Design Miami/ Basel: Design at Large 2019
Posted on June 27 2019
large-scale works and installations that examine the topic "the global forum for design." at this year's Design Miami/ Basel.
As the art and design world's attention turns to Basel, I explore the latest edition of Design Miami/ Basel and explore their 'Design at Large' exhibition; a collection of large scale works and installations that examine a topic of current relevance as part of the fair's standing at "the global forum for design" explore works from Joseph Walsh Studio, Mercado Moderno, Jason Jacques Gallery, Etage Projects and Friedman Benda, just a select few from this year's impressive collection of designers and studios.
Joseph Walsh Studio presents Magnus V
The largest work to date in his Magnus series, Irish designer Joseph Walsh’s Magnus V is made using layers of olive ash wood that push the material’s formal and technical possibilities. Working with the wood’s inherent properties, Walsh has produced a kind of extreme nature with a complex, ribbon-like geometry that balances at a scale large enough to redefine the space it occupies. Magnus V is presented with Walsh’s Eximon, a Kilkenny limestone bench with naturally embedded fossils in low relief.
Mercado Moderno presents Manimal by Mameluca Studio
Manimal is the result of Mameluca Studio’s observations of the Brazilian birds joão de barro, joão graveto, and tecelões, known as “the weaver birds,” who use natural detritus––mud, sticks, and leaves––to build their nests. The Rio de Janeiro–based designers’ installation of three nest-like structures made of reclaimed wood, bulrush fibers, cardboard pulp, reused fishing nets, and other materials contrasts our creation and disposal of waste products with the birds’ reliance on natural debris, thus proposing new hierarchies around notions of waste.
Jason Jacques Gallery presents Moss Tower by Kim Simonsson
Finnish ceramicist Kim Simonsson’s Moss People sculptures––handmade in the artist’s studio in Fiskars, Finland––result from a flocking technique that combines stoneware, paint, and green nylon fiber to give them their soft, moss-like texture. Inspired by Nordic fables and fairytales, the figures form an arboreal community that literally gathers moss through eerie stillness. Building on their narrative, Simonsson is presenting them here on tiers of metal scaffolding that offer an industrial reinterpretation of the forest they inhabit.
Etage Projects presents A Million Times and Leaking Fountain by FOS and Piano by Guillermo Santomá
These three works, made separately by the Danish artist FOS and the Spanish designer Guillermo Santomá, together reflect on the role of human beings in the newly declared epoch of the Anthropocene. FOS’s film A Million Times depicts an explorer’s echoing journey into the Arctic, while the neon installation Leaking Fountain was first displayed in 2018 on an island in Copenhagen harbor, suggesting that the origins of that body of water might be broken plumbing. Functioning as a working instrument, Santomá’s Piano is made of rough-hewn foam embedded with speakers, evoking an ambiguous relic of a postindustrial future.
Friedman Benda presents Bleached II by Erez Nevi Pana
Bleached II is Israeli designer Erez Nevi Pana’s continuation of a body of work that explores the consequences of mineral extraction at the Dead Sea. For these new furniture designs, Nevi Pana has submerged aluminium structures encased in luffa into the highly saline water of an industrial evaporation pond at the Dead Sea Works plant. Twenty million tons of salt sink to the bottom of the pond every year, a byproduct of the production of potash and bromine. Immersed in the water, Nevi Pana’s pieces naturally become encrusted in crystallized salt, providing a reimagining of possible constructive outcomes of humanity’s interference with nature, all the while exploring the convergence of the organic and the ornate.
My second visit to Design Miami and my first to the Basel edition, it is clear to see why this design exhibition is taking centre stage with its refined and curated approach to the very best in design. I cannot wait for December's show already.
For further information on the Basel and Miami shows, click to visit the official Design Miami/ website via the link.