Magazine article Artforum International

Jessi Reaves and Sophie Stone: Del Vaz Projects

Magazine article Artforum International

Jessi Reaves and Sophie Stone: Del Vaz Projects

Article excerpt

Jessi Reaves and Sophie Stone

DEL VAZ PROJECTS

For their first exhibition in Los Angeles, New York-based artists Jessi Reaves and Sophie Stone furnished Del Vaz Projects with works that slyly confused the boundary between the so-called "fine" and "applied" arts. Slouching against walls and scattered across the floor were large, irregularly woven textiles and idiosyncratic furniture pieces that served an aesthetic purpose as much as a utilitarian one. The works fit seamlessly into the exhibition space, given that the gallery is also a lived-in apartment. (The venue housed the artists while they created, in the building's garage, most of the displayed works during an informal three-week residency.) Recalling neither the artisanal luxury items of the Arts and Crafts movement nor the rationalized, reductive forms of modernist designs, Reaves's and Stone's functional objects were ludic combinations of raw materials and sourced objects that often bore traces of previous uses.

In the main gallery--a living room--Reaves exhibited a series of quasi-anthropomorphic chairs and shelving units. His and Hers Ferraris, 2014, comprised a pair of steel chair frames padded with wide strips of polyurethane foam, sexily sheathed in sheer dark-rose slipcovers with revealing cutouts edged in bright red silk. A far cry from the disciplined elegance of the curvilinear chair designs of Gio Ponti or Carlo Mollino (which seem emaciated in comparison), these paired chairs nonetheless radiated their own ungainly charm. Puckered ribbons of foam were wrapped around a large chair frame covered with a hardened mixture of glue and sawdust in Life Is Getting Longer/Baguette Chair, 2016. One sank down comfortably into the squishy, cellulite-like folds of this armchair, cushioned with foam pieces unevenly colored from varying amounts of light exposure, dust, and dirt left by previous visitors. A trio of sculptural shelving units, one freestanding and two attached to walls, all made from biomorphic, Noguchiesque shapes cut from plywood (a very un-Noguchiesque material), completed the furniture set.

Underneath and alongside Reaves's furniture pieces, hanging on one wall of the gallery's main room and sprawling on the floors of its kitchen, dining area, hallway, and outdoor patio, lay colorful rug-size works by Stone. …

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