“A lot of serious careers are reverting back to play.” So says Columbus, Indiana-based designer and Exhibit Columbus curator Jonathan Nesci, who is living up to his statement with an energetic new work on the roof of Chicago's West Loop Ace Hotel. After more than a decade of crafting objects inspired by modernist tropes, Nesci has created an architectural object you can climb into, sit in, and swing on while taking in the complex system of buildings curated within the long, linear view of the Chicago skyline. Nesci has created a crisp blue structural steel dome latticed at the bottom with matching woven rope, reminiscent both of jungle gyms and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center (“it was definitely in the soup” says Nesci). Nesci was looking not to create “just a sculpture or a pavilion, but something you can activate.” Situated within a lush, carefully tended rooftop prairie by Site Design Group, the Nesci Dome is the final key in the collaboration between the Ace Hotel and Volume Gallery, which has filled the Ace with artwork from Chicago-based designers. Nesci is a longtime collaborator with Volume Gallery, showing his work for the first time during the gallery's inaugural exhibition in 2010. Nesci’s grandfather, the owner of a concrete brick company in suburban Chicago, was a fan of objects designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects, and he would also show up each summer to dump a load of sand in the Nesci family driveway for the family's sandbox, encouraging an element of exploration in the young designer.
Posts tagged with "Volume Gallery":
Open through December 30th, Chicago-based Architect Ania Jaworska’s SET, at Chicago’s Volume Gallery, is a meditation on form and material. A collection of eight furniture units, SET plays with familiar domestic shapes and textures. Each of the black lacquered units shares a resemblance to the others through color, material, scale, and form. Each unit in the show challenges the typical use of the piece of furniture it is based on. The dining table unit, with its overly exaggerated legs, only allows for four diners to sit at it at once. Slightly thinner than a normal dining table, diners sit closer together. Seating positions force all serving dishes to be pushed to the ends of the table, rather than the middle. The result is an enforced intimacy through design. The coffee and end table units are covered in cylindrical posts that are reminiscent of their own legs. These posts provide an ambiguous experience with the user. At first, one questions how the tables might be used. Jaworska’s answer is, “It can be used any way you would like.” From standing large format books on end between the posts, showing off cover and spine at the same time, or resting drinks on the individual ends, it is quickly clear that they are still functional, just not in a typical way. The bulbous arm chairs are grander than a La-Z-Boy. Despite their seemingly odd proportions, they are comfortable. Finished in the same high-gloss lacquer as the other pieces, softness comes from their interchangeable pads, one of which can wrap the sitter like a blanket. SET is not Jaworska’s first foray into furniture and object design. Notably, she designed the library shelving for the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in Chicago. Her objects designs have also been shown at the Chicago Cultural Center, in a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and at the 13th Venice Biennale. Ania Jaworska was also recently named to the shortlist of participants for the 2017 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP). SET runs from November 11th through December 30th at Volume Gallery, 845 W. Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607.
We have previously reported on Chicago’s burgeoning independent design scene, and now the Windy City is gaining a new venue to see the newest design thinking. The Volume Gallery will serve as a “platform for emerging American designers to engage with an international audience,” according to a statement form the organizers. Their first exhibition on designer Jonathan Nesci, called THE NEW, will be held at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery in the West Loop, and will feature limited editions, including tables, chairs, and pendant lamps. Nesci’s work has been widely published and has been show at Design Miami, ICFF, Design Art London, and the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Founded by Sam Vinz and Claire Warner, both previously of the prestigious Wright Auction house, Volume’s tenancy at Andrew Rafacz Gallery will be temporary. “We plan on having a few of these events throughout the city over the course of the year, until we decide on a permanent space. Each time, we will present newly commissioned (limited edition) works from American contemporary designers,” wrote Vinz in an email. The Volume Gallery’s premier exhibition, THE NEW, will be on view from March 19-23 at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, 835 West Washington Blvd.