As an example, in particular their Fragile Future 111 Chandelier. The chandelier is constructed from translucent plexiglass that separates individual modules which expose real dandelions as forms of illuminating fixtures.
There are in this work, strong design elements and at the same time carries much that is to do with 'pure' art. Would you agree?
"Yes, absolutely. The Fragile Future lll Series is definitely a reflection of ephemeral art. I wouldn't necessarily place design and art as competitors of strength, they each carry out their own strengths. What we concentrate on mostly at CWG with our featured artists and collection is a parallel of design-art where form prevails over the functionality of the pieces."
In general, designers are often artists, and artists are designers. In the case of Gordijn and Nuata, where would you draw the line?
"I do prefer not to strictly define these art forms and discourse of art versus design and vice versa. It's not about drawing a line rather than allowing the freedom on variation with both art and design worlds and aesthetics."
Fellow Eindhoven graduate Sebastian Brajkovic’s work is on show with his Lathe collection that expertly fuses function and design. Lathe 111 is the latest in the series. It is a black wood chair with seven legs placed in roughly in clusters of three with bronze silk embroidered upholstery.
In the case of Sebastian Brajkovic, there appears to be a powerful sense of design reflecting and incorporating tradition, as well as functionality. How would you explain this?
"His artworks could not exist without historic styles and furniture making techniques, or our understanding of them. He shares with his audience an understanding and respect for what has been achieved in the passed. They have been most adequately likened to reflections in a fairground hall of mirrors."
The third Eindhoven alumnus, Frederik Molenschot is new to the CWG group of designers and at Miami it is his desk lamps on show, Black Avenue and Gold Avenue, made from patinated bronze and polished bronze respectively. Inspired by midnight walks along Shanghai flyovers, Black Avenue and Gold Avenue evoke streetlights climbing a gentle slope.
What led you to invite Frederik Molenschot to your panel of designers?
"His City Lights Chandelier really caught our eye and matched the paradigms of aesthetic that we look for. It’s an extraordinary piece and we have thought to seek through more possibilities and variations of this creation. Aside from being functional, it’s a mesmerizing organic artwork and has already attracted immense attention to private commissions for more chandeliers and the desk light versions as well have been quite a strong magnet in our collection from Design Miami Basel."
Atelier van Lieshout has two new 2011 works at Miami, Thin Man and Female Fertility Sculpture. Thin Man is an over lifesize bronze scupture of a emaciated man on all fours, while Female Fertility Sculpture is the opposite – a rounded flesh-toned female totem.
And how would art and function co-exist within Atelier van Lieshout’s work?
"I think it is fair to say that Atelier van Lieshout plugs into the consciousness of humanitarian circumstances. This they do by not only empowering aesthetic form and social commentary, but at the same time serving as entirely functional pieces."
Although the question of who is an artist and who is a designer will no doubt persist, the work of the Dutch designer/artists showing at Design Miami/Basle would suggest that the question itself could well be obsolete.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery are at Design Miami/Basel 2011, Booth G31.
14 until 18 June, 2011
Click on the images to enlarge
Main image: Studio DRIFT
Other images: 1.-2. Sebastian Brajkovic 3.-5. Frederik Molenschot 6. Atelier van Lieshout
Images courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery
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