Design Miami/ Basel | Booth G02

June 13 – 18, 2023

Samuel Ross [British, b. 1991]
Foreign body of chalk and iron, 2021
Marble, powder-coated steel
33.5 x 43.75 x 14.5 inches
85 x 111 x 36.5 cm
Edition of 8

Samuel Ross' drawing, September 2020

          A polymathic creative force, British designer, creative director and artist, Samuel Ross refers to himself as an ‘atypical protagonist’ in contemporary art and design. He grew up in modernist housing estates in Brixton and the East Midlands, and remains fascinated by the utopian promise of these buildings – but also their blind spots, which he tries to illuminate.

          Presented here is Foreign body of chalk and iron, part of Samuel Ross’ RUPTURE series that grapples with concepts of connection, severance, incongruity, and abstraction. Marble forms, connoting the monolith, are propped on seemingly too slender geometries of powder-coated steel, finished in Ross’ signature safety orange. The works exemplify historic absurdities that reflect homogenization as a normative when contextualizing the diaspora’s being.

Samuel Ross' solo installation at Design Miami/, 2021


About Samuel Ross

          A polymathic creative force, Hublot Award-winning British designer, creative director and artist, Samuel Ross, deftly mines the cross-sections of socio-geographic relationships, enlisting rhizomatic micro and macro references in the formulation of his works. Navigating themes located in anthropology, sociographic tendencies and 20th–21st Century industrialized societies, Ross’ output offers a commentary on equality, engagement and collective experience. At the nexus of these concerns lies a continuous relationship with civility, and the civic duty of not only the artist, but design, itself. 

          Born in Brixton in 1991, Ross graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration at De Montfort University, Leicester. Upon graduation, Ross embarked on a career as a product designer, working for a number of high-profile brands, advertising agencies and industrial design practices, while concurrently focusing on his own creative endeavors spanning experimental film, street art and garment design.

          He soon transitioned into fashion, working for Virgil Abloh; first as Virgil’s First Assistant for Design, encompassing OFF-WHITE and various installations, then subsequently with Kanye West’s creative content agency, DONDA.

          In 2015, at just 25-years-old, Ross self-funded his label, A-COLD-WALL*– renowned for its material investigation and innovation, married with incisive explorations of Brutalist and abstract forms and precise execution. Emblematic of Ross’ expansive creative scope, each A-COLD-WALL* collection is launched in unison with ambitious performance and installation art elements. Through this holistically pioneering approach, Ross’ A-COLD-WALL* is credited as redefining the parameters of streetwear and high fashion.

          During the Hublot Prize exhibition at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2019, Ross launched his latest venture – SR_A (Samuel Ross & Associates). SR_A is an industrial design studio operating within the fields of interior installation, architecture, furniture design, sound design and sculptural/visual communication, described by Ross as a vehicle for “…the progressive study of design and practical experience creation.”

          For his partnership with the gallery, Ross has set out to build a pluralistic visual and material language that maps a nuanced narrative landscape. Artfully intertwining formal references from West African furniture archetypes and Euro-centric Brutalist tropes, Ross’ works propose a projected post-Atlantic Black-futurity – one where the intellectual dominance of Modernism has been splintered, expanded, redirected and reconfigured. Across all, ritual is a keystone, evident even in the material processes through which the works are realized.

          Ross’ accolades include being named the British Fashion Awards’ Emerging Menswear Designer (2018) and receiving the Hublot Design Prize (2019). In 2020, he was named as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 [Europe] and won both the GQ USA Fashion Award and People of the Year British Fashion Award, the latter specifically for his philanthropic endeavors. He has also been a finalist for both the LVMH Prize and ANDAM Award.

          He has collaborated with brands, including Converse, Dr Marten’s, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, and Oakley, as well as noteworthy artists Daniel Arsham, Futura and Takashi Murakami. Specific SR_A partnerships include those with Apple, Beats, Nike, Medicom and Hublot LVMH.

          Ross lives and works in London, UK.

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