• magdalene a.n odundo

    b. 1950

    Every work by Magdalene A.N. Odundo is a miracle of making: a modestly-scaled pot with the presence of grand architecture; a simple silhouette achieved through a complex technique; a putatively functional vessel that operates at the level of abstract sculpture; a discrete object sitting in space with anchor-like firmness, which nonetheless traverses multiple worlds.


    Odundo’s way of bridging opposites has deep biographical roots. She is a cosmopolitan figure, born and raised in Kenya but resident mostly in England since 1971. In that year, she came to study graphic design in Farnham, Surrey, where she encountered Michael Cardew, the great exponent of modern studio ceramics. He encouraged her to travel to his Pottery Training Centre in Nigeria. There she met Cardew’s close associate Ladi Kwali – a traditionally-trained Gwari potter, and an inspirational figure for Odundo. Over the years, she has traveled back to her homeland of Kenya, to San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico, to India, China, and Japan, studying forms and hand-building techniques wherever she goes.


    Magdalene A.N. Odundo
    Untitled, Symmetrical Series, 2016/17
    21 1/8 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
    (53.7 x 29.8 x 29.8 cm)
  • Odundo has forged an idiom equally informed by all these experiences, as well as the formal intelligence of modern sculpture. Her vocabulary is tightly defined, materially speaking – coiled earthenwares, in tones of black, beige and red – but extremely capacious in expressive terms. Her pots have been described (by the Metropolitan Museum of Art) as “simultaneously familiar and novel,” an apt way of describing the way that she alludes to her sources – ancient vessel forms, and the contours of the human body – while also making them wholly her own.


    Odundo has been revered in ceramic circles for decades, but only now is she getting the broader recognition she has long deserved. She serves as Chancellor of her old art school in Farnham, has been made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 2019, was celebrated in the exhibition Journey of Things at the Hepworth Wakefield and the Sainsbury Centre, which set Odundo’s work alongside carefully selected historic works. (The designer Duro Olowu acutely observed that her pots were “almost like visitors to the show, who had decided to stay put.”) More importantly still, she is continuing to work at the height of her powers. After presenting her work at TEFAF, Salon 94 will stage an exhibition of new vessel forms – the artist’s first exhibition in New York for many years. It will be an opportunity for American audiences to witness first-hand this most magisterial of all ceramic artists, who presides over her medium like a guiding spirit.

  • Clay has always allowed me to reflect on, what again I keep coming back to, that notion and that concept of what it is to be human.

    — Magdalene A.N. Odundo

  • Seat/Table/Shelf/Seat 13, Brass, 1984/2020. Image: Antonio Monaci, courtesy © Donald Judd Furniture

  • Donald Judd

    B. 1928 – D. 1994


    There is design, there is sculpture, and then there is the furniture of Donald Judd (1928–1994). In the early 1970s, the great artist turned his mind to the project of furnishing his Soho loft, beginning with a pair of metal sinks and a wood platform bed. He was motivated not by any programmatic purpose, but simple aesthetics and pragmatism. No store-bought furnishings could have been appropriate to his vision of clarity and total integration. A few years later, when establishing himself in Marfa, Texas – where “there was no furniture and none to be bought, either old or new” – he returned again to the discipline. This was the beginning of a more sustained engagement. From this moment on, he began creating furniture not just for his own immediate purposes, but as a self-standing investigation, parallel to his art and not to be confused with it (“a work of art exists as itself,” Judd wrote, “a chair exists as a chair itself”). He executed the forms in basic pine, at first, then moved on to other woods, and eventually metal.


    Like his art works, Judd’s furniture forms are precise and orthogonal, fabricated by hand to his dimensions. They are possessed of that extreme simplicity that comes only from extensive refinement, honed to absolute finality from all the possibilities afforded by space itself. Judd wrote compellingly of his thoughts on this furniture. His most well-known statement on the topic, tellingly, is titled “It’s Hard to Find a Good Lamp.” Clearly, his essential dissatisfaction with what was available commercially – almost all of which he dismissed as “junk for consumers” – was still in place. But Judd also realized how difficult it was for mass producers to resist mediocrity, given the challenges of manufacturing costs and distribution. This explains his strategy of a restricted production, which allowed him to retain total control over quality and quantity. “Our furniture goes around the world,” he wrote, “but only one by one.”


    Installation of Donald Judd furniture with Philippe Malouin Copper Rug, 2020, Salon 94 Design, 89th Street, New York, NY

    Image: Courtesy Donald Judd Furniture and Salon 94 Design


    ON FURNITURE, 1986

  • Salon 94 Design is honored to represent this important material, making it more available to the public. The timing is right – given the Judd retrospective on now at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which allows visitors to use his iconic wood benches and chairs. Given our cross-disciplinary breadth, Salon 94 Design is uniquely well positioned to contextualize the furniture in a specific and autonomous way, free of any determinant category.

    There is also a personal connection here. Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of Salon 94 and Salon 94 Design, lived with Judd’s work growing up in St. Louis. Greenberg Gallery, owned by her father, was the artist’s primary Midwestern venue. Their house included major works, and moreover, subscribed to his tenets. “Our furniture was spare and essential,” she remembers, “a Saarinen kitchen table, a Judd bench, a makeshift table of trash cans with a slab of wood on top. The only flourish was Diego Giacometti.” Of his outfitted Land Rover, she remembers sitting in it, “feeling its heat and strict lines, its proportions perfectly symmetric to its function.”


    To be sure, S94D’s program ranges far outside the aesthetic that Judd made his own. Yet even the differences are fascinating. Consider the way, for example, that his contemporary Gaetano Pesce’s (born 1939) metamorphic, open-ended works juxtapose to Judd’s tightly calibrated furniture – a true contrast of the Dionysian and Apollonian. But transcending the particularities of individual artistic visions we can see a program in its entirety, as deeply informed by Greenberg Rohatyn’s early encounters with Judd. “A single one of his chairs,” she notes, “through its sheer discipline, can rearrange and re-order a room.” That lesson still animates the gallery’s program today. Judd’s furniture may be orchestrated from a geometry of lines and planes. But in its new home at S94D, it has come full circle.

  • Olga de Amaral

    B. 1932


    Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Olga de Amaral is a renowned artist whose technique, which incorporates fiber, paint, gesso and precious metals, transforms the two-dimensional textile structure into sculptural presences that seamlessly blend art, craft, and design. Amaral is an important figure in the development of post-war Latin American abstraction. Her work is deeply driven by her exploration of Colombian culture and threads of her own identity. Architecture, mathematics, landscape, and the socio-cultural dichotomies of Colombia are woven together with each strand of fiber.


    Throughout her career, Amaral has gathered myriad accolades that speak volumes of her importance in both academic and artistic circles. In 1965, she established and directed the Textile Department at the Universidad de los Andes (University of the Andes) in Bogotá. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973, and in 2005 was named “Artist Visionary” by the Museum of Art and Design in New York. In 2008, she served as honorary co-chair for the benefit of the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2011, she was honored at the multicultural gala of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2019 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art (in New York). Galleries and institutions worldwide have exhibited Amaral’s work, the full range of which is represented in the collections of over forty museums, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, San Francisco’s De Young Museum, the Museum Bellerive in Zürich, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Renwick Gallery of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. She currently lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia.

    • Olga de Amaral, Alquimia Plata 6 A, 1995
      Olga de Amaral, Alquimia Plata 6 A, 1995
    • Olga de Amaral, Arbol H, 2013
      Olga de Amaral, Arbol H, 2013
    • Olga de Amaral, Sol Rojo 3, 2012
      Olga de Amaral, Sol Rojo 3, 2012
  • Judy Chicago

    B. 1939

    Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. Her influence both within and beyond the art community is attested to by her inclusion in hundreds of publications throughout the world.  


    For over five decades, Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change and to women's right to engage in the highest level of art production. As a result, she has become a symbol for people everywhere, known and respected as an artist, writer, teacher, feminist and humanist whose work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women's right to freedom of expression. In 2018 Chicago was named both one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and a 2018 “Most Influential Artist” by Artsy Magazine. In 2019, she received the Visionary Woman award from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

  • Judy Chicago
    The Cardinal, 1964
    Acrylic and silver metallic acrylic on fired clay
    17 x 22 x 18 inches
    (43.2 x 55.9 x 45.7 cm)
  • These sculptures were me as myself in graduate school before I tried to ‘be one of the guys’. And the title, The Cardinal indicates that I was already trying to infuse the feminine with spiritual authority.

    — Judy Chicago

  • Diego Giacometti

    B. 1902 - D. 1985


    The younger brother and lifelong collaborator of Alberto Giacometti, Diego was born in 1902 into one of the most influential families of the Modern period. Sharing an appreciation for the sculpted form similar to that of his brother, Diego garnered attention from collectors and gallerists who saw his comparable talent in his early works that were often meticulously crafted stands and props for Alberto’s sculptures. Establishing himself as a sculptor in his own right in the mid- 1930s, Diego’s plaster maquettes translated flawlessly into the bronze furniture and objects that he is now so celebrated for.


    As an independent artist, he began incorporating his affinity for nature into his designs, echoing the Alpine surroundings of his childhood and transforming familiar flora and animalia into bronze. This highly sought-after subject matter is wonderfully apparent in the Abouret de coiffeuse à la Souris chair, featuring a lively mouse climbing up the leg of the chair. A delightful mis-en-scéne, it captures the wonder and charm at the heart of Giacometti’s practice.


    In low, oval table with owl in flight, nest, and perch, the tabletop sits delicately atop the arc of the bird’s flight. Refined and articulately rendered in bronze, the frame of the table is beautifully naturalistic, resembling the organic shapes of branches and bones.

  • Diego Giacometti
    Low, oval table with "Owl in flight, nest, and perch", 1979
    Cast bronze
    17 1/2 x 50 5/8 x 33 3/8 inches (44.5 x 128.6 x 84.8 cm)
  • MyungJin Kim

    B. 1975


    In MyungJin's most current body of work, 'Paradise', she sculpts organically shaped, low relief, narrative story vessels in warm earthy terra cotta rather than the porcelain clay she had used for so many years in previous bodies of work. Although the themes in her work are archetypal, MJ filters and distills events from the immediacy of her own life as poignant subject matter in her art. MyungJin’s narrative story vessels depict a primal botanical landscape inspired by the ancient plants in her garden. Frequently subject matter among other things, are mated pairs of owls and birds. The owl has been an enduring subject matter appearing intermittently through the years in MJ Kim’s ceramic art.

    Each vessel is hand-made with terra cotta clay. Imagery is begun as low relief sculpture around the vessels with painted details in white slip added to complete the image. It is where the complexity of the 2 dimensional and the 3 dimensional come together to complete a form and an image. The vessels are painted and polished with terra sigilatta, best known as the surface finish on remarkable pre-columbian ceramic art from Mexico, Central and South America. This shift in her work was inspired by a recent trip to Mexico City.

    • MyungJin Kim, Paradise #22, 2020
      MyungJin Kim, Paradise #22, 2020
    • MyungJin Kim, Paradise #29, 2020
      MyungJin Kim, Paradise #29, 2020
    • MyungJin Kim, Paradise #39, 2020
      MyungJin Kim, Paradise #39, 2020
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