Sebastian Brajkovic is an artist who takes everyday objects such as tables and chairs and transforms them into elegant, yet surreal, melting artworks. His debut solo show at David Gill Gallery, from September 13-October 17, takes the classical references of the Regency and reworks them into fantastical, engaging and functional sculptures.
Since graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven 13 years ago, the Dutch-Indonesian/Croatian-Italian creator has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative contemporary artists working with design, with pieces purchased for the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Art & Design in New York. David Gill is an ideal home for his work – a gallery with over 30 years’ experience, it has exhibited pieces by numerous artists working at the intersection of art and design, such as Donald Judd’s shelves, Zaha Hadid’s Liquid Glacial collection and Grayson Perry’s ceramic vases.
Brajkovic’s first solo show with Gill, entitled The Occidental Artisan, focuses on benches and chairs (priced from £48,000) that take the slim legs and luxurious fabrics of the late 18th century as a starting point. They feel ageless yet contemporary – like looking at a Gainsborough painting through a kaleidoscopic lens. The artist envisages the pieces and the people who use them – for these fluid Dalí-esque objects can be sat on – as a single coexisting thing. There are also strong conceptual references, from mathematics to time. Calligraphy is of notable influence in the current work, and the artist studied with a Chinese master to expand his take on swirls and curves. This is the whirl of a brushstroke made in three-dimensional solidity.
The artist is best known for his Lathe series of furniture pieces, which appear extended or stretched. These new works are far more classical, with a strong presence of the artist’s hand. He fits the upholstery himself and then has the works embroidered by couture artisans and stuffed with classical horsehair. Brajkovic will also be exhibiting works on paper showing his working process, and three long glass chandeliers, created in Murano, echoing his fascination with a sense of history.