In the realm of design, juxtaposition can be the catalyst for innovation. Lewis Kemmenoe's first solo exhibition in Max Radford Gallery, ‘METALLURGY’, illustrates this concept.
Every artist’s journey evolves, and Kemmenoe’s path is distinguished by its fusion of the organic with the industrial. The exhibition showcases objects typically found in a home—lights, furnishings, and the like. Yet, Kemmenoe’s approach to these common silhouettes is anything but ordinary. By experimenting within these familiar boundaries, he invites the viewer to see beyond mere functionality and delve into materiality.
Labeling Kemmenoe's work as just design seems insufficient. There's a poetic transformation that takes place, transitioning an object from its functional essence to something deeply personal. This metamorphosis feels alchemical.
While his earlier pieces demonstrated an improvisational reworking of materials, ‘METALLURGY’ presents a fascinating interaction. The dance between metal and wood is particularly compelling. Aluminium seamlessly melds, taking on a fluidity that complements the natural grain of wood. Such moments of hybridization provide insight into the heights design can reach when contrasting elements come together.
A prevailing theme in artist's oeuvre is the concept of 'skin'. It's not solely about the tactile sensation, but also the visual aesthetic. There's an authenticity, suggesting each piece narrates its own history. For users, interacting with Kemmenoe's designs goes beyond utility—it's about connecting with an entity that feels almost alive.
Kemmenoe’s academic background, with stints at esteemed institutions like Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, undoubtedly honed his design sensibilities. However, his fascination with functional objects, drawing from architecture, fashion, or design, has allowed him to carve a unique space. His creations, while utilitarian, often challenge conventional design boundaries.
Lewis Kemmenoe's ‘METALLURGY’ offers a perspective on the intricate balance between form, function, and material. Exhibition took place in Max Radford Gallery, London.