The Sydney Fair 2018 – Modernism: The New World of The Past

Deco Archer Statue
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Selection of Modernist wares, The Sydney Fair

Presenting much treasured works from the Age of Modernism and forward into our own contemporary age, happens May 17 – May 22nd, 2018 at The Sydney Fair.

Modernism is today the collective name used to describe the many different styles associated with the various art and design movements that took place from 1880 in England and Europe until the end of WW II.

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Selection of Modern items, The Sydney Fair

They included those design styles known as Arts and Crafts (1875-1915), Art Nouveau (1880-1910), Vienna Secession (1897 – c1905), Wiener Werkstatte (1903-1933), Bauhaus (1919-1933) and Art Deco (1920-1940).

For people who love expressing their individuality and their style choices through interior design and their own personal concerns, the Sydney Fair is also a great place to get some design inspiration!


Interior, Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France 1932 designed by Swiss born French architect Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret)

Modernism demands there is a distinction between interior architecture and decoration and a preference for open planned living. Interiors are devoid of applied decoration. they concentrate solely on geometry, uninterrupted lines and form.

Art Nouveau Clock

Loving the passing of time… The Sydney Fair

The Sydney Fair is a vintage wonderland designed to sell, held annually since 2013, the Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney Showground, Moore Park region of Sydney.

In 2018 dealers at The Sydney Fair will present a fine selection of antique, vintage and twentieth century examples of fabulous furniture, works of art, striking lighting, perfect pieces of porcelain, special silver pieces, gorgeous glass, and more.

An array of fashionable costume includes vintage clothes, hats, shoes, handbags and jewellery, both real and paste, so you look stunning in a ‘modern’ interior.

Selection of Georg Jensen silver jewellery, courtesy The Sydney Fair

Selection of Georg Jensen silver jewellery, courtesy The Sydney Fair

If you look closely you may find a choice of early jewellery and interior design objects by renowned Danish silversmith Georg Jensen (1866-1935), who designs always seem current and contemporary.

This year at The Sydney Fair there will be a curated couture exhibition – The Fabulous 60s – featuring stunning outfits from top designers including the famous houses of Christian Dior and Givenchy!

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Selection of Fashion for Ladies, The Sydney Fair

Living Art is what the dealers involved in The Sydney Fair admire and they have chosen  the various items they display for your consideration.This year is no exception. Arts & Crafts pieces, include Liberty metal wares, tea sets and appealing decorative arts.

Deco Archer StatueNothing says Modernism however like a superbly modelled sleek Paris statue of an archer in the ‘Art Deco’ style.

Sideboard - Modernism

Modern Sideboard courtesy 1842

1842 is a firm from Tasmania that combines past and present. Situated in one of Launceston’s oldest commercial buildings, they also retail fine hand-made furniture, contemporary art by Tasmania’s finest artists, and antiques in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.

Contemporary artisans of 1842 like Trevor Jones are renowned for making fine, hand-crafted studio furniture. These are manufactured mainly from Tasmanian timbers such as Huon Pine, Myrtle, Blackwood and Black Heart Sassafras, as well as Murray River Red Gum, many of which show respect for the styles of yesterday.

Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand, Lit Simple, CA. 1959, Bois 26 x 190 x 80 cm, Edition Steph Simon

Modern was a word also associated with The Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) who in 1929 gave their fledgling group cohesion and exhibition venues of their own.

They produced a line-up of furniture designs that provided a distinct breakaway from anything else the previous industrial era had offered.

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Design by Christopher Dresser

Contemporary architects and designers at the time included England’s William Morris, Christopher Dresser, Charles Voysey, Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekkyl, the USA’s Frank Lloyd Wright, Austria’s Josef Hoffman and Swiss born French designer Le Corbusier (Charles Édouard Jeanneret 1887-1965).

They could not help but have an influence on UAM designers including Jean-Michel Frank, Pierre Legrain, Francis Jourdain, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Eileen Gray, Sonia Delaunay, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Pulforcat, Rene Herbst, Jean Prouve, and Pierre Chareau.

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Trio of modern furniture items by Le Corbusier

Taking their cues from new and more simplified styles, UAM Modernist designers were concerned principally with the least complex method of fitting “form to function and using unelaborated materials.

They initiated use of chromed or nickelled tubular or flat steel as frameworks for their furniture, with painted slab steel construction, plain veneers, leather or skin upholstery.

Controversial French architect Le Corbusier whom they admired most, became one of the masters of the use of reinforced concrete. He was a hero of sorts, embracing the idea of architectural space as being as one with the human form.

MoMA 9 Le Corbusier

Model: Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France 1932, designed by Swiss born French architect Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret)

It put forward the notation that very human being should enjoy the experience of moving through and being as one with modernist architecture – thus living art.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017

Mid City Modern SofaThe Sydney Fair

May 17 – 20, 2018

Royal Hall of Industries,
Moore Park Precinct,


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