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Akari Unfolded: A Collection by YMER&MALTA at The Noguchi Museum

Part of Oui Design 2018

Lamp by Benjamin Graindorge

The Noguchi Museum presents a new collection by French design studio YMER&MALTA : Akari Unfolded. This project is part of Oui Design, a program initiated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. and FACE Foundation, supported by Institut Français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Florence Gould Foundation, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

On view at the Museum from February 28, 2018, through January 27, 2019, Akari Unfolded: A Collection by YMER&MALTA, presents a selection of the 26 lamps created by this leading French design studio, which made its reputation working with contemporary designers and France’s legendary craft industries. Founded by Valérie Maltaverne, YMER&MALTA worked with five designers on this project : Sebastian Bergne, Océane Delain, Benjamin Graindorge, Nendo, and Sylvain Rieu Piquet, undertaking a rich exploration of the essential values of Isamu Noguchi's Akari light sculptures, asking themselves how Noguchi might work with new materials and processes to expand the wider universe of his light sculptures. The resulting designs are not variations on Akari, but an exciting proof of how Noguchi’s sophisticated hybridities, such as craft and industry, and tradition and progress, continue to provide a powerful model for contemporary design.

Founded by Valérie Maltaverne in 2009, the design firm YMER&MALTA occupies the crossroads of design, art, and craft, creating timeless contemporary pieces by marrying traditional materials and techniques with new technologies. Thematic collections have been developed around glass, wood marquetry, marble, leather, resin, and tapestry. YMER&MALTA pieces are in numerous collections, including that of the prestigious Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Centre Pompidou, in Paris. For one of its most celebrated collections, the studio worked with the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie D’Aubusson (a center for traditional Aubusson tapestry that includes a museum) to create eight pieces that drew on the 600-year-old tapestry tradition of Aubuson.

Click here for more information.

■  A public talk between the designer Valérie Maltaverne and curator Dakin Hart will be organized at the museum on May 11 at 6pm.

As part of Oui Design, made in partnership with FACE Foundation and supported by Institut Français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Van Cleef & Arpels, the Florence Gould Foundation, XL Airways and additional support for women artists has been provided by Fondation Chanel.

This project was conducted in partnership with The Noguchi Museum.