Valentin Loellmann | Twenty First Gallery

by Valerie Stepanova

Opening at the Twenty First Gallery space in TriBeCa, German artist and designer Valentin Loellmann debuts his very first NYC solo show. A collaboration with Paris-based Galerie Gosserez, it displays a careful selection of pieces the artist has made over the past six months.


Most objects presented in the gallery are executed in artist’s favorite material — wood. Combined with copper, brass and steel, it creates a surprising and original aesthetic that is particular to Valentin’s work. Loellmann treats the materials used like organisms, regarding each as an opportunity to merge with other elements to create the final piece with a unique character.

“Some pieces, I put in more function to make it easier to access, and other pieces, I put in less function,” the artist said. “There needs to be a balance between doing functional and sculptural furniture.”

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In working on his pieces, Loellmann draws inspiration from his personal surroundings. Images and feelings become tangible objects, making his artistic vision visible to others. The designer never sketches, constantly testing the limits to see how his pieces unravel. Valentin says his work is very personal — the items are largely created in response to how he feels.

“I think about a certain energy or feeling that I want to express,” Loellmann said. “I’m trying to materialize this in the workshops to create a piece.”

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And that energy or feeling stems from Valentin’s internal inspirations. He is more interested in making his own visions and ideas a reality than seeing what other artists, designers and architects have to offer.

“I don’t go to exhibitions, I’m not interested in design or art, I’m not putting mood-boards together,” Loellmann said. “I just make my own environment.”

The environment Loellmann wants to create with his furniture pieces is one that reflects the artist’s internal values. He finds city life exhausting, which is why he tries to make his work look as if it belongs in nature.

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Though the German designer has gained a prominent status in the art and design scene, he sees exhibitions and art fairs as merely his steps towards working on bigger projects. His work was recognized by the general public, industry professionals and art collectors alike, but the artist is not too attached to that idea of having a presence in the design industry.

Valentin truly indulges in freedom while working on his pieces.

“Success is quite superficial,” the artist said. “At one point, it’s having a creation process that gives you money and possibility to work freely, but I had that for a long time already. I’m quite spoiled in what concerns this fact of having the freedom to work whatever way I want.”


Next up are the interior and architectural projects, as well as pubic installations that the artist is keen to hold in the future. But for now, through July 19, New Yorkers can peruse the gallery space to see interior design creations that stray away from what is typically defined as furniture.