Christian Astuguevieille, Frederic Dedelley, Sonnhild Kestler & Pour Les Alpes

December 2008, Zurich

The exhibition curated by Franziska Kessler Gallery centers on the special exoticism of the Alps. As a sort of counterbalance to the global brands and products, the trend towards the domestic, the local, even the common, has developed. It is to this zeitgeist that the group exhibition Alpine Chic payed homage. The exhibition had brought together a group of designers whose objects, some of them created especially for this exhibition, are characterized by a profound involvement with the alpine culture.

The textile designer Sonnhild Kestler had, especially for this exhibition, designed a fabric referring to traditional motifs from eastern Switzerland, yet showing an abstraction going clearly beyond this geographical context. This indigo-colored fabric was turned into decorative pillows, mattresses, bedspreads and lampshades that radiate an international flair without denying their roots.

Cosmopolitan yet deeply rooted in the alpine tradition best describes the objects of Parisian designer Christian Astuguevieille. For Alpine Chic, the creative director made famous by his cord and rope objects has gotten involved with a new material. Exclusively for the exhibition, he had designed a daybed, a lamp, a console and a folding screen from French chestnut that – in their reduced formal language – pay homage to the rustic chalet chic.

Also made from wood are the two prototypes presented by the young Swiss designer duo Tina Stieger and Annina Gähwiler. They have founded the label Pour Les Alpes and see their work programmatically as a “cooperation of product design and traditional craft”. The two chests of drawers designed by Stieger/Gähwiler are based on the classical alpine crafts such as wood-shingle production and carving.

Zurich designer Frédéric Dedelley returned to his Helvetian roots. The tables made from glazed polystyrene are ironically called “Deeply Superficial Objects”. Formally they are reminiscent of oversized rock crystals that have been broken from the rock by bold “strahlers” (crystal gatherers) for centuries.
The “Deeply Superficial Objects” by Dedelley are not only exceptionally beautiful furniture objects, but also formulate a self-confident reverence for a rustic object culture, whose qualities are revived by contemporary designers with much passion and verve.