Marc Newson - Modern Masters London Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2007
    Phillips, New York, 'Design', 9 June 2010, lot 229
    Acquired from the above by the present owners

  • Literature

    Louise Neri, ed., Marc Newson, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2007, illustrated pp. 48-51
    Alison Castle, et al., Marc Newson Works, Cologne, 2012, pp. 150-51

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot will be included as 'MN-13MD-2006' in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of limited editions by Marc Newson being prepared by Didier Krzentowski of Galerie kreo, Paris. This prototype is the only example of the 'Micarta' desk with open wells leading down the legs, reminiscent of Newson's 'Black Hole' table of 1988.

    “For Newson, the technological challenge to create the seamlessness or wholeness found in all things natural (the human body, a plant, a cell) has emerged as one of the main points of diference between him and the others in his feld.” Marc Newson’s Micarta series, several years in the making and first shown at Gagosian Gallery in 2007, echoes this smoothly continuous and uniform quality, that Louise Neri refers to in the exhibition’s catalogue. The name of the series is derived from one of the first composite materials of the 20th century, Micarta, consisting of layers of fabrics, such as cotton or linen, reinforced with resin. A hybrid between synthetic and natural, Newson was drawn to the photosensitive component of the honey-patterned material, with its visible grain reminding of the rings of a tree, as the rich tones deepen under long exposure to ultra-violet light. Although the material essentially is a plastic, it has a living, organic quality. The object evokes a similar tension: though static in itself, the table energises its environment through the charged interaction between positive and negative space. With the legs seemingly being sucked out of the smooth surface of the table top, Newson creates voids, and turns the two- into the three-dimensional.


Prototype 'Micarta' desk

Linen phenolic composite.
72 x 256.5 x 99 cm (28 3/8 x 100 7/8 x 38 7/8 in.)
Prototype for the edition of 10 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Underside with metal roundel impressed with Micarta desk/Proto and incised with artist’s facsimile signature.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Modern Masters

London Auction 26 April 2017