Question everything generally thought to be obvious.

Dieter Rams

Curatorial Alchemy

Our paths first crossed, unknown until many years later, at an intimate yet bustling wedding reception in a south Chicago apartment. This was probably 30 years ago, perhaps even the same year a new gallery, Torno Wright, opened at the end of my street to a fanfare of Eames, heralding new changes to come. Criss-crossing breezes of chance encounters, meandering spirits, hazy focus of time and space, of enthusiasm and knowledge sought, now united again in the same city.

That same serendipity, prompting impulse and discovery, guided welcome reward in the crucible of that great industrial city, still littered with the artefacts of the American mid-century. It was within this uneven yet fertile terrain, hidden slightly below surface, that Patrick’s intuitive talent—honed first as photographer then embellished as artist—would treasure the valuable neglected as passionate collector, and then as the inspirational dealer that I was to meet again, years later in New York City.

If asked to select one word to describe Patrick, I would resist and pick two. The first would be curiosity—a fundamental essential, to stimulate inquiry and rigour in all things, both great and small, of any era or region, type or surface. Even the most fleeting survey of this selection for sale is a celebration of innovation and of inspiration—an unerring eye for the unusually exceptional, or perhaps the exceptionally unusual. The chances are, that these are indeed discoveries that you have not yet realized that you needed to make.

Mentor, would be my second word. If artefacts and objects articulate visual, cultural and historic language, then the fluency of skillful mentorship—to guide, nurture, describe and explain—releases the eloquence of murmuring histories. In this capacity Patrick is that most earnest and sincere of excellent narrators. If ever I had friends, clients or colleagues visiting New York looking for unusual inspiration, there was always the certainty that Patrick’s gallery would offer them a glimpse of the hitherto unseen or the unusually seductive, always with the reassurance of the most fascinating story waiting to be told.

Mentorship and curiosity, when balanced in equal measure, reveal the precious alchemy of a curator. And it is the duty of the mature curator to discern and detect, to cultivate change, and from there to pioneer, and to share. Innovation is never static, and the Present is already the Future. Fresh dialogs evolve, energies to be nurtured, opportunities to be guided. Renewed and re-orientated, Patrick now faces fully forward—as benefactor, interlocutor and mentor to a new, inquisitive generation of talented creators, and the quest for discovery rejuvenates.

— Simon Andrews
andrewsartadvisory.com

Dieter Rams b. 1932

Dieter Rams is one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century known for his dedication to precise and orderly design. Born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1932, he was profoundly influenced by the work of his grandfather, a carpenter. At sixteen he began courses in interior design followed by a three-year carpentry internship. In 1953, he joined Otto Apel’s architecture office in Frankfurt where he collaborated with Skidmore, Owings and Merril on the planning of the U.S. Consulate buildings in West Germany. Shortly thereafter he was recruited by the German consumer electronics manufacturer Braun in 1955. In 1956, in collaboration with mentors from the Ulm School of Design, his design which displayed the mechanics of the SK4 radio and record player through transparent plastic put his design work on the map.

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Auction Results Dieter Rams

DIETER RAMS, First generation 620 sofa | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

First generation 620 sofa

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $8,450
DIETER RAMS, First generation 620 sofa | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

First generation 620 sofa

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $7,500
DIETER RAMS, settee, model 620 | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

settee, model 620

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $5,625
DIETER RAMS, prototype daybed | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

prototype daybed

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $4,688
DIETER RAMS, RT 20 radio | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

RT 20 radio

estimate: $300–500
result: $4,125
DIETER RAMS, First generation 620 lounge chairs, pair | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

First generation 620 lounge chairs, pair

estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $3,250
DIETER RAMS, First generation 620 lounge chairs, pair | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

First generation 620 lounge chairs, pair

estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $3,250
DIETER RAMS, prototype RZ 57 cabinet | wright20.com

Dieter Rams

prototype RZ 57 cabinet

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $3,250