Five shows that stretch the boundaries between furniture and art

Domestic Details

Five shows that stretch the boundaries between furniture and art

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Nudes V, 2017. Portuguese pink marble. 50 x 79 x 38 inches. (Courtesy C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G)

While the boundaries between art, architecture, and design are already often quite murky, the following artists are troubling the bounds even further, using furniture’s familiar forms to examine intimacy between people and objects, reconsider how bodies negotiate space, or offer a platform for new activities. These five exhibitions are sure to provoke a reconsideration of furniture and its relationship to domesticity, technology, and history. 

A two-for-one, C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G’s Bushwick, Brooklyn location has on display simultaneous shows of artists reinventing domestic forms.

(Courtesy C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G)
Hannah Levy, Untitled, 2018. Nickel plated steel, silicone, pearls. 26 x 58 x 14 inches. (Courtesy C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G)

Hannah Levy: Swamp Salad
396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Through March 11

Hannah Levy’s fleshy furnishings in Swamp Salad feature her signature space-age grotesque sculptures in molded steel and flesh-hued silicon. Pearl-accented lounge chairs (derived from French modernist Charlotte Perriand’s iconic designs), coat racks of elongated steel bones, and alabaster bicycle helmets circle around a screen, mounted on an intrusive, curvaceous steel bar descending from the ceiling which a video of long-nailed hands plucking pearls from oysters. Categories like natural and artificial, familiar and strange, pull apart to uncanny effect in Levy’s mixed-up alien universe.

(Courtesy C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G)
Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Nudes VII, 2017. Portuguese pink marble 106 x 51 x 47 inches. (Courtesy C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G)

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel: Rosa Aurora Rosa
396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Through March 11

Also at C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, who have been collaborating since 2003, go on a psychosexual escapade in stone, both reveling in and being irreverent of sculptural tradition. Rosa Aurora Rosa, a name derived from the Portuguese pink marble that makes up the central massive sculptures of the show, blends body and bathroom in forms that seem at once ancient and contemporary. Along the walls are “paintings” in stone, also depicting  with bodies, vessels, and holes.

BLESS, N°60 Corner Chair, 2017. Wool upholstery, painted plywood, metal understructure
BLESS, N°60 Corner Chair, 2017. Wool upholstery, painted plywood, metal understructure (Courtesy Mathew Gallery, NYC)

BLESS N°60 Lobby Conquerors
46 Canal Street, New York, NY
Through April 3

BLESS, the Berlin and Paris-based creative collective founded by Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, has reimagined classic Artek products as “architurniture.” Expanding on their 1998 BLESS Nº 7 Livingroom Conquerors,. BLESS moved into public space with BLESS N°60 Lobby Conquerors. Originally commissioned for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Lobby Conquerors have been brought to New York’s Mathew gallery in collaboration with architecture magazine PIN–UP and furniture manufacturer Artek. Taking designer Ilmari Tapiovaara’s iconic 1960 Kiki benches and lounge chairs and 1954 Lukki stools for Artek, BLESS dressed up the modernist seating with fur, fabric, and architectural add-ons that invite a whole new confrontation between people and furniture.

(Brian Forrest)
Installation view of Welcome to the Dollhouse, January 20–April 8, 2018 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Brian Forrest)

Welcome to the Dollhouse 
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
Through April 8

Welcome to the Dollhouse, at L.A. MOCA’s Pacific Design Center, uses objects from the museum’s permanent collection to come to terms with and trouble notions of domesticity. Featuring art across a range of media, the exhibition plays house with artists includinge Lynn Aldrich, Julie Becker, Meg Cranston, Ross Bleckner, Moyra Davey, Judy Fiskin, Robert Gober, Jim Isermann, Mike Kelley, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Bill Owens, Jorge Pardo, Richard Prince, among others.

(Courtesy Jillian Mayer and the David Castillo Gallery)
Jillian Mayer, Slumpie 15 – Railed Bed, 2016. Fiberglass, epoxy resin, wood, board, paint, hardware. (Courtesy Jillian Mayer and the David Castillo Gallery)

Jillian Mayer: Slumpies
Tufts University
40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA and 230 Fenway, Boston, MA
Through April 15

Artist Jillian Mayer has been designing furniture for the digital age. These amalgamations of fiberglass, epoxy, resin, wood, and paint are designed to be a new ergonomic solution for perhaps our most common activity, looking at our phones. The so-called Slumpies invite new postures of standing, sitting, and lying alone or with friends to stare at your screen endlessly without having to worry about neck strain. By equal measures practical and parody, the Slumpies are currently on view around Tufts University’s Boston and Medford campuses in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston’s exhibition Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.

Ever popular and prescient, the Slumpies are also currently on view at New York’s Postmasters gallery.
Jillian Mayer: Post Posture
Through March 31