What I loved about meeting French designer Emmanue Babled (b. 1967), who guided my class through his new solo show 'Immersion,' at Twenty First Galley, just hours before its opening, is his equal engagement with innovation, craft processes, and design. In this exhibition, Lisbon-based Babled presents objects crafted in a remarkable array of materials fabricated in different places: glass in Murano; acrylic in Northern Italy; marble in Carrera; wood in Portugal; bronze in France; Lava stone in Sicily. Each one of these materials is processed by the most skillful craftsmen, the best in his craft. Discovering them is one of the key factors in Babled's practice, an eternal quest for the craftsmen, small workshops, and ateliers which he locates across the globe, with the defined goal, to have his designs made to perfection, no matter how long it takes, no matter how intensive the labor. Because the materiality is a crucial aspect to his work, and it is powerful, being utilized in the service of the forms. The best of Babled's designs are those of that carry his signature forms. They are sensuous, organic, sexy, unexpected, the type of forms that while complex, look flowing and effortless. This is where his strength lies. Babled represents the designer of the 21st century, who is constantly seeking for the intersection of form, craftsmanship, and technology. This stunning exhibition is open and the gallery's new location in Tribeca through November 19th. Photos by Costas Picadas.
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