At Barber Osgerby’s Galerie Kreo Exhibition, An Exploration of the Artisanal and the Industrial

Though the London-based studio Barber Osgerby first started working with Galerie Kreo more than half a decade ago, with their monolithic, shinto shrine–inspired Hakone collection of tables, last month marked their debut as a solo exhibitor. In a show called Signal, on view until April 16, the London duo finally gets to show off their impeccable color sense, which has always seemed a natural fit with Galerie Kreo’s overall aesthetic (which includes these Pierre Charpin mirrors and this utterly bananas Bouroullec sofa, for those unfamiliar). A collection of floor and wall lamps, each piece in Signal consists of a rectangular aluminum base, onto which conical glass shades, mouth-blown by master craftsmen at the Venini workshops in Murano, Venice, are attached. The studio has a word for this tension between precision industrial elements and softer organic ones: “We call it engineered craft,” explains Osgerby. “We’re always trying to work in this space between the sketch and the machine.” The cone is a shape of particular importance to them, inspired as they are by both old-school audio equipment and Cold War–era sci-fi images (and, we assume, by directional traffic imagery, as implied by the name). But a cone also the oldest and most natural shape in the book for diffusing light, making these new works as functional as they are pretty.