Minimalux at Peel Gallery an Unintended Farce

Minimalux is a London-based design studio that specializes in small, modern tableware, desk products and accessories. Founded by designer Mark Holmes, the studio utilizes premium materials for its minimalist products, which are geometrically pure in shape. Peel Gallery, the only U.S. seller of Minimalux designs, is currently displaying 23 objects as an exhibit. And it's pretty ridiculous. Not that anyone wouldn't want to own any of the products--I'd love a copper, silver and borosilicate glass vase in the shape of a beaker. I'd even go for a solid polished brass pen holder in the shape of a cube. Would I pay upwards of $400 for either? Never. It seems Peel is trying to ride a line between high-end design and fine art with this show; the small objects are displayed along two walls with a line of vinyl text (basically company advertising boilerplate).

The gallery asks visitors not to touch the objects, as if they're precious artifacts, but they were covered in fingerprints anyway, which says something about the failure of this enterprise. It comes off as though Minimalux rented the gallery as a pop-up shop. There's nothing wrong with that; galleries are in the business of selling. But selling overpriced desk accessories? Paper-clip dishes and pen rests? Seriously, who needs a sterling silver pill tube? It's almost a must-see show for its pure, yet unintended, farce. Peel says it'll soon be selling the products at its website, peelgallery.org. So now you know where to waste some money for Father's Day. Through June 4. Peel Gallery, 4411 Montrose, 713-520-8122.

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