For the gallery’s annual participation in Design Miami/ Basel, Friedman Benda will present a setting inspired by Lewis Caroll’s Through The Looking Glass. Showcasing the dynamism of neoteric voices, punctuated by keystone works from influential, established figures, the installation is at once fantastical yet urgent. Echoing the mirror realm in Alice’s Wonderland, powerful geometries from the older generation contrast with the spirited execution of the younger to compose a dense, dream-like tableau.
Delineating the space are select works from Michael Anastassiades’ BL Series – striking vertical configurations of bamboo and glass that deftly meld Eastern and Western art historical references into poised singular moments. The booth is anchored by design pioneer Andrea Branzi’s imposing Tree 1B placed in dialogue with Adam Silverman’s gestural ceramics. Tree 1B , a micro-architectural environment formed from planes of darkly patinated aluminum suspended upon Birch trunks, coalesces with Silverman’s raw material language to form a powerful interloping of visceral natural and industrial materials.
Inspired by Branzi’s postulations about objecthood post electronic revolution (Domestic Animals, 1985), Mattias Sellden’s latest exploration of material-led form-giving defies easy typological designation. Queen Cactus Sways in Cha-Cha , a composition of minimally worked Birch lengths coated in an alien palette, straddles sculpture and storage, proposing a redefinition of functionality and a renegotiation of formal value systems in the field. Maquette 270 / Wire and Card Chair from Faye Toogood’s Assemblage 6 similarly navigates the conflation of gesture and functionality. Making its European debut at the fair, Assemblage 6 saw Toogood set out to ’unlearn’ design, enlisting readily accessible materials to render small-scale maquettes through a process akin to stream of consciousness writing. Maquette 270 / Wire and Card Chair , while suggestive of the aleatory qualities of folk art or found objects, meticulously captures in grand-scale the minutiae of the original, transposing card and wire to cast aluminum and zinc-coated steel.
Material and formal transformation is further manifest in Wildsippe , a dynamic new chandelier from Jonathan Trayte, who, with a keen perception and eye for the obscure, finds the surreal in our everyday surroundings. Embracing contradictions between the organic and the artificial, Wildsippe sees quotidian twiggy branches reimagined as soft green crystalline lengths studded with pink gem-like fragments. Embodying Trayte’s trademark tongue-in-cheek sensibility and probing of consumer culture, the chandelier has been finished with 70’s-style smoked-glass shades.
For her second presentation in her home country of Switzerland, Los Angeles-based artist Carmen D’Apollonio will exhibit recent intuitive renderings in clay that explore the spectrum from abstraction to figuration, a line of enquiry potently echoed by Barbora Žilinskaitė, who conjures intertwining hands into a figural articulation of a desk. Elsewhere, Chilean collective gt2P’s latest coffee table, from their never-before-seen Monople series, burrows into latent planar permutations rendered through the lens of the studio’s parametric matrix. The resultant object is a labyrinthine form of flowing linear strata executed in black lacquered Ash
Completing the setting is Fernando Laposse who, for his first international presentation with the gallery, will unveil an animated new sofa and armchair executed in one of the designer’s signature materials, Agave fiber – a medium rooted in a deeper context of bio-activism and whole system thinking, which are central to Laposse’s methodology.