June 3 – July 15 at Gallery NAGA
Gallery NAGA concludes our 39th season with two furniture makers whose work is united in by its elegant lines and sculptural quality.
The furniture of Thomas Hucker and Yuri Kobayashi will be on exhibition from June 3 through July 15. A reception for the artists and public will be held at the gallery on Friday, June 3 from 6 to 8 pm.
Thomas Hucker, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is a furniture maker who has had a long and successful career in both commission work and architectural work. Hucker exhibited with the Peter Joseph Gallery in New York and later at Pritam & Eames Gallery in East Hampton, NY, but it has been almost fifteen years since he’s had a major gallery exhibition.
Hucker attended the Program in Artisanry at Boston University followed by a residency at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, and finished with a degree in interior and industrial design from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. The refined forms learned from Jere Osgood at Boston University paired with the peaceful nature of Japanese art and the rigorous design learned in Italy put Hucker in a unique place of his own.
In Fan Table, Hucker took slats of purple heart wood and laid them on a base of ebonized mahogany. The base is classic Hucker with slender rods joined to a curved form supporting perfectly tailored slices of purple heart laid out in a fan shape. Here Hucker has created a paradox: You can see through, but not see through, at the same time.
Ledge Table is an exquisite example of Hucker’s mixing elegant and crude forms to create one harmonious object. On two sides, Hucker places refined black palm wood, inlaid with holly, while the other two sides are white oak that has been rivened and stained a deep black. The center of the table is topped with an eggshell lacquer, a technique that is both exceedingly time consuming and intensely wonderful.
Born, raised, and educated in Japan, Kobayashi moved to the United States to study furniture design at San Diego State University with Wendy Maruyama. Since 2006, Kobayashi has been teaching furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design as well as attending artist residencies, most recently at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine.
Kobayashi, educated in traditional woodworking techniques, makes both functional objects like tables and chairs, as well as purely sculptural items. Her forms are often elongated, slender, and very delicately joined. In Lin, a contemporary take on a traditional chair form, the slats in the back are gently bent to form the lumbar. The seat appears as if it were a piece of folded ribbon and the ends kiss gently at the edge. The material, ash with a white tinted oil finish, is quiet and graceful.
Curio is a prime example of Kobayashi’s interest in non-functional forms. First shown at the RISD museum in 2015, Curio is a walnut shaped object whose surface is punctured dozens of times by turned wood tentacles curling out into space. Many of the appendages touch the ground simultaneously, giving the appearance of an object that could move itself and scurry away.