How SIZED sets the LA design world apart
When it launched its first edition in June 2021, the Los Angeles design world was in turmoil. “It looks like something really special for the Los Angeles design scene,” a prominent fellow editor told me and advised me to stop in town. Curated by creative director Alexander May, SIZED is an art and design platform that brings together creative communities through exhibitions in its new permanent space in Hollywood. Today, the studio announced its roster of participating artists for the second iteration, titled “SIZED: VESSELS,” which opens February 16.
The show will feature over 200 containers from all manner of international design legends like Gaetano Pesce and Los Angeles favorites like Kelly Wearstler, Cactus Store and Commune Design, and will also include a site-specific Ikebana installation by the director of SŌGETSU Los Angeles , Ravi GuneWardena and Deputy Director Tory J. Lowitz, who opens the purpose of the ships to the ritual. In collaboration with the new Parisian platform Concept, which will open this month, ten works will be broadcast in the form of NFT to be enjoyed also in the digital space. Before its launch, Cultivated reveals the list of artists and spoke with May about the origin of the studio, her new love affair with floral art and creating a global exhibition in the event of a pandemic.
Elizabeth Fazzare: How was SIZED designed? And why did you choose Los Angeles as your location?
Alexander May: SIZED was born in reference to our connection with design within the home, partly due to the pandemic. I have a background as a curator and with this renewed focus on the objects we live with, I wanted to find a way to bring artists and designers together in dialogue with each other – opening a conversation about what we see as the design today.
I used to live in Los Angeles, but came back here during the Milan pandemic and felt there was room for a collective experience in the city, weaving local and international talent together. It was humbling to see the embrace of the community. I never dreamed of opening a permanent home for SIZED so quickly, and here we are.
EF: Why did you choose to focus this edition of SIZED on Ikebana and vessels? Have you noticed a specific surge of interest in Japanese art?
A M: This exhibit was inspired by a variety of conversations I had with close friends around Ikebana. I’ve been doing flower arranging myself since I was a kid. My mother spent a lot of time in Japan in her early twenties – her family lived there for 10 years – so she practiced Ikebana at home when I was young. My fascination is old. When I researched the Sōgetsu school further, I was really drawn to the work of Sōfū Teshigahara in the 1930s and 1940s. Specifically, the way he broke tradition within the classical structures of the ‘Ikebana while retaining incredible references to its form and history within Japanese culture. The ship can be a very neutral subject, but I love that its fundamentality can be interpreted in so many ways.
EF: Compared to the first edition last year, have the challenges of organizing an international exhibition changed?
A M: Some challenges always remain the same; dealing with shipping is never easy. But I’ve found that coming out of the isolation of this pandemic, there’s more connectivity between designers and artists than ever before. This edition of SIZED is much more global than last year. I think because VESSELS as a project is more restricted in its concept, it has widened the scope of collaborators.
EF: What inspires you currently?
A M: I’m really enjoying the experience of exploring Los Angeles and connecting with SIZED’s new permanent space here. I re-engage with the white box and this has led me to focus on the materiality of the works we present here. I can’t get enough aluminum right now. The exploration of the medium in this show inspires me. There are works in aluminum, steel, clay, marble, plaster, concrete, glass, bronze, rubber, fiber, resin, silicone and, of course, plants.
Read the full list of participants below:
Blum & Poe
Classy by accident
Casa hem to Lee
Hostler and burrows
Ilya Goldman Gubin
J. M. Szymanski
Klaus Jurgen Schmidt
Overduin & co
AR Workshop – Rich Aybar
Ravi Gune Wardena
Rick Owens Furniture
Salon 94 Design
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Sonja Du Meyer
Studio Jake Arnold
Susan for Susan
The art journalist
The perfect future
Tory J. Lowitz
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