Exhibition Penthouse | Coming Home ’21

Location: Penthouse

COMING HOME represents a momentous reactivation of Exhibition Penthouse, and a celebration of diverse mediums and design methodologies under one roof with works by Christina Z. Antonio, William Storms, Nick Missel, Chen Chen & Kai Williams, and Frampton Co’s F Collection. 

COMING HOME is an exploration of the relationship between craft and comfort in the home. This show is an exciting composition and showcases our distinct perspective on how color, material, scale and utility can collaborate in unexpected ways to design for how we actually live, move, and seek both livability and inspiration in our surroundings.  – Elena Frampton

On view for the first time, multidisciplinary artist and designer Christina Z Antonio’s set of HELIOS chairs bear a neon arc over stacked-leather legs and alpaca or hand-stitched leather cushions. Working with scientific glassblowers to develop the precision blown glass that houses the neon gas, Antonio conceived the two chair designs with the futurist idea of human “charging stations” in mind, functioning as conduits for cognitive, physical and emotional respite. “I explore neuro-aesthetics as a way to create a sensory experience, where one’s temperament can shift into a state of well-being,” she says. While inviting rest and revitalization, the seating offers the technically unique aspect of illumination. With proprietary interior mechanics, Antonio’s design is in multiple ways holistic, and a reminder that, as she says, “light is one of the most powerful modalities in healing.”

Antonio’s work is in direct conversation with mixed-media wall hangings and an undulating, site-specific textile installation on display from Brooklyn-based artist and weaver William Storms. Titled Refract, the series draws inspiration from the chairs’ neon arcs, and introduces unexpectedly vibrant, modern interventions to home textile design. Applying this duality to the loom, Storms created refined compositions using traditional passementerie techniques, weaving bright, synthetic materials into a contrasting palette of raw, natural materials including linen, jute rope, cotton rope, and flax. The series includes six wall hangings in modest proportions, as well as a 21’ site-specific weaving that drapes from floor to ceiling and responds to the architecture of the space. “My work is an ongoing effort to produce three-dimensional work in a traditionally two-dimensional world,” says Storms, expanding on the potential and consideration of “textiles” with his one-of-a-kind pieces. 

New works on view by Philadelphia-based designer Nick Missel reveal the exploration and evolution of his signature silicone-casting process in a series of small benches and a massive, statement-making chandelier. Utilizing everyday materials to create the otherworldly forms, Missel then expertly mixes and layers silicone to various effects. The small benches on view range from bright, candy-colored cubes to grayscale “negatives” that echo their original remnants, all while offering flexible, sculptural seating and surfaces within the space. His new lighting design incorporates contrasting smooth and organic textures to produce a form at once familiar and entirely foreign, suggesting a relic that straddles past and future worlds. “We are all more aware of our intimate settings,” Missel says, “and are looking for our homes to be our own oasis filled with strange, comforting, and surprising things.”

In complement to these conceptual, experimental design expressions, Frampton Co introduces an expanded F Collection with a trio of new furnishings designed in-house and handmade in Brooklyn, New York. The redesigned Tux sofa and brand-new Tux chair embody the elegance of a formal “Tuxedo” sofa with the casual energy of the seaside. Taking inspiration from Bridgehampton’s equestrian farms, leather piping and fringe details impart a tailored, refined style, while generous, deep proportions and a loose back cushion lend maximal, carefree comfort.

Tux joins the F Collection Arc desk, now available in expanded color ways and presented for the first time in Forest, an elegant dark green. The Arc desk is composed of Italian poplar and high-gloss lacquer with a highly durable automotive finish – a harkening to Elena’s fascination with classic cars. At Penthouse, the Arc desk is shown alongside Chen Chen & Kai Williams’ Thonet 1000 chair. The vintage, archetypal design is covered in road paint – which incorporates glass beads to reflect car headlights – creating a ghostly, futuristic pairing of familiar elements.

In COMING HOME, we are invited into a vast world of material and medium experimentation that aptly navigates between bold inspiration and pillars of familiar comfort and utility. Schedule your visit to Penthouse and viewing of COMING HOME here.