For Friedman Benda's inaugural presentation at NOMAD Monaco, the gallery will present a dynamic installation by American designer, Misha Kahn. Demonstrating Kahn’s romantic, furtive and improvisatory practice while highlighting his evolution as a designer, the show will unveil 15 unique and playful creations with distinctive narratives.
Highlights of the exhibition include large-scale compositions, such as Bronze Walk the Dog Console (2018) and X Marks the Spot Cabinet (2018), each bursting and exaggerated in form. A coffee table from his ongoing ‘angler’ series, called Back Bend Starfish Puts on all Her Jewels for Her Workout (2018), is part 'space ship,’ part 'luxury appliance.' Adorned with amorphous cast glass forms that appear to be melting onto the stainless steel surface, these appendages “feel like sapphires and rubies and gems that have gone limp and have become infectious,” says Kahn.
This presentation will also feature three new tables from Kahn’s Rock Bottom series, inverted in form and inspired by the construction of ancient jewelry where stones are directly cast into gold. For this body of work, Kahn contrasts seemingly rough, unrefined construction with large polished ‘rock bottom’ bases made of Tiger’s eye, jasper and hematite enveloped in bronze. Other creations include fibers woven with sea shells, glass, and discarded materials including Circle of Life (2018), a large woven sculptural totem, a continuation of Kahn’s collaboration with Gone Rural in Swaziland.
Two new armchairs, American Gothic (2018) and Slurp, Snap, Arm Akimbo (2018) different iterations of Kahn’s Claymation series, which premiered to great acclaim this past year at Design Miami, epitomizes Kahn’s distinctive and imaginative approach to design. Kahn asserts: “I think furniture tends to be so static in its stance, and I wanted to try to capture this sense of levity and motion, like it was just a sort of freeze frame in an animation where shapes are having fun and happen to kind of have assembled themselves into chairs.”
Finally, Kahn will present a newly completed surrealistic coat rack from his Flotsam and Jetsam series, titled after legal terms that describe two types of marine debris. According to Kahn, this piece called The Waking Hour (2018) is influenced by “those little bright shapes you see when you open your eyes first thing in the morning - how they just become these little things you can see for an instant on top of everything else in the room.”