It was sad news to read that the Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn was closing in the summer of 2021. I featured the final show within the former Brooklyn Navy Yard commissary cooler location last year. While Seen.Today is intended to focus more on the aesthetic qualities of design, how things are made indeed has a direct effect on how they look. And that’s what made the Cooler Gallery unique, exhibitions presenting design with a connection to the making process. Maybe the Broom Show was an omen for being swept out of that space.
So after months of silence, I figured the Cooler Gallery was another victim of the pandemic closures. But out of nowhere, an announcement hit my inbox. Cooler found a new space and already had their first exhibition set from a legend of the NYC design scene, François Chambard.
Angels are a collection of objects created by Chambard inspired by a short animation project he produced called Design Paradise. All of the objects consist of different assembled parts of various materials to form a mold. These aren’t functional molds per se but represent the molding of an idea. The object that could create an object. I’ll go ahead and use the label process sculpture to describe them.
Those familiar with Chambard’s work will recognize the strong use of geometric shapes and patterns. Each mold is composed of scrap, donated and found materials. Pay attention to the precision fit of each of the components because it’s stellar-grade.
Angels couldn’t be a better show to re-launch Cooler in a space that’s double the size but far from the same character ( the walk in freezer was an experience). It’s still tiny compared to every other NYC gallery I know. But to have it back on the local design gallery roster is fantastic.
Photos and Text: Dave Pinter