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Diversity by Nacho Carbonell

Milan 2010: Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell today unveils a new series of combined table and chair forms finished in materials including gravel, thorns, corn and broken glass.

The Diversity series features twenty iterations of the same form, but each is given a different surface treatment.

The collection went on show today at Palazzo Ferre in Milan.

All photos here are by Tatiana Uzlova.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

Here's some text from Carbonell:

Nacho Carbonell, Design Miami/Basel Designer of the Future, Unveils Twenty Prototypes from New “Diversity” Series April 14, 2010 in Milan.

Single Largest New Body of Work by Carbonell is On View at Gianfranco Ferre.

MILAN—April 14, 2010— Nacho Carbonell, the 2009 Design Miami/Basel Designer of the Future, today unveiled twenty prototypes from his new series “Diversity.” This is the single largest body of new work ever shown by Carbonell and will debut a broad array of recently created finishes made from gravel, thorns, resins, broken glass, monofilaments, and others. The “Diversity” series is being shown at the Palazzo Ferre, a space otherwise used exclusively for Gianfranco Ferre’s fashion shows, in conjunction with the Salone di Mobile, and will be on view from April 14 , 2010 throughout the month.

Carbonell, a native of Valencia now based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, rapidly established a reputation for creating distinct, innovative forms and highly experimental finishes following his graduation in 2007. Works in his “Evolution” series, for example, recall natural forms, such as gourds, pods and cocoons, finished with coatings made from papier mache, ground corn, leaves and other elements frequently boiled down into a paste that is applied to steel and wire armatures. His recent “Skin” series featured simple table and chair forms sealed in elastic latex that contained an umbilical-like connection between the objects. Carbonell’s works often invite interaction – one can hide one’s head between the layers of latex in a “Skin” series work, or disappear totally into the bulbous appendage of an “Evolution” piece.

In the new “Diversity” series, Carbonell takes twenty iterations of the same form – a slender-legged chair attached to a narrow, covered desk – and creates distinct finishes for each with the result suggesting a demographically diverse neighborhood.

One is coated in “hair filaments” that can be combed and groomed; another in shards of broken glass from used wine bottles; and, yet another in a granular concrete coating. Arrayed in the vast and opulent 625 square meter exhibition space at the Palazzo Ferre, the works seem almost processional. “Experimentation leads to new opportunities, to an unlimited world of creation,” said Carbonell. “I want to eliminate boundaries and expand the field of design – this is my own view of creation.”

The exhibition features the Diversity prototypes laid out in formation throughout the main hall. Towering next to them is Carbonell’s commissioned eight meter tall wall installation made out of hundreds of torn coloured paper layers. The paper leafs hang from the wall seamingly torn by claws and when illuminated give a game of light and shadow that projects over the hall onto the Diversity pieces. Towards the other end of the hall the designer, in collaboration with ceramic artist Marina Relou, presents a performance with his ceramic vase Hot Kettle. Throughout the performance various Hot Kettles are treated with layers of pigment textures giving a unique and irrepetible finish to each vase.

Both Michela Piva, top executive at Gianfranco Ferre, and Rossana Orlandi, chairwoman of Galleria Rossana Orlandi, have worked hard to make a unique, one time event at this location, presenting Nacho Carbonell’s 2010 work to the Salone di Mobile visitors.

Michela Piva said, “Style, design and architecture have always been cornerstone values of our brand philosophy, so hosting Nacho Carbonell’s creations here at our headquarters fits in perfectly with a vision by definition ever attentive to new expressions of contemporary art and design.”

Rossana Orlandi said, “It’s the first time as a Gallery that we organize such an important exhibition out of our usual spaces and it’s important to start with an important partner such as Gianfranco Ferré and with the talent of a creative artist, Nacho Carbonell”.

The show is located at via Pontaccio 21 in Milan, and opens Wednesday the 14th throughout the month of April.

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