Nina Yashar , is the sister of my classmate Nilu in Milan.
I remember, Nilu to be quite reserved, very tall and slender she moved around with her voluminous hair and a shy smile. She had quite a good taste I must say from the beginning, by the way she picked her clothes. Who would ever dream that one day, that I, much more reserved than her, would write from New York, about the Iranian sisters 30 years ( last time I saw them) , the month Nina unveils the images of her beautiful new home of 250 square meters a 1940’s building with frescoed walls in the heart of Milan.
The founder and owner of one of Milan based Nilufar, ( Lotus Flower, is the meaning of the name) one most prestigious and eclectic art galleries of Europe with it’s origins in their father ‘s gallery of antique rugs and kilims , at that time extremely rare in Italy.
Starting from the end of the Nineties, after a few trips in Sweden the Gallery knew how to cut out its own space and become the reference point to lovers of historical design as well as to people following the evolution of contemporary design, above all within that more learned, poetic and visionary area shifting between production and contemporary art.
Nina Yashar and her sister Nilu with a team of five people took part in several editions of Pavillon des Arts et du Design in Paris and is always present at Design Miami/Basel. Nilufar has its own small manifesto, composed of three words: Discovering, Crossing, Creating.
Discovering Novecento is the century of design, a source of extraordinary stories and objects which will be dealt with again for a long time, waiting just for the right time to come out of the oblivion. According to Nilufar’s vision, modern antique dealing is an old definition. It is necessary to shift towards a less vague word, searching for names, projects, schools, manufactures, countries making history and deserving to be proposed again.
Crossing The history of taste is a never-ending exercise of decomposition and re-composition, just like a kaleidoscope… This continuous joining together of pieces and traditions houses an open eye, heedless of labels, able to cross fences created by time, geography and cultural matrixes, aware that assonances and contrasts can be two sides of the same coin. This is the idea of Crossings, the name of two successful exhibitions Nilufar held in 1999 and 2000, a true invitation to build new visions of the world, being far more personal and freer.
Creating Milan is an interesting lab and a privileged point to observe the euphoric and restless scene of design. Nilufar gives life to projects, editions, site-specific shows and publications, working both with great masters and emerging authors. Nilufar is operating in the scouting of new talents. Creating means bringing about occasions, sparkles. It means also obtaining new spaces and filling them with value for the future. Here in Italy we know how to do it: Renaissance was born here!
At her new home, an Oriental flair blended with a typical Milanese architectural style is the secret of the charming project by Nina’s friend Giancarlo Montebello who was from 1060 to 1980 a renowned jewelry editor and who also worked with artists such as Fontana Niki de Saint Phalle and Sonia Delaunai among others.
The apartment has been idealized like a large desert tent, with inspiration from Nina’s origins where the natural color palette will alter with time around the columns and forms of a Persian palace. And it’s in this environment that Nina selected furniture and objects that unite contemporary art together with design.
The photos of this marvelous space are available for your appreciation with a promise to a follow up with more detailed information once I pick a phone and extend my congratulations with a personal visit to the lovely sisters of my childhood.
Photos: Ruy Teixeira