Carpenters Workshop Gallery, in partnership with Lehmann Maupin, is pleased to present Second Nature, an exhibition examining how the natural world and the technological may coexist. The exhibited artists all work at the forefront of technology, resulting in works that have radically expanded their artistic boundaries.
Art and design exist in a hybrid state. Defined by technology but inspired by nature, historically artists alternate between replicating and challenging the natural world, caught between awe and hubris. Second Nature proposes a truce from this polarised narrative, finding a mutual harmony between the two spheres.
As seen in Second Nature, modern innovation has generated a vastly increased means of material expression. The work of Vincenzo de Cotiis hinges on his pioneering use of fibreglass, a material he regards as the wood of our time due to its versatility. Whilst constructed via highly technical methods, his tables in this exhibition capture a weightless atmosphere, inspired by the Art Nouveau movement that swept Europe at the start of the 20th century as an organic response to the increasingly industrial era. Nacho Carbonell’s arboreal lamps also display an appropriation of nature’s beauty, hand-built with intricate precision to replicate the therapeutic effects of standing in a forest, yet with an urban aesthetic.
Critically, art and design now play a major role in communicating the responsibility of protecting nature, championing the environment at a time when it is most threatened by human activity. Andrea Branzi’s Plank Cabinet poetically venerates a branch of wood within cage-like aluminium sheets, a paean to a natural world hemmed in by harsh, unnatural development. The Brazilian Campana Brothers are acutely aware of the environmental issues facing their country, and now are industry leaders in sustainably sourcing and producing their joyous furniture.
This curated platform visually demonstrates what a forward-facing future could potentially look like. With greater technology at our disposal than at any previous time in history, we stand at a crossroads of how best to use it. DRIFT represent this precarious situation in the form of a dandelion, including hundreds of the hand-picked flowers in their Fragile Future light sculptures. Theirs is a message of positivity, showing how combinations of nature and industry can result in sustainable, functional beauty