furniture

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Design

These Wiggly ‘Nervous Chairs’ by Wilkinson & Rivera Channel Our Collective Anxiety

January 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Zelie Lockhart, courtesy of Wilkinson & Rivera, shared with permission

If home is a feeling, then the wriggling furniture collection by husband-and-wife Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are apt representatives of our collective anxieties. The design duo opts for squiggles rather than clean, straight lines in their collection of wooden pieces— the internet dubbed them “nervous chairs” —that appear to quake with uneasiness. Curved legs and arms offer base structure and coiled rungs back support in the ever-growing line of products by their eponymous brand, which is known for putting updated spins on classic pieces. Rivera shares:

Our tastes can be pretty contemporary but we’re fascinated by traditional techniques. We try to incorporate them in each piece: for the Windsor, it’s steam-bending the backrest. For La Silla, we weave the caned seats by hand. For our latest piece, the Welsh Stick Chairs, we included hand-carved barley twists.

Wilkinson and Rivera, who are based in Walthamstow, East London, will launch a few new designs in the next few months, which you can watch for on Instagram, and shop their current collection through The Future Perfect.

 

 

 



Art

In 'Boogey Men,' Monumental New Works by Hugh Hayden Reflect on American Culture and Politics

December 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Al images courtesy of ICA Miami, by Zachary Balber, shared with permission

An exhibition now on view at ICA Miami samples the recurring themes and motifs that are central to artist Hugh Hayden’s body of work: twisting flames spout from a wooden Adirondack chair and spindly twigs envelop a massive skeleton carved from bald cypress trees, two works that evoke the Dallas native’s barbed furniture and embedded branch designs. In a suspended installation comprised of metallic instruments and pots, faces mimicking traditional African masks emerge from copper cookware similar to the cast iron skillets he presented last year.

The metaphorical new pieces comprise Boogey Men, Hayden’s solo show that responds to myriad social dynamics, cultural issues, and an increasingly tense political environment through imposing, anthropomorphic forms and more subtle works. At the center of the exhibition space is a hammered stainless steel car disguised by a sheet painted in white. Both cartoonish and sinister in its reference to hooded Klansmen, the titular sculpture is an effective indictment of police brutality. Hayden gives attention to the origins of facets of American culture in the pieces that surround that central work, alluding to jazz and culinary traditions.

Boogey Men is on view in Miami through April 17, 2022, before it travels to the Blaffer Art Museum for a stay from June 11 to August 21. You can find more of Hayden’s work and view the process behind many of the pieces shown here on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Plants and Knotted Branches Sprout from Camille Kachani's Impractical Household Objects

August 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Guilherme Gomes, shared with permission

Human progress and the insurmountable force of nature converge in Camille Kachani’s overgrown sculptures. The Lebanese-Brazilian artist (previously) is known for his furniture, tools, and other practical objects that are overrun with new plant growths and gnarly roots, rendering the seemingly functional items like stools, hammers, and books humorously impractical.

Whether a text bursting with vegetation or dresser drawers housing young sprigs, Kachani’s works highlight the futile attempts humans undertake to control the environment. This relationship has been central to his practice in recent years, and his goal is to showcase the conflicts that arise from their intersections especially in relation to life in Brazil—the South American country is more frequently experiencing the effects of the climate crisis like the worst drought its seen in decades and rampant deforestation that’s only intensifying the ongoing devastation—which he explains:

When we speak human and nature, we mean culture and nature, an (un)stable and unpredictable relation. We depend on nature but also see it as a major obstacle to our complete mastery of the planet. But in fact, it is impossible to talk about nature and culture as two distinct subjects, as they are so intertwined and contaminated from each other that I come to believe that everything is nature and culture at the same time.

Kachani is based in São Paulo and is preparing for a forthcoming book chronicling 20 years of his practice, which will be published in 2022. You can follow his work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Wooden Benches Unfurl into Pasta-Esque Strands in Pablo Reinoso's Works

December 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Curly Bench (2019), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso. All images © Pablo Reinoso, shared with permission

The unbound slats of Pablo Reinoso’s unassuming benches curl sideways and up walls in a tangle of wood and metal. Based just outside of Paris, the French-Argentine artist and designer (previously) applies a rebellious and playful lens to his otherwise simple seating, merging functionality and aesthetics to create roving sculptural artworks. His wall frames snarl in a similar manner with knotted masses descending from their inner edges.

Reinoso’s spaghetti-style works will be included in a group show at Mad Paris from December 16, 2020, to May 11, 2021. Until then, explore more of his projects on his site and Instagram.

 

“Black Sand” (2018), photo by Pia Torelli

“Déroulé” (2018), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

“Fire” (2018), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

“Looping One” (2020), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

Left: “Marco Buenos Aires II” (2018), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso. Right: “Marco del Sur” (2018)

“Marco Paris IV” (2019), photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

“Spaghetti corten” (2008), corten steel and teak, 80 x 344 x 172 centimeters

“Fourvière Bench” (2018), carved wood and steel, 454 x 445 x 310 centimeters, photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

“Fourvière Bench” (2018), carved wood and steel, 454 x 445 x 310 centimeters, photo by Rodrigo Reinoso

 

 



Design

Sleek Furniture Collection by Hilla Shamia Harmonizes Cast Aluminum and Natural Wood

May 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hilla Shamia

Starting with gnarly hunks of trees, Hilla Shamia (previously) seamlessly merges wood and aluminum into industrial-style furniture. The Tel Aviv-based designer pours the hot metal into leg molds that surround the organic material, preserving the wood’s shape and texture and ensuring that each console, bench, and stool is unique.

To make the tops entirely smooth, she uses molten aluminum to fill in the gaps and divets that are occurring naturally in the wood. “We focus on material research and development of forms, while drawing inspiration from the process of time and the supposed imperfections found in nature,” Shamia said in a statement. The result is a furniture collection that harmoniously fuses the warm wood with the cool metal.

To see more of her functional designs, head to Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Fibrous Spikes Poke From a Humorous Pair of Cacti Chairs by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

April 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style” (2009), 180 x 110 x 50 centimeters. All images © Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

Before you plop down on one of Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers’s vibrant chairs, take a peek at the spine-covered seat. The Mexican designer has crafted cacti-inspired furniture for her Prickly Pair collection that blends the French Louis XV style with Mexican elements. On each pink and green chair, one or two tall shoots branch off the backs with spiny tufts secured on each button.

A few years ago, Gonzalez Wohlers added a small footstool to the humorous collection that she’s named Baby Peyote. Keep up with the designer’s spiked furniture on Instagram and Facebook, and check out this artist’s piñata variation. (via The Sleep of Reason)

Left: “Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style” (2009), 180 x 110 x 50 centimeters

“Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters

“Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters