At Christie’s, Rafael de Cárdenas Explores Historical Decorative Objects

Rafael de Cárdenas presenting The Collector at Christie’s Rockefeller Center exhibition gallery. Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.

This spring, , which highlights 17th- to 19th-century furniture, ceramics, sculpture, and fine art from Europe’s most renowned artists and craftspeople. And to showcase standout pieces, the celebrated auction house tapped principal Rafael de Cárdenas to design a vignette installation in the atrium of the Christie’s New York exhibition galleries, which are hosting the auctions on April 10.

Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.
Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.

De Cárdenas created a bespoke structure that puts a contemporary spin on the objects, which include an Italian parcel-gilt silver centaur model on an amethyst base, a Meissen porcelain centerpiece, and a Thomas Webb & Sons glass vase. “In my work, we use historical objects, though in many cases not as old as these pieces, so it was a wonderful opportunity to experience them in depth and examine them so closely,” says de Cárdenas. “Most of the pieces I chose largely eschew any utilitarianism. The glass and fine metal works have a particular crispness that resonates with our own moment of contemporaneity.”

Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.
Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.

The installation will be on view from April 6-9 at Christie’s New York, located at 20 Rockefeller Plaza.

Photography courtesy of Christie's and Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture At Large.
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