Joseph Walsh: Crafting the Contemporary

Joseph Walsh is a master maker and designer of an international acclaim, who works in West Cork Ireland where he founded his studio in 1999 in his family farm. He has formulated a unique and personal language, based on poetic sensibility and on the art of bending and manipulating local timbers, to which he has recently added such materials as green marble, limestone, and resin. Walsh has become known internationally for his sinuous, flowing, graceful forms, for interpreting nature in his own unique way, and for the highest level of craftsmanship. Whether furniture, sculpture, or architectural commissions, his pieces area always ambitious, always have huge personalities, always characterized by fluid silhouettes, sensual forms, like fountains of energy. His objects are like living organisms as they are twisted in unexpected directions, like floating in the air, as if they dance on the world’s stage. Traveling in his own path, Walsh creates furniture that tends to surround its users, to take a role in their daily lives, pieces that are dramatic, dominant, art objects crafted to perfection. But they also reflect his passion and motivation for the highest skills his craft can achieve, for constantly accomplishing, for constantly resolving complicated obstacles, for achieving the impossible. The contradiction is so present in his work that you are moving from the obstacles to the effortless, from the solid to the fluidity, from the complex to the clarity.

This was my introduction to the panel ‘Joseph Walsh:  Crafting the Contemporary,’ last evening at the New York School of Interior Design with Dr. Jennifer, Curator of Furniture, Silver, and the Eileen Gray Collection at the National Museum of Ireland; and Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, and Editor-at-Large of The Magazine Antiques. The talk was recorded and will be featured in the website of the New York School of Interior Design in the near future. The solo exhibition of Joseph Walsh is on view at the American Irish Historical Society until May 24th, featuring his new and overly spectacular watch cabinet (below). All images courtesy of Joseph Walsh Studio. 

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