Creative Salvage,1981–1991′ Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery

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 keywords 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.

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Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ in new york’s Friedman Benda Gallery | All images courtesy of Friedman Benda | Photographs by Daniel Kukla 

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.

Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Works by Tom Dixon, Ron Arad, mark brazier-jones, André Dubreuil, Danny Lane, Jon Mills and Deborah Thomas

Curated by Gareth Williams, an instrumental figure in the auction market, the 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.

Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Scrap metal and industrial bricolage meet

See also: Exclusive Furniture And Lighting Design For A Luxury Dining Room

ROCOCO-INSPIRED FORMS MEET ANARCHIC FURNITURE

Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Curated by Gareth Williams, ‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ captures a critical moment in the course of recent design history

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.

Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Ron Arad’s metal bookcase and horns armchair complemented by mills’ dog bollock wardrobe in the background

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.

Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Friedman Benda Gallery – Ron Arad’s concrete stereo (1983)  below peter Anderson’s Frames (1980-85)
Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Friedman Benda Gallery – Ron Arad’s iconic stereo in concrete, rubber, electrical components, steel rods, and acrylic
Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Rusting Scaffolding clamps and dumbbells became the structural support on chairs

See also: Porky Hefer’s Recycled Sea Monsters Designs

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Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Friedman Benda Gallery – Deborah Thomas, blue flame wall lights, 1987, and pair of forest breeze, 1991
Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Danny Lane, Etruscan chair, 1988, in sandblasted and rusted steel, forged stainless steel and hammer chipped polished glass
Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Friedman Benda Gallery – The exhibition showcases keywords from an often overlooked but highly influential period of British design
Creative Salvage,1981–1991' Takes Over At Friedman Benda Gallery
Friedman Benda Gallery – A close-up of arad’s concrete studio production, 1983

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