Step Inside a Biological, Technological Cabinet of Curiosities

Something like a natural history museum of design opens at Chamber Gallery for Andrew Zuckerman's 'Human | Nature.'

by Marina Garcia-Vasquez
Oct 14 2015, 8:45pm

Images courtesy the artist

The serenity of the outside world comes inside the white cube in Chamber Gallery’s newest design exhibit, Human | Nature, curated by photographer Andrew Zuckerman. We experience peaceful moments of the natural world through symbolic art objects. From Japanese Zen aesthetics to biomimetics, Human | Nature showcases concepts of beauty through a Renaissance-era cabinet of curiosities.

The marbled gallery housed on the ground floor of HL23 in West Chelsea offers a sterile environment to showcase a variety of artful items from botanic artist Azuma Makoto, artist Adam Fuss, designer Carl Auböck, landscape architect Marc Keane, and designers Chen Chen, Kai Williams, and more. 

We see a chimpanzee sculpture made of sheeps wool by artist Kiyoshi Mino, a 145-million-year-old diplodocus fossil, and an antique ant farm, alongside abstract pillow forms by Chris Astley, and a lunar rake from NASA. There is enchantment in standout pieces like the “Brick Sofa” by Bjarke Ingels and the “Pastizal” rug by Alexandra Kehayoglou. Their centered pairing finely accentuates the whimsical theme of Zuckerman’s curation. 

Zuckerman says the collection was an “effort to reconcile our human desire to be connected to nature with our increasing urban and technological isolation from it.” It's not surprising, then, that the space itself feels like a page from Zuckerman's Creature portrait book of wildlife against a white backdrop. The collection is a codified natural history museum of design. The whimsy of individual pieces are amplified by their collected nature, a sensory treat for our all-too-human desires to see pretty things up close, without bell jars or casings. 

Human | Nature, curated by Andrew Zuckerman, is the second year-long curation collaboration for Chamber Gallery, the first was in collaboration with Studio Job.


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