With the International Contemporary Furniture Fair setting furniture fashionista hearts aflutter in New York, we turn our attention to designer Liana Yaroslavsky. The Leningrad-born, Paris-based artist’s exquisite coffee tables are like miniature museums: plexiglas cubes filled with unique and rare materials in ten different variations. The table types fall into two categories: one category plays with the idea of glass imitating water, while the other taps into Yaroslavsky’s fascination with the lavish, excessive decorative elements of 18th century France.
For the Rococo-inspired pieces, Yaroslavsky uses chandeliers from Murano, an island outside of Venice famous for its incredible glass products. These items are variously deconstructed, partially exposed (sticking out of the tabletop) and creatively combined with other elements to evoke an atmospheric story or emotion. “Le Bal,” for example, is inspired by the scene at the Tsar’s royal ball in Anna Karenina and consists of two chandeliers, neglected piano keys and pieces of sheet music (piano compositions for lovers). The “Maure de Venise,” on the other hand, is a black chandelier with branches of crystal shooting out from under the tabletop to represent Othello’s jealousy over Desdemona. Even Marie-Antoinette’s breast is represented in “Dome” as a basket crystal chandelier hanging from the top of the table over original pieces of Versaille’s floor.
The water-inspired pieces showcase a fragile beauty. “L’O” features wreaths made from thousands of glass raindrops, while “O2 Variation” has 100 balls of Murano blown glass floating within the plexiglass walls of the table and “Pluie” boasts thousands of Slovakian crystal drops imposed on 149 translucent pendants suspended from the underside of the tabletop. One poetic description of “Cocaine” beautifully suggests these designs’ nocturnal illumination: “It lights up at will to illuminate parties; at night, the bulbs shine yellow, like the candles that watch over those who succumb to the merciless White Lady.”
For more information, see www.lianayar.com.
—Christina von Messling