Ron Arad : The Metal Works

18 March - 30 April 2021

Ron Arad’s constant experimentation with the possibilities of materials such as steel, aluminum or polyamide and his radical re-conception of the form and structure of furniture has put him at the forefront of contemporary design and architecture.

 

Arad was born in 1951 in Tel Aviv. He studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and later at the Architectural Association in London, where he continues to live and work. He became a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2013. He was a Professor of Design Product at the Royal College of Art in London, where he headed the department, from 1997 to 2009. He was awarded the London Design Week Medal in 2011.

 

Arad's works have been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, including In Reverse, 2015 (Paul Kasmin Gallery, The Pinacoteca Agnelli, and the Design Museum Holon); The Last Train, 2013 (LV Venice Biennale); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990, 2011 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London); and No Discipline, 2009 (Museum of Modern Art, New York). In 2017 Arad won the competition to design the UK Holocaust Memorial in collaboration with Ghanaian British Architect Sir David Adjaye. He has designed a number of Public Art pieces, most recently the Vortext in Seoul, Korea, and the Kesher Sculpture at Tel Aviv University. Arad's work is represented in museum collections including Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

  • “Steel is a very forgiving material: you can bend it, you can weld it, you can drill it, you can...
    Ron Arad
    D-Sofa, 1994
    Patinated steel
    190 x 84 x 94 cm
    74 3/4 x 33 1/8 x 37 1/8 in
    Edition of 20 with 5 AP

    “Steel is a very forgiving material: you can bend it, you can weld it, you can drill it, you can cut it, you can change your mind, you can squash it and get amazing stuff. The first pieces were very amateurish and primitive, and then they became like a piece of jewelry.“ - Ron Arad

  • Ron Arad’s “This Mortal Coil” bookshelf’s free-standing circular shape and partitioned, hinged form changes and sways with the weight of...
    Ron Arad
    This mortal coil, 1993
    Patinated sprung mild steel
    229 x 212 x 33 cm
    90 1/8 x 83 1/2 x 13 in
    Edition of 20 plus 5 AP (AP 5/5)

    Ron Arad’s “This Mortal Coil” bookshelf’s free-standing circular shape and partitioned, hinged form changes and sways with the weight of the books set upon it, allowing the user to change the bookshelf’s form by adding or subtracting books. “This Mortal Coil’s” shape and philosophy stem from Arad’s wall-mounted “Bookworm” bookshelf, a version of which was mass-produced by Kartell, and is part of a ‘family’ of designs inspired by the idea of escaping the boundaries of traditional, linear shelving.

    - Phillip's Catalogue Essay, Lot 253, New York 2006

  • PAOLA ANTONELLI: This piece is called _Thumbprint_—it shares the same shape as Southern Hemisphere, which you’ll see elsewhere in the...
    Ron Arad
    Thumbprint, 2007
    Polish bronze rods
    Diameter 160 cm
    Diameter 63 in
    Edition of 6 with 2 AP (1/6)

    PAOLA ANTONELLI: This piece is called _Thumbprint_—it shares the same shape as Southern Hemisphere, which you’ll see elsewhere in the exhibition. And the two pieces come from the same idea but realized in different materials and therefore they take a completely different life of their own.

     

    RON ARAD: You decide how it's going to be made—i.e. rod-by-rod. Like layers and layers. But that fingerprint shape that you get is nothing to do with me or my wish—it's much better than that. Every landscape has its own fingerprint. And it happens first on the computer and then in the factory. I mean, we could predict what is going to happen, but I couldn't control it.

     

    - MoMA, Ron Arad "No Discipline" 2009