Contemporary art gifts: a curated guide for Christmas 2021 – Wallpaper*

Creative block? Get inspired by our curated guide to contemporary art gifts for 2021
Judy Chicago’s ‘Bigamy Hood’ dinner plate, $195 each. Images courtesy of Prospect
Finding the right art gifts for the contemporary art lover on your list is rarely straighforward. But on the Wallpaper* arts desk, we’ve thought outside the art gift box with ideas suitable for every niche, mood and occasion. 
Adorn your walls with design nostalgia from Herman Miller 
For decades, furniture brand Herman Miller has cemented itself as an industry leader, with universally recognised pieces including the ‘Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman’. Lesser known, but no less iconic, are its graphics and advertisements, serving as brand nostalgia for design lovers around the world. For the first time, Herman Miller has launched a 15-print collection of archival posters by designers and illustrators, which are ideal for art gifts. Featured creatives include George Nelson & Associates, Armin Hofmann, Phillip Mitchell, Steve Frykholm, Irving Harper, and Linda Powell. 
Art dispatches from UK museum shops 
This season, art museum shops are serving up a number of creative treats you had no idea you needed, until now. At Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, products include limited-edition screenprints from Langlands & Bell and Nancy Spero and T-shirts by British artists Jeremy Deller and Osman Yousefzada (who recently unveiled the new Selfridges façade). Elsewhere, in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art gift shop, in Gateshead, nothing screams affection more than a mug that reads ‘Sorry I fell asleep whilst you were talking?’, courtesy of artist and wordsmith David Shrigley
Start the conversation with Judy Chicago’s head-turning dinner plate
As dinner party conversation starters go, Judy Chicago’s ‘Bigamy Hood’ dinner plate could be up there with the most gripping. Available from Prospect at $195 each, the bone china plate depicts one of the feminist art trailblazer’s earliest works, created in ‘macho’ automotive lacquer sprayed onto a car hood. Much like Chicago’s iconic installation The Dinner Party, Bigamy Hood was once greeted with derision, but now embodies her epic contribution to the evolution of feminist art. Art gifts also available from Prospect – the New York-based company known for top-tier art collaborations – are vibrant straws by Micha Kahn, and striking candles by Bonam Kim. 
Mona Hatoum blends art and coffee for illy
Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum is the latest creative to put her stamp on the Illy Art Collection, which includes limited-edition espresso cups, cappuccino cups and matching decorated cans. Known for her poetic and political installations, Hatoum sought to create a ‘100 per cent Arab object or symbol’ for Illy’s 100 per cent Arabica blend. ‘The keffiyeh came to mind, as I have often referred to it in my work, either directly or indirectly,’ she says. ‘The fishnet pattern with knots is often seen as the joining of hands and therefore symbolises the connection between people.’ Since 1992, Illy has welcomed leading artists to design collections, including Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois and Ai Weiwei. Mona Hatoum’s collection launched at Frieze London 2021 and is available from early December. 
Own your very own piece(s) of KAWS art 
This season, the MoMA Design Store has launched four playful puzzles by American artist KAWS. They each feature original artwork: The Things That Comfort, Take, Together, and Share. Over two decades, the artist has crafted an instantly recognisable aesthetic, blending the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, graphic and product design, street art, and large-scale sculptures. The MoMA puzzles feature the artist’s distinctive figurative characters and motifs and are available in 100 or 1,000 pieces, from £19.99, perfect for art gifts, or a bit of personal downtime. 
Get the bigger picture with emerging art jigsaw puzzles
As illustrated above, the world of art puzzles is often reserved for the work of big-name artists. New Brooklyn-based brand Kinstler is seeking to shake up this well-trodden path. Founder Rami Metal has launched the brand with puzzles that spotlight work by three emerging artists engaging with contemporary issues: Simone Johnson, Andrea Joyce Heimer and Rusudan Khizanishvili. Each puzzle comes with two inserts: one ‘about the artist’, and an interview about the artwork featured. $34 each
Show your true colours with RxART’s gift for good 
When it comes to art gifts for the greater good, look no further than RxART’s colouring book, Between the Lines, produced biennially to donate to children in hospitals. Volume eight is headlined with a cover and sticker spread by artist Derrick Adams. The artist’s optimistic pool floaties correspond with details found in his RxART installation at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem’s paediatric emergency department, which was completed in the fall of 2020. This volume also includes work by 50 international artists, among them Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Neel, Liza Lou, and Arcmanoro Niles.
Rewrite art history with Caran d’Ache’s sustainable drawing pencils
In a different coffee-related vein, luxury Swiss art materials manufacturer Caran d’Ache has once again teamed up with Nespresso to offer new life to used coffee capsules. The Caran d’Ache x Nespresso Fixpencil and graphite pencil set follow on from an earlier collaboration with the coffee brand, which involved a planet-friendly reimagining of the iconic Ballpoint Pen 849. The mechanical Fixpencil, made in the signature ochre of Nespresso’s Cape Town Envivo Lungo capsules, includes graphite lead made from 25 per cent coffee grounds, the ideal art gift for the practically minded. §
 
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