Chris Rucker furniture exhibition, Washington DC
Chris Rucker’s new show at Industry Gallery isn’t for those who like their furniture sleek and polished. Here, glossy surfaces are swapped with edges that appear freshly sawn, and expensive materials are replaced by oriented strand board, a material usually found on constructions sites. His chairs, recliners and desks are even emblazoned with the blurry logo from the wood mill.
The American designer’s obsession with strand board was born almost a decade ago. ’It’s ironic that growing up surrounded by real material - wide beam floors, wood panelling and stone heath - I always gravitate towards faux materials and materials made to imitate others,’ says the former sculptor. ’I was always intrigued by what was real and what was fake.’
Rucker produced the limited edition works on show in his first solo exhibition - titled ’If I told you one time...’ - over a ten year period. They have a structural integrity and functionality that far surpasses the humble material’s intention. Expect unusual configurations and proportions, and rectilinear shapes.
Rather than using a computer, Rucker sketches constantly when designing his furniture, from 20 minutes to several hours a day. Citing Sol LeWitt as an inspiration, he says: ’I like repeating something with an equation, tweaking the variables and pushing a piece to the point where it abstracts from its original form and becomes something new.’