Various Artists, Make–Do


Contact & Details

Various Artists
May 19 – 27 2023

Installation view, Make–Do

12 Contemporary Ad-Hoc Chairs from — Joseph Algieri, Samuel Brockman, Sarah Burns, Chen Chen & Kai Williams, Miles Huston, Sebastijan Jemec & Georgia McGovern, Minjae Kim, Nifemi Ogunro, Isabel Rower, Shaina Tabak, Brendan Timmins, and Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon

12 Historical Ad-Hoc Chairs from — Anonymous (Berks County, PA), Anonymous (Berkshire County, MA), Anonymous (Bucks County, PA), Anonymous (Coos County, NH), Anonymous (Inyo County, CA), Anonymous (Kennebec County, ME), Anonymous (Kings County, NY), Anonymous (Lincoln County, ME), Anonymous (Middlesex County, MA), Anonymous (San Bernardino County, CA), Anonymous (Spartanburg County, SC), Anonymous (Ulster County, NY)

No. 5 Chatham Square
New York, NY 10038


Marta and Catalog Sale are pleased to present Make–Do, an exhibition of twenty-four historic and contemporary ad-hoc chairs, held in alignment with NYC×Design. This selection of improvised chair typologies surveys twelve works from Catalog Sale founder Avi Kovacevich’s ebullient collection, placed in dialogue with a dozen works from contemporary practices, each of whom fabricated their entries in response to the following brief: Make a Chair in Three Days.

Day 1 — Identify & Gather Material
Day 2 — Design & Plan
Day 3 — Craft & Assemble

The proposed schedule emphasizes the primary components of making-do, the verbiage of which suggests the simultaneous expression of Place, Time, and Know-How—the submission to what is at-hand. Kovacevich’s selections, originally sourced from a variety of disparate and delightful venues, revel in spontaneous necessity: a seat of tires assembled by employees at an auto body shop; a swag of worn carpet, suspended over a slatted wood frame, discovered in a rug warehouse—each represents an idiosyncratic respite of a moment off-the-clock.

The effortless intuition of these pieces, and their development from non-active sourcing, is reflected back through a seamless integration with the works produced by the artists invited to participate in this exhibition, all of whom are based in New York City. As a place that often demands ad-hoc living—spatial, financial, infrastructural—of its denizens, the essence of the ‘brief’ is particularly germane, and serves as a reminder that limitation, within reason, can be a deep well from which to draw focus and inspiration.

Shaina Tabak has fabricated her chair from the surplus wood and metal components of a variety of previously-realized projects, developing a seated work that stands with the subtle gravity and metallic brilliance of a medieval sentry. Similarly, the invitation to Chen Chen & Kai Williams to produce a make-do perch coincided with a studio move, providing ample opportunity for the duo to unearth material from past projects (some dating as far back as 2014). Their chair, a jaunty construction of wood, steel, and woven plastic bags, culminates in an asymmetrical, brightly-pigmented structure seemingly on the verge of animation. Sarah Burns—who recently opened her solo show, Prairie’s Edge, at Marta Los Angeles—continues to explore near-extinct furniture typologies with distinct references to Americana, fabricating a slipper chair that foils soft materials, such as pillows and a sheepskin, within more emphatic structures of rope and thickly-hewn slabs of pine.

Each of these twenty-four chairs, regardless of origin, represents deliberate construction. They are reclamations of the throne; vessels for the body and a mirror image of their maker; and bridges over the gap between the made and the crafted, amongst which we may wander and, ultimately, rest.

Exhibition scenography by Cat Snodgrass.

View press coverage of Make–Do via Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Dezeen, Dwell, Interior Design, New York Magazine / Curbed, The New York Times, Sight Unseen, and Wallpaper*

Works, Contemporary

Joseph Algieri
Fun Factory, 2023
Rotational Molded Plastic, Cast Plastic, Steel, Aluminum, Expanding Foam, High-Density Foam, PVC
35.5 × 37.0 × 15.0 in.


Samuel Brockman
Sink Chair, 2023
Walker, Stainless Steel Sink
25.5 × 23.25 × 20.0 in.


Sarah Burns
Slipper Chair, 2023
Pine, Marmoleum, Cotton, Wax, Silk, Sheepskin
26.5 × 14.0 × 23.0 in.


Chen Chen & Kai Williams
Pineal Lobotomy, 2023
Wood, Re-Purposed Steel, Ropes
50.75 × 44.0 × 32.0 in.


Miles Huston
Chair for the Bottom of the Drawing (or Painting), 2023
Plywood, Latex Paint, Cushion from Knoll ‘Womb’ Chair, Wood and Steel Rest, Casters, Plastic Cups 
17.25 × 39.0 × 24.0 in.


Sebastijan Jemec & Georgia McGovern
Alphabet City (ABCD) Chair, 2023
Scrap Wood, Powder-Coated Screws and Hooks, Beaded Car Seat Cover
39.75 × 21.0 × 19.25 in.


Minjae Kim
Repurposed Rocker, 2023
Douglas Fir, Lacquer
37.5 × 17.5 × 22.0 in.


Nifemi Ogunro
Decker, 2023
Wood, Plastic, Stainless
26.25 × 17.0 × 18.0 in.


Isabel Rower
Box Chair, 2023
24.25 × 16.5 × 22.5 in.


Shaina Tabak
Untitled, 2023
Old-Growth Timber, Aluminum
33.0 × 23.75 × 20.75 in.


Brendan Timmins
Wentworth Type Beat, 2023
Douglas Fir, Pine Board, Marble, Aluminum Angle, Rubber, Aluminum Tube from Broken Hanging Rack
35.25 × 25.0 × 20.5 in.


Kristen Wentrcek & Andrew Zebulon
Fiberglass Test Lounger, 2023
Fiberglass, Foam
23.25 × 35.0 × 30.25 in.


Works, Historical

Anonymous (Berks County, PA)
Untitled Tree Seat, c. 1950s
Plywood, Paint, Hardware
43.25 × 25.25 × 18.0 in.


Anonymous (Bucks County, PA)
Untitled Twig Chair, c. 1890s
Wood, Paint
39.75 × 19.0 × 24.0 in.

Anonymous (Berkshire County, MA)
Untitled Chair w/ Headrest, c. 1930s
Wood, Wire, Rags, Hardware
43.5 × 15.5 × 17.5 in.

Anonymous (Coos Country, NH)
Untitled Dugout Chair, c. 1890s
Wood, Paint, Leather, Tacks
52.0 × 16.0 × 21.5 in.


Anonymous (Inyo County, CA)
Constructivist Crate, c. 1940s
Wood, Nails
30.0 × 11.0 × 18.25 in.

Anonymous (Kennebec County, ME)
Untitled Quilt Chair, c. 1880s
Wood, Paint, Quilt
38.5 × 19.5 × 15.0 in.

Anonymous (Kings County, NY)
Untitled Cardboard Chair, c. 2010s
Cardboard, Poly Tape
24.75 × 22.0 × 26.0 in.


Anonymous (Lincoln County, ME)
Untitled Sling Chair, c. 1940s
Wood, Paint, Carpet, Hardware
36.5 × 23.5 × 27.0 in.


Anonymous (Middlesex County, MA)
Untitled Cross Chair, c. 1950s
Wood, Hardware
48.0 × 17.5 × 18.0 in.

Anonymous (San Bernardino County, CA)
Untitled Tire Chair, c. 1990s
Wood, Paint, Rubber, Rope
42.25 × 36.0 × 26.0 in.


Anonymous (Spartanburg County, SC)
Untitled Wheelbarrow Chair, c. 1850s
Wood, Paint, Nails
33.75 × 18.5 × 26.0 in.

Anonymous (Usonia County, NY)
Untitled Crate Chair, c. 1940s
Wood, Nails
38.0 × 16.0 × 14.25 in.


Marta is a Los Angeles-based, globally-engaged art gallery. Founded in 2019, the gallery makes space for artists to experiment with the utility of design, and for designers to explore the abandonment of function. Marta’s curatorial and publication programs take interest in the process of a work’s creation as well the narrative of its creator(s). Marta embraces the intersection of and the transition between disciplines, advocates for diversity in design, and promotes broad access to the arts.