In 2020, six years after she famously suffused the London restaurant Sketch in cake frosting pink, the architect and designer India Mahdavi opened Project Room in Paris. She wanted the multipurpose space to serve as a Parisian window into the workings of the global design community, resetting it each quarter with new programming. For its latest exhibition, “¡Hola Paris!,” which opens later this month, Mahdavi invited Rudy Weissenberg and Rodman Primack, the founders of the Mexico City gallery AGO Projects, to take over the site. The result is what Weissenberg calls “our fantasy Paris sitting room,” an ersatz domestic tableau packed with 30-plus objects, many of which incorporate traditional Mexican materials and techniques. There is a sunny mushroom lamp by Fabien Cappello, hand-painted with abstract forms that cling together like tiny families. There are tilted triangular vases, their surfaces reminiscent of craggy topsoil, made by the Mexico City ceramic studio MT Objects. There are copper sconces — a series of totemic masks whose eyes and mouths light up — from Niños Héroes, and a Mono Rojo vessel doodled with mouths and eyes, X’s and O’s.
“During these serious and chaotic times, sharing space with a colorful and cheerful piece of furniture can be uplifting,” says Primack. One such mood flipper on show is Ryan Belli’s Solid White Oak Sofa, a bench-like seat topped with cornflower blue cushions. Its back features a series of smooth wooden poles, each capped with a plush sphere. “To my eye,” Primack says, “Ryan’s sofa is winking at [Jean] Royère, as though Royère had been commissioned by Wilma Flinstone.”“¡Hola Paris!” is on view from Oct. 17 through Nov. 4, ago-projects.com.