In the spirit of its longstanding dedication to the unity and interdependency of the fine and applied arts of today, yesterday, and tomorrow, ammann//gallery presents a carefully interwoven presentation that juxtaposes works spanning more than thirty years and pushes the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, photography, and design.
A prime example of this cross-over attitude is the photography of Hélène Binet, whose works oscillate between documentation and abstraction. On view is a choice selection of both black-and-white and colour photographs, including, among others, various works from her series Tate Britain and Behind the Scene, which are being presented for the first time ever and pay homage to the London and Zurich based team of Caruso St John Architects. Hélène Binet is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading architectural photographers and, in 2015, was honoured with the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award.
The juxtaposition of organic forms and high-end materials is one of the characteristic features of the works of Ron Arad, as well as of his international colleagues Shi Jianmin and Abel Zavala. Arad’s curvilinear mirror-polished aluminium steel B.O.O.P. Side Table from 1998 plays with the interconnections between the micro and the macrocosm by taking a cellular-like form and ‘blowing it out of proportion’, hence the initials noted in the title. In a similar vein, the design works of Shi Jianmin function equally as sculptures with forms seemingly appropriated from nature. Glacier from 2011 perplexes by its dual references to both eternal ice and molten lava. Finally, the world of plants and insects comes into play in the enigmatic works of the Mexican designer Abel Zavala.
Studio Nucleo’s Primitive Table (2015) and Presenze Glass Vase (2017) defy categorization on various levels. As both sculptures and works of applied art, they hark back to prehistoric times, while obviously deriving their forms and concepts from the here and now – and simultaneously pointing towards the future, when the said “here and now” becomes the subject of archaeological excavations.
With his Triscota Tall Cabinet (2017), Christophe Côme also refers to times past – albeit in terms of decades and not millennia – and exudes a certain retro feeling. The French designer has gained widespread recognition for his masterful and inventive transformations of rough materials such as iron and industrial crystal into elegant, timeless objects. In a similar, although decidedly more ironic manner, Florian Borkenhagen’s Suzette chandelier (2017) plays with notion of nostalgia and the so-called ‘good old days’. Glass dessert plates that call to mind cosy afternoons with cake and coffee are string together with wire to create a richly patterned pear-shaped form, through which the light is broken and shines out auratically in all directions.
Not retro, but authentic and fully in line with the colourful and extravagant aesthetics of the first wave of post-modernism in design and architecture in the last quarter of the 20th century are the glass and hammered “German” silver vases of Ettore Sottsass. Co-founder of the highly acclaimed Memphis Design group, Sottsass plays a prominent role in the special project year of ammann//gallery, dedicated to a revaluation of and homage to the great art and design icons of the 1980s.
ammann//gallery’s presentation at PAD London is rounded off by intriguing individual works by internationally acclaimed artists and designers associated with the gallery since many years, including world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, conceptual artist Rolf Sachs, Indian designer Satyendra Pakhalé and the designer collective Wolfs+Jung