Carpenters Workshop Gallery | Paris will present Close Parity, the latest collection from Dutch designer Maarten Baas, from January 18 to March 23, 2018. With this collection, Maarten Baas once again questions the essence and origin of design. First shown during the 2016 Dutch Design Week, Close Parity is one of several projects that Baas presented as part of his first major solo exhibition, Hide & Seek, last year at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
At its core are five unusually shaped cabinets executed in brass plates and kept in balance by counterweights that offer a strange new version of reality. Baas transformed a naïve sketch into a three-dimensional object where fluid lines form the almost involuntary shape of a cabinet, as if drawn on the wall. The laws of physics and construction don’t seem to apply in Baas’ new series and each piece is a direct extrusion of his childlike sketch where gravity doesn’t play a role. Some cabinets stand on just two legs and custom-made, hidden hinges and drawer systems provide the structural stability needed to function.
This new collection is an evolution of his signature aesthetic. Like in his earlier series, Clay Chairs (2006), with its spindly legs, Close Parity continues to demonstrate Baas’ mix of playful simplicity with complex craftsmanship, while the use of material and the cabinets’ finish remind one of Carapace and the Grandfather Clocks. For Maarten Baas, the hidden beauty of an object goes well beyond simple function. As a pioneer of modern art and design, Baas belongs to the generation led by Droog Design that helped shape contemporary practice and is known for its intuitive grasp of composition as well as its conceptual approach.
Maarten Baas (1978) is a Dutch designer, who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2002. His studio is based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL).
Baas is considered one of the most influential artist designers of the early twenty-first century. His works straddle boundaries between art and design. He occupies a unique position in the field, embodying conceptual art, craftsmanship, installation, public space and performance into his oeuvre. He’s known for his rebellious, intellectual, theatrical and artistic style. Baas’ most renowned works are Smoke, Clay and Real Time, that gave him instant worldwide recognition. In 2009, he was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Design Basel/ Miami. In 2012, the New York Times listed both Smoke and Clay in its ‘Top 25 Design Classics of the Future’. In 2016, Baas won the Artprize for his Real Time Sweeper’s clock.
His work is found in numerous private and major museum collections, such as MOMA New York, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Les Arts Décoratifs Paris, San Francisco MOMA and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Furthermore, he has worked for exclusive brands like Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Dior, Dom Ruinart and Berluti.
In 2017, his first major museum show was opened at the Groninger Museum (NL), coinciding with the publication of his monograph, both titled ‘Hide & Seek’.