Curtis Lafollette. From May 9th through Jun 20th, 2009. 101/Exhibit is currently presenting the exhibition "Curtis Lafollette: Metals”, a show of over seventy pieces dedicated to the artist’s constant exploration of the ever-present interfaces between form, content and function.
Limited only by the internal conflict of the materials at hand, Lafollette’s provocative work becomes both a piece of art and a brand new perspective as to how far can design solutions go, whether it be in the shape of holloware, flatware or jewelry.
Holding a Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art and with his work being featured in such publications as Metalsmith, American Craft and Goldsmith Zitung, in the hands of Curtis Lafollette noble materials such as copper, brass, bronze, silver, gold, aluminum, stainless-steel, cast iron and even wood are constantly pushed beyond their limits; silent manipulation that allows apparently common, everyday objects to appear in the realm of the extraordinary. Like fragments transcending all expected limits, the works of Lafollette unveil as functional art-come-insightful design.
A former Physics student captivated by the power of metal thanks to an obligatory jewelry course, in 2005 the artist co-founded the Lafollette Group, a collective of artisans influenced by modernism and functionality that produces high-end craft media including flatware, hollowware, jewelry, furniture and rugs. Committed to environmental stability and social responsibility, the group holds its studios in a 100-acre tract in Cherryfield, a quiet village in “Down East” Maine. Organic gardens, landscape design and sustainable forest management are a few examples of the collective’s profound affection for biodiversity. And though Lafollette’s body of work does not relate to such environmental issues, the artist himself is committed to the concept of sustainability.
Detached from ideological restraints, the artist is all about seeking a most imaginative, artistic and certainly useful interpretation of ordinary forms, hence converting anew otherwise mundane elements. Like modern charms where function, sprinkles of irony and a strong sense of production-wise logic come together, Lafollette’s pieces give account of a true master of his craft.
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