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Márcio Ferreira

tom dixon: 'british steel' at mitterand and cramer gallery

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edward mitterrand and stéphanie cramer of mitterrand+cramer gallery and curators sophie
and philippe cramer, opened the first solo exhibition in switzerland by british design star, tom dixon,
with twelve recent works processed by three different production means.
observing this variety of mediums and technologies was the original idea behind this exhibition.

flame cut
tom has used the industrial process of flame cutting steel, which is traditionally used for
manufacturing tanks, submarines and bank safes. solid enough to resist the inconvenience
of civil conflict and world wars and durable enough for the next 1000 years.
an installation of unfeasibly heavyweight furniture where dixon challenges our ideas of
acceptable materials, processes and notions of fitness for purpose. little concession has been
made to practicality or functionality, apart from the ironic reference to flat-pack furniture.

cast (produced for the exhibition)
the act of working in these super lightweight modern foam materials allows a total flexibility
and speed in construction, which make the creative process akin to action painting or abstract
expressionism in the sixties. when transformed into aluminium through the casting process,
the unique object is then fossilised, as the original evaporates into thin air, to be replaced by solid,
heavyweight aluminium. the result is an object which is a one off, artefacts that bears all the marks
of the making activity. once cooled the piece is finished with a gloss stove enamel which is heat
applied giving a high quality, corrosion resistant, durable finish.

copper plating
cu29 is a remarkable copper chair, based on dixon's extremely lightweight expanded
polystyrene chair (eps chair) first introduced in 2006 during the london design festival.
with cu29, nanocrystalline copper is 'grown' onto the eps chair using a highly sophisticated
electroplating process. during full immersion in a liquid bath containing pure copper crystals,
the textured surface of the chair's intricately curved industrial form attracts the honeycombed-
patterned crystals, resulting in a highly-detailed copper cladding, extremely strong yet surprisingly
lightweight. each piece, by definition of the process, is unique; each is numbered and signed.

tom dixon
'british steel'
mitterrand + cramer gallery in geneva, switzerland,
19 march - 2 may 2009

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