„En Plein Air“ showcases new works by Italian Architect and Designer Vincenzo de Cotiis. French for ‘outdoors‘, the show’s title relates to the movement in art history when artists, at the end of the 19th century, left their studio to paint outdoors. The collection therefore refers to both painting history and nature, in a subtle and sophisticated creative mix.

Featuring furniture-sculptures handmade by Italian artisans, the collection of seating, lighting, tables, cabinets and bookshelves is an aesthetical ‘tour de force’ combining semiprecious stones, Murano glass, recycled resin and cast brass. Each piece shows a special care for detail and opulence.

It is a manifesto of pure naturalistic inspiration. A quintessence of everything that the movements of the early 20th century had established. The chromaticism of the materials draw from Pointillism; Pre-Cubist geometries and organic expressionist schemes alternate in perpetual rhythm, de-structuring the classical canons, forging them into the contemporary world. A new iconographic and morphological alphabet composed of signs that take hold of the past just as they do the future – Vincenzo de Cotiis.

The resins are painted, the Murano glass, similar to pre-Cubist forms, explodes inside a tridimensionality becoming natural mineral joints. Providing a contemporary interpretation, de Cotiis’s furniture are defined by the power of materiality and refined craftsmanship.

Vincenzo De Cotiis studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano before founding his studio and architecture practice in 1997. He finds inspiration in classical art movements, from the Italian Baroque to the French Impressionists. Interpreting these movements using a contemporary lens, De Cotiis approaches his work as a painter would, considering the light, colour and materials.

He masterfully weaves together salvaged and reclaimed materials – the signs of their age left intact – with precious materials such as Indian jasper. The original form of the materials is often difficult to identify, but their histories are always visible.

De Cotiis aims for perfect imperfection, achieved through the deconstruction, re-construction, and re-appropriation of salvaged materials such as fiberglass, stone and mood. De Cotiis believes that art and functionality are fundamentally linked, and as such his pieces transcend the boundary that divides the two disciples. Pieces such as the DC1727 Wall Cabinet defy easy categorisation and exist simply as beautiful objects.

All images: courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery

„En Plein Air“
Vincenzo De Cotiis
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
San Francisco
Through 20 June 2019