Simone Bodmer Turner showcases "talismans of memory" at New York exhibition

American designer Simone Bodmer Turner, who usually works in ceramics, has showcased collectible design objects produced using bronze, wood, lacquer, and silk at Emma Scully Gallery in New York.

The A Year Without a Kiln exhibition presented Bodmer’s first explorations of processes other than ceramics and came out of her transition from working in a Brooklyn studio to a Massachusetts farmhouse.

Tables and sofa
Simone Bodmer Turner displayed a collectible furniture collection in New York

“Serving as a topography of self, this inherently personal showcase invited viewers into Bodmer-Turner’s inner landscape during a time of immense transition and creative incubation,” said Emma Scully Gallery.

“Imbued with a sense of kinetic curiosity, each object presented was a marker in a year (2023). During this time, Bodmer-Turner didn’t have access to her kiln, the primary tool behind her clay creations.”

Table, lamp and sofa
It departs from the artist’s usual work with ceramics

Intended to showcase like the designer’s own living room, the exhibition included a slip-covered sofa, large coffee table, lighting, fireside andirons, and decorative objects displayed on sideboard-shaped pedestals.

According to the gallery, the presentation deals with the questions of placemaking.

The exhibition was designed to resemble Bodmer-Turner’s living roomTables in front of screenThe exhibition was designed to resemble Bodmer-Turner’s living room

“This work came out of a certain moment of life where I was, and am, making my first true home – a home I intend to grow into and build for a lifetime,” explains Bodmer-Turner.

“It’s also a direct result of my perpetual rumination on how a place can be deeply influential on both the design of a space and a body of work born out of it.”

It includes a sofa, coffee table, lighting, fireside andirons and decorative objects

The furniture pieces on view are reflective of her biomorphic and sinewy style and reference 20th-century artists Alexander Calder and Diego Giacometti.

“Their work has always made Paris’ city streets – a place I go for inspiration and creative restoration – feel alive with ghosts of artists’ past for me,” said Bodmer-Turner.

“Bringing this language into pieces that feel at home in post-and-beam, Deerfield-style architecture has meant that Paris, and this ongoing inspiration, gets to live with me at all times.”

A hand-sculpted bronze lamp was produced in collaboration with Chicago foundry West Supply and suspended-ball-pull-chain that the talent is known to include in her designs.

Clay sconce
The pieces reflect her biomorphic and sinewy style

Her standing screen references Isamu Noguchi’s 1973 modular PL2 Akari light sculpture.

Developed with Massachusetts-based woodworker and Windsor furniture expert Laura Pepper, as well as urushi lacquer artist Yuko Gunji, two side tables reinterpret an American Shaker Chippendale style but also Japanese influences.

Weed shaped sconce
It brings together New England and Japanese influences

“These tables unite my early spark for craft traditions in Japan, and my current environment of the New England countryside,” said Bodmer-Turner.

“Each material and motif has a personal history for me. They are intended to act as talismans of memory, creativity, and pleasure throughout this living space.”

Other recent exhibitions in New York include 13 furniture pieces made from scrap aluminium by Estúdio Campana and work by Lina Bo Bardi and José Zanine Caldas at Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

The photography is by William Jess Laird

The A Year Without a Kiln exhibition is on view from 2 May to 22 June at Emma Scully Gallery. For more architecture and design exhibitions visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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