If This Furniture Collection Makes You Slightly Uneasy, You’re Not Alone

Is Brian Thoreen‘s latest collection, on view now as part of his first solo show at Patrick Parrish Gallery, meant as a political commentary? Not specifically, though the L.A. designer’s new work does do an uncanny job at evoking the same sort of low-level uneasiness and dread that we Americans happen to be all too familiar with at the moment. Thoreen refers to the feeling — and the show — as “Unsettled,” and he’s achieved it by crafting pieces that rely on balance and gravity rather than fasteners or adhesives to stay aloft, making them appear to be visibly in tension, if not in peril.

The glass of his Cantilever table (above), for example, is held in place by the perfectly calibrated weight of a marble slab, a physics trick repeated in the counterbalancing elements of his Reaching Console; a massive plane of smoked-glass mirror slots simply into a cylindrical bronze footrest, somehow keeping it from rolling off into oblivion. And if part of you isn’t just a little terrified for the fate of the stone tabletop perched precariously on the edge of Thoreen’s glass Shift Table, then we might very well be forced to question your humanity. Sounds familiar, indeed.

PHOTOS BY CLEMENS KOISTHOREEN_Install2THOREEN_Install1THOREEN_Vessel2_1 THOREEN_Vessel2 THOREEN_BlockTable THOREEN_StandingMirror THOREEN_ShiftTable2 THOREEN_ShiftTable THOREEN_Vessel3 THOREEN_CantileverTable2 THOREEN_ReachingTable THOREEN_Vessel1