BJØRN STUDIO

OUR PLACE TO EXPLORE IDEAS ON CONTEMPORARY LIVING

Furniture = Art

Two shows in New York survey the question Furniture = Art.  Answer: furniture can be both useful and beautiful, collectible even, and art can be functional.  

Mark Newsom at R& Company

Marc Newsom elevates craft to art.  As someone who enjoys craft and technique, Marc Newsom’s latest show at Gagosian Gallery NYC explores craft and technique, elevating traditional decorative treatment to the level of art. Including furniture in cast glass and Chinese cloisonné, the show is mind numbing in its technical difficulty and perfectly executed pieces.

The cast glass chairs are continuous symmetrical forms comprised of two hollow quarter-spheres, with boldly-colored upper sitting on frosted bases. 

Using an enameling technique that dates back to the 13th or 14th century, Newsom created a series of seating that combines decoration and function, using sensuous lines that welcome the human touch.  

The exterior ornamentation reveals a wide-range of aesthetic influences, including traditional Chinese floral motifs on white and black grounds.

This show follows an earlier show that explored tables and bookcases carved out of solid blocks of marble.  The ultimate luxurious art piece.

Brazilian Design at R& Company.

Great design survives the test of time.  R & Company continues its connoisseurship of rare Brazilian mid-century furniture, here upholstered in sumptuous, color-perfect and tactile Tara Chapas textiles.

CARLO HAUNER, BRAZIL, 1950

Designers in the show include powerhouse Joaquim Tenreiro, and some designers new to me including José Zanine CaldasCarlo Hauner and Martin Eisler.  Known for the sexy interpretation of mid-century modernist design and techniques, the chairs celebrate the curve of the back, the line of the leg. Craftsmanship, traditional materials and organic forms here speak a contemporary language. I love how this show encapsulates a Bossa Nova feel. 

Joaquim Tenreiro, BRAZIL, 1950
JOSÉ ZANINE CALDAS, BRAZIL, 1950
JOSÉ ZANINE CALDAS, BRAZIL, 1949

Take away from this show: I have a design destination in mind!

David Bjørngaard, March 2018

Check out what I’m up to at Bjørn Design.

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