Materials and memories linger in Rafael Prieto’s exhibition Together over time at Emma Scully Gallery. Whether a linen light fixture shaped after a bone marrow that struck the designer’s attention at a dinner party or a petticoat fabric curtain sewn with replicas of clothing inspired by Prieto’s sightings of drying laundry on Neapolitan streets, textures and remembrances coalesce.
The New York–based Mexican designer’s first solo exhibition occupies the Upper East Side gallery’s main room where accents like crown molding and a fireplace hint at a domestic past. Creating the show’s nine pieces with this homey background in mind helped Prieto delve into his materials’ tactile qualities. “I could create a contrast between cold materials such as stone or glass and a warm domestic setting,” he told AN. The gallery’s eponymous owner suggests looking for a similar synergy in the materials’ relationship with one another: “There is a dynamic conversation between a bone becoming a fabric or a stone inspiring the form of a glass surface.” The dealer is referring to the small side table made with carved wood, stone, and glass cast from a stone which shares the local quarry with another piece of stone tied with rope to a kite-like lamp shade. Similar to this medley of textures, a handful of collaborators joined Prieto in the pieces’ creation, such as fashion designer Kritika Manchanda, the ceramic studio Atelier Lips, and artist Loup Sarion.
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