The sleek, modernist setting of Casa Perfect, The Future Perfect’s residential gallery in Los Angeles, provides an elegant background to Chris Wolston’s exhibition, Temperature’s Rising, which features an expansive new collection of handcrafted furniture and objects.
Chris Wolston at Casa Perfect
An artist and designer based between Brooklyn, NY and Medellín, Colombia, Chris Wolston has had a long-standing interest in traditional craft techniques, particularly weaving and ceramics, which he applies to his animated and vibrant collections. His current exhibition, Temperature’s Rising, includes 21, one-of-a-kind pieces that were made over the last two-years at his studio in Medellín, with the help of local artisans. Using ethically sourced Colombian wicker, his series of anthropomorphic chairs, cabinets and lights, are intricate and playful, with distinctive personalities.
The high-backed chairs with rounded legs both in the back and front, two pairs of feet, and the arms raised in the air as if dancing, feel like they might wander out for a walk after a long meal. The “Hand Chandelier” is an impressive, large-scale sculptural piece with over a dozen twisting, woven wicker arms that have light bulbs screwed into the hands. The wicker Paramo Cabinet, which weaves in patches of patinated bronze, reflects how this typically humble material, can become distinctly contemporary and dynamic.
Paramo Cabinet by Chris Wolston. Wicker and Bronze.
Following his undergraduate degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, Wolston first went to Colombia on a Fulbright Scholarship, where had the opportunity to see the country’s rich artistic traditions and study pre-Columbian ceramics. His work connects to this heritage through his unique visual language that brings in human or animal qualities, biomorphic forms, nature, and the fantastic, all of which emerge in unexpected ways.
While Wolston has explored the use of metal in previous work, Temperature’s Rising provided a platform to present his expansion into other metals including bronze, copper and brass. In this series of work, you can see his passion for plants and gardens; Leaf-motifs, floral patterns and organic shapes are fitted together to create elegant tables and vessels. “This work is meant to document the relationship between the body and its environment as interchangeable texts. The landscape proposed by this work is both imaginary and real. It is a sort of formal recycling – I am re-purposing the fundamental contours of bodies and mountains, in order to suggest their interconnectedness. Through my range of material gestures, I mean to make tangible the reality of escapism.”
Installation view: Chris Wolston, Temperature’s Rising, Casa Perfect
Oro Dining Table and Chairs
Installation view: Temperature’s Rising, Casa Perfect
Hand Chandelier, wicker