The Italian architect and designer Andrea Branzi is described variously as avant-garde, experimental or philosophical, among other sweeping adjectives. But perhaps the Paris gallery that is exhibiting his latest work puts it best: “A trouble maker who continues to disrupt the status quo,” is how Carpenters Workshop Gallery refers to the 74-year-old multi-disciplinarily designer in the introduction to “Trees”, which is on show until May 16. Part of his ongoing questioning of architecture, Branzi’s trees consist of seven shelving units with Mondrian-like lines that are pierced with trunks and twigs of birch that he gathered in the wild. Exploring the relationship between nature and culture, these poetic pieces are signature Branzi in their emotion.

Gallerist Catherine Thieck (whose Galerie de France was previously home to the Carpenters Workshop space) adds an air of the cabinet de curiosités to the exhibition with a curated group of objects that sit on Branzi’s shelves. Selected from her personal collection, these items include works by Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, Méret Oppenheim and Rebecca Horn – a stellar roll call of artists and designers with whom the name Andrea Branzi deservedly belongs.

Andrea Branzi: Trees
Seven shelves with selected objects curated by Catherine Thieck.
10 March - 16 May 2012
54 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris

“When birch tree forests are pruned or agricultural cultivations of fruit trees are picked,
They are dispersed or burned. I have always been fascinated by these parts of nature, that continue to give off a grand expressive force, more powerful when they are combined with modern, perfect and industrial materials. They become mysterious, always diverse, unique, unrepeatable and somewhat sacred presences.

Trees, trunks and branches are part of our ancient culture but also of actual culture, because in the age of globalization, design searches to trace recognizable ‘anthropological’ platforms.

The collection, ‘trees’ consists to place simple, everyday objects, books, and images next to the strange presence of branches and trunks, like in the reality of the world.”

- Andrea Branzi