Founded in London, but expanded to New York and Paris, Carpenters Workshop Gallery has been one of the most stalwart presenters of challenging contemporary design since 2005. Its latest NYC show decisively bears that out, with visual provocateur Mathieu Lehanneur’s stunning Ocean Memories show currently on view.
Lehanneur is actually a Wallpaper* magazine Top 100 designer; and the exhibition coincides with the opening of the new Maison Kitsuné New York flagship store, which bears his aesthetic signature. His works have been featured in MOMA, the Pompidou in Paris and the V&A in London, and his client list includes the likes of Kenzo, Cartier, Veuve Clicquot and Poltrona Frau.
But Ocean Memories is something of a pinnacle for him, a physical but surreal representation of a sea frozen in a moment. Tables and benches are adorned with sculpted waves that appear to have been halted by some unforeseen force, making for alluring but thought-provoking imagery.
“We live on a planet where water covers 75% of the surface,” he explains. “The ocean is our origin, and water is our main physiological component. Yet, it is the element that remains the most enigmatic to our civilization; when facing the ocean, we feel both our strength and fragility. The marble and bronze works of the Ocean Memories series eternally freeze the incessant movement of the sea and the world.”
The exhibition will be up until October 21 at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, 666 5th Ave.