Studio  February 9, 2018  Chandra Noyes

Marcin Rusak Brings the Natural World Indoors

Courtesy 21st Gallery

Detail of Flora Cabinet, designed in 2015 by Marcin Rusak.

Born and educated in Poland, London-based artist and designer Marcin Rusak blends the natural and industrial worlds in his dramatic objects for the home.

Rusak casts flowers and exotic plant life in poured resin, preserving their ephemeral beauty forever in tables, lamps, screens, and more. Rusak’s works are visually striking: the smoothness of his surfaces and the natural beauty of the plants embedded in them draw the viewer in. But what makes his works truly memorable are the contrasts they embody.

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Adriaen van Utrecht, Vanitas: Still Life with Bouquet and Skull, c.1642, Oil on canvas, Private Collection

Courtesy 21st Gallery

Marcin Rusak, Flora Cabinet, designed in 2015, Resin, Flowers Inclusions, Aluminum

Rusak’s designs are clean, modern, and sleek. This modernity feels contrary to the depths that emerge when we closely examine his surfaces. Lurking inside the cast resin are rich, dark, organic textures. Reminiscent of Dutch vanitas still lifes, Rusak’s florals are stunning and lush, trapped in resin for eternity, just like those frozen on the canvas. These paintings are meant to remind us of our humanity, and the fact that we, too, will inevitability decay. Rusak plays at this--trapped in resin, these flowers will never rot, never decay, but they will also never grow again. The fact that these are functional objects gives them another form of life, another way to carry on. Through our daily interactions with these objects, and through living our lives amongst them, the natural world is both preserved and allowed to evolve with our homes and lives.

Marcin Rusak, Flora Lamp II, designed in 2015
Courtesy 21st Gallery

Marcin Rusak, Flora Lamp II, designed in 2015, Resin, Flowers Inclusions, Steel

Marcin Rusak, Flora Low Coffee Table, 2017
Courtesy 21st Gallery

Marcin Rusak, Flora Low Coffee Table, 2017, Flower Infused Resin, Brass

Marcin Rusak, Detail of Flora Cabinet, designed in 2015
Courtesy 21st Gallery

Marcin Rusak, Detail of Flora Cabinet, designed in 2015, Resin, Flowers Inclusions, Aluminum

Marcin Rusak, Flora Screen, designed in 2015
Courtesy 21st Gallery

Marcin Rusak, Flora Screen, designed in 2015, Resin, Flowers Inclusions, Aluminum

Many of Marcin Rusak’s works are on view at 21st Gallery in New York. Learn more about the artist on his website.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is managing editor for Art & Object.