Design at Large/

Carpenters Workshop Gallery/

Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents POMPIDOU BED By RICK OWENS FURNITURE

First displayed at FIAC 2019, the Pompidou Bed was conceived as a platform, a stage from which seven performers, hand-selected by artist and designer Rick Owens, could project themselves into the legendary works of art surrounding them in the Pompidou Centre, Paris. Seven beds were positioned throughout the 5th floor of the museum, for each of Owens’ ‘beauties’ to recline on and absorb themselves into. The Pompidou Beds were augmented and brought to life by the performances, and played a vital supporting role to the ferocious and joyous acts happening upon them.

Rick Owens is known for his glamour-meets-grunge aesthetic, always playing his wit and wickedness against each other. A Southern California native born in 1962, the acclaimed fashion designer generates a demanding and singular aesthetic in both worlds of fashion and design.

Owens lives and works in Paris, but the dark, minimalist style of his designs was born in the United States when he started out making bespoke furniture for his bunker-style loft in Los Angeles. Working with craftsmen of the highest calibre, he has developed a collection of pieces that express his signature style in cut, volume, and plan.

His designs evoke original furniture through archetypes. Through his choice of subtle and rare materials, Owens suggests the beauty of nature and develops a contrasting palette of black and white that confirms his taste for the monochrome. He juxtaposes values to compose three-dimensional pieces that fully reflect his own style. Through fashion, design, and furniture, he cuts and shapes a transversal and global universe.

The Pompidou Bed is an ode to minimalist sculptural design, portrayed on a maximalist scale. It is proposed as monolithic, a foundational cornerstone of any domestic space that projects itself further into the interior. Just like Owens himself, the bed constantly reaches outwards pushing at any conformist boundaries it reaches.

During the FIAC presentation, as the clocks struck midnight the doors to the museum’s upper floors opened and welcomed hedonistic guests into a club night hosted by Owens and his long-time collaborator and wife Michelle Lamy. Surrounded by artworks by Francis Bacon, the party lasted all night. The Pompidou Bed is testament to this spirit of revelry and unencumbered energy.

Owen’s practice is a considered summation of those masters of art and design that came before him. Well-versed in art history, his influences range from Brutalism to Arte Povera, also covering minimalists like Carl Andre or the experiential art of Joseph Beuys. The multi-facets of modernism are all amalgamated and processed through Owen’s work, resulting in artworks that bridge sculpture and design, always with a confrontational edge. The Pompidou Bed, with its enormous presence, speaks to many disciplines across many cultures, and stands as a distinctive masterpiece among Rick Owens’ oeuvre.