Hugo Greiner, an informed young antique dealer
Immersed in the world of antiques since his childhood, this lover of the Aesthetic movement and design has made a passion his profession. Embrace the great names of American design and rediscover the 20th century furniture through anecdotes whose this young antique dealer is not left out ...
Tell us about your background
My two parents being antique dealers, I was immersed in the environment very early on. Child, I saw Art Deco furniture, surrealist paintings, lyrical abstracts scrolling. I immediately knew that I wanted to make art my profession. Over for years, I was then interested in the art market, without knowing which specific profession I would go to. After two years spent at the IESA arts & culture school in Painting specialty, it was my personal curiosity that fueled my knowledge of late 19th and 20th century furniture. I am passionate about Liberty, Art & Craft, Belgian Art Nouveau, Berlin secession, Viennese secession… I first completed various internships, in the organization of salons, auction house, gallery, then I started working at Paul Bert Serpette alongside my mother. 8 years ago, so I experienced sales and customer relations on first month, then, in the next logical step, I started to buy. I felt like I was my place, I discovered more in depth what I had finally been around forever.
Do you have a specialty?
Very young, I discovered American design which was, at the time, not yet on the front of the stage. Raising awareness of other people to this work then made me happy. Between visual crush, enthusiasm of learning and the pleasure of the exchange You will find on my booth furniture of TH Robsjohn-Gibbings, of which I will present a beautiful chest of drawers in September, of Adrian Pearsall, whose work was formerly confused with that of Vladimir Kagan, and therefore sold as such. You can also succumb to the cityscape and the more brutalist pieces from the early days of Paul Evans, furniture by Paul Franckl…
If the lines of American design particularly speak to me, my selection is not limited and I love both Scandinavian twentieth furniture (which has greatly inspired Americans) as French furniture signed Guy Lefèvre or Henri Fernandez for example.
How do you see your job?
I like to discover new objects and have the luxury of choosing those that I like. This freedom of the profession allows you to reveal a little of your personality through your selection. A piece of furniture is not sold like a sculpture or a tapestry. You have to love the object and love to talk about it. In order to be able to talk about it, you have to constantly deepen your knowledge, documentation is also a part of my work that fascinates me.
However, I noticed that I did not buy an object of art in the same way as a piece of furniture. I have a crush on objects, I let my taste speak for itself, however incongruous it may be. I can thus fall for a terracotta by Maurice Savin from the 1930s and 1940s and a lamp by Riccardo Scarpa at the same time. Concerning the furniture, I consider more the ability to sell, the purchase is more thoughtful. I then try to enhance the furniture with the objects for a little harmony.
What does Paul Bert Serpette represent for you?
My parents were installed in Paul Bert, outside, Paul Bert Serpette therefore accompanies my tender memories of childhood. I like to present my pieces by playing with the lighting and an indoor stand is therefore ideal.
After having worked for almost 5 years in a gallery, I noticed that the frequentation that we no longer saw in Paris walks the alleys of the Market, with a different, more direct approach. The effervescence that is created at times is then magical. I feel well here and I hope to make my weapons there as long as possible!
Tell us about a favorite piece
I am currently presenting a Hywood Wakefield chest of drawers in sycamore maple that I particularly like. I have already bought this model in the past but in these dimensions, it is rare. These dressers are very often with 6 drawers and this one has 9. I like the sculptural aspect of this piece, in the brutalist movement of the 60s, the wood is beautiful, the color is shimmering ...