The Groninger Museum will be presenting Maarten Baas – Hide & Seek: the first major solo exhibition of designer Maarten Baas (1978). Baas is one of the most influential Dutch designers of the early 21st century. His conceptual, humoristic, rebellious and theatrical designs can be found where art and design meet. On show in the exhibition will be pieces from his Clay collection and Grandfather Clock, as well as his graduation collection Smoke, which brought him world renown. Maarten Baas will also be creating new work especially for the exhibition.
As by far the youngest designer ever, Baas received the Designer of the Year Award at Design Miami in late 2009. Renowned museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria & Albert in London acquired his work. Maarten Baas works for exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and Dior.
Maarten Baas graduated in 2002 from the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven with the series Smoke, for which he scorched furniture and then treated the pieces with a transparent epoxy coating to make them once again usable. Museums, critics, collectors and the design public all came to view Smoke as an iconic collection in modern design.
Clay brought Baas great acclaim at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2006. This series of furniture is crafted by hand with synthetic clay. The MendiniRestaurant in the Groninger Museum is entirely fitted out with this unique, handmade Clay furniture. In 2012, the New York Times included Clay and Smoke in its list of 25 ‘future classics’.
Time, melancholy and transience all feature repeatedly in the work of Maarten Baas. An appealing example of this is his ground-breaking work Real Time (2009). By filming actors who spent twelve hours indicating the time minute by minute by hand, the material shot functions as a clock. This work combines the themes of theatre, art, cinema and design. Since 2016, a huge clock from the series is on display at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The Groninger Museum has a long history with Maarten Baas and regularly purchases his work for the Museum Collection. The MendiniRestaurant interior installed in 2010 is an absolute highlight in this sense.
Hide & Seek is curated by Sue-an van der Zijpp, curator of contemporary art, design and fashion, and chief curator Mark Wilson. The exhibition will be accompanied by two publications published by Lecturis Publishers.
Maarten Baas is ambassador of the Dutch Design Week 2016 (22–30 October, Eindhoven).
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