Ron Arad (1951, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Lives and works in London, UK.
One of the most influential designers and architects of our time, Ron Arad is often called the Man of Steel, and his provocative conceptual works are often thought to be real objects from the future.
From a young age, Arad has avoided the architectural canons and clichés and experimented with shapes, materials and technologies. In his 30-year career, the artist has produced an outstanding array of innovative objects that defined much of the current panorama of global design and inspired a generation of young artists and architects around the world.
After studying industrial design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem from 1971 to 1973, Arad moved to London, where he enrolled in the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He created his first art works from industrial waste and construction material in his own architectural bureau. Arad’s ongoing experiments with the limits and possibilities of materials, from the choice of metal to the composition as a whole, and his completely new, radical ideas about the shape and structure of objects and buildings make him a central figure in the world of contemporary culture.
Sheet metal is Arad’s trademark. For over 30 years, the artist has been working with steel, aluminum and polyamide, capturing a unique style in a variety of works of art, pieces of furniture and futuristic architectural spaces. Despite the weight of the material, Arad’s works always elegantly combine airiness with flowing lines and flexible forms.
His art pieces, many of which are now considered iconic, are represented in outstanding public and private collections and are widely exhibited around the world. In 2008, Pompidou Centre in Paris celebrated Arad’s achievements with a large-scale retrospective that later travelled to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Among the most revered of Arad’s architectural projects are the interior design for the Opera and Performing Art Center in Tel Aviv, the flagship store of fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto in Tokyo and Design Museum Holon, the first national design museum in Israel.
Arad’s public sculptures include: ‘Big Blue’ in Canary Wharf (London), ‘Evergreen!’ (Tokyo), ‘Kesher’ (Tel Aviv), and ‘Vortext’ (Seoul). In 2016, ‘Spyre,’ a 16-meter mobile sculpture graced the entrance to the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Arad has designed for all the major international furniture and design brands, including Vitra, Moroso, Alessi, Swarovski, and he has collaborated with a variety of fashion, technology and luxury brands, such as Adidas, Fiat, Samsung and Kenzo.
Arad has won numerous international awards and publishes regularly and extensively. He was Professor of Design at the Hochschule in Vienna from 1994 to 1997, and later Professor of Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London until 2009, when he was made Professor Emeritus. In 2013, he was elected a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Art in London.
Selected public collections:
Musée des Beaux Arts (Montreal, Canada)
Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France)
Fond National d’Art Contemporain (Paris, France)
Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris, France)
Centre National d’Art Plastique (Paris, France)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA)
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK)
Manchester Art Gallery (Manchester, UK)
Design Museum (London, UK)
Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Rohsska Design Museum (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Powerhouse (Sydney, Australia)
Design Museum (Osaka, Japan)
Design Museum (Nürnberg, Germany)
Neue Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich, Germany)