Retro classics

Jens Risom furniture at Rocket Gallery

It's not often you go shopping for furniture in an an art gallery, but here's your chance. 

Established in London's fashionable Shoreditch for the past 15 years Rocket Gallery is renowned for merging the lines between art and design with exhibitions that have a distinctly minimalist aesthetic. Although don't let that put you off. 

This time the gallery has collaborated with Danish-born American designer Jens Risom (aged 94, no less) and Benchmark furniture (co-founded by Sean Sutcliffe and Terence Conran) to showcase a re-issued collection of Risom's designs from the 1950s and 60s. And they are for sale. 

Showing something in a gallery gives the object a reverence not found on the average shop floor. It says, here is something special and it deserves to be admired. But this context can feel a bit sterile. So try to imagine this furniture in a home - add newspapers, coffee cups... people.

Risom's designs are not just objects of beauty (or art) they are useful, practical, elegant and comfortable. Not everything stands up to the glare of gallery lights, but I think these pieces do. 

This long table converts into a bench with the addition of a cushion, but doesn't quite make it to the end

Outside of a gallery this armchair and coffee table would probably look more relaxed