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The Wrong Shop’s exhibit at VERSO lends a cross-disciplinary lens to art and design
A glimpse of The Wrong Shop's exhibition by VERSO
Image: Michel Zylberberg

The Wrong Shop’s exhibit at VERSO lends a cross-disciplinary lens to art and design

The VERSO furniture and design gallery is showcasing works by renowned artists and designers, encompassing idiosyncratic works of art, furniture designs, and print media. 

by STIRpad
Published on : Jul 25, 2023

In the summer of 2022, design expert Amauri Aguiar and American architect Bryan Young founded VERSO, an interiors and design gallery. Satiating the gallery’s aim of site-specific installations that reconsider conventional retail experiences, they unveiled a design and art exhibition presenting The Wrong Shop at its Tribeca gallery in New York. The exhibition opened to the public on July 11, 2023, showcasing an array of the online platform's latest edition of prints, posters, unique objects, and painted furniture, conceived by a selection of renowned names such as Gijs Frieling, Job Wouters, Erwan Bouroullec, and Richard Woods. “Verso is the perfect place to bring The Wrong Shop’s world-class collection of artists and designers to New York for the first time. Each artist on display represents a compelling shift in contemporary design culture. We aim to celebrate this cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, advocating creativity in many mediums and forms,” shares Sebastian Wrong, founder of The Wrong Shop, on the platform's first exhibition in the United States, at VERSO.

"The Wrong Shop is an online platform selling limited-edition prints, posters and objects by notable designers and artists from around the world. A bridge between the worlds of art and design, it was founded to allow independent and multidisciplinary makers to interrogate and expand the boundaries of their practices. The Wrong Shop was established by Sebastian Wrong in 2011, making unique, eclectic artwork and objects accessible to a contemporary audience," relays the platform. Meanwhile, VERSO is 'a travelling furniture and design gallery' headquartered in Tribeca, focusing on "the narratives that bridge designers’ concepts, artisan techniques and final objects. Collections include bespoke, limited edition and open-series furniture and art pieces from a curated group of international designers selected for each individual setting," explains the gallery.

The design exhibition features five remarkable pieces by Freeling Waters, a partnership between painter turned muralist Gijs Frieling and graphic designer turned calligrapher Job Wouters. This comprises a collection of repurposed antique cabinets that are on display in the US for the first time, promoting recycling and fine craftsmanship skills. The striking furniture design features landscapes, organic decorations, geometric patterns, and various material textures alongside texts and poetry. Historically (notably in the Alpine regions), these painted cabinets were considered prized possessions that were passed down through generations. The restored pine cabinets from the 18th and 19th centuries are given new life by the artists. In their rediscovery, these unique pieces drastically alter how they are perceived, combining the past and present in an eclectic renaissance. The outcome is an aesthetically appealing piece of wooden furniture that makes a strong statement against a world dominated by mass-produced goods and replicated imagery.

VERSO is also presenting new wall hangings from the world-renowned artist, designer and tech subverter Erwan Bouroullec. Known for his steady work across furniture and lighting designs with his brother Ronan Bouroullec, the French designer’s diversified practice has become increasingly influenced by codes and forms that wander outside of the traditional design realm. The artworks have been reinvented as aluminium-backed wall hangings created specifically for The Wrong Shop, after the debut of The Impossible, a paper limited edition from 2022. This multifaceted series investigates how we perceive and comprehend the world around us. Using specially created software, abstract geometric patterns are superimposed on images of the countryside, post which, the artwork is printed on fabric with an aluminium foil backing to provide the piece durability and the potential for crumpling and manipulation. Bouroullec values this warped texture as it evokes 'the roughness of the wild' and distorts the geometric pattern.

Contemporary posters from British artist Richard Woods are also on display. Woods originally came to prominence in the 1990s and is renowned for his specific method of producing exquisite installations and sculptures that frequently mirror the aesthetics of conventional architecture and interior design. His work could potentially be divided into three categories of painting, printmaking, and sculpture art . Exclusive to The Wrong Shop, Woods' graphic poster collection named Windows features a lithographic print with a high gloss spot varnish, representative of the whimsical nature of his studio printing method, giving the collection added depth and dimension. Through enormous scale, patterned surface, garish colour, and graphic lines, the artist creates an experience for the observer, paving a path towards realising the beauty and humour of the world we live in.

Potentially, the works of each artist and designer appear to resonate harmoniously within the walls of the VERSO design showroom, despite having their distinct voices and aesthetic languages. The showcase promotes creativity in a range of media and forms, highlighting a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design. It stands as evidence, of the potency of artistic expression and of how it can bring various viewpoints, ideas, and cultures together under one roof. One can assume that these product designs interact with one another, owing to the VERSO’s imaginative curation that provides visitors with a rich and immersive experience, ultimately renewing their respect for the limitless potential of modern design culture.

Text by Ria Jha

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