Galerie Philia stages Latin American design in Santo Domingo monument
Galerie Philia has produced an exhibition featuring Latin American designers called Montesino within the base of a statue of a local friar in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Eleven designers from Dominican Republic and different Central and South American countries presented their work as part of the country’s design week, which returned for the first time since 2019.
The showcase was placed in the Monumento a Fray Antonio de Montesino, a massive statue of a Dominican friar given to the country as a gift by Mexico.
Sculptural works and furniture were arranged inside the plinth of the statue, a multi-floor structure made of stone and concrete with a large oculus in its centre.
“The Monumento a Fray Antonio de Montesino, erected to commemorate Antonio Montesino and his noble defence of the natives’ dignity and freedoms, bears the weight of this multi-secular heritage,” Galerie Philia founder Ygaël Attali told Dezeen.
“To exhibit multiple works by Latino-American artists in this environment is a testament to this complex heritage and its interpretation by skilled contemporary artists and designers.”
Openings at the edges of the space open up the stone-and-concrete interior to the views of palm trees and the ocean, situating the work in a tropical context.
“To celebrate the historical ties between Mexico and the Dominican Republic, in particular their richness and cultural diversity, Montesino foregrounds works by native designers who are committed to preserving their country’s artisanal heritage,” said Galerie Philia.
To emphasise this connection, the gallery selected works by designers from both countries that utilise craft traditions, including work from local stoneware workshop Casa Alfarera and the furniture of Mexican studio Comité de Proyectos, whose wood piece with woven elements was inspired by the “indigenous women of Chiapas”.
Mexican designer Andrés Monnier, who recently showcased work at Galerie Philia’s Mexico City outpost, presented a series of stone pieces.
Other Mexicans included in the showcase were design studio ACOOCOORO with a sculptural chair and Manu Bañó, who presented furniture pieces in copper.
Designers from South America were also included, such as Peru-based Estudio Raffreyre, with a large-scale woven compositional rug and Argentine Ries Estudio, with travertine stools.
“With this exhibition, we hope to provide a compelling insight into the extreme beauty, intricacies and richness behind the craft and cultural heritage that emerges from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbeans and Latin America, celebrating this fascinating blend of cultures within the world of design,” said Attali.
Galerie Philia has locations in Geneva, New York and Singapore, and has recently been more active in Latin America, organising a show in Mexico City that showcased the work of Pilar Zeta and Andrés Monnier.
Last year, the gallery also put on a show in Paris that exhibited the olive wood furniture by designers Antoine Behaghel and Alexis Foiny that were based completely on the drawings of children.
Montesino was on show in Santo Domingo from 13 to 19 March as part of the Dominican Republic’s Design Week. For more events, talks and installations in architecture and design visit Dezeen’s Events Guide.
The photography is by Maison Mouton Noir, courtesy of Galerie Philia