Gary Magakis


The Philadelphia-based artist is known for fusing together slabs of bronze and steel to create pieces of furniture with protruding elements that look different from every angle. He is well-versed in Modernism and locates his practice at the intersection of fine art and furniture. “I try to straddle the two,” he says. His influences include Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Anthony Caro (1924-2013), David Smith (1906-1965), Alexander Calder (1898-1976), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).


Magakis’ furniture is infused with a sense of place: his summer studio is a farm north of Scranton, Penn., at the foot of the Endless Mountains, and he attributes his fondness for cantilevered forms to Wright’s “Fallingwater,” in the southwestern corner of the state. The furniture maker received a degree in sculpture from Penn State University and was taught how to weld by Klaus Ihlenfeld, a studio assistant for Harry Bertoia.


Magakis, who is represented by Todd Merrill Studio (New York), is a favorite of institutional and corporate collectors, and his works have been acquired by, among others, the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia), Delta Airlines (Cincinnati, Ohio), Coca-Cola (Atlanta, Ga.), and Citicorp (Cleveland, Ohio). His furniture has been featured in group shows like the Design Collective (New York, 2015) and FOG Design+Art (San Francisco, 2015), and Magakis was the subject of solo exhibitions at Snyderman Works Gallery (Philadelphia) in 2013 and 2015.

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