10 NOVEMBER - 11 DECEMBER 2005
Eminent Domain, a new installation by New York and California designers Matthew White and Frank Webb, transforms Rice Gallery with a witty collision of classic imagery and pop graphic sensibility.
The White Webb partnership is known for its Intaglio Collection, whimsical furniture that uses collaged elements of antique engravings. The designers hyper-enlarge black and white reproductions of the engravings, silk-screen them onto fiberboard, then cut and assemble the pieces into furniture and accessories.
Eminent Domain expands the idea of White Webb’s furniture to an entire setting, a lighthearted folly that includes a pavilion in the center of the gallery. Although the exterior of the pavilion is stark white, every surface of its interior, furnishings, and accessories are created with reproduced and hyper-enlarged engravings. The pavilion sits in a garden-like setting of hand-tinted, giant flowers and insects, enlarged from botanical prints, winding up spring-green walls. Oversized and cartoon-like but also classical and elegant, Eminent Domain gently pokes fun at, yet at the same time pays homage to, grand European styles of the past.
ABOUT THE DESIGNERS
Matthew White was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1958. He studied at the School of American Ballet, New York, from 1977 to 1978, and danced professionally with the Los Angeles Ballet until 1983. White then worked as a graphic artist until he launched his own antiques business in 1996. He expanded his practice into interior design, and in 2004 was named one of the “AD 100,”Architectural Digest’s list of the 100 best designers in the world. He is on the board of Save Venice, a non-profit group that restores art and monuments in Venice, Italy. White lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.
Born in Massachusetts in 1964, Frank Webb holds a degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service (1986), as well as a certificate in international business from Nijenrode, the Netherlands School of Business. He worked in the financial service industry for seventeen years before leaving to explore other fields. In 2004 he joined forces with Matthew White and formed White Webb, LLC. He lives and works in New York.
White Webb, LLC is an interior design firm with offices in New York and California. Their projects have been seen in nearly every national design magazine, as well as The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Interview with Meghan Hendley,
KUHF 88.7 FM
21 November 2005
Photos by Nash Baker © nashbaker.com