DAVID WISEMAN’S WILDERNESS AND ORNAMENT
By Naomi Barling
David Wiseman uses his architectural installations to capture and preserve the passing beauty of natural forms like blossoming trees, perched animals, cellular structures and glacial formations. Starting today R & Company presents Wilderness and Ornament, the second solo exhibition of works by the Los Angeles-based designer.
Wiseman graduated in 2003 from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He has created site-specific installations for public institutions, international brands and private collections. His works are held in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass and the Museum Of Art Rhode Island School Of Design. He made his institutional début in Design Life Now, the 2006 Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Until the 20th century, exquisite patterns and details were a universal presence in many societies and were included in wall decorations, architectural ornaments, furniture, tableware and fashion. Essentially this aesthetic was common in all aspects of life, regardless of class and geography. After modernism hit the main stream, this adornment came to represent a decadent past. Wiseman’s interpretation of this style aims to represent the sublime beauty and mystery of the natural world by incorporating it into the visual landscape of our daily lives.
Wiseman uses very hands-on and labor-intensive techniques in his work. He experiments with a large range or materials such as porcelain, metals and Czech crystal, never wanting to limit himself to any one medium or process, and allowing each material to present the natural form in its own way.
The exhibition features new designs and never-before-seen architectural installations. The objects and architectural elements on view in Wilderness and Ornament are an outcome of Wiseman’s years of observing all the patterns and shapes in him natural environment. Growing up in California and Wiseman’s constant travelling, instilled in him a passion for the flourishing richness of nature’s countless natural patterns. Wiseman cleverly edits and reworks these influences to create modern detailed interiors that are relevant and enchantingly. Wilderness and Ornament will transform the gallery space into one of Wiseman’s all encompassing installations, featuring chandeliers and walls infused with decorative motifs.
“As early as I can remember, I have been interested in drawing patterns, geometries that repeat to create structures, tiles and borders, as well as abstracting trees and flowers to create flourishes and symbols. I remember being completely engrossed by my grandmother’s folio of Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament, admiring the detailed color plates and amazed by the sheer variety and beauty of all the distinct patterns from different cultures, from Papuan to Viennese to Japanese, how they internalized and were inspired by the wilderness around them through patterns and ornament,” says Wiseman on his practice.
The exhibition, featuring new designs and never-before-seen architectural installations, will be on view at R & Company from 11 May – 25 June 25 2015. The artist will be present at the opening reception on 11 May, 6-8 pm.