21st century boy: Renaud Vuaillat’s new gallery debuts with Emmanuel Babled
The French-born, Lisbon-based designer Emmanuel Babled is getting his dues Stateside, with dealer Renaud Vuaillat staging a solo show devoted to his latest work. Vuaillat’s new Twenty First Gallery, located in an elegant 19th century West Chelsea townhouse, could not be a more apt setting for his exhibition, ‘Emmanuel Babled’.
This sun-drenched gallery, which retains an elegant marble fireplace mantel, throws into light just how Babled’s ahead of the curve designs – from limited edition and unique furniture to lighting – are entirely compatible in a traditional interior.
‘Contradiction is key to Emmanuel as he juxtaposes the fragility of hand-blown Murano glass with the sleekness of white Carrara marble in new and novel ways for his "Osmosi" series,’ says Vuaillat. While Babled, a visiting professor at Milan’s Domus Academy and Design Academy Eindhoven, taps into centuries-old Italian craftsmanship, he turned to computerised technology to complete this distinctive body of work.
The exact shapes of hand-blown biomorphic glass forms in dusty teal and burnt yellow were 3D scanned and a precise opening milled via digitalisation into a marble console. ‘So the unique glass forms fit exactly inside the top and sides of the console with no seams whatsoever,’ says Vuaillat.
Babled’s ’Quark’ series is also on view. These pieces include amoeba-like wenge wood coffee tables, and another table in cast bronze and welded with thin sheets of gleaming copper.