If you happen to have been wandering under the High Line in New York's Chelsea neighborhood sometime over the last week, you might have seen something you don't see every day — the bespectacled, wild-haired Chilean designer Nicolás Aracena Müller making chairs from found scraps of wood in the gallery windows of Chamber, a concept shop and exhibition space opened last year by Juan Mosqueda.
Most of you probably know Brooklyn artist Paul Wackers for his paintings, which depict plants, rocks, and shelves full of abstract knick-knacks. But his work really comes alive when it's exhibited alongside his ceramics — as is currently the case in his new Morgan Lehman show "Thank You For Being You" — which makes it appear as though the paintings have come to life.
"Loose Ends," an exhibition by Israeli artist Yonatan Vinitsky was on view at Rome's Frutta Gallery from March until May of this year, but it will be a long time before we get these rightly amazing images out of our heads. For his solo show, the young Haifa-born, London-based artist created eight coiled-metal sculptures, which hung suspended from the ceiling, as well as eight wall-based works that represented blown-up reproductions of the kind of backseat storage pockets you find on public transportation.
It may seem daring to open an exhibition on the eve of the annual design carnival that is graduate show season in London but Marcin Rusak doesn't have to worry about a lack of attention. It was a big year for the London-based designer, who kicked off his artistic career with exhibiting at the Victoria and Albert museum and securing the coveted Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize for emerging talent within just a year of graduating from the RCA last year. His first solo show, "Inflorescence and Other Artefacts," is a display of dichotomies, constantly flipping between natural and synthetic, authentic and fake, beautiful and seductively grotesque, forcing viewers to form their own opinion about the value of the objects on display.
While the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sam Moyer has played around with fabric painted to look like marble in the past, the geometric panels suspended in gorgeous bronze armatures that she recently installed at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels are, in fact, the real deal. Meant to interact with the space's striking ceilings and the summer light that filters through them, the slabs are cut so thin as to be almost semi-translucent, a subverting of expectations about the way certain materials are supposed to look, feel, and function — a common theme in Moyer's work, and one that will sound familiar to many designers, which is probably why we've found ourselves so drawn to her.
Since it was renovated in the early 2000s and restored to its original 1952 condition, Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier's famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, has played host to a rotating cast of designers — Jasper Morrison in 2008 followed by the Bouroullecs, Konstantin Grcic, and, perhaps most successfully, Pierre Charpin. But a group of Swiss design students may have just completed our favorite intervention yet.
When the American Design Club first started back in 2008, the idea was to find new ways to gain exposure for emerging talents in the U.S. scene, a goal pursued primarily via juried exhibitions — and a goal that happened to dovetail perfectly with Sight Unseen's vision for a New York design week event that would put the spotlight on exactly the kind of emerging voices the AmDC comprised. In 2011, the second year of our Noho Design District show (the precursor to Sight Unseen OFFSITE), we hosted the club's fifth exhibition, and last month we were thrilled to host its 12th. Called "Curse the Darkness" and presented in partnership with the lighting brand Roll & Hill, the show invited designers to submit "objects that can hold a candle and light up a room."
Copenhagen's Etage Projects is one of the newer galleries on the scene, but it's fast becoming one of our picks for the best. In the past two years, exhibition subjects have included SU favorites like Fredrik Paulsen, Jo Nagasaka, and Eva Berendes; the show currently on view includes Dutch designers Luuk van den Broek (who we're working on a much larger story on!) and Sabine Marcelis, who with Brit Van Nerven is responsible for one of our favorite pieces of design from the past year. Marcelis's newest project, called Voie Lights, is the first in a series of two investigations into the manipulation of light paths.
When we were first introduced to the multi-talented photographer Charlie Schuck, a good three years ago, he was running the heart-stoppingly chic concept store Object in Seattle, at which he paired things like Masanori Oji trivets with pieces he commissioned from local studios like Iacoli & McAllister and Grain. It was the first, most beautifully executed sign that a larger narrative was galvanizing around Pacific Northwest designers — one that reaches its apex this month with a museum show Schuck has curated for the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington.
On this site, we don't tend to feature exhibitions once they've already closed, but this one retains one of the most incredible visual archives we've seen to date, a record of objects that were as beautifully displayed as they were constructed. Ben Peterson's "Nebraska," which was on view at San Francisco's Ratio 3 gallery from January 17 to February 28, featured a series of architectural ceramic sculptures by the Oakland-based artist, painted in different, natural hues to erase traces of their clay past and to resemble something more like weathered and patinated concrete. Almost Brutalist in form, the sculptures were installed on site-specific pastel plinths, an extreme juxtaposition that somehow seemed just right.
If Barbara Kasten’s colorful, angular compositions look as though they could have been arranged just last week by some prop stylist in Los Angeles — well, consider that a testament to Kasten’s massive, if massively underappreciated, influence. The Chicago-based artist and photographer is currently the subject of a long overdue solo exhibition at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art; Stages spans five decades of work, from fiber sculptures to cyanotype prints to set design to a brand-new, site-specific installation that plays beautifully with the ICA’s interior architecture.