Donna Paul -- Interior Design, 1/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
When Murray Moss and Franklin Getchell commissioned Fernando and Humberto Campana to transform a wall at the new Moss Gallery, no one knew what to expect. Extensive exchanges of cell-phone calls and e-mails certainly failed to prepare the Brazilian brothers for the scene that greeted them in New York when they arrived to complete the installation, their first permanent site-specific work in the U.S. Basically, the future gallery annex was no more than a cold, chaotic construction site with electricians, plumbers, and plaster dust everywhere. Moss recalls thinking, I've got to take a big gulp and say, "Do what you want."
Within 15 minutes, Brazilian music was on the CD player and the Campanas were up on scaffolding, assembling pieces of plain maple to construct a mural reminiscent of the designers' 1991 Favela chair from Edra. "We amplified a detail of the chair to create a kind of landscape," Fernando Campana explains of the 22-foot-long by 15-foot-high composition, which conceals a door to the back office.
Moss sees the installation as an identifier for his gallery—or, as he considers it, his theater. "For me," he says, "this mural is like the rising of the chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera."