Friedman Benda is pleased to present British artist Faye Toogood’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, Assemblage 6: Unlearning, opening September 10, 2020.
Assemblage 6 marks a dramatic rupture in Faye Toogood’s creative trajectory, in which she has set out to ‘unlearn’ the process of design, and build it up again from scratch. This has led her to a conflation of furniture and sculpture, which draws upon the shifting perspectives encountered in childhood fables. The playful qualities of rough-hewn maquettes, broken up by the corrugations of crumpled paper and masking tape, are recast at functional scale – daybeds, chairs and consoles, manufactured in cast bronze, wrought iron and rough canvas. Taken as a whole, the collection suggests how deceptive first appearances can be. Trompe-l’oeil effects imitate the twisted wires and taped cardboard of the original models, preserving the creative steps that led to their own genesis even as the true materials of their construction are disguised. The designs suggest the aleatory qualities of folk art or found objects – yet every crinkle and crease has been carefully considered and recreated. And though they still evoke a moment of unforced naïveté, in which a shape is first roughed out, their imposing physicality betrays the involvement of numerous skilled hands. Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, comments, “Faye Toogood’s new Assemblage is a tour de force of thinking and making, which hides in plain sight. Through an ingenious set of imitative processes, she and her team have devised a way to do justice to that first, instinctive moment that a form comes into being. There is tremendous energy in this moment, and each work in the Assemblage is in effect a monument to that quality of instantaneous creativity.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalouge with an introduction by Pilar Viladas and an essay by Glenn Adamson.
About Faye Toogood
British designer Faye Toogood has emerged as one of the most prominent women in contemporary design today.
Toogood was born in the UK in 1977 and graduated with a BA in the History of Art in 1998 from Bristol University. Upon graduation, she worked as Decoration Editor at The World of Interiors before establishing Studio Toogood in 2008.
Working in a diverse range of disciplines from sculpture to furniture and fashion, Toogood often reinterprets and reinvents classical tropes and references from art history by introducing a new aesthetic. Since the conception of her immediately recognizable voluminous Roly-Poly chair (2014), she has been considered among the great form-givers of the 21st century.
Her career is marked out by discrete Assemblages, each of which conjures a compact world of interrelated ideas, forms, and materials. Her first collaboration with the gallery, Assemblage 5, was inspired by a visit to Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence and explored ancient animist notions of the elements water, earth and moon through a personal lens. In her most recent Assemblage 6, Toogood set out to “unlearn” the process of design and build a new vocabulary for furniture by recasting sculptural maquettes made from mundane materials found in the studio.
Her works have been acquired for the permanent collections of institutions worldwide, including the Corning Museum of Glass, NY; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Denver Museum of Art, CO; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.
Toogood lives in Hampshire and works in London, UK.