FRIEDMAN BENDA ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATION OF FAYE TOOGOOD & EREZ NEVI PANA IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA TRIENNIAL 2020
New York, NY (December 8, 2020) – Friedman Benda is pleased to announce the participation of two of the gallery’s designers, Faye Toogood and Erez Nevi Pana, in The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Triennial 2020. Exploring some of the most globally relevant and pressing issues of our time, including isolation, representation and speculation on the future, the NGV Triennial will present a large-scale exhibition of international contemporary art, design and architecture.
Exploring the themes of daylight, candlelight and moonlight inspired by and within the context of the NGV’s seventeenth and eighteenth-century Flemish, Dutch and British collections, designer Faye Toogood will curate several gallery spaces creating a considered salon-style interior featuring newly commissioned furniture, lighting, scenography, sculpture and large-scale tapestries. Toogood plunges us deep into a period sensibility – which witnessed the birth of capitalism and the emergence of the ‘enlightenment’ – using her own innovative designs as a connecting device to the past. Toogood sees her work as Gesamtkunstwerk; a total work of art, whereby the interior – all works of art and design, and their display – synthesize to deliver with full effect the experience and meaning of her presentation.
Erez Nevi Pana will present Crystalline, 2020, one of the world’s first commissioned works of salt-based architecture. In this work Nevi Pana examines a metamorphosis of basic raw material into a deliberate refined composition that interprets crystal growth and natural processes as an architectural practice. Crystalline, an imaginary chunk of a larger structure, consists of four distinct structural elements – a ladder, boulder, steps and walkway, assembled into one exploratory architectural work that aims to represent a journey from water to land. Each element is encrusted or grown with salt, demonstrating a repertoire of techniques developed by the designer including subaqueous crystal growth, melting, and merging salt with clay. When combined, the components reference concepts of motion and flow, of evolution and growth. The designer’s journey starts with the ladder as a metaphor for ascension from the Dead Sea – the lowest point on the earth’s surface – and concludes with the walkway, which demonstrates a symbolic transition to a new physical reality. The work speaks directly to the need for restoration of the surrounding Dead Sea area and postulates that salt-based architecture could introduce new and more sustainable paradigms for housing, tourism, and public works.
About Faye Toogood
British designer Faye Toogood has emerged as one of the most prominent women in contemporary design today. “Whether you are a fashion designer, a furniture designer, or an interior designer, the materials you can get your hands on are essential,” she says.
Toogood was born in the UK in 1977 and graduated with a BA in the History of Art in 1998 from Bristol University. Upon graduation, she worked as a prop stylist at The World of Interiors before establishing Studio Toogood in 2008.
Working in a diverse range of disciplines from sculpture to furniture and fashion, Toogood often reinterprets and reinvents classical tropes and references from art history by introducing a new aesthetic. Since the conception of her immediately recognizable voluminous Roly-Poly chair (2014), she has been considered among the great form-givers of the 21st century.
Her career is marked out by the discrete Assemblages, each of which conjures a compact world of interrelated ideas, forms, and materials. Her first collaboration with the gallery, Assemblage 5, was inspired by a visit to Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence explored ancient animist notions of the elements water, earth and moon through a personal lens. In her most recent Assemblage 6, Toogood set out to “unlearn” the process of design and build a new vocabulary for furniture by recasting sculptural maquettes made from mundane materials found in the studio.
Her works have been acquired for the permanent collections of institutions worldwide, including the Corning Museum of Glass, NY; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Denver Museum of Art, CO; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.
Toogood lives and works in London, UK.
About Erez Nevi Pana
A vegan and passionate animal rights activist, Erez Nevi Pana’s practice is based on investigating natural phenomena and environmental processes through material exploration.
Born in Israel in 1983, Nevi Pana earned his Bachelor of Arts in Design from the Holon Institute of Technology in 2011 and Master of Arts from the Design Academy of Eindhoven in 2014, where his thesis focused on the recrystallization of salt. After graduation, Nevi Pana formed La Terrasse in Eindhoven as a platform for designers, artists, writers and thinkers in 2015.
Nevi Pana’s investigations of salt has developed into a long-term research project; he has been working with salt in the Dead Sea for the past eight years—investigating the devastating imbalance of an over-abundance of salt caused by the industrialization and mineral extraction of the region. The culmination of this research is a body of work entitled Bleached (2018), where Pana submerges wooden structures encased in loofah into the Dead Sea to absorb the wasted salt, which then crystallize like coral formations over time.
His works have been exhibited at museums worldwide, and have recently been included in the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition (2018-19) at the Design Museum in London, and in Nature: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial (2019-2020) co-organized by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York and the Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade, the Netherlands.
Nevi Pana’s works have been acquired in the permanent collections such as The Design Museum Holon in Israel, and the FRAC Grand Large – Hauts-de-France in Dunkerque. In 2020, Nevi Pana created Crystalline, the world’s first commissioned work of salt-based architecture, which will debut in the National Gallery of Victoria’s NGV Triennial (2020-2021) in Melbourne and enter the museum’s permanent collection.
He is currently researching the topic of Vegan Design as a doctoral candidate at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria.
Nevi Pana is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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. For further information please visit www.friedmanbenda.com and the gallery’s Instagram, @friedman_benda, and YouTube channel.
Media Contact: Christina Allan