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To mark its participation in the first edition of Design Miami/Paris, the Ketabi Bourdet gallery is taking us on a journey back in time to the 1980s with “Radical”.

The Ketabi Bourdet gallery has reconstructed a smoking room for the first edition of Design Miami/Paris, the Parisian counterpart of the famous event familiar to design enthusiasts and professionals across the Atlantic. For this first salvo, the gallery took a stroll through a 1980s smoking room.

The exhibition explored the radical yet bourgeois style of the decade. The very minimalist creations selected ranged from Philippe Starck, Paolo Pallucco & Mireille Rivier, Ronald Cecil Sportes and Jean-Michel Wilmotte to Rei Kawakubo, Christian Duc and Garouste & Bonetti.

Very dark, black, with a strong emphasis on metal and geometric lines, “Radical” highlights the possible coexistence of postmodern pieces with opulent decors and classical architecture.

Rei Kawakubo’s Chaise n°7 is one of the most unusual and striking pieces. Dating from 1987, this model was reissued in 2022 by Comme des Garçons in an all-black version.  Another remarkable piece is Philippe de Starck’s Tom Double psyche, dating from 1985. Made from pressed and perforated sheet steel, powder-coated in grey epoxy, the mirror is part of the Tertio collection, which was very briefly published by Les 3 Suisses. The gallery assures us that there are only three examples existing today. Last but not least, Paolo Pallucco and Mireille Rivier’s Tankette table, with its black-lacquered steel structure, black-lacquered aluminium strips and natural rubber straps, is reminiscent of a miniature tank.


Lisa Agostini