Nicolas Le Moigne exhibition at Gallery Libby Sellers, London
If there were a visual equivalent of a double entendre, the work of Nicolas Le Moigne would define it. The Swiss designer goes to incredible lengths to make his designs seem at once greater and less than the sum of their parts. His meticulously crafted cast-off concrete stools for Eternit, for example, have the lowbrow appearance of compacted rubbish. His simple spool table is elevated like art on a podium. Most compelling, perhaps, is his ’Reflecting Ring’, the diamond in which faces a mirror that makes it look twice its size and value.
Le Moigne’s talent for trompe l’oeil caught the eye of Libby Sellers after his graduation from ECAL in Lausanne in 2007, when Sellers ’sneakily’ recorded his contact details from an awards application while acting as a juror. She purchased the rights to his 2008 Slip Stool pretty much on the spot and featured it at her second pop-up exhibition ’Strativarious’, where, she says, ’it sold out overnight’.
This month Sellers brings a spectrum of Le Moigne’s work to London for his first solo show in the capital. Front and centre will be a limited-edition version of that original Slip Stool in cast-off leather, along with popular designs for NextLevel Galerie in Paris, Helmrinderknecht in Berlin, the Austrian jeweller AE Koechert and Eternit. The running theme is that innate paradox Sellers sums up as ’seemingly fragile yet resilient, at once organic yet also industrial, assuredly sophisticated yet without guile’.
Perhaps Le Moigne’s exposure in this country will once and for all demand that somebody come up with the appropriate nomenclature for his contradictory work. At least it will be amusing to try.