As a designer, I create objects as real, physical applications of creative processes.
Gagosian is pleased to announce a presentation of new limited-edition furniture designed by Marc Newson. Opening October 25, this is his first solo exhibition in Greece. Inspired by the nation’s traditional colors, the exhibition features objects in a palette of blues and white, along with pieces made in marble that marry classical materials with advanced technology. As Newson notes: “Greece and Greek culture have always been close to my heart, and it’s an honor to share these works in Athens.”
First achieving widespread recognition with Lockheed Lounge (1988), a chaise lounge in riveted aluminum, Newson has remained at the forefront of contemporary design for four decades, designing for both mass-market and exclusive production. Working across disciplines with some of the best-known companies in the world, he is renowned for his innovative approach.
The exhibition in Athens features a new cloisonné chair and lounge (both 2022). Their copper bodies are ornamented with elaborate allover patterning in circle and molecular “orgone” motifs. Newson’s employment of the ancient technique of cloisonné—typically used to craft small decorative objects—recalls his roots as a jeweler and silversmith. His decision to apply enamelwork to large-scale furniture necessitated the development of new production methods; artisans in Beijing affix cloisons, or partitions of copper wire, to the furniture forms, inlay enamel into the precisely defined designs, and then fire the pieces up to twelve times in vast, custom-made kilns.
Similarly pushing the technical possibilities of his materials are Newson’s cast glass and Murrina works. The former technique is represented by Blue Glass Coffee Table (2022) and Blue Glass Chair (2017), brilliantly colored forms of solid glass that are supported by lower halves of uncolored glass. As with the cloisonné works, Newson adapts a technique typically used to produce small craft objects to an unprecedented scale with Murrina White and Blue Table (2022). In a contemporary adaptation of the historic murrine technique first developed in the ancient Mediterranean and perfected in sixteenth-century Venice, multicolored glass rods are cut to reveal densely patterned cross sections, which are then fused together over a mold to achieve their final shape.
Newson’s Extruded chairs, consoles, and tables are each carved from a single piece of white Carrara or gray Bardiglio marble (2006). Conceived as two-dimensional curvilinear forms that are then drawn out into three dimensions, their shapes are dynamic and seamless. They are complemented by marble tables that are each cut by lathe from a single piece of marble. Extending from these works is the Extruded Ribbon Console (2022), a new form produced in the distinctive azure tones of Azul Macaubas stone.
The exhibition in Athens includes surfboards in blue (2015–16) and uncolored (2017) aluminum, high-tech designs that began as a prototype for surfer Garrett McNamara. Complementing the negotiation of history and innovation that undergirds the exhibition is the sculptural Blue Hourglass (2022), produced in Basel. Handblown from a single piece of borosilicate glass, it is filled with millions of minute blue steel nanoballs, precisely engineered through a unique process of heat treatment in collaboration with Swiss watch manufacturer De Bethune. Elegant and audacious, Newson’s designs resonate with the past and present, creating objects that are both of the moment and timeless.