Opening reception: April 5, 6 – 8 pm.
Picture Room presents a new series of sculptures by Allison Samuels, an established designer and woodworker. Recognized for her delicate and minimalist functional objects, Samuels carefully considers the durability and longevity of her cabinetry, furniture and utensils. In this new collection of hand carved wooden sculptures, she upholds the same ethos of sustainability and craft seen in her design studio.
Allison Samuels’ practice and the featured works chart a map through her cognitive process, a dialogue between intuition and material that emerges through the forms seen in the installation. The show is a new feat for Samuels, as she moves away from functional items such as furniture and utensils to distinctly sculptural works. These expanded forms allow for a shift in emphasis; they do not perform or serve a purpose beyond existing as themselves. They are tactile, they play, they actively reject representation.
These works also embrace what might otherwise be considered "flaws." Knots, holes and cracks in wood would render it useless for constructing utility-driven items; whereas here such “limitations” become an opportunity. The conversation, which surfaces between material and maker, is as much a subject as the forms themselves, developing a language of "3D thoughts.”
Inspired by her travels and the rocks, branches and earth she collects along the way, Samuels allows raw matter to speak through her practice, blurring the line between form and function, the imagined and real. Her meditations come to life through the physical objects featured here.
The wall-mounted sculptures in this collection are an extension of this principle, and are made in collaboration with Charmaine Vegas, a Long Beach-based jeweler and metalsmith. Samuels’ Pink Moon Credenza in bleached white maple features custom porcelain relief door pulls by Chicago-based ceramicist Anne Carnevale.
Allison Samuels (b. 1990) is the founder of Two Tree Studios, an environmentally conscious design practice and woodworking studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Through an upbringing surrounded by forests, rivers and mountains, Samuels cultivated an early appreciation for the natural world. As such, her work emphasizes, and is dictated in part by, the unique properties she observes within raw material itself.