Edward Ira Schachner, Architect, on Peter Marino, architect/art collector
IN DECEMBER 2014, DURING MIAMI ART BASEL, THE BASS MUSEUM OPENED ONE WAY, AN EXHIBITION HONORING PETER MARINO, THE RENOWNED AMERICAN ARCHITECT. RECOGNIZED AS A PIONEER OF CROSS-DISCIPLINARY PRACTICE, PETER MARINO HAS BEEN CELEBRATED OVER THE PAST FOUR DECADES FOR HIS FORWARD-THINKING WORK THAT “EXISTS AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART, FASHION AND ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN.”
THIS EXHIBITION EXPLORED THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN MARINO’S ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS AND HIS EXTENSIVE PERSONAL COLLECTION OF CONTEMPORARY ART RANGING IN MEDIUMS AND PERIODS THAT INCLUDES A WIDE SPECTRUM OF WORKS BY SUCH ARTISTS AS ANSELM KIEFER, MIQUEL BARCELO, GEORG BASELITZ, RICHARD PRINCE, ANDY WARHOL, THOMAS HOUSEAGO, AND ZHANG HUAN.
MARINO’S ASTUTE EYE AND PASSION FOR COLLECTING SPANS MANY PERIODS OF ART. IN 2010, MARINO’S PERSONAL COLLECTION OF 17TH-CENTURY BRONZES WAS EXHIBITED AT THE WALLACE COLLECTION, LONDON. IN ADDITION TO THIS SHOW, ENTITLED BEAUTY AND POWER: RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE BRONZES FROM THE PETER MARINO COLLECTION, MARINO, WHO HAS AMASSED THE LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTION OF SCULPTURE BY CLAUDE AND FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE, DESIGNED THE RETROSPECTIVE OF THEIR WORK ENTITLED LES LALANNE, AT THE MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS, PARIS.
THE EXHIBIT AT THE BASS WAS OF PARTICULAR PERSONAL INTEREST SINCE I HAVE ENJOYED A PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION AND FRIENDSHIP WITH IRA SCHACHNER, PRINCIPAL AND FOUNDER OF EDWARD IRA SCHACHNER ARCHITECT, FOR MANY YEARS AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED TO HEAR ABOUT HIS RICH PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND THE SCOPE AND STATURE OF PROJECTS WITH WHICH HE WAS INVOLVED DURING THE TIME HE WORKED WITH PETER MARINO. http://eischachner.com
IRA, AFTER WORKING WITH RENZO MONGIARDINO, WHAT WAS YOUR NEXT STEP PROFESSIONALLY AND HOW DID THAT EVOLVE?
It was my experience working on the Niarchos and Paley residences at 820 Fifth that later brought me to Peter Marino. He had worked with Mongiardino on the Agnelli apartment in New York so we both spoke the same language at that point. I started working immediately on the Valentino apartment in New York, then later the Armani apartment in Milan and then the Palazzo Sernagiotto in Venice, every one involving the most beautiful objects and artwork.
At the time, Valentino had a beautiful Bronzino portrait hanging as the centerpiece in a bedroom that was trimmed in polished mahogany with walls upholstered in custom printed silk. Working for a couturier is truly an education in refinement and detail. I recall one late evening meeting where there was applause when the Living Room curtains were brought out and installed!
WHEN DID YOU JOIN PETER MARINO? WERE THE PROJECTS ON WHICH YOU WORKED PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL OR BOTH? DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE?
Though I did work on the Steinitz galleries in New York I really began to prefer and then specialize in residential interiors. I found that my temperament and sensibilities were best suited to this kind of work. I loved working with ‘all’ of the varying elements that went into creating a completed space.
I GATHER PETER MARINO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GUIDING J. TOMILSON HILL AND HIS WIFE JANINE TOWARDS COLLECTING RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE BRONZES. ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE EXHIBITIONS I HAVE EVER VIEWED WAS AT THE FRICK IN 2014. ENTITLED RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE BRONZES FROM THE HILL COLLECTION, THE EXHIBITION RESONATED WITH AN EXTRAORDINARY DIALOGUE BETWEEN WORLD CLASS MODERN MASTERS AND EXQUISITE RENAISSANCE BRONZES. I WAS DAZZLED BOTH BY THE LEVEL OF TASTE AND QUALITY OF THE COLLECTION AND THE UNEXPECTED JUXTAPOSITION OF WORKS BY ARTISTS AS DISPARATE AS LUCIO FONTANA AND THE FLORENTINE SCULPTOR, ANTONIO SUSINI.
IRA, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THAT COLLECTION.
The Hills began working with Peter Marino years ago and were very sophisticated collectors. Their former apartment on Madison Avenue was an exquisite confection of Swedish refinement and connoisseurship. At the time, they were collecting more European paintings. They have since broadened their interest to contemporary painting and bronzes which Marino has worked with them on. His own collection is formidable as well and, of course, he has the very best taste. Marino has access to the finest art dealers in the world and is also very active at the auctions. I think the fact that these bronzes were not necessarily being sucked up by the marketplace over the last couple of decades has certainly made them easier for a determined collector to acquire.
WHAT OTHER SPECIFIC WORKS AND COLLECTIONS PARTICULARLY RESONATE WITH YOU AS YOU RECALL YOUR WORK WITH PETER MARINO?
Clearly, it was a revelation to work on the several Valentino residences that I worked on during my tenure at Peter Marino. However, it was really just the next step for me down the road of highly-detailed and art-focused residences that I had come from since working with Mongiardino.
IRA LAUNCHED HIS OWN FIRM, EDWARD IRA SCHACHNER, ARCHITECT, IN 1991, DEEPLY EXPERIENCED IN THE ART OF HIGH-END RESIDENTIAL DESIGN FROM HIS HISTORY WITH MONGIARDINO AND MARINO. ALTHOUGH DIVERSE IN STYLE AND PERIOD, ALL THE PROJECTS REPRESENTS IRA’S STRONG COMMITMENT TO QUALITY AND A DEDICATION TO THE CLIENTS’ WELL-BEING.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, IRA WILL HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING PROJECTS HE HAS COMPLETED. WE WELCOME QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. PLEASE PARTICIPATE!