Marc Newson’s solo US show presents his oeuvre in a domestic setting
After several years of dormancy on the gallery circuit, Marc Newson has returned with a bang with the staging of his first solo exhibition stateside at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Presented at the museum’s Perelman Building, ’Marc Newson: At Home’ brings together a comprehensive array of Newson’s best known, one-off and hypothetical creations in a domestic setting.
Laid out like rooms in a home, the exhibition has rounded up pieces from Europe, Asia and Marc Newson’s own collection that date across the last thirty years. In the kitchen, the Australian designer’s iconic ’Dish Doctor’ dish rack for Magis (1998) stands opposite his Strelka cutlery set for Alessi (2001) and his porcelain in-flight service for Qantas Airlines’ A380 (2008). In the bedroom, the Bumper bed (2013), finally produced by luxury craftsmen Domeau & Peres, is flanked by a rail of colourful clothing from the designer’s collaboration with G-Star, each hanging on an orange ’Hercules’ coat hanger (1997), and a rare version of the Black Hole Chop Top desk (1993), which fetched £99,650 at auction in 2011.
The garage offers a rare view of two prototypes - a concept car for Ford and his MN Bicycle for the Danish biking company, Biomega, which both reveal Newson’s futuristic view of technology despite the fact that they were designed in 1999.
’The show tries to balance Marc Newson’s iconic works with lesser-known pieces, all in the context of the domestic interiors we’ve created,’ explained the show’s curator Kathryn Hiesinger. ’[Newson’s] use of simple continuous silhouettes allows the viewer and user to understand the object at a glance, while bright colours, unusual materials and technical processes enrich the visual experience.’
In each room, Newson’s fluid, ergonomic style manifests itself in various forms. His limited-edition pieces such as the aluminum and steel ’Lockheed Lounge’ chaise (1985) and the futuristic ’Diode Floor Lamp’ (2007), are thrillingly un-restrained, and while his Pentax K-01 camera (2012) and ’Scope’ luggage range for Samsonite (2004) are much more commercial, they are directional and impactful all the same. It is this inspired versatility to tackle objects both big and small that makes Newson a true icon and this show is a worthy summation of his career to date.