Habitual readers will know that if I have a regional bias beyond NYC, it resides in beautiful Barcelona—arguably the historical nexus of surrealist painting and abstract architecture. So I never pass up an opportunity to profile emerging Barceloneses, especially if their work has the conceptual flair and aesthetic largess of the Sake Table by manufacturer RS Barcelona.
Sake. Designed by RS Barcelona.
An Icon Turned Inside Out, and Into a Table
At first, the name of this particular piece threw me a bit, since my only association with Sake is as a delectable rice wine beverage that reliably takes the edge of wasabi as it dampens the chill of a mid-winter’s eve. I’d expected, in fact, a piece that might match a Sake bottle’s distinctive cylindrical profile. But the name intends a literal reversal, as the Sake Table takes the components of Sake barrels, inverts them, and stretches them out into a long table whose frame is skillfully integrated into its finish. The piece demonstrates an admirable synthesis of maple and steel, as it establishes a clean modern look that suggests a Cubist rendition of a birthday package.
That connection is certainly apropos given Barcelona’s prominent place in the life of Picasso; it also gives us an entry into the melding of cultures implied by the collection. RS Barcelona describes it thusly: “Tables characterized by the dialogue between the materials (wood and metal) and the possibility of combining linear and rounded shapes in one space.” Sake fulfills this possibility as it stretches the form of the squat and cylindrical sake barrel into the elongated rectangle of the table. Moreover, Sake preserves the distinctive coloration—the wild flashes of cherry red—of this Japanese cultural icon.
The Sake Table comes in multiple incarnations, including low or dining tables, wenge wood or maple, and burnished chrome or painted steel (blue, red, or white).