Sometimes I start with the material, sometimes the idea. In this case the materials were the inspiration. I began by identifying materials that I had always been interested in but had never used. Often the context of materials strikes me more than the materials themselves. Context is new, not materials.
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce a major exhibition of new limited edition works by acclaimed international designer Marc Newson. In his first exhibition with the gallery – also his first solo exhibition in the United States – Newson has reached new heights of complexity and sophistication with several bodies of related work. Each work is fashioned in a single, seamless piece from various materials, including marble and nickel.
Newson approaches design as an experimental exercise in extreme structures and advanced technologies, combined with a highly tactile and exacting exploration of materials, processes, and skills. From the very beginning of his career, he has produced a steady trickle of superbly crafted, limited-edition furniture. By now, the sensuous, gleaming curves of his aluminum Lockheed Lounge are legend. Handcrafted by Newson as a struggling young designer in the mid-eighties and shown at the time in a local Sydney art gallery, Lockheed Lounge made history last year as the highest price ever paid at auction for the work of a living designer. As an industrial designer, Newson has also produced a broad range of highly imaginative products over the last twenty years, from concept jets and cars to watches, footwear, luggage, and aircraft interiors.
At a time when the distinctions between art and design are becoming increasingly blurred and hotly debated, Newson is a trail-blazer who has pursued parallel activities in exclusive and mass production for more than twenty years. In this exhibition, he explores many new frontiers, transposing materials and techniques from one context to another to create complex, sometimes baffling forms. The ribbon-like Extruded Tables, Extruded Chairs, and the web-like Voronoi Shelf are each cut from single block of Carrara marble; Micarta, an early and now obscure sheet laminate made from linen and resin, is worked in unprecedented ways to reveal a surprising range of subtle, honeyed patterns; in the Random Pak series, large meshed metal forms have been "grown" using a series of algorithms based on the irregular Voronoi cell; a series of standard light sculptures have been produced in vacuum-pressed, colored glass. On a more playful note is a mirror-like nickel surfboard that Newson designed specifically for perilous tow-in surfing, and an exquisite folding knife in sintered bronze and Damascus or "watered" steel.
Marc Newson was born in Sydney, Australia in 1963 and studied sculpture and jewelry at Sydney College of the Arts. Parallel to his career as an industrial designer, he has exhibited limited edition works and projects in galleries and public institutions since 1986, including Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris (1995, 2004); Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2001); the Groninger Museum, Netherlands (2004); and London Design Museum (2004-5). Currently he is Creative Director of Qantas Airways.
He lives in London, with studios in London and Paris.
Marc Newson and Derek Blasberg
Marc Newson tells Derek Blasberg about his newest creations, explaining the backstory of these ornate works.
Behind the Art
In this video, Marc Newson provides an overview of his latest exhibition. He details the various technical processes behind his new designs, including works in cloisonné, surfboards, swords, and large-scale glass chairs.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.