Piero della Francesca, The Flagellation of Christ
Michael Warren RHA

In this recent suite of works Michael Warren foregrounds core obsessions of his artistic practice in an exciting new departure, the use of vernacular form, in this case, the folding chair!

Proportion has always been central to Warren’s contemplation of sculptural form and no where in the history of art is the classical understanding of proportion more clearly exposed than in the work of Piero della Francesca. In “The Flagellation” 1469, the orchestration of space follows the rules of the Golden Section. Warren recognised a suggested similar spatial relationship in the back supports and runners of a 1960’s Habitat wooden folding chair. This led Warren to hand make a number of chairs refining their horizontal supports to greater accentuate and mimic the architecture of Renaissance compositions. Close attention reveals that the back supports are used both in convex and concave shapes, morphing them into abstract figuration and thus animating the overall composition of his chairs

A suite of eight chairs comprise Predella, traditionally the series of small panel paintings shown in sequence below a major altarpiece. Warren challenges us to closely read these schematics of composition and to allow beyond them a greater appreciation of how imbedded the beauty of geometry is in our everyday life.