In the 21st century, architecture aspires to sculpture on a monumental scale and on a different level, experimental functional sculpture is at the forefront, examining fine art and design issues with both respect and irreverence—pushing boundaries.
Philip Michael Wolfson was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a NASA engineer. He studied architecture at Cornell University and at the Architectural Association in London, England, where he was discovered by Zaha Hadid. After completing his studies, he spent the next ten years as Hadid’s head of design. In 1991, Wolfson established his own studio and has worked throughout Europe and the USA on interiors and functional artworks shown at leading international art and design exhibitions, galleries, and public venues.
Wolfson has established his distinctive pathway re-examining the forms and ideas of the early 20th century Modernist movements, particularly Constructivism and Futurism. Theoretical elements of the Concrete Poetry movement also serve as inspiration. His unique approach to functional sculpture, design and art is informed by the dynamics of fracture and fragmentation—layering and manipulating his materials into fluid shapes and forms, where the movement of light, shadow and reflection are an integral part of the seduction of the work. They are elegant, graceful forms, at certain times even taking on anthropomorphic characteristics, generating an energetic movement like an impassioned orchestral conductor.
The use of noble materials such as various woods, glass, metals and stones, as well as new materials, such as carbon fiber, resins, and synthetic concretes brings a powerful dynamic elegance and an individual contemporary interpretation that enhances this unique approach.
Works by Philip Michael Wolfson have been shown at, or are included in numerous international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK), the Foundation Cartier (Paris, FR), the Museum of Art & Design (New York, USA), and the Price Tower Arts Center (Bartlesville, USA). His designs are on display at renowned galleries (Pearl Lam Design, Shanghai; Franziska Kessler, Zurich; Patrick Brillet Fine Art, London; Sebastian + Barquet, New York; Industry Gallery, Washington D.C.), at high-profile design fairs (Design Miami/Basel; Design Miami; Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan; TEFAF, Maastricht) and through auction houses Christies and Phillips de Pury in London and New York.
4 recent books featuring his works:
Design After Modernism, WW Norton & Co, 2012
Once Upon a Chair; Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin, 2009
Limited Edition, Birkhauser, Basel, 2009
Desire, Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin, 2008