Maarten Baas plays Hide & Seek with the art and design world

GRONINGEN – The name Maarten Baas is synonymous with evocative design that defies classification, and is both renowned and respected in the art and design world – particularly in his native Netherlands.

The Groninger Museum presents Hide & Seek, his first major exhibition and one that unveils  the many faces of Baas as an artist who creates commercial furniture and a designer who produces absurdist videos. The museum has a long-standing history with Baas, whom they have commissioned to create not only various artworks over the years but also to redesign the interior of the museum restaurant Mendini in 2010.

Hide & Seek, photo ©Lisa Klappe.

The name of the exhibition references Baas’ reputation as the Houdini of Dutch design. Hide & Seek will include iconic works such as the Smoke collection, which features burned pieces of wooden furniture. The charcoaled wood is  preserved in clear epoxy resin and the pieces lovingly restored to resume their original function, playing with ideas of beauty, purpose and ruin.

Smoke, photo ©Bas Princen.

New work including the Tree Trunk Chair, Carapace and Close Parity from 2016 will also be on display, as well as a preview of his latest project May I Have Your Attention Please?, a collaboration with furniture brand Lensvelt for the upcoming Milan Design Week 2017.

Baas' theatrical approach can be observed further through the video exhibitions at the museum or carried home in the book Hide & Seek (2017), a tome as evasive of categorization and classification as the artist himself. Filled with poetry, photography of Baas’ work and reflections on his art, the book embodies his belief that structure creates only limitation, and so plays hide and seek just as Baas does.

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