Contemporary art gifts: an organized guide for Christmas 2021


Finding the right art gifts for the contemporary art lover on your list is rarely easy. But on the Wallpaper * art desktop, we’ve thought outside of the art gift box with ideas to suit every niche, mood, and occasion.

Art gifts to frame, wear or have fun

Decorate your walls with the design nostalgia of Herman Miller

For decades, the Herman Miller furniture brand has established itself as an industry leader, with universally recognized pieces including the “Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman”. Less well-known, but no less iconic, are its graphics and advertisements, serving as nostalgia for the brand to design enthusiasts around the world. For the first time ever, Herman Miller launched a collection of 15 archival posters from designers and illustrators, ideal for art gifts. Creations featured include George Nelson & Associates, Armin Hofmann, Phillip Mitchell, Steve Frykholm, Irving Harper and Linda Powell.

Art dispatches from UK museum shops

Langlands & Bell, Apple Sunny Vale, 2018. Giclée print, 36 x 36 cm. Edition of 40 copies, signed and numbered

This season, art museum shops have a number of creative goodies you had no idea you needed until now. At Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, products include limited edition screen prints by Langlands & Bell and Nancy Spero and t-shirts by British artists Jeremy Deller and Osman Yousefzada (who recently unveiled the new Selfridges facade). Elsewhere, in the gift shop at the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, nothing screams more affection than a mug that reads “Sorry, did I fall asleep while you were talking?” , Courtesy of artist and word creator David Shrigley.

Art gifts to set the table

Start the conversation with the plate that turns Judy Chicago’s heads

As conversations begin over dinner, Judy Chicago’s “Bigamy Hood” plate might be the most captivating. Available at Prospect for $ 195 each, the porcelain plate represents one of the early works of the pioneer of feminist art, created in “macho” automotive lacquer sprayed on a car hood. Much like Chicago’s iconic facility Dinner, Bigamy Hood was once greeted with derision, but now embodies its epic contribution to the evolution of feminist art. Artistic gifts also available from Prospect – the New York-based company known for its premier artistic collaborations – are vibrant straws by Micha Kahn and striking candles by Bonam Kim.

Mona Hatoum mixes art and coffee for illy

Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum is the latest designer to put her stamp on the Illy art collection, which includes limited edition espresso cups, cappuccino cups and assorted decorated cans. Known for her poetic and political installations, Hatoum sought to create a “100% Arab object or symbol” for Illy’s 100% Arabica blend. “The keffiyeh occurred to me, as I have often mentioned in my work, directly or indirectly,” she says. “The mesh pattern with knots is often seen as the joining of hands and therefore symbolizes the bond between people. Since 1992, Illy has welcomed leading artists into design collections, including Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois and Ai Weiwei. Mona Hatoum’s collection launched at Frieze London 2021 and is available from early December.

Art gifts for the problem solver

Own your own KAWS artwork

This season, the MoMA Design Store launched four playful puzzles by American artist KAWS. They each present original works of art: The things that comfort, Take together, and To share. Over two decades, the artist has crafted an instantly recognizable aesthetic, blending the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, graphic and product designs, street art, and large-scale sculpture. ladder. MoMA’s puzzles feature the artist’s distinctive figurative characters and designs and are available in 100 or 1000 pieces, starting at £ 19.99, perfect for artistic gifts or a bit of free time.

Get the big picture with emerging art puzzles

Kinstler Puzzles, Simone Johnson, Cat bodega with fruits and vegetables. Courtesy of Kinstler Puzzles

As illustrated above, the world of art puzzles is often reserved for the work of renowned artists. New Brooklyn-based brand Kinstler seeks to shake up this well-trodden path. Founder Rami Metal launched the brand with puzzles that highlight the work of three emerging artists engaged in contemporary issues: Simone Johnson, Andrea Joyce Heimer, and Rusudan Khizanishvili. Each puzzle is accompanied by two inserts: one “about the artist” and an interview on the work presented. $ 34 each

For the creator

Show your true colors with the gift of RxART for good

Image credit: Shana Novak

When it comes to art gifts for the greater good, look no further than RxART’s coloring book, Between the lines, produced every two years to be given to children in hospitals. Volume Eight is titled with a cover and sticker spread by artist Derrick Adams. The artist’s upbeat pool floats match details found in her RxART installation at the NYC Health + Hospitals / Harlem Pediatric Emergency Department, which was completed in fall 2020. This volume also includes the work of 50 artists internationals, including Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Neel, Liza Lou and Arcmanoro Niles.

Rewrite the history of art with the sustainable drawing pencils from Caran d’Ache

In another vein around coffee, Swiss manufacturer of luxury art materials Caran d’Ache has once again teamed up with Nespresso to bring new life to used coffee capsules. The Caran d’Ache x Nespresso Fixpencil and Graphite Pencil set follows an earlier collaboration with the coffee brand, which involved a planet-friendly reinvention of the iconic 849 ballpoint pen. The Mechanical Fixpencil, made in the Nespresso’s Cape Town Signature Ocher Envivo Lungo capsules feature a graphite lead made from 25% coffee grounds, the perfect art gift for the practical minded. §


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