Friedman Benda is pleased to present Terra Firma, the first large-scale group show at the gallery’s Los Angeles location. The overview includes work by twenty-eight designers whose diverse approach serves as a vehicle to consider the geography of the American West. Inspired by John Muir’s belief that going into the mountains or the woods is “going home,” the exhibition reimagines the gallery’s West Hollywood house into four chromatic vignettes that capture the spirit of California’s diverse landscapes: forest, mountain, ocean, and desert.
The first setting seeks to channel the sublime waters of the California coast. Seemingly composed of sea glass, Thaddeus Wolfe’s mold-blown and cold-worked vessel is set alongside a pot by ceramicist Adam Silverman, who has resided in California for more than three decades and often sources materials from beaches for his practice.
In the group that celebrates the towering landscapes of the Big Sur, are recent works by another Californian artist, Carmen D’Apollonio, whose “One of Us No. 3” appears as a wily woodland creature. The wooded scene of late Italian designer’s Andrea Branzi’s “Wall 6” creates the illusion of outdoor expanse despite the confines of interior walls.
Inspired by glacier-fed peaks like Mount Shasta, the white-out room is assembled into an alpine office. A worktop built from what could be bricks of snow — James Wine’s “De-Arch desk” keeps company with Frida Escobedo’s “Creek Stool Single” and Studio Wieki Somers’ “Frozen Hogweed — Frozen in Time.”
Lastly, a terracotta assemblage mirrors qualities of the Mojave Desert — offering an arid place to relax on Fernando Laposse’s “Resting Place.” Faye Toogood’s “Cup” side tables are made of material that resembles sunbaked earth. In an adjacent space, two works by Wendell Castle are reminders of the mid-19th century Gold Rush, which introduced hundreds of thousands of new residents to California and its natural splendor.
Work will be on view by the following: Daniel Arsham, Ferréol Babin, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Andrea Branzi, Paul S. Briggs, Estudío Campana, Wendell Castle, Carmen D’Apollonio, Andile Dyalvane, Frida Escobedo, Misha Kahn, Fernando Laposse, Tony Marsh, John Mason, nendo, OrtaMiklos, Gaetano Pesce, Raw Edges, Darren Romanelli, Chris Schanck, Mattias Sellden, Adam Silverman, Studio Wieki Somers, Faye Toogood, Jonathan Trayte, James Wines, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Barbora Žilinskaitė.