TODD MERRILL STUDIO EXHIBITING AT FOG: DESIGN + ART IN SAN FRANCISCO
Fort Mason Pavilion: January 13-17, 2016
By Anya Firestone | December 9, 2015
San Francisco, CA—Todd Merrill Studio is pleased to present an expansive exhibition at the central entrance of FOG: Design + Art in San Francisco. In the booth’s interior, the gallery will unveil a new collection of unique, material-driven studio works made with today’s most refined and innovative techniques in sculpting and casting across metal and wood. From bronze light installations to hand-carved walnut consoles, the works are unified by their shared inspiration of the human body and its movement as subject matter. The gallery will also display historically inspired porcelain wall installations, including Beth Katleman’s Folly, a twenty-foot long three-dimensional wallpaper on the fair’s main entrance wall.
Previously exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design (New York), recipient of the Moët-Hennessy Prize for Best Decorative Object (PAD Paris, 2011), and recently commissioned for the House of Christian Dior in Hong Kong and London, Folly debuts on the West Coast for the first time at FOG. A contemporary riff on toile de jouy wallpaper, Folly is hand-sculpted and cast from flea-market trinkets and pop-culture toys. Borrowing the decorative language of the rococo, Folly evokes a world of gentile pleasure only to reveal a more subversive agenda. Complimenting its exhibition, Katleman will be giving a talk at FOG Theater, “Impolite Wallpaper: Design through an Artist’s Eyes”, on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 1PM. The seminar will discuss her repertoire and its relevance across museums, fashion houses, private collections, and today’s “grey space” between art and design.
Further paying homage to historic pattern while deconstructing it, the gallery will debut Molly Hatch’s newest plate painting Paragon. Referencing 19th century patterns by Owen Jones, Hatch has blown-up and abstracted design with paint and gold across 63 hand-thrown porcelain plates. Simultaneously representing movement while stimulating our own, Niamh Barry’s newest light sculpture, Walking, an 11-foot long, 7-foot tall standing screen, will illuminate the booth. Following the artist’s His series, consisting of angular, masculine forms, Walking is a sculpted study of the traced steps of man, rendered in mirror-polished and patinated bronze, glass opal tiles, and powered by dimmable LEDs. Complimenting this piece, the gallery will also debut her newest sinuous work, Knoted II, a tabletop light sculpture made in mirror-polished stainless steel.
Visually extending the booth’s masculine and female shapes, the gallery will show Soraya Osorio’s sleek metal furniture pieces that combine both sharp and rounded forms in single works: Ave, a solid brass chaise lounge, features smooth surfaces that unite to form severe open angles, while its soft, scooped back renders the chaise at ideal aesthetic equilibrium.
Osorio’s Epic, a majestic desk, will also debut with its new complimentary Epic Chair. Perfected in a semi-circle, Epic, is composed of curves and lines that appear differently from every angle, furthering the viewer’s motion around the pieces. Observed from straight on, its blackened steel legs are broad lustrous planes; from a different vantage point, they appear as thin sheets of metal, disappearing to millimeters and almost invisible to the human eye.
Contrasting Osorio’s smooth metal surfaces, the booth will present textured and tactile solid bronze cast works by Erin Sullivan. Transforming the serpent into a rotating objet d’art or an alligator into a multi-layered three-footed stool sculpture, Sullivan creates hyper-interpretations of naturalistic surfaces and bodies. Her sculptural shelves, stools, and tables are made with the absolute highest quality and labor-intensive process of lost wax casting techniques known today, offering incredibly realistic interpretations of organic subject matter.
In addition to porcelain and metal, Todd Merrill Studio will showcase new artistic achievements in wood with exquisitely hand-carved consoles by Marc Fish and Marcus Haase. Extending the booth’s theme of human and organic forms, Fish’s Laminaria console appears as a crawling figure, revealing the artist’s hand at work with an organic, yet unparalleled form. Created from nearly 400 pieces of American black walnut veneer, Laminaria showcases the artist’s mastery of the most refined practices in micro stack-lamination, which implement no heat but only dry, cold carving techniques. Contrasting Fish’s delicate work, Markus Haase’s BANG is a dynamic, masculine cantilevered walnut and marble console. Haase’s newest light sculpture, an ash and onyx wall applique inspired by the female form, will also be displayed.
Further emphasizing works evocative of the body, the gallery will present a frieze of charcoal-on-paper drawings of a nude female by Jan Yoors along the entire exterior periphery of the booth. Reminiscent of his iconic tapestries, drawings feature bold dark shapes and dynamic plays between negative space and shapes. Displayed tightly together, the lines from one carry into the next, creating new forms across the wall.
Works from Yoors’ charcoal series were recently exhibited at the artist’s retrospective at the FelixArt museums in Belgium and are featured in the catalogue accompanying the current exhibition Jan Yoors: A Retrospective at The Baker Museum in Naples. Similar works reside across museums worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Art and Design.
On the occasion of FOG: Design + Art, new color catalogues on the work of Beth Katleman, Niamh Barry, and Molly Hatch will all be released.