David Gates: in dialogue
A parade of quirky cabinets by a master maker.
Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset
17th August – 12th October
SATURDAY 17th AUGUST saw the opening of furniture-maker David Gates’s latest exhibition. Behind the elegant Georgian windows of Hauser and Wirth’s upscale craft gallery, Make, in the picturesque Somerset village of Bruton, parades an array of quirky, meticulously constructed cabinets, on stork-like legs, metal and wooden.
Gates is an accomplished maker. On display is a compendium of carpentry techniques, from hinging and pinning, to dovetail and mortise and tenon joints. There are ingenious sliding doors and smooth running drawers, and a combination of rare and highly figured, stained, scorched, split or polished woods and etched and folded steel.
But these are not conventional cupboards, for Gates has a dual passion: for the cabinets of curiosity of Renaissance princes, with their poetically arranged contents (miniature museums); and – at the other end of the social and architectural scale – for the kinds of vernacular, asymmetric, but highly functional industrial structures which you stumble upon in a field, or along the river bank (silos, sheds, gantries, barns and deer-stalkers’ high seats).
In order to show these beautiful cabinets off to their best advantage, Gates and gallery director Jacqueline Moore have invited some distinguished makers to show objects inside, upon or beside his work. You can find, among others, cast glass and fine bone china objects by Andrea Walsh, jewel-like pieces by Romilly Saumarez Smith, James Shaw’s hand-extruded plastic clock, evocative ceramic plant forms by Rosa Nguyen and Katie Spragg, Mark Reddy’s intriguing assemblages of beaten and turned objects and Harry Morgan’s concrete and glass sculptures. One finely finished piece, ‘Archive II (Sifting, sorting, keeping)’ provides a perfect stage for evocative enamels by his partner and collaborator, Helen Carnac.
Organised in two rooms, the dialogue between Gates’s pieces and the artworks sends you spinning around the furniture, to catch the view from one angle and then another, to open this drawer or lift up that shutter. The show runs until 12th October.
‘David Gates: in dialogue’ runs until 12th October. Prices range from £4,800 – £12,480.
Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset – a destination for contemporary making and the crafted object, showcasing work from the best emerging and established makers both nationally and internationally.