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Experimental Furnishings and Objects at Makers 2

MILAN “You can sit on those, they are stronger than they look,” Robert Wallace said of his reinforced wax stool topped with a plush-looking pillow made of gypsum resin.

Wallace, who moonlights as a designer of interior pieces, works as a fashion designer of dresses and outerwear by day. The U.K. native was just one of 39 names that released their latest creations at the second edition of Makers 2, hosted by Caselli 11-12 Art Gallery in Milan.

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The venue comprises two refurbished Neoclassical toll booths, in the Porta Nuova district, and drew an intimate crowd of collectors, architects and the curious on Wednesday, its opening day. Caselli 11-12 is an extension of Oltrefrontiera Progetti, a design and architecture studio that has been operating in the retail and visual sector since 1993. Oltrefrontiera Progetti also renovated the 19th-century Neoclassic landmark — formerly toll booths.

“What we expect to be fragile is in fact strong, and what we think is soft, is hard,” said Alba Caprino, Caselli 11-12’s founder. “The heterogeneous approaches showcased defeat the boundaries of each medium, inviting us to reconsider our perceptions of furniture and sculpture.”

The Caselli 11-12 space in Milan's Porta Nuova district.
The Caselli 11-12 space in Milan’s Porta Nuova district.

Less than a month after Design Week here saw its galleries and installations dismantled, Makers 2 drew an international crowd to the Caselli 11-12 exhibition space, bringing spectators and potential buyers in direct contact with participants, most of whom were from abroad. Designers presented contemporary designs incorporating durable materials like marble and metal, creating illusions through researched geometries, textures and tangible aspects of the works. “For my first exhibition, I liked the idea of being part of a group,” Wallace commented.

On the first floor, standout pieces included stools by Berlin-based designer Illya Goldman Gubin posed like crumpled paper, when actually they are made with a mix of white paper, fiberglass and resin.

“Nothing is what it seems,” summed up a press representative, pointing to two pink bubbles of glass —Brussels-based artist Héloise Colrat’s “One Gum” creations made styled with realistic edges that look like they have been chewed on by real teeth.

Heloise Colrat's "one gum" creations made with pink spun glass
Héloise Colrat’s “One Gum” creations made with pink spun glass under a geometric lamp made by Max Milà Serra.

Upstairs, sculptures and a table made by American, Berlin-based artist Jojo Corväiá conjured volcanic and underwater landscapes with their unfinished edges and curves. Corväiá, who frequently works with ceramic and bronze, is a regular on the design circuit and his work has been featured in galleries and museums in global hubs such as Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, Milan, Athens, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Beijing and Singapore.

Makers 2
Sculptures and a table by Jojo Corväiá, an American artist living in Berlin sits below a mirror by Dutch artist Kick Veldman and tables by Barcelona-based Apparatu.

In a quiet corner, sculptures from more emerging names like Danish-Swedish artist Maria Bang Espersen’s soft series is on display. Made of one single line of glass that resembles malshapen ribbons of retro hard candy, her designs are hard, heavy and cold to the touch.

“Its unique appearance testifies to the one moment in its making, now frozen in time,” the artist’s description read. “The secret ingredient is air, trapped within the sculpture as it plays with light.”

Makers 2
Sculputres from Maria Bang Espersen’s Soft Series at Makers 2.

Caselli 11-12 organizers said this unique curation of objects, furnishings and lighting will rotate for the duration of the exhibit on display until the end of June and items are available for sale on site and on the gallery’s website.

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