In Pictures: An L.A. Art and Design Platform Called Sized Makes Its New York Debut With a Knockout Group Show on ‘Industrialism’
Alexander May, the founder of the Los Angeles design platform, mixes works by Rick Owens and Robert Mapplethorpe with furniture and style objects.
A monolithic arch made from bass speakers pulses and vibrates. It sounds like some otherworldly heartbeat but also like you’re waiting in line outside of a rave. Whether one sees it as a sinister techno-druid inter-dimensional portal or an innocuous assemblage of subwoofers depends on the beholder.
Kevin Stahl’s 2019 nine-foot tall sculpture, Transition, is just one of the perplexing—and perplexingly beautiful—pieces in “Industrialism”, a knockout group show in New York by the Los Angeles-based design and arts platform Sized. “It hits you in this really hypnotic way,” says curator Alexander May. “It also kind of sets the tone for the whole room.”
May is the 38-year-old founder and creative director of Sized, which has staged two previous exhibitions in Los Angeles. The New York show is on view until May 28 at Donna Karan’s West Village Urban Zen space (the former studio of her late husband, sculptor Stephan Weiss). May has had most of the walls painted black and the floors on both levels are covered with repurposed, graphite-colored upside-down Bolon flooring.
Using a broad array of disparate artworks, furniture, vehicles, and even bongs—a Mapplethorpe photo here, a limited-edition Lamborghini there—May has managed to put together a show that is cohesive and oddly moving. He balances out the raw and severe with some cozy and colorful moments. On a surface level, it also looks like the zenith of modern goth-tinged bachelor pads.
Judging by the roster, May appreciates those who moonlight in design or pivot their creativity into another sphere. There is a clear fashion overlap with contributions from Jonathan Saunders, Rick Owens, Mugler’s Casey Cadwallader, and Rich Aybar (a stylist who has been affiliated with both Owens and Hood by Air). A room is devoted to Aybar’s lamps, compelling conglomerations of scavenged construction debris and cast rubber.
One of May’s own chairs is also featured in the show, and before he embarked on becoming a design guru, he was a painter. “You used to have to pick a lane,” May says. “I’m interested in the ingenuity of the maker and that need to create.” May took us on a tour of “Industrialism” on its opening day. See photos of the exhibition below.
Industrialism is on view through May 28, 2022 at Urban Zen, 711 Greenwich Street, New York.
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