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Knotty And Nice

New York Times July 2011

Knotty And Nice Knotty And Nice

Now Showing | Knotty and Nice

New York design aficionados who are looking to beat the heat will find nothing but cool this summer at Ralph Pucci International, where a series of exhibitions, all on view through the end of the year, illustrates the very different approaches of their subjects. “Revival,' by the French designer Jerome Abel Seguin, contains nine sculptural pieces made of slices of enormous mahogany trees that were felled in central Java early in the 20th century. The pieces, some of which even contain large stones that became embedded in the trees, are at once graphic and textural, primal, and extremely powerful.

At the other end of the finish spectrum, “On the Rocks,' by another Frenchman, Eric Schmitt, features sleek, sumptuous tables and vases in a mix of “old' materials (like bronze, blown glass and marble) and new (Corian and anodized aluminum). The pieces evoke the traditional forms of, say, consoles or pedestal tables with an abstract formal vocabulary and elegant execution. Also on view is Dana Barnes’s exhibition “Unspun: Tangled and Fused,' a selection of fiber art pieces that explore traditional techniques like rug braiding, needlepoint and crochet, but on a gutsy, magnified scale. Finally, a group of abstract images by the photographer Antoine Bootz, who has documented these exhibitions — as well as many others at Pucci — is on display as well.

By PILAR VILADAS