With a salute to the glamourous era of Art Deco, Israeli Furniture Designer, Hagit Pincovici brings Italian craftsmanship to Canada

by Laura Goldstein

On Monday, May 28th,  acclaimed Israeli furniture designer, Hagit Pincovici visited the SwitzerCultCreative Showroom to launch her newest collections and engage guests with a talk on the origins of her design inspiration.

Her use of dramatic colour combinations continues to pervade her furniture and lighting creations, all hand-crafted in Italy. With her studio based in Brianza since 2014, Pincovici, a 3rd generation maker, has been on a whirlwind exhibition circuit from the Salone del Mobile, Milan then the ICFF (International Furniture Fair) in New York before touching down in Vancouver, her first appearance in Canada.

SwitzerCultCreative, 1725 West 3rd Avenue in Vancouver is the exclusive purveyor of Hagit Pincovici Collections in Canada.

“I’m so impressed with Vancouver – it’s so peaceful and modern, and everyone jogs,” laughs Pincovici, who also found time to visit the Museum of Anthropology.

“From Above” Marble Coffee Table an abstract aerial landscape in wood and hand varnished. Photo: courtesy Hagit Pincovicci

Pincovici fondly remembers her grandparents’ atelier in Tel Aviv where they produced furniture and home accessories molded from colourful Plexiglass. A graduate in Industrial Design from the renowned Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Pincovici worked her way up as head of product development for Aqua Creations in Israel, organizing their exhibition at the annual Salone del Mobile, in Milan. She decided to re-locate to Italy “where I fell in love with the Italian spirit of creativity,” she explains.

“I’m really inspired by artworks of contemporary painters and even fashion designers,” says Pincovici sporting a cherry red silk pleated jacket by Issey Miyake. Her From Above Coffee Tables from the Metaphysics Collection resemble pinwheels of abstract landscapes from an aerial perspective. “I began by looking at British designer, Paul Smith’s amazing juxtapositions of colours in his clothing collections,” she confides. Pincovici said she is also influenced by the late modernist architect, Carlo Scarpa and his love for interlocking geometric shapes.

“Flamingo” Is a sculptural side table or jewelry case with pivoting hidden drawer on thin brass legs. Photo: courtesy Hagit Pincovicci

She likes to draw her designs by hand on huge pieces of paper mounted on her studio walls and will sometimes create 3D models of her pieces.

All Pincovici’s furniture calls to mind a distinctly Art Deco glamour; elegant, streamlined geometric pieces are finished with up to five layers of lacquer inspired by Japanese techniques, giving each piece an alluring luminosity. (Pincovici lived in Japan for five months between her academic years.) Many incorporate brushed brass and Marquina marble and are equally sculptural and functional. Some, like the Flamingo Side Table and new Cabinet 102, disguise her penchant for secret storage drawers not apparent at first glance. Her Eclipse Table Series envisages abstract moons in Carrara-veined marble with brass inlays on slim brushed brass legs. Winged End Tables from the new Intersections Collection combines elements from both her Metaphysics and Eclipse Collections to create a contrast of shapes, colours and materials on two attached yet distinct platforms. Pincovici’s collections are available in customized colours.

Her exploration into new lighting iterations led to Lampada 13 Wall Sconce,a luxurious architectural expression of a waning moon in hand-blown glass, Marquina marble and brass. A floor lamp is in the works.

When she’s not working in her studio, Pincovici is also an instructor once a week at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti,) in Milan. “I love teaching and guiding design students in their final year,” she explains.

“You know, I started with family and everyone I work with in Italy are also 2nd and 3rd generation in their trades. I have the greatest respect for the traditions of hand-made.”