IN THE MIX FEBRUARY 5 2024
by Design Miami
Design Miami’s monthly, can’t-miss roundup of design world news and inspiration
SOUTH AFRICAN CERAMICIST ZIZIPHO POSWA LAUNCHES HER LATEST EXHIBITION AT SOUTHERN GUILD'S NEW LA GALLERY LATER THIS MONTH
Photo by Peyton Fulford; Courtesy of the artist and Southern Guild
Welcome to The Buzz, our monthly roundup of design world news and inspiration for Design Miami’s discerning community of creatives and collectors. Enjoy!
FROM LEFT: HELENA (2023) BY ADAM BIRCH AND FIFE (2023) BY RANTI BAM
From left: Photos by Christof van der Walt and Hayden Phipps, respectively. Both courtesy of the artists and Southern Guild
This month, revered Cape Town-based gallery Southern Guild opens the doors to its highly anticipated new location in LA. The program kicks off with a pair of presentations: Indyebo yakwaNtu (Black Bounty), a solo exhibition by South African sculptor Zizipho Poswa, and Mother Tongues, a group show featuring 25 artists from the African continent.
Indyebo yakwaNtu is Poswa's most ambitious technical undertaking to date, featuring five colossal ceramic and bronze sculptures reaching heights of over 8 feet tall. The clay bodies were produced during her recent residency at the Center for Contemporary Ceramics (CCC) at California State University Long Beach, where Poswa had access to the center’s large-capacity kilns and worked under the guidance of renowned American ceramic artist Tony Marsh. The new work upscales objects of African beautification and ritual as bronze-cast elements—emulating beadwork, jewelry, hair combs, and pins made by master artisans across the continent—pointing to the valued positions these amulets hold within the culture.
In parallel, Mother Tongues takes a multigenerational, transnational, and multidisciplinary lens to spotlight an array of contemporary talents—collectively representing a new chapter of exchange in the gallery’s mission to celebrate the continent’s contribution to global art movements. Participating artists include Rich Mnisi, Oluseye, Porky Hefer, Justine Mahoney, Cheick Diallo, Andile Dyalvane, and many more. February 22-April 18
FROM LEFT: COPPER ROOTS CHANDELIER BY JAMESPLUMB ABOVE THE SCULPTURAL DINING TABLE BY CASEY MCCAFFERTY; AND ESFINGE ABSORTA (2023) BY SAELIA APARICIO
From left: Installation image courtesy of Stephane Aboudaram WE ARE CONTENT(S) for Gallery FUMI; Photo © Saelia Aparicio; Courtesy of Gallery FUMI
Los Angeles design lovers have plenty to cheer about this month. Acclaimed London-based Gallery FUMI has also just opened its first-ever major US exhibition, taking up residence at Sized Studio in the former, historic Clinton Theater in LA’s Melrose Hill neighborhood. The six-week pop-up event, titled simply FUMI LA, showcases nearly 100 works by the likes of Rowan Mersh, Glithero, Study O Portable, Johannes Nagel, JAMESPLUMB, Jie Wu, Lukas Wegwerth, Casey McCafferty, and more. Highlights include Space Relics, a large-scale chandelier installation by American ceramicist Jeremy Anderson; Esfinge Absorta, a new monumental screen by Spanish artist-designer Saelia Aparicio; and—starting February 19th—the west coast debut of British designer Max Lamb, who will be revealing BOX 2, a new body of work that expands on his recent BOX furniture collection, composed of sustainable, upcycled cardboard designs. ’Til March 9th
INSTALLATION VIEWS OF A LOVE SUPREME: MCCORMICK HOUSE REIMAGINED AT ELMHURST ART MUSEUM
Photos by Siegfried Mueller; Courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum
In Illinois, Elmhurst Art Museum presents a pair of complementary shows: A Love Supreme, a solo exhibition by Chicago designer and educator Norman Teague inspired by legendary jazz musician John Coltrane; and A Love Supreme: McCormick House Reimagined, an adjoining group exhibition in the Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick House that features over 30 Chicago-based BIPOC creatives. Teague cites Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” album as a cultural touchstone to consider design influences from his life-long home in Chicago, exploring how the power of bold, improvisational jazz and unapologetic Black aesthetics have expanded minds and inspired creative communities of color.
A Love Supreme’s solo presentation features new sculptural and installation-based works, providing a setting to unify and heal community. Highlights include new assemblage pieces with used brass instruments embedded in ceramics, and objects that evoke the power of jazz, such as a new, monolithic wood sculpture that references the shape of a horn. In line with his collaborative practice, in both settings, Teague uplifts other creatives while expressing joy through design. For the group show at the McCormick House, co-curators Teague and Rose Camara asked designers, “What is your Coltrane story? Who awakened you personally and artistically?” Participants include Oluwaseyi Adeleke, Germane Barnes, Bryana Bibbs, Julius Dorsey, Toni L. Griffin, Obiora Nwazota, Suchi Reddy, Jomo Tariku, and more. On view ’til April 28th
DESIGNER AND EDUCATOR NORMAN TEAGUE
Photo by Scott Shigley
“I believe there is a quest for craft from the imaginations of Black America that needs to be heard, seen, and felt as safe, desired, and beautiful. And it can only come from us. This turning point of awareness in American history will only get greater as time goes on—and design history will follow.”
—Designer Norman Teague
AGNES STUDIO WITH NEW WORK FROM AMULETOS
Photo courtesy of Agnes Studio
In Mexico City, Guatemala-based Agnes Studio kick off Amuletos, its first solo exhibition and sophomore collection with AGO Projects. Nearly two years in the making, Amuletos continues the studio’s thoughtful exploration and celebration of Latin American identity through craft-driven investigations. As cofounders Estefanía de Ros and Gustavo Quintana-Kennedy tell us, “For this new body of work, we delved into the esoteric and mystical beauty of human life, embracing the search for meaning in symbols of good fortune. We expanded our lens beyond our own Guatemalan heritage—which has characterized much of our work to date—to embrace our Latin American roots as a whole. The results honor interconnected yet distinct histories and cultural identities, less bound to traditional archetypes and more open to experimentation and playfulness, while staying true to our passion for creating objects that defy the boundaries of traditional and experimental craft methods." Amuletos opens today, in conjunction with Mexico Art Week, and will be on view til the end of April.
FLOWERS 5, 35, AND 4 BY JOS DEVRIENDT
Photos © Jos Devriendt
In Brussels, Pierre Marie Giraud presents Flowers, its latest solo show featuring new work by Belgian designer Jos Devriendt. Reflecting on “the solitude of the flower as a metaphor for the fragility and impermanence of the human” world, Devriendt’s latest pieces are marked by organic forms, expert craftsmanship, and gorgeous colorways. The designer experiments with color to alter the sense of each final work’s shape, creating a palette like a painter, guided primarily by intuition— resulting in designs that celebrate the elegant beauty of the natural world. On view until March 2nd.
INSTALLATION VIEWS OF RIVE ROSHAN'S NEW SOLO SHOW, INTERNAL REFLECTION
Photo by Simon Henson; Courtesy of Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert
This past week in Sydney, Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert launched Internal Reflection, the first Australian solo exhibition of rising-star design duo Rive Roshan. The Amsterdam-based studio’s beautifully hued, textured glass works spread and diffuse light, suggesting movement, like rippling water. In this way, the studio investigates the interplay of light, color, space, and material with the aim of evoking a sense of wonder and curiosity in our everyday lives—thereby making us more considerate of our surroundings and encouraging connections. The exhibition includes floor lights, tables, and wall-based artwork, as well as Rive Roshan’s first works created in Australia—both A Time to Reflect, commissioned by Powerhouse Museum, and Colour Dial table (AP1 acquired by The National Gallery of Victoria). Until March 17th
INSTALLATION VIEW OF JOANNA BLOOM: FLOWERS THAT OPEN AT NIGHT
Photo courtesy of Friends Artspace
At Friends Artspace in Arlington, Virginia, American ceramicist Joanna Bloom’s new show—Flowers that Open at Night—draws on her recent experiences in the Pacific Northwest, and the quiet power of the unseen within that rich landscape. The title pays homage to the gatherings that Bloom’s mother held every year to celebrate the flowering of her night-blooming cereus, wherein friends and family would convene in the dark to witness the plant’s splendor. By daylight, the white blossoms were wilted bundles, almost as if nothing had ever happened. And the work itself—a series of candelabras and menorahs topped with hand-dipped candles—draw on Bloom’s Catholic and Jewish heritage, honoring the poetry of rituals, the celebration of miracles, and offering up a reminder that not everything sits at the surface.February 10-March 23
WORKS BY AMERICAN ARTIST SIMONE LEIGH. FROM LEFT: JUG (2022) AND 108, FROM THE FACE JUG SERIES (2019)
Photos by Eileen Travell; © Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photos courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York. © Simone Leigh
In the early 1800s, American white settlers established potteries in the Old Edgefield district of South Carolina, to take advantage of its natural clays. Hundreds of enslaved adults and children were forced to work in the labor-intensive potteries. By the 1840s, they were producing tens of thousands of vessels every year, and the stoneware they made, much of it essential for food preparation and storage, supported the region’s expanding population and was inextricably linked to its inhumane plantation economy.
This month, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art becomes the exclusive Southeast venue to host the landmark exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition features nearly 60 ceramic objects created by enslaved African Americans in Edgefield, South Carolina, in the decades before the Civil War. Considered through the lens of current scholarship in the fields of history, literature, anthropology, material culture, diaspora and African American studies, these 19th-century vessels testify to the experiences, artistic agency, and material knowledge of their makers.
A DETAIL IMAGE OF WATER COOLER (CA. 1840), ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHANDLER (AMERICAN, NINETEENTH CENTURY), MAKER; PHOENIX FACTORY, EDGEFIELD DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, 1840–1846. FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE HIGH MUSEUM OF ART, ATLANTA
Photo by Michael McKelvey; Courtesy of the High Museum of Art
Exhibited works include monumental storage jars by the literate potter and poet Dave (later recorded as David Drake, ca. 1800-1870) and rare examples of utilitarian wares and face vessels by unrecorded makers. Hear Me Now will also include pieces by leading contemporary Black artists who have responded to or whose practice connects with the Edgefield story, including Theaster Gates, Simone Leigh, and Woody De Othello. February 16-May 12
PEDRO BARRAIL'S TATTOO SERIES, "TATTOOED" BY MEMBERS OF PARAGUAY'S PAI TAVYTERA TRIBE
Image courtesy of Pedro Barrail and Cristina Grajales Gallery
In New York, Cristina Grajales Gallery opens Paraguayan artist Pedro Barrail’s latest exhibition, De Imagen y Tiempo (Of Image and Time). The show presents a variety of works created over the past several years that cumulatively explore themes of self-perception, the passage of time, and memory. As Barrail puts it, “Image is our reality and memory is our salvation.” The varied materials, techniques, and concepts are united by the notion of “skin”—exterior surfaces, altered by time and techniques, that speak to transformation and growth. Works on display range from pieces inspired by environmental damage and consumer culture Barrail witnessed in his hometown of Asuncion to a collection of furniture “tattooed” by members of the Pai Tavytera tribe. De Imagen y Tiempo opens in parallel with presentations spotlighting calligraphic compositions in Urdu script by Aamir Khandwala and jewelry by Andrea Barrail. February 8 - April 28
WHITE LARVAE AND PETRIFIED EPIPHYTES
© Abel Zavala; Images courtesy of ammann gallery
ammann // galleryin Cologne is currently hosting an exhibition of elegant works by Mexican ceramic artist Abel Zavala. The emerging talent explores traditional techniques while drawing inspiration from the rich forest of his hometown, Xalapa. Zavala's architectural wall installations—conveying the movements and forms of the artist’s natural surroundings—are presented in conversation with pieces from the gallery's impressive ceramic collection, including work by exceptional creatives like Barnaby Barford, Danful Yang, Satyendra Pakhalé and Italian legends Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass. ’Til March 15th
MYSTIC GARDEN BY VERONIKA SEDLMAIR AND BRYNJAR SIGURÐARSON
Photos © Alexandra de Cossette; Courtesy of Galerie kreo
For their latest exhibition at galerie kreo in Paris, German-Icelandic artist duo Veronika Sedlmair and Brynjar Sigurðarson have collaborated with the skilled glassblowers of CIRVA—the Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts visuels in Marseille—to explore the limits of what large-scale blown glass can achieve. The resulting rainbow of glossy, mushroom shaped forms—similar in size to human upper bodies—draw inspiration from the natural world, infused with the enchantment of Icelandic folklore. On view until February 24th
DC2203B SIDE TABLE (2022) BY VINCENZO DE COTIIS; HAND-PAINTED RECYCLED FIBERGLASS, GREEN MALACHITE CHALLANT MARBLE
Courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Last but certainly not least: Celebrated Italian artist-architect Vincenzo De Cotiis launches his first LA-based solo show later this month at Carpenters Workshop Gallery. Crossing Over consists of new works inspired by the interplay of multiple cultures and experiences; the pieces on display reveal an array of textural and material layers—hand-painted recycled fiberglass, semi-precious stones and metals combined in a new assembly of processes. As De Cotiis explains: “Crossing Over is a journey, an exploration in search of places that I have seen and spaces that exist in my imagination.” February 28-June 19