Murray Moss staked his name and business on the assertive claim that design had a place in the art world. Not everyone was willing to invest in that view–at least not enough to prevent the shuttering of Moss’s eponymous and groundbreaking SoHo store early this year. One may surmise that he registered a personal financial hit as well, given that today Phillips de Pury will be auctioning off his trove of design objects, offering them, in true Moss fashion, alongside a curated array of artworks.
Running through the auction is the Moss’s core belief that decor is an undervalued form of expression. “I don’t know why decor is considered something that’s sort of low class or something which is unintelligent,” he says in the above video. “Let’s rename it in a more pallatable way, and let’s call it ‘collage.’ Let’s call it ‘montage,’ Eisensteinian montage, where you take an image and you lay it on top of another image and the result isn’t two images but, say, five images. It’s the basis of art, the basis of all the arts.”
In many ways, Moss is a modern-day patron saint of high design, and his collection shows how personally he took his mission, understanding design’s history while investing in its future.