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A New Gallery Show in London Takes Wood to Unexpected Places

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Ellen’s Next Great Designer (which, honestly, you should be as well, it’s highly entertaining and it features THREE former Sight Unseen subjects!), but an exhibition where designers riff on the range and versatility of wood feels extremely low-stakes. (Also not a knock; it’s an appropriately sized brief for coming out of a year of lockdown). But that’s also what makes it all the more impressive that Gallery FUMI‘s first exhibition of 2021, called The Beautiful Grain and featuring 11 of the gallery’s artists, should be so insanely inventive. Here’s Casey McCafferty, finding a way to reuse the sawdust he creates from carving local timber, fusing it with polymer to make a wholly new material; there’s Max Lamb, continuing his exploration into Glulam — a material made by bonding layers of dimensional lumber — with a series of new chairs. But our favorite works are by the Chinese-born, London-based Jie Wu, who embeds pieces of recycled antique Chinese rosewood into striated, translucent, multi-colored resin. The wood component in her vases, bowls, and tables is almost unrecognizable, which is also what helps to make them the most joyous pops of color in the exhibition. Check out these and a few more of our favorites below.

Jie Wu

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Maria Bruun & Anne Dorthe Vester

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Max Lamb

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Saelia Aparicio

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Allan Collins

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Casey McCafferty

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