The Groninger Museum presented a large-scale solo exhibition of the work of designer Marc Newson (1963). This was the first time that an extensive retrospective of his oeuvre had been displayed in Europe.
The Australian-born designer studied jewellery and sculpture at the Sydney College of Arts in the early 1980’s. He began designing pieces of furniture in Sydney, London and Tokyo before establishing his own studio in Paris in 1991.
Newson’s designs vary from household objects, watches and furniture to complete interiors and vehicles. It is extraordinary that Newson has developed from a specialist product background into an all-round designer capable of tackling large-scale projects such as a car, diverse interiors, or an aeroplane. One of his most recent projects was the design of the Lever House Restaurant in New York. In 2004 he finished the realization of a concept aeroplane, the Kelvin 40, for the Fondation Cartier.
As a designer, he takes his inspiration from varying sources including the indigenous culture of Australia, films, aviation, space travel and science fiction. Newson's designs have been described as futuristic, sexy, and humorous, and carry names such as Super Guppy Lamp or Bucky Chair. Newson first rose to prominence with his Lockheed Lounge, a futuristic aluminium sofa dating from 1986, which recalls a classical chaise longue. The piece of furniture, of which only a few examples exist, also appeared in one of Madonna's video clips. The Lockheed Lounge has also been included in the interior of Ian Schrager's Paramount Hotel in New York, which was laid out by Philippe Starck, and it has been featured in countless publications. This versatility anchors Newson in a new generation of designers at a time when a more significant and more visible role is being assigned to design.
Newson held his first large-scale solo exhibition in the Powerhouse in Sydney in 2001. His designs have been included in the world’s foremost museum collections including the Vitra Design Museum, Moma New York, San Francisco Moma, and the London Design Museum. Marc Newson is based in London and works from studios there and in Paris.
This exhibition was organised in collaboration with the Design Museum, London.