Soft Baroque (Nicholas Gardner and Saša Štucin) High Performance vase, 2019
Carbon kevlar and resin vase
CHARITY AUCTION FOR LUIGI SACCO HOSPITAL IN MILAN, LOTS WITH NO BUYER'S PREMIUM
Lot offered by Soft Baroque with a 100% donation, shipped from London, Great Britain
High-performance materials have become a form of decorative masculinity. Carbon fibre car bonnets and phone cases have caught up with other materials and surfaces, such as leather or burr walnut, as symbols of quality or value. Its desirability comes from its hi-techness, an aspiration that technology will guide us to a shining future. A way of escaping gravity and the environmental damage. Bezos, Musk, Branson. Strength to weight ratio, has become a mantra in this faith. Designed for displaying flowers High Performance vases both celebrate and reject this idea. Made without a mould, the form is generated by free-hand manipulating resin soaked fibres. The unsystematic and unique shapes are then built up with clear resin and polished. First stage has very sculptural attitude towards shaping the material, while the second one requires a lot of control and patience. It is a process of applying resin multiple times, curing, sanding and polishing before finish is perfect. The pieces feel as though they are collapsing but are extremely strong and rigid.
Nicholas Gardner and Saša Štucin work simultaneously in object design and art. Their London based practice focuses on creating work with conflicting functions and imagery, without abandoning beauty or consumer logic. They are keen to blur the boundaries between acceptable furniture typologies and conceptual representative objects, rendering a new set of aesthetic and functional values.
Making plays a central role in their practice. They are designers and manufacturers of their objects. Their interest in various materials results in a diverse body of work. The refined, simplified forms of their works reflect principles of mid-century design, but the pieces also veer toward conceptual territory by evoking the malleability of how objects are seen and mediated today. Traditionally a craftsman's practice would be in proximity to the raw material used to fabricate objects. In the same fashion Soft Baroque produces work in the context of metropolitan environment: processed materials manufactured for the domestic interiors are manipulated to unconventional ends. These new raw materials are converted into objects that still possess an echo from their intended use.
So far they’ve been showing work at the V&A, Christie’s and Somerset House in London, Swiss Institute, Friedman Benda, Patrick Parrish gallery in New York, A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia, Etage Projects in Copenhagen, Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Collective Design in New York, Nomad in Monaco and St. Moritz and Design Miami in Basel and Miami fairs and at Milan, London, New York, Stockholm and Dubai Design Week.