Design Miami 2018

Brecht Gander, True Belly of the Beast Cabinet / Junk Band Series Tables / Yo! Burri Lamp, 2018

Markus Haase, Bronze, Walnut and Limestone Dining Table / Bronze Faceted Dining Chairs

Marc Fish, Ethereal Desk, 2018

Jean-Luc Le Mounier, Papillon Cabinet, 2018

Introducing new collections from Brecht Wright Gander, Marc Fish, Jean-Luc Le Mounier, and Markus Haase at Design Miami.

Miami, FL, December 8 – 12, 2018

Todd Merrill Studio is introducing new collections of sculptural furniture, lighting and vessels from artists Brecht Wright Gander, Marc Fish, Jean-Luc Le Mounier and Markus Haase. Working across diverse disciplines and employing unconventional materials, each artist brings a unique background that influences their innovative vision for the future of 21st century art and design.

Along with these exciting collections, the gallery will be debuting recent works from our cannon of artists and designers, all of whom push the boundaries that define contemporary fine art and high end design.

Brecht Wright Gander treats functionality as a ground for aesthetic play. His wide-ranging curiosity fuels his research-driven practice. With unyielding confidence, Gander engages a multitude of unconventional materials in ways that cause them to spark, become molten, desiccate, oxidize, exhale and twist.  He describes his unique works as “a culmination of many collisions.” Produced through experiment and experience, his sculptural works often hide their functionality on first appearance.

Anchoring this collection is Gander’s commanding obelisk cabinet, titled True Jelly of the Beast. The corrugated structure is finished with a hand-applied, black, fortified paper-pulp that is both rough and refined. Two doors open to reveal three generous brass shelves, each illuminated with hidden LEDs. The gold leaf dome is also illuminated, giving the cabinet a surprisingly opulent look that contrasts the exterior’s brutalist facade. As a bar cabinet or curio True Jelly of the Beast is a unique statement of contemporary design.

Gander’s commanding Yo! Burri Light, is an homage to Italian painter and sculptor  Alberto Burri. Like Burri, Gander employs unorthodox materials, in this case pigmented & reinforced paper mache, epoxy clay, steel, plaster wrap, and LEDs. The lamp’s head, positioned precariously from a spindly tripod, is thrust forward giving the impression of an otherworldly seeing eye, blurring the line between anthropomorphism, abstract sculpture, and functional design. The over-scaled light is illuminated by hidden LED’s that are both reflected and absorbed in the domed gold interior, creating an illusion that its interior glows from an almost mystical source.

Junk Band is a series comprised of sculptural tables and vessels created through the artist’s experiments in his studio.  Incorporating found objects, internal armatures, plywood, polystyrene, and resin, Gander creates his unique assemblages. Like inky relics from a Dr. Seuss oil spill, the works appear haphazard and improvisational, and yet Gander is always cognizant of their functional aspects and structural integrity.  Also on view will be a selection of vessels from Gander’s Wrong Angle Series.

The Ethereal Desk is the first piece in Marc Fish’s Ethereal Series, his latest group of new works. In an exploration to develop new, innovative techniques for combining resin with his signature wood laminations, Fish created a revolutionary material that allows light to pass through frosted resin in varying levels of light and dark.  Reflected off of the paper-thin wood veneers, the light takes on different shades, manipulated by the fluctuating spaces between the laminations. The effect is that of a constantly shifting, illuminated surface quality.

Ever inspired by elements of the natural world, Fish’s Ethereal Series mimics the delicacy of leaf structures with their complicated system of midribs and veins. The edges of the desk gently curl upwards as in the leaves of certain succulent plants.  The entire structure of the desk has a ribbon-like delicacy that betrays its structural integrity.

Renowned furniture maker John Makepeace states, “In the Ethereal Desk Marc Fish has raised his practical and material virtuosity to an extraordinary new level. The blend of materials in the surface is especially beguiling.”

French cabinetmaker Jean-Luc Le Mounier will be debuting his latest work, the Papillon Cabinet.  Le Mounier’s belief that furniture design holds infinite possibilities has fueled his creative process, resulting in works that are both highly evocative and cleverly functional.  The dynamic hanging bar cabinet is assertive in form with two grand curved wings facing the cabinet’s cleverly hinged doors.  The wings are finished in a satiny black straw marquetry silhouetted against the gold straw marquetry of the cabinet’s doors.  The graphic doors open to reveal a delicate, lacy, bronze “gate” that encloses the cabinet’s two shelves and hidden compartments. The high level of attention to detail in both construction and design is a testimony to Le Mournier’s audacity and sensibility.

Fascinated with wood, he started his training as a cabinetmaker in 1995. His passion for woodwork developed most notably during his ten-year apprenticeship with Les Compagnons du Devoir (Guildsmen).  In turn, an association with legendary iconoclast designer, Maria Pergay helped shape Le Mounier’s penchant for eccentric furniture design driven by a deep relationship with sometimes unconventional materials.

A master of materials, combining wood, bronze, stone and resin, Markus Haase employs traditional sculpting techniques with a contemporary, material-driven approach to design.  In his New York City studio, Haase creates unique, hand-made works of art, sculptural pieces of furniture, and bespoke lighting design. In 2013, Haase formally launched his first series of sculptural furniture exclusively with Todd Merrill Studio. Since then, his work has attracted the attention of designers, critics, and collectors worldwide for their expressive dynamism.  His singular aesthetic language is largely derived from nature, celebrating asymmetry in works that are both fractured and fluid.

Dubuting at Design Miami will be Haase’s one-of-a-kind 12-foot handcrafted Walnut, Bronze and Limestone Dining Table. The table, available by commission in bespoke sizing, features a sculpted American black walnut top resting on a cast bronze tripod, supported by a carved limestone base. The organically shaped bronze tripod is sculpted in foam and then cast in the artist’s studio through a self taught method of lost foam casting. Contrasting the brilliance of the tripod’s mirror polished bronze, the soft hand-carved limestone base anchors the table in perfect harmony.

Like his monumental dining table, Haase’s Sculpted Bronze Chair takes inspiration from the twisting forms of seaweed and other natural materials. Shown upholstered in white pony hair, the chair can be upholstered in a variety of materials. The back plate can also be created in hand carved wood.  The Circlet Sconce and accompanying chandelier feature an organically shaped ring, cast in polished bronze, that extends from a pivoting arm for a visual interest that is both elegant and versatile. Haase hand-carves each sconce, creating a unique jewelry-like faceted form that is then cast in his studio. Hidden LED lights emit a warm glow through hand-carved onyx that lines the interior of the ring. The work retains its luminescent quality even when unlit.

Dallas Dunn

Director, Todd Merrill Studio


Barbara L. Dixon

Press Inquiries, Todd Merrill Studio

212.933.1879 | 646.709.1536

Todd Merrill Studio
80 Lafayette Street
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Phone: 212 673 0531
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Southampton, NY 11968
Phone: 631 259 3601