Manhattan Studiolo by Ashley Hicks
10 September - 19 October 2019
64 White Street
R & Company announces Manhattan Studiolo, an immersive solo presentation by British designer Ashley Hicks. Taking place on the upper level of the 64 White Street gallery, this is Ashley’s first solo show which coincides with the release of his new comprehensive publication Rooms with a History, published by Rizzoli.
Ashley is renowned for his multifaceted career working as an architect and interior decorator for a range of international clients, as well as a designer of custom fabrics, carpets, furniture and objects that he handcrafts. For this exhibition, Hicks draws on all facets of his accomplished practice to transform the gallery into a mesmerizing environment with vivid colors, patterns and textures. With a deep-rooted interest in tradition, craft and storytelling, the exhibition considers all aspects of the space with attention to subtle details. A curated presentation of Ashley’s objects, tables, mirrors and consoles fill the room, and the walls are covered with a geometric design hand-painted onsite by Ashley specifically for the exhibition. By using one of his random geometries, Ashley is able to create a carefully calibrated pattern without repeat and specific rules. The consideration of decorative intricacies and range of materials results in a complex multi-layered space that is both inviting and thought-provoking.
The title of the exhibition Manhattan Studiolo draws inspiration from traditional, lavishly decorated 15th century Italian interiors, an ongoing influence on Ashley’s practice and aesthetic style. “I wanted to create a moment of historicized oddity here with a room evoking the spirit of curiosity and adventure that characterized the studioli of the Italian Renaissance, rendered in a contemporary style” states Ashley. “Underfoot is a rug woven in wool to look like a Venetian terrazzo floor of the 17th century. A pair of Broken Nose console tables, like mutilated fragments of some vast ancient relief sculpture made useful for today, with mute lips and blind eyes, flank a Hercules chest of drawers with bronze resin body and gilt bronze feet stolen from the Nemean lion vanquished in the hero’s first labor. Mirrors with colour-saturated, faceted frames and a family of sculptural objects suggest the results of some grand alchemical enterprise perfect for a modern Studiolo.”
Bringing this vision to life, the exhibition is able to capture the true Studiolo spirit, while pushing the boundaries of contemporary design forward. R & Company co-founder Zesty Meyers states, “What amazes me most about Ashley is his comprehensive knowledge of history and how he is able to seamlessly incorporate this in his designs. He is also always looking toward the future with the refined colors, forms and textures he incorporates to create rarefied opulence.”
Manhattan Studiolo by Ashley Hicks is on view from September 10 to October 19 on the upper level of R & Company’s 64 White Street location and runs concurrently with the exhibition Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong.