Industry launched its fall 2011 design season with the first U.S. solo exhibition of work by innovative British artist and designer, Tom Price. Specializing in modern furniture products, sculpture and lighting design, process plays a key role in Price’s work which has been bought by international museums, galleries and private collectors. Much of Price’s work is made using unconventional materials. In fact, he often finds it necessary to invent new tools and techniques in order to get the required results from certain fabrications. But Price sees this as an intrinsic part of the overall design and narrative. Included in this exhibition will be Price’s coveted Meltdown Chairs—a series of unique furniture pieces made by melting a seat shape into a sculpted assembly of commonplace plastic products using a specially designed heated former. Original to this exhibit is an homage to DC. When he visited last spring, Price fell in love with the area’s iconic cherry trees. Inspired by them, he has constructed a series of sweeping sculptures out of plastic tubing, referencing the shapes of the trees and their blossoms. They will combine to create a unique immersive and site-specific installation, taking over an entire room of the gallery.
Photos of Price’s “PP Tree Installation”---a serious of polypropylene tubes, heated and melted to create tree trunks and branches covered by bushels made of sliced tubing—developed an immediate internet following and made its way into blogs and newspapers around the world. Design blog Dezeen took note of Price’s “enchanting grove of Cherry Trees” made out of “polypropylene tubes and cable ties” in its visual survey of the installation (http://www.dezeen.com/2011/11/22/cherry-tree-by-tom-price/). Design Applause took note of the new forms on exhibit—including Price’s Pink Meltdown Chair and his black PP Tube Chair #1 in Black (http://designapplause.com/2011/designer-tom-price-presents-meltdown-industry/17673/)
DesignIndaba marveled at one of Price’s newest works produced just for this exhibition—his PE Stripe Meltdown and its exuberant colors. (http://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/colour-melt) But the Trees remained front and center, as captured by this article by Fast Company Design, noting how Price’s use of simple plastics had been transformed into one of Washington D.C. most iconic natural wonders. (http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665568/fake-plastic-trees-evoke-dc-s-famed-cherry-blossoms)