conversation piece: design is dead

8-16 November 2019
109 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012, USA.

A project by Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Chiarastella Cattana, Giorgio Mastinu, Green River Project, Yali.
(Full press text, below)
  • Conversation Piece: Design is Dead is an exhibition of original designs by Chiarastella Cattana, Yali and Charlap Hyman & Herrero with Green River Project in response to historical works by Italian modernist Enzo Mari, shown here by Giorgio Mastinu.

    Enzo Mari’s groundbreaking vision for and writings on the nature of design, play, education, craft and utility informs a creative dialogue between these contemporary designers, architects and curators that began in Venice, where, with the exception of CHH and GRP, they are based. This show presents the output of their distinct practices alongside both iconic and rare artefacts of Mari’s philosophical inquest spanning the 1960’s and 70’s.

    In almost every lecture he gave, Mari made the radical - if not tongue in cheek - declaration “Design is Dead,” urging his audience to challenge the cult of functionalism and find new formal languages with which to stir the mind and nourish the soul. Exploring the enigma of wonder, Mari constructed for us a complex yet tender landscape of materials, humor, wit, and practicality that is very much alive.

    Chiarastella Cattana is a fabric designer whose work directly engages with the genesis of weaving, pushing old traditions in new directions, and focusing on patterns and textile structures. In this collection the intersection of the warp and the weft is emphasized by her strict geometric designs which play with scale and repetition. Its production combines mechanised weaving with digital techniques.

    Yali (Marie-Rose Kahane) makes unique objects in ceramic, wood, metal and glass blown by hand in Murano. She shows here new tables, vessels, and trays in shapes that draw inspiration from the irregular and imperfect volumes of inland bodies of water.

  • Charlap Hyman & Herrero (CHH) is a NY/LA based design and architecture firm considering all aspects of the built environment, from site plan to furniture. They have designed the exhibition, and are showing their straw rugs and new plastic lighting made in collaboration with Green River Project.

    Green River Project (GRP) designs and builds furniture, interiors and sculptural objects in New York City. Through their research-based approach, they construct unique narratives within their collections and installations. For this exhibition they have collaborated with CHH on a series of plastic lighting.

    Giorgio Mastinu is a leading expert in Italian Post-War and Modernist art and design, and has an eponymous gallery in Venice. He is presenting a carefully researched group of historically significant works by Enzo Mari, many of which have never been shown in the United States.

    Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Chiarastella Cattana, Giorgio Mastinu, Green River Project and Yali have been featured in: Forbes, Wall Street Journal, FT, Le Monde, Architectural Digest, Elle, Elle Décor, Vogue, GQ, PINUP, World of Interiors, T Magazine, the New York Times, Art Forum, Wallpaper, Tatler, House & Garden, Harper’s Bazaar, The Cut, Art in America, New York Magazine, Garage Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Surface.

  • Images courtesy of Annie Schlechter.