Gallery  March 8, 2018  Chandra Noyes

Chris Schanck's Furniture for an Uncertain Future at Friedman Benda

Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda

In Chris Schanck’s solo exhibition at Friedman Benda, furniture seems capable of taking on a life of its own. The show's title, ‘Unhomely’, warns us not to get too comfortable. The play on 'home' and 'homely' advises us to look beyond the beautiful exteriors of the objects that inhabit our homes. While Schanck’s sculptural furniture could be reassuring objects of convenience, its otherworldly forms suggest it might have its own plans once we turn our backs. Combining rough, organic textures and vibrant colors, Schanck’s works seem like alien lifeforms. Perhaps the natural furnishing of another world (like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, or a planet Barbarella might visit), ‘Unhomely’ reminds us of the duality of our own home, Earth, which is rapidly changing, and can be both maternal and hostile to us. This biomorphic furniture looks like it grew out of the earth, but not an earth we know or are familiar with, another one that might not be welcoming to us. In an uncertain, even dystopian future, Schanck’s furniture would like right at home.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Decobot (detail), 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Decobot (detail), 2018. Wood, polystyrene, resin, nylon fiber. 30 x 25 x 24 inches.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Blush, 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Blush, 2018. Steel, polystyrene, resin, nylon fiber, mirror glass. 47 x 41 x 8 inches.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Gold 900, 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Gold 900, 2018. Wood, burlap, polystyrene, resin, aluminum. 33.5 x 33.5 x 33.5 inches.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Scrying Table (detail), 2017
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Scrying Table (detail), 2017. Polystyrene, wood, resin. 20 x 54 x 54 inches.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Crustacea, 2017
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Crustacea, 2017. Resin, steel, wood, polystyrene, suede. 90 x 40 x 24 inches.

Straddling the worlds of art, design and craft, Schanck’s furniture is a high-end hybrid, fully functional as furniture, and provocative and intriguing as conceptual objects. The Detroit-based artist uses a unique ‘ALUfoil’ process, enshrining refuse and industrial materials in aluminum foil, which are then sealed in resin. In not only his use of found materials, Schanck’s work reflects Detroit, a city that is full of growth and decay. Schanck’s furniture has a similar feel, its fragmented forms and textures evoking both deconstruction and fragile new growth.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda.
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Arcane Console, 2017
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Arcane Console, 2017. Resin, steel, polystyrene. 31 x 100 x 28 inches.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda.
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Banglatown, 2018
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Chris Schanck (American, b. 1975), Banglatown, 2018. Steel, aluminum, wood, polystyrene, burlap, hide, resin. 86 x 84 x 24 inches.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Chris Schanck. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Installation view of Chris Schanck's 'Unhomely' at Friedman Benda

Chris Schanck’s ‘Unhomely’ is at Friedman Benda, 515 W 26th Street, New York, through April 14.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is managing editor for Art & Object.