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Robert Stadler at Luxembourg’s Mudam, blurring the boundaries

 

Favourite theme of Austrian designer Robert Stadler, ambiguity reigns supreme in QUIZ 2, an exhibition at Luxembourg’s Mudam that explores the hazy border separating art and design.

Top: But if you’re attractive and you age, it’s terrible (2015) by Yngve Holen. From left to right: Multiprise (1998) by Mathieu Mercier, Poaa (1999) by Philippe Starck, Bambú (1969)
by Enzo Mari, Cuboglass (1992-2001) by Mario Bellini, and Règle (1968) by SuperStudio. 

Exhibition view.

 

Have you ever stopped to look at an object that intrigued you, without knowing what it was for, impelled only by its aesthetic attraction? It’s something that has often happened to Robert Stadler, and it has led him to question, as a designer, the meaning of form and its visual, sensorial and emotional impact, beyond any functional considerations. “There are certain multi-layered objects whose different characteristics you only discover progressively. They camouflage and hide their function, which allows them to reach the status of a thing,” he explains. It’s an observation that motivated some of his own pieces, which are deliberately situated somewhere between the rationalism of design and the subjectivity of art.

 

Having compiled an inventory of “apparitions” which resist the classic typologies of sculpture, he decided to put on an exhibition. Working with a selection of around 60 works – including such diverse creators as Pierre Charpin, Aaron Curry, SuperStudio and Blair Thurman – he arranged them, without the slightest hierarchy, in a way that questions the viewer’s perception and judgment. “Be aware, this exhibition isn’t about the dialogue between art and design,” he warns. “It’s about finding a way of going beyond that relationship. I wanted to talk to an expert in contemporary art with respect to the choice of works. Alexis Vaillant, a curator who I contacted, was immediately enthusiastic about the approach, adding to the selection and enriching it.”

The exhibition is called QUIZ 2 because there was a first QUIZ in 2014, in Nancy, at the Salle Poirel, where Stadler created a public artwork that embodied just this duality. “The experience of this first exhibition allowed me to validate certain choices, and to finesse the presentation of the exhibition in Luxembourg this spring,” he explains. Stadler devised a relatively simple scenography that lets the objects speak for themselves – an all-blue environment that gives the impression that they’re floating. “Once again, we’re playing with a double notion: it’s a colour that makes you think not only of blue-screen video techniques, but also of the shade of blue that is by far the most present on the internet.”

 

Rather than using the word “object” when referring to the pieces on display in the exhibition, Stadler and Vaillant prefer to talk about “things” so as to underline the deliberate ambivalence of these mysterious and rather strange forms. “The fact that all these forms are rather unsettling is something that’s totally fascinating. Experiencing a thing comes down to measuring what we don’t know about it, and not the reverse. It’s what the exhibition invites you to do,” concludes Vaillant.

 

 

QUIZ 2, On an idea from Robert Stadler,

Mudam Luxembourg,

Until May 22nd.

 

By Olivier Reneau

 

Check out our portolio of the Carpenters Workshop Gallery with Robert Stadler.

Exhibition view.

Exhibition view.

Photos by Éric Chenal.

An encounter with Christian Marclay, at the Celine runway show and at the Tate Modern
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An encounter with Christian Marclay, at the Celine runway show and at the Tate Modern

Art In his first show for the house of Celine, Hedi Slimane paid a very marked tribute to the Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay by revisiting and transposing some of his works within the collection (prints on bags and clutches, embroidery on couture dresses, kimonos…) At the same time, Christian Marclay was taking hold of the Tate Modern with his major pieceThe Clock, shown for the first time in London in 2010, before winning the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale the following year. The 24-hour video installation is composed of thousands of films clips edited together to tell the actual time. The result is as captivating as it is poetic.   In his first show for the house of Celine, Hedi Slimane paid a very marked tribute to the Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay by revisiting and transposing some of his works within the collection (prints on bags and clutches, embroidery on couture dresses, kimonos…) At the same time, Christian Marclay was taking hold of the Tate Modern with his major pieceThe Clock, shown for the first time in London in 2010, before winning the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale the following year. The 24-hour video installation is composed of thousands of films clips edited together to tell the actual time. The result is as captivating as it is poetic.  

6 pieces of design by B&B Italia not to be missed
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6 pieces of design by B&B Italia not to be missed

Design Founded in 1966, B&B Italia creates pieces for the interior while developing its research in materials destined for exterior design, these are Numéro favourites… Founded in 1966, B&B Italia creates pieces for the interior while developing its research in materials destined for exterior design, these are Numéro favourites…

Rick Owens: “We all struggle with who we are. We have shame, we have pride, we have self delusion.”
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Rick Owens: “We all struggle with who we are. We have shame, we have pride, we have self delusion.”

Art Since founding his brand in 1994, the fearless and eminently non-conformist designer Rick Owens has been mixing sophisticated aestheticism and punk rage, minimalism and flamboyance, in all the creative fields from fashion to furniture. His cult of chaos is now taking over the Triennale in Milan, which is paying him homage with the very first major retrospective of his career. Numéro asked him about this rite of passage.  Since founding his brand in 1994, the fearless and eminently non-conformist designer Rick Owens has been mixing sophisticated aestheticism and punk rage, minimalism and flamboyance, in all the creative fields from fashion to furniture. His cult of chaos is now taking over the Triennale in Milan, which is paying him homage with the very first major retrospective of his career. Numéro asked him about this rite of passage. 

The search for the absolute
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The search for the absolute

Design Since the late 1960s, many is the designer who has attempted to arrive at pure form, to pare things down to the essential, to reduce the idea to its most simple expression. Numéro takes a look at some of the most remarkable results. Since the late 1960s, many is the designer who has attempted to arrive at pure form, to pare things down to the essential, to reduce the idea to its most simple expression. Numéro takes a look at some of the most remarkable results.

Portfolio: Mathieu Lehanneur’s marble oceans
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Portfolio: Mathieu Lehanneur’s marble oceans

Design French designer Mathieu Lehanneur is showing his first exhibition in the USA at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York. A surreal vision of the ocean’s dynamics, Ocean Memories is unquestionably a worthy successor to his Liquid Marble series. French designer Mathieu Lehanneur is showing his first exhibition in the USA at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York. A surreal vision of the ocean’s dynamics, Ocean Memories is unquestionably a worthy successor to his Liquid Marble series.

 Ron Arad, an unusual designer
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Ron Arad, an unusual designer

Design Ron Arad is without a doubt one of the most important figures in design art, a practice that blurs the boundaries between functionality of design and the pure aesthetics of sculpture that has so seduced the art market. But the designer knows how to create series of objects too, with equal success. An encounter with a designer as atypical as he is exuberant… Ron Arad is without a doubt one of the most important figures in design art, a practice that blurs the boundaries between functionality of design and the pure aesthetics of sculpture that has so seduced the art market. But the designer knows how to create series of objects too, with equal success. An encounter with a designer as atypical as he is exuberant…