Earlier this month, Australian designer Marc Newson’s first sole US Exhibition came to a close at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. No worries if you missed it. The gallery published an accompanying catalog, a beautifully presented cloth bound book. Albeit rather scant at approximately ninety pages with a hefty eighty dollar price tag, it’s nonetheless worthy of a place on any design enthusiast’s bookshelf.
While none of the works match the sheer iconicism of Newson’s Lockheed Lounge, they are remarkable in their own right. The furniture pieces created from either nickel, white carrara marble, grey bardiglio marble or micarta are impressively, singular seamless forms. Two highlight works are derived from voronoi cells, resulting in a timeless shelf created from a large single block of white carrara marble weighing five metric tons. The other a nickel, random pak chair. This unfortunately isn’t done justice in the book as the dynamic light reflection generated by its form and material cannot be fully captured with still photography. Otherwise the book presents the pieces effectively with a mixture of close-up and wide shots, printed on thick paper stock.
Other works include a stunning silver surfboard, shown in action via film projection in the gallery and a series of stills in the book. A foldable knife built of damascus steel, titanium and sintered bronze, produced as a set of 100. The most eye popping, a set of light sculptures, diode lights, inspired by the “light signals of the greek kinetic artist, takis”. The multicolored candy lights, clustered in groups of three, would seem at home in a vibrant Tim Burton film.
The book wraps with a twenty plus page interview by Louise Neri that demystifies the philosophies and processes involved in realizing these works. Numerous black & white photographs and eight color mini pages provide added insight.