Friedman Benda is pleased to present Faye Toogood’s Assemblage 7: Lost and Found, the groundbreaking designer’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Faye Toogood digs deep in her newest body of work, Assemblage 7: Lost and Found. The roots of this body of work are signaled in the title, which implies an archaeological situation, things that have been somehow lost from view, and then reclaimed. So too with the names of individual works – Plot, Barrow, Cairn, Mound. These are places that have all long-hidden secrets, which may yet be disclosed. The objects themselves are like stratigraphies exposed. They have quite literally been excavated, realized through subtractive carving.
The two materials used have powerful resonance in British history. Oak, of course, is the country’s most reliable building timber, and was the principal choice for furniture in the medieval era. Those simple, muscular forms were beloved of the British Arts and Crafts, and exert their own evident influence here.
Other works in the Assemblage are carved to a smooth and textured finishes in Purbeck marble – so named because it is sourced from the isle of Purbeck, off the Dorset coast – a limestone, packed with shell fossils. When carved and polished, lace-like loops of white appear, the geological past emerging into the light. Particularly when gathered together, the pieces recall the rings of the shaped standing stones that are Britain’s most ancient works of art. The reference lends the Assemblage a ceremonial atmosphere, a sense of communion with cultural memories echoing down through the centuries.
Accompanying this exhibition, Phaidon released Faye Toogood: Drawing, Material, Sculpture, Landscape, the first in-depth look at the work of Faye Toogood, covering all aspects of her work, from clothes and furniture, to installations and interior design.
About Faye Toogood
British designer Faye Toogood has emerged as one of the most prominent women in contemporary design today. “Whether you are a fashion designer, a furniture designer, or an interior designer, the materials you can get your hands on are essential,” she says.
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 a prop stylist 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 the 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 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 and works in London, UK.