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Indepth Arts News:

"Mattia Bonetti 2008 - New Work"
2008-05-14 until 2008-06-14
David Gill
London, , UK United Kingdom

David Gill Galleries is delighted to announce an exhibition of new work by Mattia Bonetti at 3 Loughborough Street London SE11 5RB, 14 May to 14 June, 2008. Mattia Bonetti was one of the first artists to work with David Gill when he established his gallery in Fulham Road in 1987. Now, Bonetti is set to have a solo show at David Gill’s primary space in Loughborough Street, which opened in 1999. Ten new designs will include the Happy Birthday cabinet, a large-scale piece which, with its aluminium leaf and varnish exterior is a triumph of fine skills. A book dedicated to this piece will be published jointly by David Gill Galleries and Bernard Chaveau Editeur, Paris. Yo Yo table, another new piece from Bonetti, is made in polished aluminium, with one part seeming to float above the other. A restrained and intentionally simple piece, its beauty lies in the absolute perfection of its production. The resulting piece is quite literally flawless.

Mattia Bonetti, who was born and educated in Switzerland but moved to Paris in 1973, has always used his training in textiles and applied art to come up with solutions across art and design practice. He has worked as a successful art photographer as well as an interior designer. He first came to prominence when he helped to design the interior of Le Palace in Paris in 1978, a night club and restaurant that was the city’s answer to Studio 54.

Bonetti and his then work partner went on to produce elaborate furniture. “We were producing furniture like sculpture,” says Bonetti now. “The way we worked was very free, very artistic.” This didn’t dissuade Christian Lacroix from bringing them on board to create his graphic identity and the interior of his maison de couture when he launched his business in 1987. Bonetti went on to design Lacroix’s boutique interiors when the prêt a porter line was started in 1989. From this point, Bonetti and his partner became recognised as international players. They went on to produce revolutionary cosmetics packaging for Nina Ricci in the mid-90s and to redesign the Ricard bottle and carafe to widen its consumer appeal. That design is still being used today.

Since 2002, Bonetti has worked alone, producing endlessly innovative sculptural furniture in stainless steel, bronze, wood, plastic, resin and any other material which suits his purpose at the time. His Abyss table, designed in 2004 for his last show with David Gill, is without doubt a design classic. He has also designed the livery of two tram lines in Montpelier. MO< Mattia Bonetti describes his latest collection as “more compact and coherent. There’s a lot more colour – particularly in the pieces with a dichroic paint finish. I love the way the colour changes: it brings movement to a static piece.” Pieces range from the sweet femininity of the Pearl table to the big and sexy Big Jim armchair and ottoman.

Bonetti is currently working with private clients in Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Switzerland and Greece. All are serious collectors of contemporary art. He lives in Paris with his wife of eighteen years and two teenage daughters.


David Gill, originally from Zaragoza in Spain and known internationally as a leading producer and dealer of contemporary design, opened his first gallery in Fulham Road, London, in 1987. He had become inspired by 20th Century furniture after working in modern and old master prints for Christies in London and started showing largely French pieces by top names such as Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouve, J-E Ruhlmann and Eileen Gray. Before long, however, he had added to his roster with artists such as Donald Judd and Yves Klein and young practitioners like Tom Dixon and Ron Arad. In 1989, Gill began what would turn into a major series of collaborations with artists when he produced a collection of pieces with French designers Elisabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti.

From then on Gill worked with designers including Jasper Morrison and Marc Newson and later Jaime Hayon and a solo Mattia Bonetti, having opened a second 30,000 sq ft gallery in south London in 1999.

In 2007, he produced the first major collection of work by Fredrikson Stallard, the rising stars of the design world, and a groundbreaking installation by Zaha Hadid called Dune Formations. Dune Formations – an ensemble of 21 pieces which individually are tables, shelving, seating or desks each bearing Hadid’s remarkable architectural style - was first shown during the Venice Biennale in 2007 and later at Art Basel Miami.

Pieces from the David Gill Galleries are to be found in both private and museum collections around the world.

Gill’s reputation is grounded in a unique ability to blur the boundaries between art and design. The art/design debate is currently raging, but it is one that Gill has been provoking since he first opened his gallery just over 20 years ago.

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