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  • Written by Eli Jullo


GSL Gallery

GSL Gallery located in the Parisian north suburbs will be holding its second exhibition from the 26th of January until the 27th of March. With its eccentrically painted cold blue walls and elegant apartment space, ‘BLUE STEEL’ takes you on a trip exploring the philosophical duality between grace and strength, celebrated through the use of shiny metals in design.

In a former industrial warehouse turned car-garage and now gallery, John Whelan, who restored the interior, perfectly mastered the balance between sophisticated and punk, melancholic and seductive, where this time around, metal comes to life.

Co-curated by Kristen DeLaValliere of say hi to and gallery owner John Whelan, the show presents an impressive variety of 27 international established and emerging designers working with steel and aluminium. Among them are notable names such as Rooms Studio, Sisan Lee, Studio Benoit Lalloz and EJR Barnes, each contributing a unique perspective to the metallic symphony.

Shiny metals have long been a reflection of societal values and technological advancements. From the luxury and opulence of the aristocracy to functionality and simplicity of the Bauhaus, to the industrial revolution allowing for mass production and therefore the popularization of shiny metals in everyday objects. With post-war optimism and the hope for a more technologically advanced future, the industrial materials became a reflection of contemporary taste.

In our era of hyper-connected individuals, fast-spreading information and social media, we are left wondering what this obsession with shiny metals could possibly mean. We are invited to discover how this new wave of artists poetically approach political and societal issues in challenging stereotypes of what used to be associated to masculinity and strength. And much like a shiny metal - they mirror the current societal heart.

Upon entering the gallery through a small door, you are immediately imersed into a striking tableau of iridescent blue walls and imposing metal designs. The ground floor features an impressive amount of functional furniture, ranging from Sisan Lee’s X chair, inspired by the structure that supports constructions in architecture to the GSL x Orsoni Venezia collection which frames, in an almost digitalized configuration, the hand-cut tesserae of glass. The upstairs mezzanine, on the other hand, allows for a more poetic interpretation of metal work with a melancholic apartment furnished with romantic pieces such as Room Studio’s silver lingering lights in casted aluminium that look vulnerable yet grounded.

"BLUE STEEL" is not just an exhibition; it is an immersive experience that transcends the boundaries of design, offering a thought-provoking exploration of the dynamic relationship between materials, aesthetics, and societal narratives. Prepare to be enchanted by the alchemy of shiny metals and the nuanced perspectives they bring to the forefront of contemporary artistic expression.


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