Small islands of furniture and stylish arrangements of space form Italian designer, Martino Gamper’s (b.1971), first presentation in Scotland, running at The Modern Institute until 25 January. Infused with spontaneity and an ease of crafting multiple materials and process, Tu Casa Mi Casa encompasses “one-off” pieces, industrially produced design and works for both social and exhibition contexts, all shot through with a faithfulness to the history of Italian design.
Addressing Gamper’s obsession with the psychological connotations of furniture and the use of space, the exhibition creates an environment that evokes much more of the homely than a stark gallery space. Complete with a wood-burning stove, a bed, table, chairs, carpets and lamps, the artist creates an open plan setting that becomes a beautiful homage to craft, design and domestic functionality.
Inspired by the notions of space put forward by Le Corbusier’s drawing Elements and determined indeterminate ( Proposal for a Living Habitat c.1959), Gamper separates space only by room dividers, creating a communal and functional area designed to encourage social interaction. Each room reveals new and myriad techniques including glass-blowing, carpet embroidery, woodcarving and wrought iron processing, employing materials that range from enamel to Moroccan carpets.
Forming a centre-piece of the exhibition is Fragmental Dining Table, a circular furniture staple made from linoleum, wood board and powder-coated steel, which resembles a pie-chart formation. Completing the piece are six appropriated teak chairs entitled Friends #1-6, engraved on the back with a fragment of the sentence “the ornaments in this house are the friends who frequent it”, suggesting the thematic underpinning of this whole exhibition.
Martino Gamper: Tu Casa Mi Casa, until 25 January 2014, The Modern Institute, Aird’s Lane, Glasgow G1 5HU.
1. Installation view, Tu casa, mi casa, The Modern Institute, Aird’s Lane, Glasgow, 2013.