Jaime Hayon - Funtastico

13 October 2013 to 30 March 2014

The Groninger Museum presents the first large-scale solo exhibition of the work of  Jaime Hayon (Madrid, 1974). Hayon is one of the most acclaimed designers of his generation. His work consists of autonomous and applied projects, across various disciplines such as ceramics, wood, glass, textiles, product, furniture and interior design. This exhibition is a reflection of the past ten years, a period of intense creativity and growth, in which Hayon has increasingly developed his autonomous work.

  • The Tournament
  • Jaime Hayon Americano Plate 6, 2012 American Chateau © Jaime Hayon
  • Jaime Hayon New York is Miami, 2012 American Chateau © Jaime Hayon
  • Jaime Hayon and Nienke Klunder Rockin sausage, 2012 American Chateau © Jaime Hayon

Hayon was educated as an industrial designer in Madrid and Paris, and subsequently joined Fabrica, the communications research centre of the Italian clothing label Benetton, in 1997.
Within a relatively short time he rose from being a simple student to head of department. In 2000, he started up his own company and made his debut in the art design world with the ceramic work Mediterranean Digital Baroque.

The Groninger Museum has been following Jaime Hayon for quite some time. In 2009, the Museum purchased two large installations (Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque)  and in 2010 he designed the Museum’s new information centre. With commissions from all over the world and a host of renowned clients, Hayon is regarded as one of the most influential young designers of the present day.

The exhibition includes the installations Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque  as well as the now iconic Green Chicken and commissioned works for clients such as Baccarat and Lladro. American Chateau, the collaborative project he made with his partner artist, Nienke Klunder, is also featured in the exhibition.

A remarkable element of the exhibition is The Tournament: a unique work that consists of a life-size chess set made of turned wood and hand-painted ceramics, which the Groninger Museum managed to purchase recently. Hayon created this work in 2009, having been commissioned by the Design Festival London to do so; the work was inspired by the Battle of Trafalgar. This is the Dutch première of the artwork. The intention is to organize chess games at specified times.
Jaime Hayon’s work issues from an irresistible urge to create his own world. It occupies a central position between autonomous art and design, where amusing, fantastic and narrative elements are combined with a keen eye for detail and finishing. His signature is characterized by a stylized input in which diverse styles blend together. Making use of all these other elements, Hayon translates craftsmanship and traditional techniques into emotionally influential objects and interiors that invite the viewer to be a part of them.


A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. More information on this topic will appear soon.

The exhibition has been compiled by Sue-an van der Zijpp, curator of contemporary art, design and fashion, and Chief curator Mark Wilson.

With thanks to
We offer our thanks to London Design Festival who commissioned The Tournament.
Subsidizers: Municipality of Groningen, Province of Groningen.
Media partners: Dagblad van het Noorden, Marketing Groningen.
Donor: BankGiro Lottery.