If you have not heard the name of late architect and designer Ali Tayar, who died last year, and whose oeuvre is at the center of a solo exhibition Ali Tayar: Systems & One-Offs at R & Company, you are not alone. Because despite the fact that he was extremely talented, deeply conversant with the history of design, creator of interiors and furniture which can be found in the permanent collections of such museums as MoMA, The Cooper Hewitt, and the Met, Tayar had never become a name-brand designer. Born in Istanbul and active through his NYC-based architecture practice Parallel Design Partnership, Tayar was a consumer of good taste thriving to be a leading tastemaker, and had demonstrated an ability to think outside of the box. The furniture on display are the testimony to Tayar’s constant dialogue with his heroes, Jean Prouve and Carlo Mollino whose work he had regularly seen at Gansevoort Galley, located just around the corner from his office. Last evening, we made our way to R & Company for a panel discussion on Tayar, a memorial evening with some of figures who intersected with Tayar throughout his career. Moderated by James Zemaitis who is always charismatic, always knowledgeable, and shares his expertise so generously, the panelist included the curator of the show Dung Ngo, who spoke about his work with Tayar’s material and the archive which was gifted to MIT; Dr. Al Eiber flew from Miami to tell the story of his passion for collecting design; Mark McDonald, whose Gansevoort Gallery came to shape much of what we know today on collecting 20th century design, and which was distinguished by the heavy metal gate that Tayar designed for the front of the gallery; and Steven Learner founder of Collective Design Fair, himself a collector and expert on the collectible design market. It was a moving evening, sort of a late eulogy to a talented soul.
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