Is design art? This age old question will certainly be put to rest by the latest exhibition at Gagosian Gallery featuring new work by Sydney-born, British designer Marc Newson. Using his practice as an opportunity to explore and enhance what already exists in the world, Newson seeks to simplify, beautify and technologically improve everyday life through methods of design and innovation.
From the onset of his highly versatile career, Marc Newson has pursued a variety of parallel activities in both limited and mass production of functional design objects, ranging from his iconic Lockheed Lounge (1986) and Voronoi Shelf (2007) to his 1999 Ford 021C Car, a slew of everyday home appliances and the ‘Svezdochka Shoe’ produced with Nike in 2004. Using sculptural principals as a means to address issues of efficiency, luxury, use and value, Newson has proven through his wildly vast array of thoughtfully crafted commodities that the principals of engineering and aesthetics are inextricable.
Whether carving objects from single blocks of Carrara marble, exploring the possibilities provided by thin sheets of aluminum, creating forms from sculpted fiberglass, or challenging himself through the employment of unconventional materials such as neoprene, Newson approaches each new design as an explanatory, technical exercise. Now, revisiting his age-old roots as both a jeweler and silversmith, Newson’s latest collection of design objects explores the possibilities of increasingly rare decorative techniques when utilized at an unconventionally large, unprecedented scale. As Newson’s first exhibition of limited-edition furniture pieces in more than a decade, this show is a definite must see for art and design lovers.