Outside the molds and routes of design, Studio Casoli Gallery in Filicudi exhibits, from 21 June to 23 July, the work of British design studio BarberOsgerby: a small but well-kept exhibition that shows Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby under a different lens, highlighting the refinement of manufacturing and materials.
Since 1996, the design approach of the duo has been characterized by the exploration of materiality, color and processes with the constant use of a reduced, simple and fresh sign applied even to complex projects.
BarberOsgerby have been applying it for almost thirty years through collaborations with companies such as Vitra, Knoll, B&B Italia, Flos, Venini and Hermès. A diverse body of work ranging from industrial design, furniture, lighting and site-specific installations, collaborations with galleries and public commissions, such as the torch for the London 2012 Olympics.
For this exhibition they have selected twelve pieces – tables, lights, exercises in style – which show the possibilities they master when free from the constraints of serial production.
Made in the most varied materials – marble, glass, wood and metal – the limited edition objects exhibited at Studio Casoli are a radical antithesis to the harsh and wild landscape of Filicudi.
These objects reflect the close working relationship with the craftsmen.
For this reason From Island to Island also includes some drawings and the first collaboration with a weaver: Laura de Cesare from Pisa, who created a tapestry for the occasion composed of a series of concentric circles.
A reference to the sun in a nod to the coincidence with the opening of the exhibition and the summer solstice, and a reference to the circle, the recurring hallmark of Barber Osgerby's design.
What is on display in Filicudi ?
BarberOsgerby: “It is a collection of only twelve pieces created over the last twenty years, united by the variety of refined manufactures. Most of them were made in limited editions or especially for galleries”.
Why did you chose to exhibit in Filicudi?
BarberOsgerby: “Because it's a magnificent island. We've been going there for a few years now and we got to know several people, made friends.
Including the one with the gallery owner Sergio Casoli who last year, after the exhibition on the Scottish-born artist Peter Doig, asked us to exhibit our work".
What spirit animates this exhibition?
BarberOsgerby: “Nothing celebratory, it's not a retrospective at all. It really has to do with showing another side of our work, with exposing the different processes that have led to objects. Something out of the ordinary: in a small art gallery, on an island in the middle of nowhere”.
Your bond with Italy is lasting: it all started with the Loop table designed for Cappellini...
Barber Osgerby: “That's right. Giulio Cappellini had seen our piece at a design fair in London and therefore invited us to Milan to develop the project together. That was our first trip to Italy. It happened in the mid-90s, we were about 27 years old".
What projects do you have planned in the near future?
BarberOsgerby: “In September, another exhibition celebrating ten years of collaboration with the Mutina ceramics in their headquarters in the province of Modena.
We will occupy all the exhibition space with the collections created for them, the two new ones that we will present together with the special editions of three-dimensional objects in ceramic on which we are working.
Obviously the many collaborations continue, with B&B Italia, Rimowa and the other brands”.