Friedman Benda is pleased to present Work Tables, a new exhibition by British artist Richard Woods.
Woods is best known for his spirited woodblock-printed furniture and installations that play with proportions and turn trompe l’oeil on its head. Flattening three-dimensions into two, his array of pattern draws from traditional building materials such as woodgrain, brick, and stone, which he scales and repeats in bold graphics on simple and familiar forms. The exaggerated exuberance of Woods’ patterns renders the host structures unrecognizable as the quotidian becomes unbridled.
For Work Tables, 20 woodblock tabletops are installed in the gallery’s project space side by side, forming a storyboard as the viewer navigates through the field of color and composition. The magnified proportions and iteration of Woods’ motifs that are central to his design practice are apparent, but in a departure from his previous work, Woods adds stenciled silhouettes that suggest a narrative: a cat jumps on the table; the workman forgets his saw; picnic cutlery is left scattered.
With Work Tables, influences of the English countryside are contrasted against industrial props, pointing with humor and irreverence to the ways in which we interact with surfaces—real and imagined—at work, in leisure and in fantasy. And, in a nod to the context of the exhibition, Woods invites the viewer into the conversation; every pattern can become a table, a box, or a façade of a house.