A selling show of sculptural new work by Fredrikson Stallard, the award-winning London-based designers, looks set to captivate contemporary design fans as effectively as the duo’s high-octane Momentum show did at last year’s London Design Festival. For here is a collection of limited editions at David Gill Gallery (9 March-9 April) that hovers between control and chaos, serenity and dynamism in the most beguiling way.
The designers are known for their eye-catching exploration of materials while combining industrial and craft processes. Gravity proposes contemporary furniture as sculpture – tables, console, sofa, armchair, mirror and candleholders – although each design (£1,500-£122,400) does fulfil its intended purpose. “Many of the pieces encapsulate a sense of immediacy through the actions of shattering and distorting, but are held – as if by gravity – within a serene and suspended state,” says Stallard.
The result is visual tension between fissures, fractures and disruption on one hand, and smooth, serene stability on the other. This dichotomy is evocatively embodied in the clear acrylic Gravity coffee table (edition of 20, second picture), its ice-like surface belying a fractured base while appearing to float above the ground. The sleek glass surface of the Atlantis dining table (edition of 20) offers compelling views of its polished stainless steel base; the smooth steel Hudson console (edition of 20, third picture) gleams serenely above crushed, crashed steel bases.
Equally expressive are the Species I sofa (edition of two, first picture) and Species II armchair (edition of 12) – rocky outcrops of polyurethane with rugged shapes that belie a welcoming embrace. Notably, the Species II armchair has been acquired by MoMA San Francisco for its permanent collection. The designers’ sculptural approach is also evident in two pairs of Hurricane firedogs made from contorted, gold-plated/patinated bronze. The process is reiterated in the Consequences candleholders in gold or silver.
Reflections and refractions of light are everywhere; no more so than in the patinated steel and mirror-polished aluminium Atlas II coffee table (edition of 20) and circular Metamorphosis mirror (edition of 50), while the Cannon chandelier sparkles with LED lights in a horizontal crystal and stainless steel tube. Like gravity itself, there’s something irresistibly attractive about this engaging show.