Marta Los Angeles holds a sculptural desert safari with ‘Tino’s White Horses’
‘Tino’s White Horses’ exhibition at Marta Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brian Guido

Marta Los Angeles holds a sculptural desert safari with ‘Tino’s White Horses’

Ross Hansen draws inspiration from New Mexico’s Ojo Caliente to present a collection of furniture pieces created in a creative dialogue with the desert landscape.

by Ayushi Mathur
Published on : Jul 09, 2022

Did you know that the Tewa Pueblos, a linguistic group of native Americans, from New Mexico believe that historically, the hot springs of Ojo Caliente are gateways to the underworld? While one may choose to believe in this legend or completely discard it, the arid wilderness of Ojo Caliente, a community of Taos County of New Mexico is an avid source of creative innovation. Pioneering the spirit of design and drawing inspiration from his equine neighbours from New Mexico, Ross Hansen, an American landscape and furniture designer, has come up with his first solo exhibition ‘Tino’s White Horses’ at the Los Angeles- based gallery, Marta. The exhibition is open for public viewing from June 25th, 2022 till August 6th, 2022.

The Tino’s White Horse’ exhibition Image: Courtesy of Marta L.A

Comprising functional baskets, chairs, filters or partitions, low tables, benches and a lamp, Hansen constructed a collection while reflecting the desert scene of the unincorporated lands around the Mexican settlement. Ojo Caliente is often known for its hot springs, the rocky formations and an exaggerated sense of solitude, all of which were the peculiar planets circling the American designer’s expressive collection. He contextualised the gallery’s space as an interim terrarium and gave birth to pieces of furniture that from afar, look perfectly utilitarian, but upon closer inspection, appear as the inhabitants of an arid vivaria. Hansen merged architectonic forms with biomorphic components and used pigmented epoxy resin, faux-leather upholstery and sewn hemp fibreglass to create the sculptural objects.

The Squish bench by Ross Hansen Image: Courtesy of Marta L.A
The exhibits set up as an inspiration from an arid desert Image: Courtesy of Marta L.A

Populating the pseudo-terrarium, the Under Lamp, featured as an allusion to Italian modernist lighting, arcs across the room with the elegance and scope of a stone archway sculpted by sand, wind, and time. A cluster of resin-coated hemp Baskets sprout from the ground beneath it, like a bunch of succulents strengthened by moisture, whereas the burnt sienna skin of the modular bench Squish joyously breaks the material diptych by adding a sense of life and movement in the extremely still artificial-desert space. The low coffee table finished in a seemingly-rough and raw finish, looks like a gigantic rock sitting in the dry space next to the amber coloured chair that whimsically looks like a well sculpted cheese cracker: a hope of food from the desert maybe?

The hemp baskets Image: Courtesy of Marta L.A
The sculptural coffee table by Ross Hansen Image: Courtesy of Marta L.A

Ross Hansen, with a design degree in landscape architecture on hand, often travels between California and New Mexico. Owing to his in hand knowledge and expertise of topographical design alongside a personal experience of living in an arid region, he accentuates the patterns and praises nature’s decor through his carefully cultivated designs. His sculpted furniture pieces are a result of the artist’s ability to instinctually create and situate forms and stem from his love, interest and evolving relationship with this particular corner of land. Marta is a gallery that platforms objects as the meeting point between art, intellect, functionality and design. Founded in Los Angeles in 2019, the gallery has always succeeded in providing a curatorial space for artists and designers to not only display but to experiment and portray their processes. To the gallery, the process of art is just as important as the result.

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