Rebecca Willer’s west London gallery has long been a mecca for those in search of the rare, the beautiful and the unusual – an under-the-radar source of artisan tableware, sculptural lighting and chic objets for high-end interior designers and their international clientele.
While furniture has occasionally made it to the gallery floor – the expressive forms of Paul Mathieu being a notable example – on the whole, the space has decreed objects of a more modest scale. From September 18 that will change as Willer launches a by-appointment-only new furniture space a stone’s throw from the gallery. Here she will show furniture collections she has been longing to bring to her discerning public, beginning with the designs of maverick creative Ty Best, whose studio operates under the name Caste (Latin for "pure").
It is easy to see why Willer feels a synergy with Best’s work: each piece is conceived and perfected by hand in his Montana studio, translating his love of the raw landscape into sketches and prototypes. These are then built up using natural and noble materials including leather, wood, marble and bronze – a far cry from CAD-driven homogeneity.
“These distinguished and refined pieces reveal the care and thought that has been lavished on their making,” says Willer. “Ty’s work is a pleasure to live with and to use.”
This is Caste’s first UK show of furniture, lighting and interior objects (many created especially for Willer), and is likely to catch the attention of those who admire Willer’s exceptionally refined, curatorial eye. Prices reflect the fact that these pieces are more about sculpture than design, starting at £1,000 for bronze and wooden trays, rising to around £25,000 for a show-stopping hand-carved coffee table. On my own wish list are cast-bronze sconces (£2,520, second picture) and side tables (from £2,550, first picture), and a patinated-steel day bed (£9,480, third picture).