Carpenters Workshop Gallery Give Design Its Due During The Venice Art Biennale
The wavering border between art and design has always existed, but the two creative expressions are more similar than they are different. It’s an interesting analysis to ask another about their opinion on the topic, as they will most likely draw a thick line to distinguish the two. This difference still remains prevalent in society, albeit both being forms of creative expression driven by concept, craftsmanship and technique. Perceptions are changing and design is becoming valued to the same extent as art, more so now in a monetary sense. With designers bridging the worlds of art, design and fashion, the line is becoming distinctively blurred for those leading in the fields.
Presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery at the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro in Venice, DYSFUNCTIONAL asks visitors to rethink these boundaries between art and design. The exhibition presents the work of over 50 artists showcasing new works related to the theme, such as Studio Drift, Virgil Abloh, Maarten Baas, Michele Lamy, Rick Owens, Campana Brothers, Studio Job, RANDOM INTERNATIONAL and Vincenzo De Cotiis.
The co-founders of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Julien Lombrail and Loic Le Gaillard, highlight the comparisons between the value of art and design by explaining “We decided to stage DYSFUNCTIONAL during the world’s most important art exhibition, the Venice Art Biennale, to question what defines an artwork, why can artworks not be functional and when does design become art? The idea of dysfunction, defined as ‘the disruption of normal social relations’, invites visitors to rethink the conventional relationship between form and function, art and design, the historical and the modern.”
Held in a stunning 15th century palazzo, DYSFUNCTIONAL combines the various forms of craftsmanship together with innovative thought and techniques, as communicated by the artists involved in the show. The first floor of the palazzo is transformed by The Verhoeven Twins and their Moments of Happiness work, created through fluid and light bubble forms whose iridescent surfaces reflect light and colour. Nacho Carbonell‘s organic sculptures reflect light through gilt and polychrome decorations and highlight the Ca’d’Oro location, framed by the 15th century architecture. Ingrid Donat’s work Klimt Cabinet is a reference to the Ca d’Oro’s former golden decorations and Venetian stained-glass windows in addition to Burano lace.
Throughout the exhibition artists raise numerous social issues. Stuart Haygarth brings awareness to plastic pollution impacting the whole Earth in Tide Colour. With the work made from plastic objects found on the British coastline, Tide Colour highlights an immeasurable concern affecting the entire planet. Through utilising the second-hand materials in an innovative way, Haygarth is able to bring a positive solution to the growing crisis. Issues related to the concerns that the city of Venice faces is an equally urgent theme, recurring in numerous artists’ works. Virgil Abloh brings awareness to the alarmingly important issue of rising tides in Venice with Acqua Alta, a work which resembles a sinking installation. Highlighting the nearby lagoon, Mathieu Lehanneur’s Ocean Memories Acqua Alta sculptures made from green marble and granite sculptures resemble rhythmic waves.
The DYSFUNCTIONAL exhibition, presented through a partnership with Lombard Odier and support from Bang & Olufsen, marks a significant moment in time when design works are presented during what is officially perceived as a key moment in the art calendar. Carpenters Workshop Gallery have been a strong instigator in changing perceptions with their pivotal influence in Paris, London, Milan – and now Venice – without a doubt progressing the movement positioning design works in the arena that art has comfortably sat for centuries.
DYSFUNCTIONAL by Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro
Cannaregio, 3932, 30121 VENEZIA, ITALY
8 MAY – 24 NOVEMBER 2019