Everything is illuminated at Hélène de Saint Lager’s debut London exhibition

Installation view of Hélène de Saint Lager at London’s 18 Davies Street gallery
Installation view of Hélène de Saint Lager at London’s 18 Davies Street gallery.
(Image credit: Hélène de Saint Lager)

Whether she is sculpting, welding or casting, Hélène de Saint Lager’s bold instinct for materials infuses her work with a kind of chaotic energy, albeit restrained in deeply artful forms. 2019 is a significant year for the Parisian artist, whose recent collaborators include Peter Marino – who commissioned her to create interiors pieces for his Dior and Louis Vuitton boutique designs – and Jacques Garcia for Schiaparelli.

De Saint Lager’s debut London exhibition is currently on show at 18 Davies Street Gallery – with a just-announced extended run, while a Design Museum outing of her work is due later this year.

Hélène de Saint Lager at 18 Davies Street Gallery furniture exhibition

Table Orangee

(Image credit: Hélène de Saint Lager)

The 18 Davies Street show comprises a collection of seemingly imperfect interior pieces in resin, aluminum, bronze and gold leaf. But while the various metalwork chair and table designs for which De Saint Lager is known intrigue in their strange organic frames, it is the ‘depth, fluidity and transparency’ of resin that currently fascinates the artist.

From a distance the table tops have a glossy, flat finish, but further inspection reveals deep, swirling vortexes of gold leaf fragments created from cast and moulded polyester resin mixes underneath. The effect is at once disconcerting and transfixing, the glinting lights creating an illusory feeling that everything is moving, or strangely roused to life.

Lamp Tige

Lamp Tige

(Image credit: Hélène de Saint Lager)

A graduate of the École de Louvre, De Saint Lager’s background in art history has compelled her to try various artistic expressions throughout her working life – painting restoration, millinery, jewellery design, sculpture and metalwork among them. Today, she works from her corrugated-iron ‘studio-laboratory’ on the fringes of Paris, painstakingly experimenting with familiar materials and light play.

The results include experimental contemporary bodies of work, such as this compelling mish-mash of tables, chairs, light fixtures and mirrors, which shimmer and glow like a cache of otherworldy, oversized jewels.


Hélène de Saint Lager is at 18 Davies Street gallery until 19 January 2019. For more information, visit the website


18 Davies Street
Mayfair, London



44.20 7495 4666

Caragh McKay is a contributing editor at Wallpaper* and was watches & jewellery director at the magazine between 2011 and 2019. Caragh’s current remit is cross-cultural and her recent stories include the curious tale of how Muhammad Ali met his poetic match in Robert Burns and how a Martin Scorsese Martin film revived a forgotten Osage art.