An enormous rock with holes, a solid wood block, a carbon tube bench, a textile box, a flat shape. Jonathan Muecke’s objects sound common or familiar, but don’t let that fool you—they are all quite extraordinary. Forcing the viewer to think outside of the box is Muecke’s biggest triumph.
His elegant array of new objects, on view at Volume Gallery, makes for an interesting series where nothing is as it seems. Form, scale and material come together in unexpected combinations that remain open to interpretation. Furniture design meets sculpture, traditional meets hi-tech, and functionality meets the absurd.
A white-oak-made WTH (Wood Table with Holes), sits next to an aluminum-meets-nylon TB (Textile Box), and his MCT (Marble Carbon Table) made out of marble and carbon fiber, make for well-executed pieces that position Muecke’s works between conceptual and livable. Creating objects that would fit in a museum-like living room as organically as they do in the gallery space, the Minneapolis-based designer is unafraid to play with color (blacks, reds and whites) and textures (a raw stone or a chunk of wood, a cold marble or a sleek aluminum), while at the same time harnessing the power of negative space. Despite their differences, Muecke’s ten new objects fit well together. And wandering within the exhibition bearing his name, one gets a sense of a whole.
Blurring the lines between art, design and architecture, Muecke’s works are often presented in clusters—an ongoing series entitled “Open Objects” that allows for a continuing exploration of his own creative boundaries and of the design discipline at-large. And while every single object is in its own way unique, Muecke’s work has proved to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Through October 30 at Volume Gallery, 1709 West Chicago, second floor
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