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Galerie Philia explores the interplay of science and art with 'Celestial Attraction'
Jérôme Pereira explores the concept of balance and the constants in physics through his work
Video: Courtesy of Galerie Philia

Galerie Philia explores the interplay of science and art with 'Celestial Attraction'

Galerie Philia to stage first solo show dedicated to French designer and sculptor Jérôme Pereira during Milan Design Week 2024 exploring the relationship between art and science. 

by Galerie Philia
Published on : Apr 05, 2024

A year After the acclaimed Desacralized exhibition in the deconsecrated church of San Vittore e 40 Martiri, Galerie Philia returns to Milan Design Week 2024 with the first solo exhibition dedicated to the French designer and sculptor Jérôme Pereira. Celestial Attraction, on view at the Spazio CB32 near Fondazione Prada from April 16 - 21, 2024, invites visitors to delve into the poetic universe of an artist trained in geophysics. Pereira’s lighting designs, which seamlessly blend art and science, illuminate some of today’s most distinctive interiors. Having explored the theme of sacredness in their last three Milanese exhibitions, the art gallery now proposes a reflection on the relationship between science and art – a question that has captivated philosophers since antiquity and has resulted in masterpieces, such as the works of Leonardo da Vinci

For the design week, Pereira has conceived nine unique designs in his signature material: wood. Presented alongside two textile designs by Sylvia Eustache Rools, also created especially for the exhibition. The pieces by Pereira that will be on display during the design fair capture the artistic language developed by the lighting designer over the past 20 years - an organic aesthetics of lines and curves, particles and nuclei shaped by the laws of gravity and attraction. They also serve as a testament to the designer’s fascination with the cosmos, natural phenomena and great scientific theories, from Archimedes’ inventions to Einstein’s discoveries.

The concept of balance and the constants in physics lie at the heart of Pereira’s work. Similar to mathematical and physical equations, his 'mobiles' in wood and glass achieve a subtle and delicate equilibrium. Four of these lighting sculptures will be unveiled in Milan, all constructed with tree branches and pieces of wood found in the forests near the designer’s studio in the South of France. The glass components have been produced in collaboration with a master glassmaker.

As in Pereira’s Seminal Planck chandelier which is a homage to Max Planck, the originator of quantum theory, illustrated right, these monumental pieces draw inspiration from science and space. Named after asteroid nomenclature, SI-02 features a long, sculpted ash branch floating above the ground, illuminated at its top extremity by a round shape in blown glass. It is evocative of the meteorites and comets thought to be at the origins of life on Earth – a theme also explored in Messenger II, in this piece, an arched axis suspends, on one side, a delicate round blown glass pendant and on the other, a large mass in which ash and oak wood combine to form a large, irregular, meteor-like shape. For Icarus, the designer imagined a frail wing made of an assembly of oak branches, with a round opaque glass light hanging 'like a lantern in the depth of the interstellar night'.

The six other pieces created for the design event, including a table design, a floor lamp, a tripod lamp and a sculpture, highlight the importance of nature and the respect for living materials in Pereira’s practice. Not working the wood but with the wood, he embraces the natural lines and shapes of the material to produce pieces of imperfect beauty, bearing the traces of their fabrication. "Jérôme Pereira's sculptural work embodies a tangible contemplation of the intricate interplay between balance and gravity. It is with immense pride that we host his inaugural solo exhibition, recognising him as a prominent luminary in the realm of contemporary sculpture. The poetic and philosophical depth of his works adds a profound layer to the contemporary artistic landscape," shares Ygaël Attali, co-founder of Galerie Philia.

The passage of time and natural transformations are also central to Rool's work. In Milan, the artist will unveil new textile art – a wall hanging and a sculpture both emblematic of her enigmatic silk creations. Resembling geological and archaeological artefacts, these works result from a process involving oxidation, vegetal macerations and tinctorial explorations using ink and natural tannins.

Stay tuned with STIR's coverage of Milan Design Week 2024 which showcases the best of exhibitions, studios, designers, installations, brands and events to look out for. Explore EuroCucina and all the design districts—Fuorisalone, 5vie Design Week, Isola Design Week, Brera Design District and Porta Venezia Design District.

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