Thaddeus Wolfe at R & Company

Thaddeus Wolfe's latest experiments are on view now at a solo show at R & Company in Tribeca, and we're including some of our favorite pieces here today. Inspired by everything from the deterioration of urban surfaces in his Brooklyn neighborhood to the vicissitudes of mushroom foraging, each piece goes so far beyond any preconceived notions of glasswork that it becomes something else entirely.

Thaddeus Wolfe

New York, The rough, geometric textures of Wolfe’s otherworldly glass creations are like nothing we’ve seen before.  What is American design to you, and what excites you about it? American design is strong and pluralistic now. I’m amazed how many independent studios/designers are producing great pieces. I find it hard to keep up with everything — even just what is going on in New York. I assume this is partially due to the time in which we find ourselves, both economically and culturally. More designers have decided to form their own businesses rather than working for larger companies. The venues to exhibit and show the work and the market to support it have grown significantly in recent years. There appears to be more emphasis now on formal aesthetics than on ironic/ jokey concepts, which were prevalent in the recent past. This shifting of the aesthetic is an important development. It reflects a maturity of ideas behind what is being made, and that that well-made objects have an inherent value when the are visually exciting. I also particularly enjoy seeing so much great new work in ceramic. I hope the same thing will happen in glass. What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year? Coming up this year, I will have work in two shows this November through R & Company — The Objects Show, and The Salon: Art + Design at the Park Avenue Armory. This December will be my first time exhibiting at Design Miami, also with R, which I am very excited about. Beyond that, I am planning for my first solo exhibition at R & Company, which will be in 2015. What inspires or informs your work in general? Working in glass with all its possibilities and inherent limitations has definitely informed the scope of what I am able to do. I have largely focused on a singular technique of blown-cast objects for some time now. This has allowed me to thoroughly explore and develop color, pattern, surface and the intuitive construction of the forms. I gain insight into what I am doing from a lot of visual sources in my environment and otherwise. I am interested in the organic deterioration of surfaces in my urban surroundings, Czech cubism, visual complexity in simple repeated structures in minerals, plants, and other natural phenomena, and recently poroid patterns in certain bracket-fungi (the undersides of shelf-like mushrooms). … Continue reading Thaddeus Wolfe

Thaddeus Wolfe: Unsurfacing at Volume Gallery

Thaddeus Wolfe's Assemblage vases looked mysterious enough when he debuted them in 2011, first for sale with Matter and then with a special edition for Chicago's Volume Gallery — we'd never seen glass before that paired the shape and surface texture of rocks and minerals with amazing fades of opaque color. When we asked him to describe his process to us, it turned out that it was relatively easy to grasp, if not execute: He blew the vessels into faceted plaster-and-silicon molds. His newest take on the series — the Unsurfacing collection for Volume, on view as of tonight — looks even more complicated, layered with fragmented geometric patterns and contrasting colors.
What is your next project? After making 26 new pieces in the span of a month for the show at Volume, opening tomorrow, Wolfe deserves a break: “Cleaning my apartment," he says.

Thaddeus Wolfe, Glass Artist

When asked if he identifies more as an artist or a designer, Thaddeus Wolfe seems genuinely stumped. But perhaps it’s that way for anyone working with glass, a material that’s notoriously hard to confine: “I don’t think I’m a great designer,” he muses. “Maybe it’s because I’m not a master of glass yet that I never quite get what I intend. But sometimes cool things happen from mistakes.” It’s a pretty self-deprecating summation of process coming from someone whose chaotic, mysteriously opaque Assemblage vases for MatterMade are the subject of a solo exhibition opening tomorrow at Chicago’s Volume Gallery, which has in the year and a half since it opened become somewhat of a barometer for the Next Big Thing.

Design, and Its Attendant Signs of Domestic Life, Ruled at the Spring Art Fairs

Design, and its attendant signs of domestic life, played an even more outsized role than normal at last week's art shows in New York. At many galleries, it seemed that the booth furniture might drown out the works themselves, as with the ombré pieces on view at Peres Projects, or the erstwhile neon pink RO/LU benches at Parker Gallery. The best booth of the week by far, though, was by the London-based gallery Lyndsey Ingram, who handed over its design and curation to Georgie Hopton. Hopton in turn tapped her husband Gary Hume to share the joint booth, then kitted it out like a real home, complete with ruffled baseboards anchoring each color-blocked wall.
Walls for Apricots - Dan Arnold Photo1

We Asked 13 Designers and 13 High-Profile Creatives to Collaborate for Charity, and the Results Will Surprise You

Since we started Sight Unseen nine years ago, we’ve found ourselves writing again and again about the fertile ground between creative fields. So it wasn’t much of a leap from there to Field Studies, for which we paired 13 furniture and interior designers with 13 creatives in food, fashion, film, art, and music and invited them to create a collaborative object together — all 13 of which are now available to purchase on 1stdibs, with proceeds going to a charity of each pair's choosing.

Week of August 14, 2017

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: another far-flung European art park, (another) terrazzo and pink interior, and a smattering of previews from the upcoming fall design season.
Design for Progress benefit auction

Bid on Works By Design’s Biggest Names in Our First Design for Progress Auction

The day after the election in November, we launched Design For Progress, a fundraising initiative meant as a call to action for the design community to rally behind progressive causes. Today we're launching the first-ever Design For Progress auction on Paddle8, featuring 40 contemporary design objects by talents like Bower and Lindsey Adelman and benefitting the ACLU, Run for Something, Sierra Club, and Campaign Legal Center. Get involved by bidding, or just by helping spread the word.
design miami 2016 preview

The 40 Best New Works You’ll See at Design Miami This Week

When we think of Design Miami, which opens tomorrow, the idea of the fair as a place to scout exciting new work by an elite cadre of emerging designers isn't necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Lush, immersive installations and epically cool lounges, yes; vintage gems by French designers like Prouvé, Royère, Perriand, and Pergay, of course. But the past couple of years have featured a notable swing towards a younger, more experimental crowd.

Alex P. White

New York, A long-time right-hand man to New York interior designer Kelly Behun, White planted his own stake in 2015, launching a mesmerizing solo furniture collection influenced by neo-Futurism and retro nightclubs. What is American design to you, and what excites you about it? For me American design is about context, i.e. community, production, and location — the very literal and obvious “how, where, and when” something is made. When the maker/producer/consumer cycle is focused on local economies, communities get stronger, regional aesthetics develop, lots of sharing and collaboration occur and the creative scene becomes really fertile (and tends to have an impact on a much larger scale.) I find this process exciting and positive. I’ve lived in times/places where this was a music scene or an art scene and right now furniture/interior design seems to be having a similar type of productivity. In other words…Sisters Are Doin’ it For Themselves! What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year? Under the Alex P White label, I’m in the planning stages of two projects: an all-ages Playscape and a collection of mood lighting. Playshroom 3.0 is a modular environment akin to something like upholstered scaffolding, and for my next collection, I’m using LED and neon light to transform sconces into objets d’art (or as I like to think of them, paintings with their own light source.) I plan to show iterations of both projects during New York Design Week in May. In my work with Kelly Behun, I’m super excited about one of our most recent interiors projects. Our client is the chicest: an international collector with exquisite taste and a flair for the bizarre. With Kelly’s keen eye and her passion for the current design scene, the results are truly special; the home is as unconventional as it is traditional. And with this project, having the opportunity to work with such talents as Lindsey Adelman, Apparatus, Cody Hoyt, The Haas Brothers, Misha Kahn, and Thaddeus Wolfe — just to name a few — is one of the best parts of my job. Thanks y’all! What inspires your work in general? ON HEAVY ROTATION • The Cure | Staring at the Sea The Singles 1979 -1985 • Eurythmics | Be Yourself Tonight • China Crisis | Flaunt the Imperfection • Active Child | You Are All I See • Warpaint | Warpaint BOOK STACK • I’ll Never Write … Continue reading Alex P. White