(adam štěch) American designer Ron Gilad currently has an exhibition at the independent Wright auction house in Chicago. The designer, whose work oscillates on the verge between furniture, object and idea, is not a mere representative of the often presented design-art. Ron Gilad is a true conceptualist.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1975, he lives in New York and uses the symbiosis of art and design in a very creative manner. His exhibition at the Wright auction house is similar to installations by such artists as Joseph Kosuth and Sol LeWitt. The object, which is represented as a fragment of a functional furniture piece or a light, does not act like an object determined for admiration, but rather like a very well read exploration of spatial relations, situations, and specific trains of thought. Thus, Gilad, who is not biased by any contemporary European design-art styles, has created a new and intellectual interpretation of design as a purely artistic conceptual object.
The exhibition, entitled Spaces etc./An exercise in utility, presents several dozen of Gilad’s works that are somehow related to design. However, they all comment on the relationships within an architectural environment and its impact on its immediate vicinity. Many of his objects also refer to the history of art – for instance, the cubistic ashtrays that are reminiscent of modernist houses, the Soldier lamps that refer to Dadaism and were presented at the installation of Flos company in Milan this year, and the Drawing in which he hints at the “non-reality” of paintings by Magritt.
The exhibition is divided into three parts. Spaces present specific architectural spaces applied on specific “functional” objects. Tables turn into spatial floor plans; vases turn into chimneys. Works from the ETC. group are linked by observing the phenomenon of how contemporary museums present art and how they attract public attention. In this section, one can find mirrors in the form of a splash, as well as the Butler console that rests on human legs instead of wooden ones. The last part, Spaces ETC., includes a considerable amount of minimalist objects made from brass. The Birth of a Chair and the Façade series document the character of this group of works, which concerns artificially depicted spatial and time situations.
These objects have little in common with design. This latest exhibition from Gilad shows, in a very good light, his ability as a universal artist who easily solves “duchampesque” topics and specific functional aspects of design. Moreover, he is able to apply them into a completely original form of almost de-materialized character that has no parallel in the contemporary design-art world and its materialist objectivity. In Gilad’s case, conceptual design is really conceptual. The idea is above all.
Solder No´s 1 & 2