FOG Design+Art 2019
Enveloped by India yellow walls, Anton Kern Gallery’s debut booth at FOG Design+Art is the stage for an intricately designed installation of Francis Upritchard’s sculptures, ceramics, and drawings, coupled with Martino Gamper’s furniture. Wife and husband, and frequent collaborators, Upritchard and Gamper bring together contrasting yet complementing approaches to the making of three-dimensional objects.
The couple’s joint presentation at FOG is decidedly inspired by the counter-culture and Nature Boys movements that sprang up in California in the 1940s and 50s, and culminated in the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco. In addition, it can be read as an homage to the spirit of legendary sculptor and designer J.B. Blunk, who had built his home and studio in the 1960s near the town of Inverness, CA: exactly where Gamper fabricated the tables, seats and shelves shown at the fair. Combined with Upritchard’s marvelous and eccentric figures, glass and bronze sculptures, as well as watercolor drawings, this collaboration creates a synergetic environment that echoes the spirit of the city.
Upritchard’s work was most recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Barbican Centre, London (2018/19). Her work has also been featured in solo exhibitions at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) (2016), Melbourne, Australia; and at the City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand (2016); 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).
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. Selected exhibitions and commissions include: ‘Tabula Rasa’, Museo del Risorgimento, Torino (2017); ‘100 Chairs in 100 Days’, City Gallery Wellington, Wellington (2017); ‘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); ‘100 chairs in 100 Days’, 5 Cromwell Place, London; ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice...Wishful thinking in Art & Design, Centre d Art Contemporain, Genève (2007).
Upritchard and Gamper live and work in London.