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‘Blue Steel’ by GSL Gallery is a tribute to the influence of steel and aluminium in design
Blue Steel Exhibition by GSL Gallery
Image: Courtesy of GSL Gallery

‘Blue Steel’ by GSL Gallery is a tribute to the influence of steel and aluminium in design

The exhibition features works from international designers highlighting the enduring significance of steel and aluminium in shaping traditional and contemporary design.

by Ria Jha
Published on : Feb 08, 2024

Silver metal is an adaptable material that has been used to create a sense of refinement and elegance in a variety of products and furniture designs. Its lustrous appearance and malleability make it ideal for creating intricate designs and embellishments, giving anything from elegant chair designs to modern tableware an impression of grandeur. To shine a light on the dominance of the utilisation of silver metal in the design industry, the France-based Guild of Saint Luke (GSL) gallery unveiled Blue Steel on January 26, 2024. The group exhibition will be on display until March 27, 2024, and highlight the bold spirit of design history’s metallurgical dalliances.

Blue Steel features a diverse array of over 27 international designers co-curated by Paris-based curator, editor, and creative director of Say Hi To, Kristen de La Vallière of and founder of John Whelan GSL gallery. The display presents itself as a learned testimony to the contemporary design industry's infatuation with steel and aluminium, evoking the industrial resonances that have reverberated throughout history. The exhibition showcases furniture, products and lighting design as a modern rhapsody that harmoniously blends form and function in a metallic manner. It's a thought-provoking exploration of the relationship that design has with the materials that shape, persist, and alter our living environments.

The exhibition gathers the works of designers who turned metal into useful objects. A wide tapestry of artistic expressions is enhanced by the involvement of renowned designers and studios like Georgia-based Rooms Studio, Portugal-based Studio Haos, Japanese designer Daisuke Yamamoto, South Korean designer and artist Sisan Lee, Studio Benoit Lalloz founded by Korean designer Benoit Lalloz, British designer Grace Prince, Oh Hyunseog of ‘Niceworkshop’ based in Seoul, artist Georgia Merritt, lighting and furniture designer Arnaud Eubelen, and London based artist and designer EJR Barnes, among others.

Blue Steel reveals a chiaroscuro palette of cool blues and glimmering silvers, evoking the precision of the Wiener Werkstätte artisans, the Bauhaus's quest for form following function, and the Art Deco richness reverberating through time. Each piece on display celebrates materials that have influenced design principles and offers an intellectual reflection on the relationship between grace and strength. It is a playful tribute to the design industry's passion for these metals, a synthesis of modern and historical reverence for the materials that forge not only furniture but also narratives.

Steel and aluminium are materials that continue to enthral designers with their timeless elegance and useful practicality, influencing the aesthetic landscape of furniture and product design. This exhibition honours the long history and tradition of working with metal in addition to showcasing the inventiveness and skill of contemporary designers. Visitors are encouraged to reflect on the complex dance between form and function, tradition and innovation, which characterises the ever-changing interaction between design and materials, as they peruse the carefully chosen selection of artefacts.

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