DUTCH" - Aesthetic Design takes New York at Totem Gallery
April 12 - May 13, 2001
Totem Gallery, New York's preeminent design gallery, is proud to present "Easy
Dutch," featuring designers and artists MNO (Jan
Melis and Ben Oostrum), textile
artist Fransje Killaars and ceramic designer Vincent
De Rijk. "Easy Dutch" is
sponsored by the Mondriaan Foundation, The General Consulate of the Netherlands
in New York, and co-sponsored by Bombay
Glaceau Water and Go-Go Energy Drinks.
"Easy Dutch" is a contextual showcase for a new wave of Dutch design that is
taking the reigns from established Dutch masters like Droog, Artifort and Pastoe.
Already established names in the Netherlands, Oostrum, Melis, Killaars and De
Rijk are characterized by their accented hands-on approach to design. The hands-on
approach is typical of all Dutch design, but spurred by an increasing lack of
industrial collaboration and an enormous breadth in the Dutch design community,
dirty hands are more than ever a part of a day's work. Producing (or at least
developing) the prototype oneself has become a crucial determinant of the quality
of the objects. The absence of local industry also means designers are not tied
to any one particular material - they are open-minded enough to experiment with
anything from wood and plastic, to recycled fabrics. A sense of rebellion against
the uniformity of industrial products prevails. "Easy Dutch" is design delivered
straight from this creative, non-pigeonholed environment.
The design world of Holland is a manifold one, increasingly influence by
global developments. Different waves of design coexist, some bigger than
Dutch" exhibits the front-runners of so-called aesthetic design, where the designer
is there merely to please with original concepts, tactile and comfortable materials,
and enjoyable shapes and colors. The designs radiate a positive atmosphere, and
distinguish themselves by being high quality and limited edition. The concepts
behind the designs are democratic, in the sense that their intellectual basis
is understandable for more than the design elite. In terms of function, shape,
material, color and expression, the design represented at "Easy Dutch" have intelligent
but understandable parameters. At the same time you can observe the borders between
all types of art and applied art diminish. For aesthetic designers, there is
hardly any difference in approach to making an art piece and making a design
piece - only the demands of production and comfort that more often than not is
a challenge rather than impediment.
There will be much to surprise and entertain the visitor, despite the relatively
small area of the gallery. Amongst other designs, MNO presents for the first
time in the United States the "Pill," a capsule of rotation-molded PE rubber
filled with soft foam rubber, and the "Donut," a seating object of elastic foam
with a polyurethane coating. Both designs created a stir when they were launched
at 100% Design in London six months ago. In addition, there will be new lighting
designs and accessories, as well as "The Module, " a sensational coffee table,
stool or cabinet. Vincent de Rijk shows his recently completed ceramic series
of plates, bowls, cups and vases, in a specially designed display. New models
of his polyester liquid dishes will also be shown. De
Rijk's colorful and highly
original ceramic and polyester resin creations show that what aesthetic design
sometimes lack in glamour, it more than makes up for in imagination and playfulness.
Killaars will launch an new and colorful installation. Drawing on scenes from
everyday life in the Netherlands as well as travels in the Far East, Killaars'
installations bring to life colors so strong and vivid they will make you blink.
You will probably find yourself lingering longer than expected.