Carpenters Workshop Gallery | London presents Vortex, a solo show by French artist Vincent Dubourg. Opening on May 17, this marks the London gallery’s third solo exhibition of Dubourg’s work since Design Povera (2007) and Insider (2011). Dubourg has been represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery since its inception in 2004, he was the youngest designer to present his work at the gallery. Featuring pieces made this past ten years, Vortex explores Dubourg’s deconstructivism spirit and examines works that speak of materiality and craftsmanship.
For this exhibition, four new pieces alongside some other emblematic metalwork restore a dialogue between sculpture and design. With Inner Vortex buffet Dubourg bends metal and deforms it as he has done with wood. He is using the lightness of aluminium, a material that lends itself to fusion, molding and casting. Sourcing influence from the natural world, Dubourg, like a blacksmith, draws on fire, air and water to shape his sculptural furniture. The explosive nature of his work recreates forces in motion. An appearance in contrast to the mirror-finished interior surfaces.
“A vortex whirls in a circular motion, it forms a vacuum, and embodies subjects to its action. In water, it swirls but what happens beneath the water’s surface is hidden until it resurfaces elsewhere. If it explodes then it reconstructs, and what is absorbed into it is taken to another place. The idea behind Vortex is to take society, engulf it in a vortex and take it to a new planet and other ways of living” explained Vincent Dubourg.
This movement that feels almost gestural conveys a plastic expression to his body of work like in the Insideer cabinet or in the Door II shelf where the elements splay and curl from the central line, altering the visual framework. The function itself is often distilled and disintegrated within the work.
Dubourg constantly deals with form and metamorphosis. The Matsyendra table features thick, stubby dark legs patterned by the hammering while Veda features a grid-like top, made up of square metal tiles.
From his workshop in Creuse at Felletin, Central France, he transforms the most familiar objects into works, giving them an immaterial dimension. The paradoxical deconstruction of his objects reflects its sense of construction and the excellence of its know-how, from metal work to cabinetmaking and glass blowing.
Vincent Dubourg’s is a French artist born in 1977. Dubourg’s sculptural furniture makes contemporary allusions to traditional methods of cabinetmaking. This evokes a nostalgic sense of the familiar, which he simultaneously distorts with his fresh approach to materials and techniques.
Dubourg poetically fuses the crafts of glassblowing, wood-bending, and metal-casting to bring simple forms to life. In Napoleon A Trotinette, the solid form of a bureau is harmoniously combined with the graceful curves of bronze branches.
Dubourg’s designs introduce motion to stationary furniture. Vent Sur La Table whirls bronze and branches upwards as though freed from the constraints of gravity. Indeed, Dubourg offers a new perspective to furniture design, often subverting classic functional forms.
In Commode à Nouvelle Zélande, he flips a bar so that it rests on rows of up-turned glasses and bottles. Another piece in this series, Plancher à Nouvelle Zélande, sees shelves fly from the wall as if making an escape.
Dubourg’s conceptual twists add a surreal element to traditional craftsmanship, though he never relinquishes his devotion for the search of perfection.