Paris based Martin Szekely is a creative like no other. While taking on the role of artist, anthropologist, sociologist, designer, philosopher and engineer all wrapped into one, his oeuvre too is remarkably diverse. From creating one off and editioned design for prestigious museums, the Museum of Modern Art and V&A included, Szekely is avidly collected by the likes of François Pinault, Karl Lagerfeld and Azzedine Alaïa. His design for luxury labels runs the gamut too, ranging from Hermès to Dom Pérignon and Christofle; his Perrier glasses alone are in the hands of a staggering twenty million consumers. When it comes to stature, he was celebrated with the 2011 exhibition 'Ne Plus Dessiner' at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and his 'Simple Boxes' snared a Wallpaper* Design Award four years ago.
Now Manhattan powerhouse dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn is further heightening Szekely's profile by staging the exhibition 'Artefact' at her Salon 94 in collaboration with Blondeau & Cie. This will be his first solo show in the US in twenty years.
True to form, Szekely bases his new work on his enduring design sensibility Draw Nomare (no more drawing). 'I stand back from the object per se and present the essence of the design,' says Szekely from Rohatyn's Rafael Vinoly designed Salon 94.
'I turned to the organic, a small pebble I found on the beaches of Normandy and wed it to millennium technology,' explains Szekely. In digitalising the pebble, the form upped in scale and from this he designed coffee and side tables carved out of a single block of Brazilian quartzite flecked with glints of mica. 'Perched on gold plated legs, my 'Artefact' tables are far more than mere design, but rather sculpture,' he adds.
'Martin's new work is far more than functional design and approaches the conceptual while standing up to the best of contemporary art,' muses Rohatyn.
As well as his digitalised pebble displays at Salon 94, Szekely's other designs, an anodized aluminum table, will take centre stage on Rohatyn's stand at the Frieze New York fair on Randall's Island. Joined by Laurie Simmons photographs and Marilyn Minter paintings.