May 25, 2022

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

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creative salvage,1981–1991′ takes over friedman benda


‘ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN: CREATIVE SALVAGE, 1981-1991’ AT 

FRIEDMAN BENDA

 

the eighth annual guest-curated exhibition ‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991,’ takes over new york’s friedman benda. curated to welcome visitors from january 13 to february 12, 2022, the gallery showcases key words from an often overlooked but highly influential period of british design that exploded out of 1980s london. the event is the first international presentation dedicated to creative salvage furniture. showcased are early and important pieces from key figures many of whom have gone on to become leading household names, such as renowned artists tom dixon (see his design in dialogue interview) and ron arad, amongst mark brazier-jones, andré dubreuil, danny lane, jon mills and deborah thomas. 

 

 

curated by gareth williams, an instrumental figure in the auction market, exhibition ‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ captures a critical moment in the course of recent design history. the different works chart an exciting narrative through a wealth of contemporary archival material. against the backdrop of a country suffering from mass unemployment, political polarization, the miner’s strikes and the brixton, birmingham and liverpool riots, these creatives forged ahead making furniture using the most rudimentary of materials and equipment.


‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ in new york’s friedman benda gallery

all images courtesy of friedman benda

photographs by daniel kukla 

 

 

rococo-inspired forms meet anarchic furniture

 

in the hands of the artists, scrap metal and industrial bricolage meet, merging salvaged rebar with rococo-inspired forms, while clad with bicycle inner tubes served as the most basic form of upholstery. redundant tools, rusting scaffolding clamps and dumbbells became the structural support on chairs, as reclaimed marble façade and parquet flooring bricks are repurposed as tabletops. additionally, chandeliers are formed from broken glass bottles, whilst sheet steel and concrete are pressed into volumetric forms.

 

 

regarding ron arad’s iconic concrete stereo, the critical material is encapsulated through a physical production of punk sensibility and liberating design. from playing in bands to holding infamous illegal warehouse party/exhibition hybrids, the work leaves a tangible legacy for subsequent studio production.

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
works by tom dixon, ron arad, mark brazier-jones, andré dubreuil, danny lane, jon mills and deborah thomas

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
scrap metal and industrial bricolage meet

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
ron arad’s metal bookcase and horns armchair complemented by mills’ dog bollock wardrobe in the background



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