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Molecular Biologist By Day, Ceramicist By Night: How Science Informs Abid Javed’s Art

The Hong Kong–born, London-based artist Abid Javed became a ceramicist almost by accident: While studying for his PhD in biochemistry, Javed began searching for a medium he could dabble in to fulfill a desire to make 3D forms inspired by molecules. "I considered glass initially, but it seemed too technical to pursue as a hobby," Javed recalls. "Ceramics felt and became more intuitive." A hobby soon became a full-blown art practice; the resulting series is called Pleomorphs.
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Emily Mullin Jack Hanley

Emily Mullin’s 3D Reliefs Are Like Morandi Still-Lifes On Acid

The new sculptures that make up Brooklyn-based artist Emily Mullin’s just-opened show at Jack Hanley Gallery are, to put it lightly, a riot: fringed or seemingly filigreed ceramic vessels scrawled on with what looks like crayon or painted in imprecise patterns, sitting atop blobby, brightly colored plinths. At first glance, you wouldn’t associate the boisterous reliefs with the quiet, muted tones found in still lifes by 20th-century Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, but upon further inspection, the comparison makes a lot of sense.
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Hannah Nowlan Tatsiana Shevarenkova

In a New Exhibition, Abstract Paintings and Anthropomorphic Vessels Pair Perfectly

In ballet terms, a pas de deux is a duet. Two dancers perform a sequence in such perfect, excruciating synchronicity that it appears they are, for the fleeting moments they inhabit the stage, two halves of the same whole. This kind of creative coupling is what curator Kitty Clark had in mind when she put together her latest show, Soul Bed, featuring painter Hannah Nowlan and ceramic artist Tatsiana Shevarenkova, which just opened its doors at Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
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This French Designer’s Spidery, Sculptural Furniture Evokes a Sense of Poetry

Before he started taming metal, Malacou Lefebvre juggled numbers for a company. A chance romantic stroll turned him into a maker. The self-taught founder of Atelier Malak, Lefebvre's steel chairs, tables, and lightings — designed in a former factory near Lyon, France — adopt spider-like shapes in which the initial sketch, lying as it is on the paper, fully imprints the force of its expression.
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Week of January 11, 2021

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: two European store interiors with epic dressing rooms, a new-ish tequila brand with a Chanel-inspired bottle, the prettiest watering can we've seen in a good while, and a highly ornamented new furniture line shot in an 1800s manor (above).
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This Melbourne Designer Gave Himself Six Months to Develop His Very First Collection — And Knocked It Out of the Park

Zachary Frankel was working as a jewelry designer in Melbourne, Australia when he came across an image of a simple chair and was struck by how perfectly it seemed to do its job. “I was taken by how restrained and elegant it was,” he says. It ignited his curiosity in working with timber. After some time, Frankel devised a plan to find his own voice and broaden his exploration of materials. He’d give himself six months to create a collection with no commercial obligation; he’d make furniture just for the fun of it. If he liked what he made, great, he’d share it publicly. If not, he’d have half a year’s worth of getting better acquainted with his craft and it would inform where he would take things next. At worst, his house would be full of interesting experiments.
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Harvey Bouterse’s New Ceramic Lamp is a Study in Contrasting Textures

It's basically our job here at Sight Unseen to follow the career trajectory of up-and-coming designers, and in our professional capacity, we've come to realize that most ceramicists follow a certain path: First come the smalls, like cups and mugs and plates and vases. The next step is usually lamps — think of Natalie Weinberger's pleated clay shades, Workaday Handmade's listing table lamps, and BZIPPY's pyramid-shaped bases. Today, we're featuring one of the first lamps by Belgium-based Harvey Bouterse.
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Christopher Norman is Turning the Castoff Urban Trees of Los Angeles Into Art

Los Angeles–based architect and designer Christopher Norman’s new collection of hand-machined minimal forms resists standardization. His untitled “extrusions” in ash and cedar and pine riff on a hardware aesthetic, while maintaining the organic ethos seen in much of his other, more fluidly-shaped work. Forgoing pre-cut lumber, Norman uses wood from freshly cut trees. “If you’re working with commercial wood, you get a very normalized look and set of proportions. It’s basically highly mediated,” he explains.
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Our Favorite Finds From the First-Ever Virtual Frieze Art Fair

For those in the art world, the loss of a physical Frieze means the loss of a key moment for discovery, commerce, and networking. But for those of us with no skin in the game, the virtual viewing room offers some very real benefits — like being able to browse, and read the backstory of, pieces we might have missed in the chaos of the fair, or being able to grab the exact images we want for this roundup.
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This L.A. Artist’s Studio Is the Epitome of Calming, Meditative Vibes

For Los Angeles–born artist Cindy Hsu Zell, nature has been a lifelong inspiration. Working from her sunny North Hollywood studio, Zell creates tactile sculptures with rope, ceramic, wood, and, most recently, stone. In the midst of this confounding global crisis, we remote-toured her space and took some time to chat with her about confronting the economics of productivity, prioritizing mindful practices, and the magic of working with organic materials.
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