Sculptural forms in clay and metal, old and new From 29 November 2021
Willer is delighted to announce the opening of their new exhibition – a show of 3 collections, reflecting each artist’s relationship to sculptural form. Pieces that both successfully stand on their own and also speak to each other across cultures and time.
The ‘mix’ is an important part of the Willer gallery’s approach to makers and their creations. This exhibition embodies and illustrates that perspective, one adopted by gallery owner Rebecca Willer throughout her life and career. Click to view Sotheby’s articleRebecca Willer, A Life in Collecting.
Scroll down to discover more about the artists and their work.
A former sculptor and graduate of Saint Martin’s School of Art. Matt has been dealing in original twentieth century design for over ten years.
Willer have collaborated with him by curating a unique collection of 20th Century architectural hardware.
Many are monumental and for Matt, as for Willer, “the fascination lies in the conviction to fulfil an everyday function [such as door knobs] with a strong sculptural form”. Typically, from the post-war years and later, “all of these pieces have been realised in high quality materials, with creativity and style. I like the permanence of bronze in particular, which wears beautifully – and I like the statement of identity and individuality.”
And ‘hardware’, at it’s most monumental, is also represented by rarely seen sculptural headboards designed during the 1960s and 1970s by Luciano Frigerio (1928-1999), an Italian designer, artist and musician. Over his career he designed many pieces of furniture for his company, Frigerio di Desio, including sculptural headboards such as those included in the exhibition which feature extraordinary castings in brass and bronze.
A highly regarded interior designer (H&G Top 100) with a long standing interest in the history of art and craft in his native Portugal.
His first collaboration with Portuguese artisans and ceramicists generated a collection of limited edition and unique ceramic objects with a contemporary language using the traditional Portuguese medium and technique called ‘Barro Negro’. Named the Black Clay collection, and realised by the Portuguese ceramicists Xana and Lima, the textures and forms are as unique and rare as the virtually forgotten ancient technique.
The second collaboration, with Portuguese ceramicists Ana and Carlos, evolved into a collection of unique ceramic objects designed by Rui and made by hand using an ancient technique of modelling a mixture of local clays with both thin and thick chamotte clay.Each piece is simultaneously imperfect, elegant and sophisticated. It is the shimmering effect of the metal oxide glazes that inspired the name of this collection – Bronze.
Julie studied 3D Design under Emmanuel Cooper and Mo Jupp at Middlesex Polytechnic in London, specialising in sculptural ceramics.
She has applied her sculptural approach to many areas, from the creation of opaque ceramic minimal lamp forms exhibited in Milan and New York and selected by guest editor Ingo Maurer for the Design Yearbook and shown at MOMA, to pieces that explore themes of the natural world, science and collecting. Julie is influenced by her childhood on the Devon coast and the coastal setting of her current studio in Brighton.
Random variation is achieved by hand-building in stoneware and porcelain and continued sculpting of the pieces. “The collections, based on biology and botany, look for the visual regularities found across nature and explore patterns and variations, whilst highlighting the connectedness of everything.” The result is beautiful rarefied forms which exude a strong suggestion of being grounded in nature.