“All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling.” - Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
Art and design have a long history of being kindred but distinct practices. Both art and design share a common palette of governing principles, yet are often distinguished by their opposition: Pitched as art’s pragmatic cousin, design is beholden to function while art gets to exist on its own terms. Art is positioned as the “abstraction of the concrete,” while design is the “concretisation of the abstract.” The product of an artist is the realisation of an internal dialogue, while the product of a designer— needing to anticipate the needs of others—is the realisation of an external one.
As binary thinking becomes more and more outdated, as the line between art and design becomes increasingly blurred, and as private and public spaces become progressively enmeshed, we find ourselves in a liminal space in which a new dialogue is formed.
In this exhibition, artists and designers Leon Emanuel Blanck, Illya Goldman Gubin, Mathias Hornung, Jakub Kubica and Ia Kutateladze offer us works where design and art intertwine. Their works are not luxury, not abstract nor purely functional; rather, they offer a response to contemporary living that combine multiple points of view—intuition as well as logic; poetry as well as common sense. They’ve created pieces that reflect a strong historical influence but that are uniquely contemporary in their manifestation.
They are five artists, working with five different materials: fabric, mixed media, wood, metal and clay. The conception, construction, and detail of the works are a testament to both the technique and talent of these artists.
Whether it’s the implausible nature of steel captured by Kubica, the threat of disjunction in Hornung’s use of wood, time folding in on itself in Gubin’s objects, the molecular architecture of la Kutateladze, or the transmutation of anatomy in Blanck’s practice, the works produced by these artists provoke contemplation and command attention. They play out the tension between customary commodity and creative expression, and make evident that everyday objects can be works of art.