Mattia Bonetti

‘New Works 2014’
26/06/2014 – 31/07/2014

For this new collection of 25 sculptural pieces, Mattia Bonetti has been inspired by the creative potential of combining opposite and disparate objects. Inspired by the notion of life imitating art and art imitating nature, Bonetti has deftly partnered unusual and opposing materials to make a range of tables, sofas, chairs, mirrors and lighting using a variety of distinctive materials – bronze, rock crystal, marble, wood and upholstery.

The dark red sofa ‘Shield’ is flanked by curved shields which have been designed by Bonetti, painstakingly carved and hand painted to present the idea of the ceremonial shield, rather than the object which might have been taken to war centuries ago; it is studded with iron, mother of pearl and semi-precious stones such as amber and garnets. The deep blue armchair ‘Shield’ feels voluptuous and, again, features a curved shield on each side which has been gilded with three kinds of gold gilt. Bonetti says: 'These could be war trophies of some far away, unknown tribe which have been reused to make a couch and chair.'

The tables 'Bubble Gum', one in bronze and the other in acrylic, which convey the delicate effects of ‘pulled’ material, complete with ‘secret’, versatile compartments.

The lighting on show includes the standing lamp 'Onyx' made from a column of white onyx, which has been turned by hand on a lathe from a huge block, revealing a translucent inner light to the piece. Drips of gold pour down the side of the column to delicate puddles at the base.

The impressive bronze table 'Atlantis' has been inlayed with an exquisite marble from Brazil which was painstaking chosen by Bonetti and David Gill for its expressive patterns and texture. The bronze table is based on models made by Bonetti by hand in clay, which capture the properties of tufo – the volcanic rock which is created under extreme heat and has the look and feel of solid popcorn – rough and smooth and mottled with tiny holes and fissures. The table ‘Tufo,’ also crafted in this style has been given a Perspex surface which resembles a shallow layer of water over mottled rock on a beach.

In contrast to the organic, curved shapes of some of the pieces there is a collection of geometric tables and side tables 'Rock Crystal'. These have been made with bronze, treated with acid and laboriously polished to give a burnished textured surface, refined marble and macassar wood. These tables are inset with pieces of rock crystal which have the appearance of moving water, translucent and fascinating. Each piece was first mocked up in wood and the rock crystal was cut to fit each specific piece giving the internal ‘line’ of the table the sense that you can see through the piece into infinity.

The chair 'Congo' is elegantly cast bronze with leopard skin print upholstery or leather which, Bonetti says, 'could have been made for a high-ranking colonel by an indigenous craftsman trying to imitate western shapes.'

Bonetti has worked with Gill for over 27 years and was the debut artist when Gill opened his first gallery in in 1987. Bonetti’s work can be seen in many of the world’s leading museums and is keenly sought after by collectors. Gill says: ‘With Mattia’s work there is always the element of surprise, whether it be in the material, concept, shape or function. In this new collection he expresses ideas in an intelligent and innovative way, creating pieces which are contemporary and much sought after.'