To celebrate 15 years of Gallery Fumi, the London gallery is hosting the Growth and Form exhibition of “functional art”, featuring sculptural furniture and lighting with organic forms.
The Growth and Form exhibition includes new works by 16 of the 28 past Gallery Fumi exhibitors, responding to themes of transformation, regeneration and biological growth patterns.
It was designed by architectural designer Leendert De Vos and curated by design historian Libby Sellers, who invited former exhibitors back to showcase new pieces in a group display.
The exhibition title and theme were informed by the On Form and Growth book by Scottish biologist D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, which analyses the mathematical harmony of growing shapes in biology.
Responding to this biological starting point, furniture and lighting with organic shapes and natural materials can be seen throughout the exhibition.
Danish artist Stine Bidstrup created a sculptural chandelier titled Light Entanglements, made up of twisting clusters of hand-blown glass.
Different lengths of painted sticks were combined to create Marmaros Metamorphosis II, a circular decorative wall piece with a textured, tufted-like surface by sculptor Rowan Mersh.
“Revisiting the very beginning of his career when Mersh used cheap materials to experiment with techniques, in this work using lacquered coloured sticks, he creates forms with the details and skill level he currently attains when using precious materials,” said Gallery Fumi.
As the gallery celebrates its 15th anniversary, Sellers likened its growth to the formation of crystals – the material traditionally associated with 15-year anniversaries.
“Grown from small particles into a solid form of geometric beauty, crystal is both a poetic metaphor for Gallery Fumi’s own development over the last 15 years and an opportunity to explore the creative affinity between science, art, and the intricate nature of constructions,” said Sellers.
“After all, is this not a definition of design? The meeting of knowledge, form-making, material exploration and beauty?” Sellers added.
“The works are vibrant and active – sprouting, swirling, twisting, turning – transferring material and form into objects of beauty.”
Also on show was a wooden cabinet covered in hand-painted shingles by Berlin-based designer Lukas Wegwerth, who also created a crystal salt vase titled Crystallization 183.
“Crystallization 183 was identified by Sellers as most significant for the exhibition, as not only is the 15-year anniversary traditionally celebrated with crystal, but the process of growing the crystals is a poetic metaphor for Fumi’s growth as a gallery,” Gallery Fumi said.
Other pieces on display include a sculptural copper floor lamp with a stone base by London design studio JamesPlumb and a chair by British designer Max Lamb crafted from a single yew log.
“Tapping into the creative affinity between science and art, the pieces created for the show will display fluid organic forms, natural materials and geometric structures,” said Gallery Fumi.
Other designers showing work include US sculptor Casey McCafferty, Italian designer Francesco Perini, design studio Glithero, Chinese material designer Jie Wu, German ceramic artist Johannes Nagel, Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi, British artist Leora Honeyman, Spanish artist Saelia Aparicio, British artist Sam Orlando Miller, design studio Study O Portable and furniture design studio Voukenas Petrides.
Gallery Fumi was founded in 2008 by Valerio Capo and Sam Pratt. It has previously showcased work including a Jesmonite lighting collection by British designer Lara Bohinc and a limited-edition bench by JamesPlumb made using medieval dying techniques.
The photography is courtesy of Gallery Fumi.
The Growth and Form exhibition is on display at the Gallery Fumi in London, UK, from 7 to 30 September 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.