Christie’s and Andreas Siegfried will present Tropicana, an exhibition pairing works from the multi-faceted practices of Anton Alvarez and Jonathan Trayte at 103 New Bond Street, timed to coincide with London Design Festival. A tropical landscape of sculptures and furniture, made specifically for the space, will run throughout the gallery, set amongst dense foliage. Relying heavily on the use of colour, both Trayte and Alvarez will combine work to create a vivid conversation, taking inspiration from the nature of an equatorial climate and some of the cultural influences from the vast and vibrant region. Heightened colours and contrasts not only serve as surface but are a significant consideration when forming the structural elements of Alvarez’s machine wrapped constructions and the marble/granite combinations of Trayte’s sculptural tables and painted bronze lamps. This will be a striking display of works set in a carefully curated environment of rich vegetation. The exhibition takes place from 13 to 22 September 2017 and is included in Mayfair Design District, a programme curated by Achille Salvagni as part of the London Design Festival.
Anton Alvarez has invented several machines, one of which uses thread, pigment and glue to bind together materials such as scraps of wood and electrical cords to create objects that are seemingly a hybrid between furniture and sculpture. He is concerned with being a craftsman and an engineer and states that “when I’m designing the machines I can be very free.” Alvarez embraces chance in the process which he continually revises but believes that the machines are “like an extension of me… It is a machine, but it is almost like a brushstroke.” He created a second machine, which is called the Extruder, and consists of a large metal cylinder supported by a metal base that contorts clay into shapes by applying pressure to the wet material, squeezing it out into shapes.
Jonathan Trayte’s approach to making sculpture and installation is informed by our global language of consumption and the manipulation of consumer decision-making. Using a wide range of materials, methods and processes, his work reinterprets modern consumer behaviour and explores the psychology of desire through surface, material, light and colour. From processed meats and melons to giant gourds and exotic yams, Trayte often transforms organic objects into cast and painted bronze. Once assembled and delicately stacked in precarious arrangements, the work is then coated in meticulously painted layers. It is a coming together of natural forms and saccharine colours. Glossy synthetic skins of paint give the work a colourful pop status, a chameleon appearance and an almost edible quality.
Cristian Albu, Senior Specialist and Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s, London: “Youth culture provocateurs, Anton Alvarez’s and Jonathan Trayte’s practice oscillates between expression and constraint, technological innovation and traditional craftsmanship. Joining disparate materials, such as wood, steel, thread, concrete, marble, to name just a few, unconventionally beautiful results are born from the novelty of their techniques. Their work is at once futuristic, pop, and ancestral.”