Saturday, 8 March 2014

Martino Gamper: Design is a state of mind at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Martino Gamper: design is a state of mind
Wednesday, 5th March 2014 to Monday, 21st April 2014

I have recently become more aware of my interest in design, and can see how it influences the work I make. When thinking about my installation for the bookshelves at 1 Royal Terrace, I was drawn to a selection of shelving units. Although the units in the bookcase fitted neatly into the given constraints of the bookcase, I do like a more haphazard aesthetic too.

The current exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery looks to be a really interesting examination of shelving - who knew they could be so attractive?!

design is a state of mind presents a landscape of shelving systems, telling the story of design objects and their impact on our lives. This is the second major design exhibition staged by the Serpentine, following Design Real curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.

I like the way that Gamper talks about objects, recognising that they have a life of their own.

“There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”

An extensive display of shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day forms the backbone of the exhibition. Ranging from historic design classics and one-off pieces, to industrial, utilitarian, contemporary and newly commissioned work, the exhibition includes designs by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Pontiand IKEA.

Each display system also organises and exhibits collections of objects curated from the personal archives of Gamper’s friends and colleagues as well as an extensive library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world. Among the designers whose collections aredisplayed are: Oiva Toikka; Enzo Mari; Paul Neale; Max Lamb; Jane Dillon; Michael Marriott; Sebastian Bergne; Gemma Holt; Fabien Cappello; Adam Hills; Michael Anastassiades; Andrew McDonagh & Andreas Schmidt, Jerszy Seymour and Martino Gamper himself.

design is a state of mind runs concurrently with an expansive exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery by American artist Haim Steinbach.

Working across design and art venues, Martino Gamper engages in a variety of projects from exhibition design, interior design, specialist of one-off commissions and the design of mass-produced products for the cutting edge of the international furniture industry. Gamper has worked in the public realm, with designs for London’s Design Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum; Wellcome Trust; Yerba Buena Centre, San Francisco; Frieze Art Fair, London. Commissions include the design of public street furniture for Park-to-Park, London in collaboration with LTGDC, Genève and a chair called Vigna for Magis, Italy. He was the recipient of the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art, 2011 and Wallpaper Award for Best Use of Colour, 2011.

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