Marking a significant expansion, eight newly unveiled collections join American designer Kelly Wearstler’s online gallery. As extensions of the initial collaborations that began in 2021, Wearstler’s Autumn 2022 announcement reiterates her commitment to the gallery and establishes it as a hub of international talent and collectible design. A unique approach to materiality, craft, and technology is at the centre of each collection at the gallery. Wearstler’s collaborations with multiple emerging and established designers from across the world through the years, don the interiors of the gallery. These creative relationships evolve into exclusive collections for the online gallery, calling attention to new talent and platforming them to a wider audience. With the latest launches, Wearstler’s gallery encompass limited-edition artwork, sculptural objects, furniture design, and lighting design featuring exclusive collaborations in addition to works previously unavailable in international markets.
Detroit-based ceramicist, artist, designer and educator Ebitenyefa Baralaye examines how objects, texts, and symbols are translated culturally, spiritually, and materially—abstracted around the aesthetics of craft and design and perceived through a diasporic lens. When Wearstler came across Baralaye on Instagram, he was commissioned to produce exclusive new pieces for the gallery, terracotta and press-moulded clay jars. Inspired by the artist's large-scale sculptures, Wearstler worked in partnership with Baralaye to develop vessels of a significant scale that would also incorporate patterns. The trunk and limbs of an African baobab tree became uses for the Baobab Vessel I & II forms and fan out similarly. The press-moulding technique allows each vessel in the series to exhibit uniformity, while patterns on the surface make each piece unique.
Amelia Briggs, a multidisciplinary artist based in Nashville, Tennessee, employs reclaimed materials to birth playfully inflated forms that exude an abstract sense of familiarity. Post her interactions with Wearstler on Instagram, the two first collaborated on a mirror commissioned for a project in 2019. For the gallery, Briggs and Wearstler have formulated an ensemble of three hand-made mirrors that will debut with the launch. Each piece features reclaimed materials such as latex, oil, panel, and glass, in which the mirror surface is larger than typically found in Briggs’ oeuvre. Wearstler’s influence can be observed in the artist’s colour choice that inclines towards more muted metallic tones for the three pieces.
Dutch designer Dirk van der Kooij is renowned for his playful interpretations of recycled plastic. With an approach that vacillates between the attitude of a craftsman and an inventor, his works signify the union of the hand and the machine. Kooij has built a reputation for unconventional use of materiality, morphing waste items such as discarded CDs into recycled products, furniture, and lighting. Wearstler's admiration for Kooij’s innovative design practice reflects in the fact that she owns his lamp design titled Satellite from 2012, which is also used to adorn some of her hotel projects.
YehRim Lee is a ceramic artist who grew up in Cheong-ju, South Korea and is currently based in Yucca Valley, California. Her art, which is inspired by traditional Korean ceramics, is the result of her parents' craft, which was passed down to her from an early age. In recent years, she has started experimenting with ceramic furniture, which linked her to Wearstler. For an interior design project, Wearstler bought a terracotta side table. This led to the creation of a series of terracotta side and drinks table designs—the latter of which was a first for the artist. Each work donning dramatic curves and angles is crafted using traditional Korean onggi hand-building technique.
Born in Tel Aviv, Lior Modan is a visual artist who now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Modan’s practice dabbles with paintings and objects, abstraction and figuration, the gestural and the surreal. His current body of work combines compression with several vacuum casting techniques of hand-dyed velvets, to give graphic forms of mundane objects, a renewed aura. Wearstler came across Modan’s work at Make Room Gallery in Los Angeles, where she purchased a piece for a project. The communication initiated with the artist led to this collaboration. Modan and Wearstler present Technicolour, a new collection of wall reliefs that encapsulate the allure of the Los Angeles landscape and architecture. Each finished painting is complemented by a custom-cast woven belt as its frame.
Felix Muhrhofer, a furniture designer based in Vienna, Austria constructs his works with a vast array of machinery. Well known for his handmade Terrazzo pieces and installations, his work is an amalgamation of functionality, craftsmanship, and aesthetic beauty. Muhrhofer and Wearstler have collaborated on commissioned works for her collections and interior projects for several years. They recently designed a table using stones she gathered during a family trip to Greece. For the gallery, Muhrhofer presents five new designs—two coffee tables, a dining table, a console table, and a side table—that represent a departure for him: wrapping steel to create monolithic bases. The stones that Wearstler accumulated on the beach near her home, in Malibu, and stones Muhrhofer collected on the shores of Italy, coexist in the creative duo's partnership.
Hagit Pincovici, an Israeli artist and designer based in Milan and New York, has collaborated with Wearstler on various projects for private clients. She was the third designer introduced into the gallery with the collection of sculptural furniture dubbed Third Nature. White Hour, the second gallery collaboration between Wearstler and Pincovici, encompasses two sculptures made of raw stone and neon light. For White Hour, the light slips through the rock, reflecting a narrative—both playful and surprising—capturing the space between day and night where light no longer has a direction or source.
Sticky Glass by Grace Whiteside, based in Brooklyn, New York, specialises in multi-functional, performative glassware. Their silhouettes are informed by the materiality of glass in its fluid state, representing the queerness of the material. Each piece intends to encourage an elevated experience, pushing mundane activities such as eating and drinking toward the extraordinary. Wearstler met Whiteside on social media and joined forces with her to create a Bubble Collection pitcher and cup set for her Malibu home. For the gallery, Sticky Glass brings to light a selection of the Bubble Collection, comprising tumble cups, goblets, and pitches in three exclusive colour ways developed by Wearstler.
Kelly Wearstler, founder and principal of Kelly Wearstler design studio creates multi-faceted, experiential, residential, hospitality, commercial and retail environments alongside collections of lifestyle product designs and brand collaborations. The stirring concepts and expressive narratives distinctive to her oeuvre defines Wearstler’s international presence. Her gallery is on a continuous journey of new partnerships that form the origins of new works that come to life in a regular cadence.