Summer Group Show
25th June - 7th September 2019
David Gill Gallery
2-4 King Street
St. James's, London
David Gill Gallery’s annual Summer Group Show is the perfect opportunity to discover - or rediscover - key pieces of modern and contemporary design, many of which are shown together for the first time.
Exhibiting over 80 works of such extraordinary quality creates a visual feast in the gallery and sets up new and unexpected dialogues. These pieces have been hand-picked by David Gill, the widely-acknowledged father of Collectible Design and Design-Art, and this wide-ranging selection provides real access to his visual world.
David Gill opened his first gallery on the Fulham Road in 1987 and stunned the cognoscenti with his highly original take on art and design, with a series of ground-breaking exhibitions including Alberto and Diego Giacometti, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Michel Frank, ceramicist Line Vautrin, Donald Judd’s minimalist wall-mounted shelf instalment (given its first UK outing by Gill), Grayson Perry’s early pots and, later, Paul McCarthy’s Yaa Hoo Town, Bunkhouse, another UK inauguration for Gill.
Gill also began to collaborate with designers and architects, including Mattia Bonetti and Zaha Hadid, both of whose works are central to this exhibition. Each piece chosen is considered by Gill to be of great significance; many are the products of collections he has supported the artists in creating for the gallery, and most will have anchored earlier solo shows.
Of particular historical interest is the trio of Yves Klein coffee tables, Klein Rose, Klein Blue and Klein Gold, 1961. These are juxtaposed with a more recent and equally important work, Zaha Hadid’s Coffee Table ‘Liquid Glacial,’ 2012. Fredrikson Stallard’s 2019 polished bronze coffee table, ‘Justification of Grace,’ dialogues with Michelle Oka Doner’s round table, ‘Radiant,’ 1995, also in bronze, which, from a different angle, faces Mattia Bonetti’s ‘Yo-Yo’ coffee table 2008, in stainless steel.
Works from Jorge Pardo’s acclaimed 2015 ‘Meretricious’ collection, created for David Gill Gallery, include a wall-mounted chest of drawers and a vast, vertical, mirror, hung opposite Michelle Oka Donner’s sculptural bronze mirror ‘Fertile Reflection.’ Both artists are clearly inspired by the natural world.
David Chipperfield’s bookcase, ‘Single Bay High Iconic,’ is a highlight, as is Ron Arad’s semi-circular desk, in mirrored stainless steel, ‘Table #5.’ Garouste & Bonetti’s torchere, ‘Toledo,’ 1999, is full of wit and intrigue, but matched in impact by Fredrikson Stallard’s astonishing glass-topped, stainless steel dining table, ‘Atlantic.’
It is testament to the power of the ceramic sculptures by both Lena Peters and Milena Musquiz that they are not dwarfed by the buffets, lamps, consoles, tables, and chandeliers surrounding them. On the contrary, these smaller artworks are imbued with so much character and beauty, and contain such fascinating narratives, that they hold their own in a show of the design world’s most scene-stealing pieces.
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