Friedman Benda is pleased to announce Don’t Wake the Snake, Los Angeles-based Swiss artist Carmen D’Apollonio’s first solo exhibition. Self-taught in the ceramics discipline, D’Apollonio’s Don’t Wake the Snake is a culmination of the 7-year development of her studio practice.

Through this exhibition, D’Apollonio investigates the spectrum from abstraction to figuration—realizing intuitive renditions of familiar objects and human forms. “Each lamp becomes its own character and seems like a little human. I never know what’s going to happen. One piece leads to another piece and there is no control. I just go with the flow,” she explains. Comprised of subtle gestures and expressions, every work is suggestive of an inner landscape to which D’Apollonio imparts its own personality and unique point of view. The result is an evolving cast of characters of her own creation.

With a playful sense of humor, she blends diverse influences from the modern art history canon, ancient archaeological artifacts and her observations from daily life. Marking the public debut of her recent explorations in bronze as a medium, D’Apollonio continues to find new ways to communicate through materiality with relentless energy and improvisation. Don’t Wake the Snake maps a constellation of illuminated sculptures, various vessels and object typologies, including ambitious multi-functional hybrid forms from D’Apollonio’s unique universe.

About Carmen D’Apollonio

Born in Switzerland in 1973, D’Apollonio previously worked in the fashion industry while based in Zurich. She founded the fashion brand Ikou Tschuss in 2006, which combined modern textiles with traditional artistry. D’Apollonio established her own studio in Los Angeles in 2014 after working with the artist Urs Fischer for over a decade. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

About Friedman Benda

Friedman Benda identifies and advances key narratives that intersect contemporary design, craft, architecture, fine art, and cutting-edge technological research. The gallery promotes synthesis between leading creative thinkers and makers by creating opportunities to advance new connections within the global design community. Friedman Benda is committed to a critical view of design history. We aim to expand the design dialogue from its established sources, exploring perspectives that have previously been marginalized. Spanning five continents and four generations, Friedman Benda represents a roster of seminal established and emerging designers, as well as historically significant estates. Since 2007, the gallery’s exhibitions, publications and collaborations with institutions have played a vital role in the development of the contemporary design market and scholarship. Dedicated to archiving the pioneering voices in our field, the gallery hosts Design in Dialogue, a weekly series of online interviews with leading architects, designers, curators, and critics. For further information please visit and the gallery’s Instagram @friedman_benda and YouTube channel.

Media contact: Christina Allan