exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda

‘ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN: CREATIVE SALVAGE, 1981-1991’ AT 

FRIEDMAN BENDA

 

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 key words 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. 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. 

 

 

curated by gareth williams, an instrumental figure in the auction market, 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.

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ in new york’s friedman benda gallery

all images courtesy of friedman benda

photographs by daniel kukla 

 

 

rococo-inspired forms meet anarchic furniture

 

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.

 

 

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.

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
works by tom dixon, ron arad, mark brazier-jones, andré dubreuil, danny lane, jon mills and deborah thomas

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
scrap metal and industrial bricolage meet

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
ron arad’s metal bookcase and horns armchair complemented by mills’ dog bollock wardrobe in the background

accidents-will-happen-creative-salvage-friedman-benda-fullwidth03

curated by gareth williams, ‘accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981–1991’ captures a critical moment in the course of recent design history

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
ron arad’s concrete stereo (1983)  below peter anderson’s frames (1980-85)

accidents-will-happen-creative-salvage-friedman-benda-fullwidth01

ron arad’s iconic stereo in concrete, rubber, electrical components, steel rods and acrylic

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
rusting scaffolding clamps and dumbbells became the structural support on chairs

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
jon mills, dan dare chair, 1987, in hammered and welded steel, with multi-directional radar dish

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
deborah thomas, blue flame wall lights, 1987, and pair of forest breeze, 1991

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
danny lane, etruscan chair, 1988, in sand blasted and rusted steel, forged stainless steel and hammer chipped polished glass

exhibition 'accidents will happen: creative salvage,1981–1991' takes over friedman benda
the exhibition showcases key words from an often overlooked but highly influential period of british design

accidents-will-happen-creative-salvage-friedman-benda-fullwidth02

a close-up of arad’s concrete studio production, 1983

 

exhibition info:

 

name: accidents will happen: creative salvage, 1981-1991
designers: ron arad, mark brazier-jones, tom dixon, andré dubreuil, danny lane, jon mills, deborah thomas

gallery: friedman benda /@friedman_benda

photography: daniel kukla /@danielkukla

duration: january 13, 2022 – february 12, 2022

location: friedman benda, new york, NY

 

 

more on curator gareth williams:

gareth williams is a UK-based private art advisor with over 25 years’ experience of the international art market, having previously headed up the post-war & contemporary art and design departments at a leading auction house.

 

as well as being instrumental in establishing the auction market for banksy, gareth launched the world’s first street art auction. he also co-authored ’cut & shut: the history of creative salvage’ with nick wright, which documents the exciting narrative behind some of the most important british design ever produced. no stranger to curating, gareth has previously organized an exhibition on the colony room, london’s legendary libertarian member’s club, which was frequented by many of the country’s leading creative talents including francis bacon, lucian freud, frank auerbach and dylan thomas, and later damien hirst and the young british artists (YBA’s).

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ron arad, 1989, rolling volume
ron arad, 1989, rolling volume
mark brazier-jones, 1989-1990, robot table
mark brazier-jones, 1989-1990, robot table
mark brazier-jones, 1988, rococo  chandelier
mark brazier-jones, 1988, rococo chandelier
tom dixon, 1985, dixon chair
tom dixon, 1985, dixon chair
tom dixon, 1985, executive chair detail
tom dixon, 1985, executive chair detail
andré dubreuil, 1951, chair
andré dubreuil, 1951, chair
jon mills, 1959, dog bollock wardrobe
jon mills, 1959, dog bollock wardrobe
deborah thomas, 1991, pair of forest breeze wall lights
deborah thomas, 1991, pair of forest breeze wall lights
deborah thomas, 1987, detail of blue flame wall light
deborah thomas, 1987, detail of blue flame wall light

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