By Chance or Design

By Chance or Design

18 September - 4 October 2014

Art and design come together in this show with 1930's classics by iconic French designer Jean-Michel Frank and geometrical lamps by Gilles Espic, in a dialogue with elegant works by artists Toni Davey, Charlotte Hodes and Jane Goodwin. This show is purposely chosen to coincide with London Design Week.

Toni Davey’s white works are concerned with conveying the illusion of three dimensions onto a two dimensional surface. Her elegant cut outs aim to understand this transition through very controlled drawing or by physically reinventing the surface. In the work the underlying structure of the grid is always present. The grid offers the means to retrace one's footsteps and understand the journey, and to allow forms to follow a rule or sequence of changes. All the cut pieces are made from a single sheet of paper with nothing added or taken away.

'To draw, to cut, to score, to fold, two dimensions into three; manipulating light and shadow the surface evolves'.

A magnificent dialogue is established between Toni’s white cut out works and Gilles Espic’s DNA lights. Also using a single sheet of parchment, folding it and overlapping, these origami structures unfold creating wonderful contemporary lighting. The same light can be a table piece or a ceiling lamp, opening up to different shapes and uses. Origamis are based on geometrical patterns that can go very far, and have been studied by architects such as Marcel Breuer. Another set of lights take a more figurative direction, creating "Masks", inspired by Japanese, African or antique masks, designed with geometrical figures.

As if life pre-destined his creative career at birth, Gilles Espic was born in an avant-garde block of apartments with interiors conceived and completed in Marseille by Le Corbusier. Having worked in graphic design in 1993, Gilles began to design lighting. His models were published by renowned Italian producers including Artemide, Italiana Luce and Driade.

Dr. Stephane Boudin-Lestienne, historian and curator of the Villa Noailles describes Gilles’ work: “His origamis in parchment are both evident as to inspiration and yet seem to come from nowhere. One is struck by their architectural or totemic allure though they remain an abstraction outside of such references… The designer has chosen to use his material in its natural state – immaculate parchment that diffuses light so elegantly… Be reassured, when one of his works is lit, one suddenly understands the true ambition of Gilles Espic, his own way of bringing poetry into the world: the folding of light itself.”

Jane Goodwin’s collaged works on paper are a continuation of her previous sculptures and drawings in which she incorporates cuttings from the Financial Times to highlight her continuing interest in the world of high finance.

She is drawn into the multi-faceted reality of “life in the city” and has moved from the corporate office to the high flyers domestic world, in which she explores seemingly tranquil interiors with their high ceilings, and grand open spaces, devoid of any human presence.

The exhibition will showcase iconic furniture pieces by Jean-Michel Frank, the renowned French interior designer known for his minimalist interiors decorated with plain-lined but sumptuous furniture made of luxury materials, such as shagreen, mica, and intricate straw marquetry. In 1920’s Paris, Frank turned his back on the curves and embellishments of Art Nouveau and Art Deco and allied the linear proportions of late eighteenth-century to a twentieth century perception, paring down superfluous detail to the essence of classic modernism. In order that nothing distracted from the elegance of such concept, Frank insisted on sparsely furnished interiors and the pe