“Can’t wait to see this!!” artist Johnny Thornton wrote. In the comments section of another post, Nicole Bunn of Savelle Marcs Design applauded, “Gorgeous!” And as for AD100 designer Rodman Primack and interiors photographer Stephen Kent Johnson? A series of heart and heart-eyes emoji got their mutual points across.
The focus of this collective (and highly positive) cri de coeur is Demisch Danant gallery’s new exhibition, which opened this week in New York. The show, titled You Are Gold, centers on 40 new gold (and bronze) lamp designs by Belgian artist Jos Devriendt.
For her own part, Suzanne Demisch, one half of the duo behind the New York gallery, is well aware of the reaction that the show has been sparking. “We have had an overwhelming response,” she tells AD PRO. “Our staff has been fielding a huge volume of interest.” That interest has been building since Demisch Danant debuted its first solo exhibition of Devriendt’s mushroom-like lamps in 2017. “People like these designs so much and wish that there were more of them, instead of such a comparatively small number,” Demisch notes. “But what makes Jos’s work so special is exactly that: Each piece is unique—hand-thrown and hand-glazed. They have a very human appeal to them.”
Devriendt has been consistently inspired by nature in his work, which makes curvilinear shapes an ongoing font of inspiration. But his mushroom silhouettes, lovable as they may be, are not a novelty for Devriendt—who has been working with that form for the past 20 years. In the case of these latest works, it’s their surface treatments that make them stand so brightly out. “This is the first time I’ve applied the gold glazes to my Night and Day pieces,” Devriendt explains to AD PRO. “Their reflective surfaces work like a mental mirror—they reflect everything around the object, while making you aware of time and context.”
And what of that specific, famous hue? “Gold has also been seen as a precious material, and as something we associate with beauty, since antiquity,” Devriendt reflects. When asked whether she thinks that these new works are indicative of a wider moment of popularity for reflective yellow-golds, Demisch exclaims, “Indeed! But the truth is that gold—and metallic elements, generally—have always been cherished in the design world.” Very true. Plus, as the buzz surrounding this exhibition shows, it’s far from letting up.