Over 100 designers create hooks for exhibition in tribute to JB Blunk

  • by

California gallery Blunk Space has opened the exhibition 100 Hooks, featuring new works by designers including Jasper Morrison, Ilse Crawford, Anna Karlin and Bethan Laura Wood.

The show features hooks designed by over 100 designers and studios, with other participants including Rio Kobayashi, Max Lamb, Minjae Kim, David Wiseman and Normal Studio.

Anna Karlin created a glazed stoneware hook with an abstract “glyph-like” shape, while Bethan Laura Wood celebrated classic Venetian glass techniques (top image)

It comes more than 40 years after American sculptor JB Blunk presented the seminal solo exhibition of his career, 100 Plates Plus, which saw him produce an array of both functional and sculptural works.

Exhibition curator Mariah Nelson, who is Blunk’s daughter, was interested in how this format allowed scope for a wide range of possible design outcomes.

Rio Kobayashi designed his hook to look like a snake

“My father enjoyed how the parameters of the plate format provided opportunities to push and pull at the constraints,” she said, writing in the show’s catalogue.

“100 Hooks continues this exhibition concept, but brings together the work of a multitude of artists and designers all responding to the same brief in very different ways.”

Max Lamb created hooks by carving a limestone wall tile

100 Hooks is the most ambitious show that Blunk Space has staged since opening in 2021, as part of the JB Blunk Estate in Point Reyes Station.

The idea to focus on hooks was prompted by a house-warming gift Nelson received from London-based couple designer Martino Gamper and artist Francis Upritchard.

Martino Gamper made two hooks from wood veneer and a third from enamelled metal

“When I moved into my new home in East London a few years ago, my friends Martino Gamper and Francis Upritchard stopped by with a bottle of champagne and a brass hook Martino made,” she recalled.

“Their handwritten card said, ‘Every house needs a hook’. It’s true.”


Rio Kobayashi’s first solo show features tuna table and totem speakers

“Hooks are a commonplace, typically understated and often overlooked design object, which is why we decided to invite 100 artists to make one (or three) and see what happened,” she added.

The results include a wide variety of responses, made from all kinds of different materials.

Wilkinson & Rivera crafted a hook out of ash wood offcuts

British duo Wilkinson & Rivera crafted an irregular wooden hook from offcuts of British ash, while California-based Ava Woo Kaufman made hers using cotton paper and watercolour paint.

Brazilian sculptor Nadia Yaron used raspberry alabaster, walnut, copper and brass for her flower-like hook, while a simple peg hook by Los Angeles-based Commune Studio is made from bronze plated with 24K gold.

Japanese ceramicist Kentaro Kawabata created a womb-like design

Some designs are highly functional in form, like the steel hooks of Jon Harrison or the colourful circles of Fabien Cappello.

The more abstract works include a moulded clay piece by Keita Matsunaga and a womb-like design by Kentaro Kawabata.

Jochen Holz contributed an upside-down hook nose made from coloured glass

Body parts were a common theme. Artist Jessia Thornton Murphy based her design on a hand, while ceramicist Woody De Othello incorporated an ear.

Noses feature too, in a coloured borosilicate design by London-based glassmaker Jochen Holz and a Pinocchio-esque work by California-based artist John Gnorski.

Erica Toogood’s design explores how a hook can leave an imprint on clothing

Other recognisable shapes and objects include a ceramic plate by designer Michael Marriott, a hanging coat by fashion designer Erica Toogood, cookies by chef Nellie Stark and an eggplant by sculptor Grace Sachi Troxell.

The show is completed by two JB Blunk designs from the 1970s, including a phallic hook made from a redwood branch.

Laura Wood created a frilly glass hook

Other recent design exhibitions include Le Salon de Septembre at Paris’ GSL Gallery and Chair of Virtue, a London Design Festival exhibition that focused on experimental seating.

100 Hooks is on show at Blunk Space from 16 December 2023 to 11 February 2024. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

The post Over 100 designers create hooks for exhibition in tribute to JB Blunk appeared first on Dezeen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.