This London Design Festival, The Conran Shop has joined forces with contemporary art gallerists Hauser & Wirth. Together, the duo presents a curated edit of work from both institutions’ indomitable roster of artists and designers.
As the newly appointed hub of the Marylebone Design District, the installation stretches across The Conran Shop Marylebone’s shopfront. The exhibition features artwork from some of the world’s most ingenious creators, including Matthew Day Jackson and Eduardo Chillida.
Furthermore, these pieces will be displayed alongside designs from The Conran Shop’s own collection, including a series of own-label collaborations. Most noteworthy are exclusive designs by the likes of Eero Saarinen and Samuel Wilkinson.
To find out a little more about Hauser & Wirth, we sat down with Senior Director Neil Wenman.
Tell us a little about the inspiration behind Hauser & Wirth’s installation at The Conran Shop?
We have a great fondness for The Conran Shop as a pioneer of design excellence and innovation and feel our approach to contemporary art will form a great synergy. It’s about an understanding of the creative process as a journey.
What excites you most about this collaboration with The Conran Shop?
Seeing the limited editions in a new setting has already born fascinating dialogues as we informally question the similar preoccupations between artist and designer. The objects from our presentation come from a conversation with one of our artists or estates, yet they have now taken on a life of their own.
How were you first inspired to enter the world of fine art?
After completing my doctorate in architectural design I joined the art world to work with artists. Developing exhibitions requires nimble creative thinking and I am endlessly inspired since no two projects are alike. I enjoy this collaborative creative approach and taking a long-term view to develop an artist’s career.
In your time at Hauser & Wirth you have seen many historically significant exhibitions, which is the most memorable?
The process of selecting the editions and books took us on a journey through the 27 years of the gallery’s history. The presentation gives glimpses of the diversity of our programme, for example, the two landmark exhibitions I am currently working on – Mark Bradford in London and David Smith at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. It has been a dynamic period of extensive growth to open our nine locations while representing over 80 artists. Our guiding principle remains constant: artists are at the very core of everything we do.
The installation features products inspired by your artists, which pieces stand out the most?
I am drawn to the story-telling element of the chairs which artist Matthew Day Jackson has developed with Made by Choice. They reference the Apollo moon landings – a topic which Day Jackson has returned to over the course of his career. In this instance he based the chair’s form on the Apollo spaceship and the moon’s Dionysus crater.
What is your favourite design icon from The Conran Shop’s edit?
My weekend is never complete without a stroll across the Regent’s Park and a trip to Conran! For me the 1958 moulded plywood armchair by Norman Cherner will remain a timeless design icon that I always admire. And the 5321 Table Lamp by Gubi that was originally conceptualised in 1938 by Finnish designer Paavo Tynell is a must..
Unfortunately London Design Festival 2019 is now over. However, you can find out more about The Conran Shop’s events and activities here.