Threads from the Krenov School presents a selection of fine furniture and quasi-functional objects culled from the storied Bay Area institution. Like the Virginia farmhouse in Mark Danielewski’s “House of Leaves,” Threads offers a series of quintessentially postmodern formal and thematic paradoxes that sit comfortably between suspended disbelief and extraneous articulation.
Hanneke Lourens’ Elm Cabinet bends the space inside an object, changing the constraints of its enclosed volume via the lyricism its exterior shape. Zac Jurden’s No Exit uses architectural axioms to create a cabinet too arduous to comfortably support its contents. Laura Mays’ Wall Mounted Drawer Box is a floating solitary drawer, replacing the primary function of furniture with a curiosity for its materiality. Miles Gracey’s Loose Ends asks, “How do we pass from the outside to the inside? How do we define a boundary or a slip in one?” Illusion takes hold in Michelle Frederick’s Plant Vanity. Philodendron clippings are reflected in concert with the object itself—an image of the viewer confuses what should be a shelf for a display. As Sottsass once remarked, “If you think you’re meeting your destiny on the other side of a door, you might not stop to consider its design.”
Touch is our most primary sense, and an object that confounds our expectation for it creates a haunting experience. This ethic can be found in the tray of Grace Zarah’s meticulously ornate Flower Press or the curved back rest of Hannah Saywer’s Whisper to Me from Across the Hill. An encounter with Hayden Castagno’s Cabinet on a Stand or Brian Newell’s Coffee Table is an acute reminder of the intimacy offered by well understood volumes. Here, the typically mundane action of tugging on a drawer pull, twisting a doorknob, or clicking a catch into place, becomes a moment of infinitely forestalled curiosity. Throughout Threads, details that demand a recalibration of our tactile, olfactory and auditory senses, could only have come from countless hours of compassioned labor.