He picks up an object — different sized and shaped rectangular spaces, connected by their sides, hinting at what could become his next award-winning piece of furniture.
“This is something that I’m working on right now that has zero function,” says acclaimed Israeli artist-designer Ron Gilad. “Many times it stops there and it’s a sculpture that’s going to be shown in an art gallery. Sometimes it has potential and evolves into a function.”
Gilad’s intuitive, formless approach has taken substantial form, however, as his works grace the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. “I’m juggling between the art world and the design world,” he says.
The ability to balance his own artistic quest with a commercial one has led to a fruitful partnership with Italian luxury furniture maker Molteni&C Dada, where he recently hosted its launch of a new showroom in Vancouver’s premier European furniture store Livingspace.
“I’m trying to develop my own language and to write my own story while also respecting the partner that I work with,” he says. His Grado° Collection featured at Livingspace embodies his beautifully simple yet elegantly unique design style, a reinvention of common tables, containers and shelves.
Gilad’s disarming, raw honesty (which is also quite amusing) reflects a personal integrity that surely impacts his art. For his widely embraced Grado° Collection, he says, “I don’t see myself having the talent to use colours in a very elaborate way — that’s why I used primary colours. I’m not trying to pretend to do something that I cannot.”
His inborn authenticity blended with personal experiences and tastes of other cultures seem to be another partnership working in his favour. “Japanese culture is something that always strikes me — appreciating the spirituality in such small detail or perfection of movement.”
With his mastery of minimalism, the Asian proverb comes to mind — “A simple way is most profound.” Gilad’s designs say the same.
Text by J.H.White Translated by Zhao Wen