“Pinned Up” at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is the first major exhibition dedicated to Marcel Wanders, a Dutch designer known for products with unexpected materiality and its quirky interior.
Recognized as one of the most famous Dutch designers, Wanders has become known to the public in 1996 thanks to the Knotted Chair – a combination of high-tech materials interwoven with a traditional macramé – became the symbol of the Dutch Design in those years, thanks to the support of Droog Design.
The exhibition is divided into three different zones: the central area black, one white that you spread around, such as a peripheral route, and a third lounge area. This division represents the duality of the designer and its production is characterized by diversity and discovery.
During an interview on the opening day, Wanders tells how this bipolarity has accompanied his career and personal development as a person and designer. “We have divided the exposure in both left and right hemispheres,” he confides, “in the white area, rational, educational try to show a side of the world analytic area is positive that adds beauty to people’s lives. Another way of looking at the same world, though, “says the designer,” shows us a universe where things are less rational, a place of dreams and doubts, perhaps, a place sometimes sad and painful. These two worlds are both important and present in my life. “
The exhibition begins with a crossroads, where the visitor is asked to make a choice, starting with the light or the darkness, as if to subconsciously divide the audience between dreamers and thinkers.
The white zone is in turn divided into 10 topics, including crafts, fiction, innovation, archetypes and the change of scale. Here you can find, arranged in a linear layout and classic, some classic pieces such as the Knotted Chair, the Egg vase, chandelier Zeppelin and Lace Table, but also the most daring experiments such as the Airborne Snotty Vases, vases printed in 3D from virtual models of mucus produced by sneezing.
In contrast to this bright space, which almost reminds a showroom, the black area instead introduces a more personal and experimental work consisting of the most impressive scenery and theatrical. In this area it is clear the intent to create an immersive space, like an underwater journey through mysterious objects, such as lamps worn by half-naked women (three static performance performed in occasion of the opening), giant rotating heads and a soundscape and abstract perhaps a bit ‘pushy.
In this area there are also works in more technological as the Wallflower Virtual Bouquet and Interiors, a series of seven dynamic pictures presented for the first time on this occasion, representatives and imaginary digital environments, enriched with a few pieces of Wanders and in some cases not intended for production.
The last area, lounge area, offers visitors the chance to finally discover catalogs and advertising campaigns related to capital Wanders as creative director, highlighting some of his collaborations with other big names in the industry such as Jasper Morrison and the brand Moooi, of which he is a co-founder.
“Pinned Up” represents 25 years of Marcel Wanders, an event interpreted by the designer as a milestone and the end of a chapter, the beginning of a journey towards a new direction. “I watched a lot of my past in the past two years because of this show,” he says Wanders, “and I think it’s a very important moment for me, after which I will have to cut some things. In ten years I’ll be likely to split our projects between those who came before or after this event. “
The exhibition occupies the basement of the new extension of the Stedelijk and symbolizes the enormous variety represented by his work, from experimental materials and craftsmanship redundant decorations and sculptures out of scale. The study Wanders himself is responsible for the design of the stands, which is why you were expecting maybe the most impressive scenery and unpublished.
In this diversity, it is hard to find a common thread, but Marcel reassures us in this quest confessing that the leitmotiv of this story is that when he and his curiosity led him. It is interesting to see how Wanders through this route, despite the commercial success of some of his works, interior has not abandoned the search for materials and his ironic approach to product design. The exhibition, however, leaves the visitor with a desire to learn more about the process that led to these experiments in an attempt to understand aspects of craft and material only superficially in the exhibition.
In addition to being the largest exhibition dedicated to Marcel Wanders, “Pinned Up” represents a return to the design of the Stedelijk that the recently re-opened in September 2012, it was mostly focused on the scope of art. Curated by Ingeborg de Roode “Pinned Up” is the result of a decade-long collaboration, and will be open until 15 June 2014.
Until June 15, 2014 Pinned Up: 25 Years of Design Stedelijk Museum Museumplein 10, Amsterdam
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