The Future Perfect kicked off Frieze New York and NYCxDesign with two collections: ‘Alchemy Turning into Gold’ by Tbilisi–based Rooms, and a new series of glass furniture and objects by Seattle artist John Hogan.
Rooms founders Keti Toloraia and Nata Janberdize salvaged 100-year-old wood from demolished houses in Georgia to create sculptural furniture with elements of handcraft work, Soviet architecture and celestial shapes. ‘We wanted to go back to our roots, so it is a mix of the spirit of the Soviet era and traditional aesthetics, but we also try to achieve a contemporary look,’ Toloraia and Janberdize say. The simple geometric chairs, tables and light fixtures in contrasting bright brass and dark stained wood blend past and present, evoking both manmade and natural structures, outer space and earth.
True to its name, ‘Alchemy Turning into Gold’ has several pieces featuring polished gold brass. The most literal is a set of three grid-patterned tables, one in black steel, one in vintage brass, and one in polished brass to display this transformation from black steel to gold. ‘All the finishes are raw, so although they have turned it “into gold” and there is alchemy, they’ll be lived with and will turn back [into steel],’ says David Alhadeff, founder of The Future Perfect. ‘It shows how fleeting that concept of alchemy can be and how quickly it will escape us.’
John Hogan’s glassworks
Similarly, Hogan’s glassworks (above) constantly shift their light and colour depending on its surroundings. Conceived exclusively for The Future Perfect for its gallery programme, Hogan has created furniture — a table and a set of tables — for the first time. The ‘Ripple’ tables are three blown-glass spheres with industrial glass tops fused to them to refract light like a drop of water or a bubble. The ‘Reflect’ table features hand-blown mirrored glass balls topped with a circular glass disc, creating a multitude of reflections within the table’s base.
‘I decided to treat it similarly to how I do sculpture. It makes sense that if you are going to interrupt somebody’s space at this scale, then it ought to be functioning,’ Hogan says. For ‘Ecru’ and ‘Lull’, hollow glass vessels that can be filled with water to be lenses, the artist is very aware of how much they can alter a room. ‘They can go through the entire color spectrum, depending on what’s around them, and transform the environment – they’re an anchor to the space.’
To convey that, three VR headsets in the New York store transport viewers to Hogan’s work in situ at Casa Perfect, the 3,000 sq ft house in Los Angeles designed by Korean-American architect David Hyun that serves as The Future Perfect’s Los Angeles gallery. There, one can see Hogan’s work poolside and throughout the 1957 outpost. Both collections will debut later at The Future Perfect’s San Francisco store.