Mark Hill has more than 20 years’ experience in the antiques industry, including stints at Sotheby’s and Bonhams, giving him a wide-ranging knowledge of antiques and a particular interest in 20th century designers, makers and styles. He is an author and publisher (he has written more than 30 books), TV presenter, and is a leading dealer in post-war Czech and 20th century art glass. Mark is a frequent visitor to, and sometimes exhibits at, the Decorative Fair.
We had a chat with Mark about the subject of Colour and Form, and how it has informed and shaped the artists and designers of the 20th century.
You have wide-ranging knowledge of design from antique to modern – what drew you particularly to specialise in the work of 20th century designers and makers?
I was so grateful that working at Sotheby’s and Bonhams in the late 90s introduced my eyes and mind to so many diverse objects from so many countries and centuries. As I worked through what was effectively an apprenticeship, I realised that the 18th & 19th centuries, and even the early 20th century, seemed to be so well ‘trawled’. There seemed to be such an opportunity for going down multiple journeys of discovery with postwar design – I simply couldn’t resist. Who doesn’t love learning something new, and with a good story and lovely objects to boot? But, most of all, the pieces themselves appealed greatly in terms of their vibrant colours, fascinating forms, and the quality of design and manufacture. This was also a period of experimentation and change, culturally, socially and economically – and the objects reflect that. Glass in particular spoke, or rather yelled,