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This is Today by Matylda Krzykowski

Dec 16, 2016

New York’s Chamber gallery mounts the second in four ‘collaged’ exhibitions curated by Matylda Krzykowski. The cabinet of curiosities showcase ponders contemporary art and design issues, such as materiality, surface treatment, production made evident, conceptual intention and ancient rituals.

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Photography by Fran Parente

How have the definitions of art, artist, design and designer changed in the past two decades? Do such historical and hierarchical categorisations still hold merit in an increasingly transcendent climate? With rapidly advancing production technologies, material explorations and postulative manifestations all part of an evolving tool set, contemporary creatives continue to mitigate new conditions of expression, function, formalisation, iconography, status and marketability. These individuals employ art and design as loosely codified mediums that allow them to field internal or external constraints.

Mounted as the second of four “collaged” exhibit instalments by Matylda Krzykowski, This is Today occupies New York’s Chamber gallery as an eclectically-arranged montage of objects, imagery and interactive instigations. Part II is on view until 18 February 2017. Building off of her first Richard Hamilton-inspired showcase, the internationally-recognized curator broadens her scope of inquiry. By investigating the conditions and practice of the ‘now,’ her survey poses crucial questions about materialisation, surface treatment, domesticity, visual temptation, and how objects can make their own production explicit. In doing so, Krzykowski puts her finger on the pulse of a changing zeitgeist but perhaps more intuitively, concludes by identifying primal rituals. Physical and mental space is left open as to allow viewers and potential collectors room to ponder; an increasingly rare commodity in our world. Perhaps the intention here is to provide onlookers with the ability to emulate the speculative process creatives endeavour on a daily basis.

Appropriately, the curator draws from her own rich and varied background, unpretentious approach, collaborative attitude and extensive network to formulate a ‘cabinet of curiosity.’ Contemplative work by Soft Baroque reflects the shimmering materiality and rectilinear form of New Tendencies’ metal-framed Daybed. Zurich-based ‘artist’ Jorg Boner reveals his almost Donald Judd-esque method with the incredibly visceral Olma sculpture. Regardless of whether or not the form is determined and sold as fine art, the object resembles a shelving unit. Polish ‘artist’ Rafal Dominick explores a similar dilemma with his Still Life with Bezier Curves wall installation. One wonders if the pure-lined shapes could act as coat racks? Could that still be considered diminutive or insulting? If so, why? What language does art afford that design dose not? A better question might be what intention he has with such pieces or what clientele he targets. Additional works by up-and-coming talents include Dimitri Bâhler’s IHP low table and Hilda Hellström’s Diffident Obelisk.

This is Today – until 18 February 2017
Chamber: 515 W 23rd St, New York

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