Function Meets Beauty: Colectivo Mangle's Exhibit Redefines Woodworking

The Colombian art collective gets creative with carpentry.

By Emily Juhasz January 19, 2017

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Can you believe that this delicate, doily-inspired piece is made from wood?

For the past 10 years, Maria Paula Álvarez and Diego Fernando Álvarez have incorporated their extensive carpentry skills into their Colombia-based design collective, Colectivo Mangle. Now, Houstonians can view their works at the collective's first Bayou City exhibition, Aesthetics of the Absurd, at Guerrero-Projects gallery in Montrose. This new survey showcases how the design duo transforms functional wooden materials into extraordinary works of art.

Maria and Diego first met in carpentry school in Bogotà, Colombia. Using their skill sets, they began creating pieces that transcended the average wooden table, like thin slices of wood handcrafted into plants or fabric-inspired creations that closely resemble doilies.

The collective uses different processes to create unique pieces. In their plant series, for example, the process requires joining multiple sheets of wood and folding them, using only heat, to achieve the desired curves.

So what exactly brought the designers from Bogotà to Houston? Guerrero-Projects owner Enrique Guerrero answered honestly, “Me.” Guerrero was interested in their work and invited the duo to bring their furniture to ArtBo, an art fair in Bogotà. Their furniture was sold through Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Guerrero-Project’s sister branch that was opened by Enrique in Mexico City 20 years ago.

When asked about their work, Colectivo Mangle shared, "We believe that many elements in life go unnoticed." This is, to an extent, the inspiration behind many of their pieces—finding beauty behind ordinary things in everyday life.

Aesthetics of the Absurd

Thru Feb 4. Free. Guerrero-Projects, 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713-522-0686. guerrero-projects.com

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