasn’t something the designer or client had considered, but it could become a major source of embarrassment and discomfort for someone using the chair. Ultimately, they took our advice.

When you commission a piece with Martin Albert Interiors, expect to be asked a lot of questions. Trust us, you’ll thank us for it.

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