Live@ICFF Schools: ArtFuture

IMG_6591ArtFuture’s booth brought a bit of St. Petersburg to the Javits with designs that played off of the traditional Russian nesting doll, or matryoshka. The shapely silhouette (actually imported from Japan in the late-19th century) was used to great effect in Olga Prozorova’s Button-Table, which is supported by four massive wooden dolls; their white heads poke through the acrylic tabletop, making the shape of a button. Following a similar idea, Anna Pushkareva’s Roundabout table turns nine thin doll shapes, woven together with red cord, into a base for a glass table. The busy, overlapping forms (which would have frustrated Saarinen’s slum-clearing tendencies) are designed to replicate the look of a carousel in motion. Elvira Ziyangirova set the matryoshka on its side, filling a pear-shaped sack with foam and (shades of the Campana brothers) covering it with a layer of felt apples. It is an irresistible form, and passersby constantly stopped to squeeze the felt fruit, as though they were in a farmer’s market sampling the produce.

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Despite a slight language barrier with the school’s representatives (is it a chair or a table? Did all the students make the trip, or just Pushkareva and Prozorova?), the work speaks for itself. Eyeing the Apple chair, one visitor to the booth said, “You feel like Eve in the garden.”

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