Lyle Gallery showcases "metalwork through a feminine lens" in New York

metal exhibition lyle gallery

Inflated and spiralled metal furniture by three female designers have been featured in an inaugural exhibition by Lyle Gallery during the city’s NYCxDesign week.

Metal includes work by co-founder of London studio Jamps, Martha McGuinn, Texas-based Jøna Maaryn and Michelle Jiaxin Huang, who is based in Rhode Island.

Black chairs with thin back
Metals are featured in an exhibition by Lyle Gallery. Pictured are pieces by Jøna Maaryn.

“Metal is a celebration of craftsmanship, showcasing handcrafted metalwork through a feminine lens,” said Lyle Gallery. “The pieces integrate elements of symbolism and storytelling, reflecting the artists’ personal experiences, viewpoints, and passions.”

Lyle Gallery co-founder Lin Tyrpien said the furniture was informed by her affinity for handcrafted techniques, as well as a desire to showcase designers who identify as women.

“I have this really strong background of making things by hand,” she told Dezeen. “I’m really interested in that. Hence why I wanted all of these pieces to be by artists who still do that.”

Pillowy metal chairs
It is the inaugural exhibit for the galley. Pictured is work by Michelle Jiaxin Huang and Martha McGuinn.

Michelle Jiaxin Huang’s pillowy and bulbous metal Eternal Recurrence Landing chair and Telegraph and Rover bench “invite conversations around existence” and are made of inflated metal volumes welded together to create the seating.

“The chair titled Eternal Recurrence – Landing symbolizes birth, serving as the genesis of the expedition,” said the studio. “Subsequently, Rover emerges as a manifestation of transport, drawing inspiration from industry and space exploration.”

The third piece, Telegraph, represents communication and “seeks to receive, process, and convey messages”.

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Martha McGuinn laser-cut scrap aluminium into twisting and spiralling forms for her Monk Chair and Panning Screen, which were informed by illuminated manuscripts dating back to 1310, in which the tradition of fattening pigs with acorns was pictured.

McGuinn traced the manuscripts to create the curling forms, then weaved pieces together to pay homage to “the rich tradition of female artisanal weaving”.

A residence at the Arizona architecture community Arcosanti by architect Paolo Soleri informed the “spinal-inspired” forms of the black steel and concrete Paloma Negra and Embre chairs and Kokuryū stool by Jøna Maaryn.

Pillowy metal bench
The pieces were informed by the designers’ personal experiences

“Her spinal-inspired chair, Paloma Negra, stands as a self-portrait, reminiscent of a dove emerging from a shadow,” said the studio. “While the sturdy house-shaped Embre chair symbolizes control over hearts and homes, drawing from her experiences within the desert community of Arcosanti.”

“In this collection, Jøna explores the depths of human experience, grappling with the legacies of past visionaries she has studied and the shadows they cast,” it continued.

Metal is the inaugural exhibit of Lyle Gallery, co-founded by Lin Tyrpien and Magdalena Tyrpien, which “showcases an eclectic ensemble of artists and designers across disciplines”.

Mono-material metal furniture has played a large part in this year’s releases. Last month, Dezeen wrote about the style’s prevalence during Milan’s design week.

The photography is by Lyle Gallery.

Metal will be on show at Lyle Gallery from 16 May to 24 June and New York’s design festival 2024 takes place throughout the city from 16 to 23 May. See the NYCxDesign 2024  guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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