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Solo show of work by Belgian designer Jens Praet opens at Sebastian + Barquet
Exhibition view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sebastian+Barquet, together with Industry Gallery, announce ‘Substance’, a solo show of work by designer Jens Praet. The show introduces an edition of Praet’s ‘Shredded’ furniture made exclusively from copies of Art+Auction magazine. ‘Substance’ also features work from Praet’s ‘Dressed’, and ‘Processus’ series, including several pieces made specifically for Sebastian+Barquet.

Arising in reaction to the tremendous amount of office wastepaper, Praet’s ‘Shredded’ series has transformed into a conceptual body of work that renders the mere images of art and furniture into concrete, functional design. Working with the support of Art+Auction, Praet undertakes a several-step process to make each piece in his new series. He shreds the magazines, mixes the resulting pounds of confetti with resin, presses that mixture into furniture-shaped molds, and polishes the structures to perfection. The finished pieces, which include two large mirrors and a large low table, have the firmness of wood and a unique texture.

Praet’s ‘Dressed’ series is made of aluminum or brass understructures draped in bronze casts of scrap fabric. It highlights both the beauty of the overlooked—in this case disposable fabric—and the pleasing mix of opposites—here, rigid geometry and fluid spontaneity. Praet fashions each piece by dipping fabric in hot wax and then shaping it by hand over the functional support of the understructure. He then casts the piece in bronze and adds an oxidized patina. The resulting piece retains the texture of the fabric and, like fabric, changes slightly in color as it ages.

‘Substance’ debuts a ‘Dressed’ low table made specifically for Sebastian+Barquet in addition to earlier ‘Dressed’ pieces. ‘Substance’ additionally introduces ‘Dressed Ware’, a series of small household objects made for Sebastian+Barquet—a bowl, a plate, and a vase. Like the ‘Dressed’ furniture, ‘Dressed Ware’ is composed of fabric meticulously shaped, cast in bronze and later patinated.

Praet’s ‘Processus’ series, manufactured in Turkey by the Iznik Foundation with assistance of Praet’s studio collaborator Lara Karaso, highlights the design process as well as the hidden elements of a final structure. While the hand-painted Iznik quartz tiles that cover the European walnut understructures may appear at first glance to be merely decoratively patterned, they actually depict the blueprint of the design—including the honeycomb cardboard inner core and aluminum guides. The traditional materials work in pleasing contrast with Praet’s contemporary stress on process. ‘Substance’ includes a Processus table, shelf, and console.

Jens Praet (born 1984) is a Belgian designer educated in Italy and The Netherlands. He currently lives in San Gimigano Italy, where he runs Studio Jens Praet, established in 2007. Praet is known for his mix of avant-garde techniques with traditional handcrafting, as well as his focus on everyday, overlooked objects. His work has been featured in many major international venues and design publications and is now part of the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Mint Museum. Sebastian+Barquet is proud to host Praet’s first solo show in New York City.

Industry Gallery, based in Los Angeles, presents designers who are creating new and innovative works with the use of modern industrial materials. These materials range from common items such as recycled magazine paper and glass to more sophisticated materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. Industry has hosted Praet’s work in solo shows in Los Angeles and Washington DC as well as fairs in Miami, Dubai, Gwangju and Rotterdam. We are pleased to present Praet’s work in collaboration with Industry.

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