Wife and husband and frequent collaborators, Francis Upritchard and Martino Gamper bring together contrasting approaches to the making of three-dimensional objects. Upritchard is a sculptress from New Zealand with an extensive history of museum and gallery exhibitions, and Gamper an Italian designer with a wide and fascinating array of design exhibitions and commissions.
Their first joint exhibition at the gallery will blend sculpture and furniture in such a seamless way that genre or category seems temporarily thrown overboard. Upritchard and Gamper play with ideas of origin and derivation by combining figures, artifacts and pseudo-anthropological objects with newly designed as well as re-appropriated furniture, denying every concept of cultural purity and authenticity. Exhibited together, the works evoke ideas of the Gesamtkunstwerk and of cabinets of curiosities, albeit not in a Baroque palace but rather a contemporary cosmopolitan environment. The exhibition will include figures of varying sizes and materials, bronze dinosaurs, along with tables, chairs and consoles, and an assortment of ceramic bowls, pots, hats, lamps, and ornaments.
Upritchard’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, LA; at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2014); the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan; The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2013); Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati (2012); and the 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy (2009). She will have forthcoming solo exhibitions at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, Australia; and at the City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand (both 2016).
Martino Gamper started as an apprentice with a furniture maker in Merano, and went on to study sculpture under Michelangelo Pistoletto at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He completed a Masters in 2000 from the Royal College of Art, London, where he studied under Ron Arad. Gamper has presented his works and projects internationally; selected exhibitions and commissions include: ‘design is a state of mind’, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2014); ‘Period Room’, Palais De Tokyo, Paris (2013); ‘Bench Years’, London Design Festival commission, V&A Museum, London (2012); ʻGesamtkunsthandwerk’ (Karl Fritsch, Martino Gamper and Francis Upritchard), Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand; Project for Café Charlottenborg, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; ‘Bench to Bench’, public street furniture in East London in collaboration with LTGDC (2011); ‘100 chairs in 100 Days’, 5 Cromwell Place, London; ‘Wouldn't it be Nice...Wishful thinking in Art & Designʼ, Centre dʼ Art Contemporain, Genève (2007).