Marc Newson - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 26, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Alice Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London, 1999, pp. 38-41
    Sophie Lovell, Limited Editions, Prototypes, One-Offs, and Design Art Furniture, Basel, 2009, p. 229
    Alison Castle, et al., Marc Newson Works, Cologne, 2012, pp. 27-29

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips wishes to thank Marc Newson for his assistance with the cataloguing of the present lot.

    Marc Newson first exhibited the 'Black Hole' table at Idée in Tokyo, during the late 1980s, after previously meeting the company founder Teruo Kurosaki. Only a few examples of the 'Black Hole' table were produced for Idée by Japanese surfboard makers, who were selected by Newson for their experience in working with carbon fiber. Elements of the earlier Idée production for the 'Black Hole' table were later refined and superiorly executed, over a decade on, when manufactured for an edition created in France. Now adhering to ‘Newson’s exacting specifications’ the surface of the recent edition was completed entirely in carbon fiber. The present lot surmounted the ‘technical challenges,’ presented by the difficult fabrication process, and was the first of ‘two prototypes [that] had to be made, but Newson felt the end result was "absolutely perfect"’ (Alison Castle, et al., Marc Newson Works, Cologne, 2012, p. 27). The 'Black Hole' table with its partially hollow legs, like funnels, is a conceptual rendering of black holes. 'Both my sculptural work and the production furniture have always had as much to do with what is not there as what is there—the voids, the interior spaces, the things that you don’t see' (Marc Newson, Gagosian Gallery, 2007).

    The curator Louise Neri wrote in the accompanying exhibition catalogue for Newson’s 2007 solo show at the Gagosian Gallery: 'Across his protean output, Newson has been preoccupied with how to achieve a maximum sense of volume with the least amount of material (or mass) possible, thereby creating space as a grand illusion of that volume.' Compact and dense, a black hole’s extreme mass creates a gravitational pull from which even light cannot escape. Paradoxically Newson produced his 'Black Hole' table from carbon fiber, a low-density material whose lightness adds an unexpected contradiction. A single thread of carbon fiber consists of thousands of bundled filaments. Woven in a twill pattern, as in the present case, the minute warp and weft of the carbon yarn is distinct and viewable, not vast and unknowable like the concept it represents.


Prototype 'Black Hole' table

signed and numbered 'Marc Newson/PROTO 1 / 2' on the underside
carbon fibre
72.4 x 247.6 x 101.2 cm. (28 1/2 x 97 1/2 x 39 7/8 in.)
Produced by Marc Newson, France. Executed in 2000, this work is the first of 2 prototypes for an edition of 10 plus 2 artist's proofs.

HK$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for HK$1,875,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2016