• Studyoportable

    Study O Portable, Quartz Mirror

  • Lilianaovalle

    Liliana Ovalle, Colour Me Red, Colour Me Green

  • 1

    Liliana Ovalle, Colour Me Red, Colour Me Green

  • 5

    Liliana Ovalle, Colour Me Red, Colour Me Green

  • Petermarigold1

    Peter Marigold, Wooden Forms

  • 6

    Peter Marigold, Wooden Forms

  • Markus-karin

    Markus Bergström & Karin Peterson, Skin Imitation Swimsuits

  • 4

    Dan Eatock, Signs displaying photographs of requests asking the viewer not to take photographs displayed in a form that echoes the original

  • 3

    Paul Elliman, How to Sing Like a Bus

  • Paulelliman

    Paul Elliman, How to Sing Like a Bus

Product Design

Methods of Imitation

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Methods of Imitation is the quietly brilliant group show in which “objects both significant and mundane” propose “new narratives for the old and familiar.” The designers who feature are, in no particular order, Dan Eatock, Markus Bergström & Karen Peterson, Paul Elliman, Peter Marigold, Study O Portable and Liliana Ovalle. And, aside from reading like a who’s who-knows-this-great-reference, the work is both contextually fascinating and refreshing in its suggestion of “other possibilities in man made objects than the mainstream design industry commonly offers.”

To pick on some personal highlights, first up is Study O Portable’s Quartz Mirror. Oblique forms that mimic the common looking glass, they are a literal “reflection through a technological myth” – quartz being a crucial tool in enabling us to “see ourselves through the objects we create” like televisions, radios and other machines that rely on the properties of the mineral.

Liliana Ovalle has created Colour Me Red, Colour Me Green – two, ideal-looking wooden assemblages that would fill the same space as a chair or small table so that, even though the forms are vaguely ambiguous, we assume that they are pieces of furniture. She has added a layer of paint which makes a superficial shape on the form, “broadening our perception of the whole,” identifying its function and bringing a “new significance to an object.” Her passage in the accompanying book for the show finishes: “Copies fulfil an aspiration, we condone to be deceived.”

There is also Peter Marigold’s Wooden Forms, vessels created using a single piece of wood as a mould: “The resulting forms are highly animated and not ‘wooden’ at all.” Dan Eatock’s running visual conversation requires no further description than its title, Signs displaying photographs of requests asking the viewer not to take photographs displayed in a form that echoes the original.

And the equally self explanatory Skin Imitation Swimsuits, by Markus Bergström & Karin Peterson who airbrushed costumes à la fake tan to a pantone of fleshy colours.

Finally, the photographic documentation from a series of “hides” by Paul Elliman, whose urban twitching is observation based and bafflingly titled How to Sing Like a Bus.



Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

  1. List

    The South London Gallery describes Lawrence Weiner, whose new exhibition All in Due Course opened there last Friday, as a “reluctant pioneer of conceptual art,” which must be one of the coolest epithets going. The American artist has been creating his typographic wall sculptures since the 1970s when he first pioneered his unique medium which he maintains is not conceptualism but a kind of sculpture made using “language + the materials referred to.”

  2. Blist25.-simon-norfolk_-a-secuirty-guards-booth..._-herat_-2010-2011.-burke_norfolk.-courtesy-simon-norfolk

    Once upon a time, the church spires of New York offered an unrivalled view of the city. But in photographer Berenice Abbott’s Manhattan of the 1930s, skyscrapers shot up on every side and suddenly there were windows and back streets, balconies, construction sites and advertising billboards all crying out for a camera to capture their unique perspective of the metropolis. Changing New York is Abbott’s anatomy of the town, dissecting it, discovering its dramatic angles, dappled shadows and dilapidated dwellings. Her work is a fitting opening for the Barbican Art Gallery’s Constructing Worlds exhibition, exploring architecture and its relationship to the world through more than 250 images from 18 artists.

  3. Gwlist18

    Even if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have heard of it, because Gone With The Wind is still, 75 years after its release, the most successful blockbuster of all time. David O. Selznick’s multi-Oscar winning film has weevilled its way deep into the American – and the world’s – subconscious, creating so vivid a cultural memory we’re almost tricked into believing we lived through it all too. Even a lass like me, “southern” only in the east London sense of the word.

  4. Eslistst-columba's-wells_-londonderry-(derry)-_-n-ireland_-1965-(c)-edwin-smith_-riba-library-photographs-collection

    Edwin Smith’s England is a faraway place, and yet a familiar one. It’s a land inhabited by long-skirted ladies with perms, where brass cash registers are used on high streets fronted by butchers and bakers and grocers. No surprise then that the people’s poet Sir John Betjeman dubbed Smith a “genius at photography” because he has, in his vast collection of photographs of city and countryside, inside and outside, captured the essence of the now-distant England portrayed in the writer’s verse.

  5. List

    Imagine for a moment that the shoebox under your bed was filled not with photos of your Great Aunt June snoozing on the sofa last Christmas, but with photographs taken in space by astronauts on Apollo 14. For a lucky few at NASA this is (almost) true, and fortunately they’re more than happy to share their treasures with us proles in the form of a new exhibition at London’s BREESE Little Gallery.

  6. List

    20 years ago in 1994, little known designer Eike König set up his “graphic design playground” Hort, creating a community in the centre of Berlin where creatives could collaborate on ideas and client briefs side by side. Nowadays, the playground is slightly bigger, undertaking work for Nike, The New York Times and Walt Disney among others, but the underlying emphasis on collaboration and experimentation remains exactly the same.

  7. Olafurlist

    “Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.

  8. List

    If, while walking down the street, flicking through a magazine or sitting on a bus recently you’ve found yourself looking at a movie poster, you’re probably in some way come into contact with the influence of Hans Hillmann. When the German graphic artist began producing film posters in 1953 at the height of the Modernist era, few realised he’d have such a profound effect on the industry, but his bold, Minimalist-inspired creations set a new standard for .

  9. List

    I’ll be honest and say that usually when I see the words “exquisite corps” in relation to a creative project, I immediately lose interest. So often this collaborative idea – used by the surrealists as a liberating drawing exercise – is used without imagination or flair. But a current exhibition at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam looks like a fantastic exception to my rule.

  10. List

    Dutch illustrator Stefan Glerum is one of the most accomplished image-makers working today. His latest show at London’s Kemistry Gallery is a whirlwind of references; from Art Deco to Bauhaus, Italian Futurism to Russian Constructivism; criss-crossing time and space with enviable style. Called simply Five Years of Work By Stefan Glerum, the exhibition features work with which even casual observers may be familiar, but that doesn’t in any way lessen its impact. In fact it’s exhilarating to go back to, say, the Bayern State Opera posters he made with Mirko Borsche and consider them anew in the wider context of his portfolio. Quite simply see this show if at all possible.

  11. List

    It’s not a flawless guide, but you can often tell how significant the subject of an exhibition is based on who writes the foreword in the show’s catalogue. That Milton Glaser contributed an essay for Ivan Chermayeff: Cut and Paste at The De La Warr Pavilion is a good guide that if you’re interested in graphic design, he’s a name with which you should be familiar.

  12. Main10

    It’s so great to see the Nous Vous lads continuing with their quest to bring a gentle spark of inspiration to the general public. Their latest venture is an exhibition in the enormous old factory-turned-cultural centre, The Tetley in Leeds. A Watery Line will exhibit “drawings, prints, paintings and objects, producing new artwork in on-site open studios and working with a selection of other artists to deliver a programme of performances and workshops.” Ahead of the opening of this exciting, friendly show, we asked Nicolas Burrows to tell us a little more about the planning of the exhibition and what they hope the public gets out of it.

  13. List

    Bold printing, toying with scale, subverting nature and confounding the senses seem to be the defining elements of Richard Woods’ work. The artist and designer made a name for himself mimicking wooden patterns in bright colours on the surface of furniture, but his skills extend beyond simple tables and chairs. In his latest show at Albion Barn he’s been given free reign to customise every inch of his exhibition space; the walls, floors and furnishings of an area in which he’s exhibiting a selection of original prints. It’s a pretty bold move to allow an artist to reinvent the entire gallery, but Richard has undertaken the task with characteristic flair, turning the whole environment into a vibrant, cartoonish set in which his work seems entirely at home.