Abstract Expressionist “West” Launches Art Exhibition at Environment Furniture
Exhibition Opens in October with Street Art Mural on Beverly Boulevard
Environment Furniture, part design consortium, part modern craftsman, creates timeless contemporary collections for the home that respect the planet. Environment’s allure remains not only in its firmly entrenched environmental commitment, but also in its aesthetic: an understated elegance and rugged sophistication. Today, the company is excited to announce a collaboration with West, a renowned Graffiti artist turned Abstract Expressionist, to bring people together both in and outside of the showroom in a celebration of street art. West will paint a huge mural on the exterior of Environment’s Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles location creating community through shared ideas, knowledge, culture and art. The mural will be unveiled at a kick-off event September 30 along with the opening of an exhibition of West’s work inside the showroom.
“We live in a vast city where everything’s at right angles,” West said. “My work is movement and energy. It’s organic. The viewer will see different things - maybe themselves, maybe the city. Maybe the broader environment. I hope to make us look at our space, our environment, a little differently.”
The partnership was fostered when West was shopping in the Environment showroom and met owner and CEO Davide Berruto. They discussed large-scale murals, art in general and how Environment’s recent addition of Topanga shelves to its collection celebrated the contributions artists have made in the design space. Over a few month’s time, expanding the impact of those Topanga shelves, and with the currently strong influence of street art in Los Angeles (thanks to the current Museum of Contemporary Art [MOCA] exhibit), Berruto and West landed on this unique idea to expand street art in a more permanent fashion to Beverly Boulevard’s landscape.
“Our designers scour the world for unique, special and environmentally responsible pieces inside our showroom,” Berruto said. “We are really excited to offer something as cutting edge as this mural outside as a gift to everyone who passes by. West plans for the artwork to have no beginning and no end, in essence, no environment. I find a grand and wonderful irony in that.”
At the invitation-only, kick-off event, Environment will auction off Topanga shelves specially painted by West. Proceeds from the auction will benefit www.Jamaicankids.org. Jamaican Kids is based in Los Angeles and was formed to help Jamaican children who live in difficult conditions in ghettos by providing them with all they need, including clothes, school supplies, medical care, and in some extreme cases, even a new home. A percentage of each sale of West’s paintings on display throughout the exhibition will also benefit the charity.
West is best known for his Graffiti work in New York City in the 1980s and ‘90s. In 2000, he had a fundamental shift in his work and began to feel confined by the rules and strict technical codes of Graffiti lettering styles. West began to study the work of the Abstract Expressionists particularly Franz Kline, Willem DeKooning, Robert Motherwell, and Clifford Still, and in their work saw “an opening, a freedom, that was missing from the mannerism of traditional Graffiti.” West now encourages viewers to enjoy his work with no preconceived notions. People can literally take what they want from these abstract pieces.
Open to the public starting October 1, 2011, the West Exhibition will be on display at the Environment Furniture Showroom, 8126 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles through December 31, 2011.