This May, Atelier Courbet – The Master Craftsmen’s Gallery collaborates with Helen Drutt on a solo exhibition of world-renowned designer Gijs Bakker, former Eindhoven professor and co-founder of Droog Design. Opening in conjunction with the NYCXDesign celebration, the exhibition will highlight the relationship between design, function and craftsmanship with a scope of works culled from the artist’s “Holes” series along with selected concept jewelry pieces from the artist’s studio. Atelier Courbet will also be unveiling three new pieces as part of the Holes Project that complement Bakker’s body of work. This is Bakker’s first solo exhibition in the United States in nearly 10 years.
The Holes Collection by Gijs Bakker was informed and originally incepted in 1989 as a project commissioned for the Product of Imagination Foundation’s ‘Chair Sweet Chair’ exhibition. Beginning with a simple, unvarnished chair in maple wood on four straight legs, Bakker lightened the piece both literally and visually through the application of ‘holes’ that reduced the weight of the chair by almost a third, marrying function and decoration to thrilling effect.
“I am honored that Gijs Bakker has chosen Atelier Courbet as the venue for such a legendary collection,” says Melanie Courbet, founder and curator of Atelier Courbet. “It is said that great design is informed by a need, a function, and Bakker’s work responds to those tenets in a beautiful way. The Holes series is poetry given physical form, and I cannot wait for New York to experience his work firsthand.”
The work unveiled at Atelier Courbet will include a new iteration of the closed-edition Holes Console Table, reexamined through an expanded top surface and darkly-stained Maple wood frame, as well as the Holes Room Divider, sterling silver and gold Holes bracelets, silver-plated candle holders, the Holes Duet centerpieces, and the original “Chair with Holes.”
About Gijs Bakker
Gijs Bakker, born 1942 in Amersfoort, Netherlands was originally trained as a jewelry and industrial designer at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Konstfackskolan in Stockholm, Sweden. Bakker’s designs have included jewelry, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. He’s worked and continues to work for numerous companies some of which include: Polaroid, Artifort, HEMA, Royal VKB, and ENO Studio. Bakker was also a co-founder of Droog Design. Bakker investigates the relationship between design and craft, and champions contemporary jewelry as more than merely a fashion accessory. A professor of design for more than 40 years, Bakker provides workshops, gives talks and participates in design juries throughout the world.
Bakker’s work is represented widely in international public and private collections worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Royal College of Art, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Designmuseo, Helsinki; Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Museo degli Argenti (the Medici Treasury), Pitti Palazzo, Florence; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry, Tokyo; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. The design artist is the recipient of many accolades, among them the 1995 Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prijs and the 2011 Sanoma Lifetime Achievement Award (Amsterdam), Gijs Bakker was most recently honored in 2012 as “Best International Jewelry Designer,” by the Andrea Palladio International Jewelry Awards.
About the Craftsmen
Jan Matthesius is one of the Netherlands’ most recognized contemporary silversmiths and jewelry designers. Trained at the Vocational School of Schoonhoven, Jan had his first solo exhibition in 1978. The same year he entered the guild at the Association of Silversmiths and Jewelry Designers in the Netherlands. In 1980 he opened his own studio in Schoohoven with his partner, Pauline Barendse.
Jan has mastered time-honored metalsmith techniques working with a variety of materials including gold, silver, tantalum, titanium aluminum, glass and gemstones.
Today, Matthesius’ work has gained worldwide recognition and belongs to notable collections both institutional and private. He received numerous awards throughout his career including the Idar-Oberstein Prize in Germany and the Schoonhoven Silver Award.
In addition to his own work, Jan collaborates with Gijs Bakker with whom he creates the Jewelry collection chp…? jewelry, which stands for Chi ha paura…? (Who’s afraid of…?)”. The conceptual jewelry line was founded by Gijs and Marijke Vallanzasca.
“Since 1995 I work together with Pauline and Jan, a golden duo with true craftsmanship, technical skill and creative insight. Both for chp…? jewelry as well as for my own designs we have developed together many concepts and full-fledged products. Every time I go to Schoonhoven, I look forward to seeing the results.” –Gijs Bakker
COR UNUM CERAMICS
Cor Unum Earthenware Manufacturer established in 1953 in Hertogenbosch. The Dutch manufacturer produces fine ceramic works using time-honored techniques and carrying-on the craftsmanship legacy of the Netherlands. Lead with both social and cultural consciousness, Cor Unum has gained worldwide recognition both for the quality of its work and its on-going collaborations with contemporary artists and designers, including Gijs Bakker, Ron Arad, Konstantin Grcic, Kiki Van Eijk, Ross Lovegrove, Jasper Morrison, Marc Newson, Ettore Sottsass, and Marcel Wanders among others.
The Cor Unum Pieces are made in limited edition and available through selected retailers and representatives around the world. The collections may be found at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Frozen Fountain in Amsterdam, Tools in Paris, Trico in Tokyo and Atelier Courbet in NewYork.
Formerly Schilling & De Nijs, Fiction Factory was established in Amsterdam in 1989. Today the workshop employs 45 highly trained artisans including metalsmith, woodcrafters and upholsterers. Offering their scope of expertise to the local designers, artists and architects, the Fiction Factory craftsmen fabricate furniture pieces, architectural hardware and objects giving form and matter to the most simple and the most challenging design ideas.
Gijs Bakker has worked closely with Fiction Factory for the exacting fabrication of the ‘holes’ series.
About Atelier Courbet
Atelier Courbet is set inside the Brewster Carriage House, a landmark building on Broome Street in, SOHO. The shop showcases the epitome of time-honored craft, painstaking artistry and traditional savoir-faire. The store’s pieces have been scoured from the world’s most-revered workshops, some established as far back as the 16th Century. Atelier Courbet’s gallery, adjacent to the store, presents exhibitions of exquisite objects, furniture, textiles and lighting. The tightly-selected collection encompasses one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces.