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Extended May 16 - June 22, 2024

Lyle Gallery is thrilled to announce its grand opening with the inaugural exhibition, "Metal," featuring works by designers Martha McGuinn, Jøna Maaryn, and Michelle Jiaxin Huang. This exhibition will be on view from May 16 to June 6, 2024, at the gallery's new permanent space, located at 24 Rutgers Street, New York, NY 10002.

"Metal" is a celebration of craftsmanship, showcasing handcrafted metalwork through a feminine lens. The pieces integrate elements of symbolism and storytelling, reflecting the artists' personal experiences, viewpoints, and passions. Each piece embraces the physically demanding and time-consuming process of creating metal furniture by hand.

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Martha McGuinn

Jøna Maaryn

Michelle Jiaxin Huang

Martha McGuinn, co-founder of the London-based design duo By Jamps, finds her practice deeply rooted in history. In her latest collection, she draws inspiration from an illustration from the Queen Mary Psalter, an illuminated manuscript dating back to 1310. This artwork portrays the tradition of 'panning,' depicting the age-old practice of fattening pigs with acorns. Drawing upon the graceful curves of the pig's limbs and the gentle contours of acorn foliage, Martha sculpts intricate metal forms that define her Monk Chair and Panning Screen. Each piece undergoes precise die-cutting with a laser cutter, tracing lines reminiscent of a 13th-century monk's handiwork. These organic shapes are masterfully intertwined, paying homage to the rich tradition of female artisanal weaving.

Monk Chair and Panning Screen epitomize the distinctive style of By Jamps' founders, Martha McGuinn and Tom Pearson. Their approach prioritizes experimentation with metal, spanning casting, weaving, and welding techniques. Moreover, they almost exclusively utilize recycled materials, transforming scrap metal into sculptural furniture pieces and breathing new life into discarded materials.


Jøna Maaryn's practice is deeply rooted in the vibrant desert communities of the American Southwest, marked by a pivotal period residing at Arcosanti, Arizona. Drawing inspiration from the ethereal architecture and the fusion of Japanese brutalism and futuristic elements prevalent within the Arcosanti environment, her work embodies the delicate interplay of strength and fragility found in the desert landscape. She echoes the dark, porous volcanic rock through rough raw concrete textures and shapes evocative of bones—objects she has collected throughout her life in West Texas.

In this collection, Jøna explores the depths of human experience, grappling with the legacies of past visionaries she has studied and the shadows they cast. Her spinal-inspired chair, Paloma Negra, stands as a self-portrait, reminiscent of a dove emerging from a shadow, while the sturdy house-shaped Embre chair symbolizes control over hearts and homes, drawing from her experiences within the desert community of Arcosanti. This body of work serves as a testament to the acceptance of our own darkness, urging us to navigate the complexities of our inner landscapes and discover beauty amidst the depths of our existence.


Michelle Jiaxin Huang's practice investigates the disengagement experienced in contemporary society, catalyzed by an overabundance of impersonal objects. Through her work, she seeks to reignite curiosity and interaction within built environments, questioning how objects shape our experiences. In her latest series, she embarks on a speculative expedition, focusing on mapping an alternative existence through three phases: birth, transport, and communication.

The chair titled "Eternal Recurrence - Landing" symbolizes birth, serving as the genesis of the expedition. Subsequently, Rover emerges as a manifestation of transport, drawing inspiration from industry and space exploration. The final piece, Telegraph, embodies communication. Abstracted from the visual language of transmission technology, the telegraph seeks to receive, process, and convey messages. Her choice of mild steel reflects both historical significance and ideas of technological progress, anchoring her expedition within the continuum of past and future, where the present unfolds as a synthesis of the two.

Through a magical transformative process of shaping a very hard, heavy material into almost weightless forms, Michelle invites viewers to embark on a journey of discovery, challenging conventional perspectives, and reimagining our relationship with the built environment.