Exhibitions

Danish Arts Foundation / New York

Staple galleries The Future Perfect and Hostler Burrows have teamed up with the Danish cultural organisation for two distinct design exhibitions this fall.

Matter at Hand
Hostler Burrows, New York
Until 9th December, 2021

Open & Closed
Casa Perfect, New York
Until 15th December, 2021

By Adrian Madlener / 23rd November 2021
Pontoppidan Pedersen (left to right): 'Geländewagen', 2021; 'Donnas Baby', 2021; 'Marianne's Baby', 2021; 'Defender', 2021 COURTESY: Pontoppidan Pedersen & Hostler Burrows

Pontoppidan Pedersen (left to right): ‘Geländewagen’, 2021; ‘Donnas Baby’, 2021; ‘Marianne’s Baby’, 2021; ‘Defender’, 2021
COURTESY: Pontoppidan Pedersen & Hostler Burrows

NEW YORK IS back in full swing and with the US ban on travel lifted earlier this month, international visitors have returned in droves. Celebrating a renewed spirit of international collaboration, two of the city’s leading collectible design galleries – Hostler Burrows and The Future Perfect – have mounted survey shows in partnership with the Danish Arts Foundation.

Mariko Wada, 'Box of Mysteries', 2021 COURTESY: Mariko Wada & Casa Perfect

Mariko Wada, ‘Box of Mysteries’, 2021
COURTESY: Mariko Wada & Casa Perfect

While Hostler Burrows’s ‘Matter at Hand’ exhibition brings together ten of Denmark’s leading material-focused makers, The Future Perfect’s ‘Open & Closed’ project taps into the prowess of some of the nation’s most promising experimental talents. Together, they present the work of 19 living designers that hail from this small but prolific country; one steeped in an enduring tradition of craft and design. Both exhibitions opened in late October and run through to mid-December, aligning with New York’s many fall events, such as the Salon Art + Design and NYCxDESIGN.

Stine Mikkelsen, 'The Water Tower', 2021 COURTESY: Stine Mikkelsen & Casa Perfect

Stine Mikkelsen, ‘The Water Tower’, 2021
COURTESY: Stine Mikkelsen & Casa Perfect

Instrumental in the promotion of the Scandinavian country’s creative equity, the government-funded Danish Arts Foundation supports a diverse range of over 6,000 artists and designers in over 60 national and international initiatives. For these two curatorial projects, the organisation covered the cost of production, supported with logistics, and also facilitated virtual studio visits. Working closely with such established – yet dynamic and agile – New York institutions ensures that the Danish Arts Foundation is able to bring this particular group of talents in direct contact with the right audience.

Ida Elke, 'Dual Hide IV', 2021 COURTESY: Ida Elke & Casa Perfect

Ida Elke, ‘Dual Hide IV’, 2021
COURTESY: Ida Elke & Casa Perfect

For ‘Open & Close’, The Future Perfect’s gallery director Laura Young reached out to nine up-and-comers and asked each of them to develop a small three-dimensional container that reflects the conventional characteristics of a box, while also demonstrating their own particular approach.

Installation view, 'Open & Closed' COURTESY: Casa Perfect

Installation view, ‘Open & Closed’
COURTESY: Casa Perfect

While some followed the brief closely, others took more artistic licence with auspicious results. The overall display reveals the diverse type of work being produced in Denmark today and that there isn’t just one specific style dominating their creative output.

Installation view, 'Open & Closed' COURTESY: Casa Perfect

Installation view, ‘Open & Closed’
COURTESY: Casa Perfect

“The box is a poignant symbol of spaces as they are opened and closed, and of the rigid conditions under which many artworks are made and presented,” Young explains. “To show work created from such a fixed concept, we explore how every object and artwork we interact with carries within it a set of complex economic and political circumstances.”

Annelie Grimwade Olofsson, 'The Subject is Space is Matter is Value 03', 2021 COURTESY: Annelie Grimwade Olofsson & Casa Perfect

Annelie Grimwade Olofsson, ‘The Subject is Space is Matter is Value 03’, 2021
COURTESY: Annelie Grimwade Olofsson & Casa Perfect

This underlying conceptual framework is bolstered by the very nature of this typology: the skills that go into the assembly of a six-sided volume, but also the possibilities that this fundamental process affords in defining a void.

Catherine Raben Davidsen, 'Mammal 02', 2021 COURTESY: Catherine Raben Davidsen & Casa Perfect

Cathrine Raben Davidsen, ‘Mammal 02’, 2021
COURTESY: Catherine Raben Davidsen & Casa Perfect

Whereas Cathrine Raben Davidsen delved deep into the symbolism and spiritual qualities behind the ceramic tradition of an urn, Louise Hedegaard Madsen’s sheer soft surface box riffs on the material boundaries of an enclosure.

Louise Hedegaard Madsen, 'Framed', 2021 COURTESY: Louise Hedegaard Madsen & Casa Perfect

Louise Hedegaard Madsen, ‘Framed’, 2021
COURTESY: Louise Hedegaard Madsen & Casa Perfect

The responsible use of natural resources is a guiding thread through Ida Elke, Mariko Wada, and Pettersen & Hein’s interpretive pieces.

Pettersen & Hein, 'TFP/O&C 02', 2021 COURTESY: Pettersen & Hein & Casa Perfect

Pettersen & Hein, ‘TFP/O&C 02’, 2021
COURTESY: Pettersen & Hein & Casa Perfect

Stine Mikkelsen and Elly Glossop developed their own upcycled composites for their contributions. Crushed glass bead and marble, quartz sand, fish glue, porcelain and volcanic glass fragments congeal in beautifully textured surfaces that take on both amorphous and architectonic forms.

Pettersen & Hein, 'TFP/O&C 03', 2021 COURTESY: Pettersen & Hein & Casa Perfect

Pettersen & Hein, ‘TFP/O&C 03’, 2021
COURTESY: Pettersen & Hein & Casa Perfect

Over two years in the making, this project was a labour of love for Young, who played an important role in helping to incubate the various concepts. The fruits of that labour are on view by appointment at Casa Perfect until 15th December.

Programmed with academic rigour, the ‘Matter at Hand’ exhibition at Hostler Burrows takes a deep dive into the practices of ten contemporary makers that champion material and their own adaptive, or bespoke, craft techniques. The career-defining pledge they’ve made to forging these processes is rare in an industry that’s prone to fleeting fashions. For these various talents, craft is understood on a metaphysical level.

Installation view, 'Matter at Hand', Hostler Burrows COURTESY: Hostler Burrows

Installation view, ‘Matter at Hand’, Hostler Burrows
COURTESY: Hostler Burrows

In a publication that accompanies the exhibition, noted historian, curator, and TDE contributor Glenn Adamson write: “… these objects do exemplify a philosophy: a way of being in the world. Whether clay or wood, metal or glass, each represents the direct engagement between a living, thinking person and the obdurate, external, and uncaring domain of materiality. The very fact of the objects’ excellence attests to the absolute commitment that was brought to these encounters.”

Yuki Ferdinandsen (foreground to background): 'Silence', 2021; 'Moment', 2021, 'Dignified', 2021 COURTESY: Yuki Ferdinandsen & Hostler Burrows

Yuki Ferdinandsen (foreground to background): ‘Silence’, 2021; ‘Moment’, 2021, ‘Dignified’, 2021
COURTESY: Yuki Ferdinandsen & Hostler Burrows

On view are moulded-glass ‘fantasies’ by young conceptually-driven maker Stine Bidstrup, Anne Brandhøj’s ‘imperfect’ yet contained wooden tables and pedestals, and Hanne G’s crocheted craftivist totems. While Astrid Krogh employs fibre to capture and interpret different natural phenomena in digital imagery, Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl’s iterative glazed stoneware sculptures evoke the sinuosity of knotted textiles.

Stine Bidstrup, 'Architectural Glass Fantasies' grouping, 2021 COURTESY: Stine Bidstrup & Hostler Burrows

Stine Bidstrup, ‘Architectural Glass Fantasies’ grouping, 2021
COURTESY: Stine Bidstrup & Hostler Burrows

Like The Future Perfect’s Laura Young, Hostler Burrows co-principal Juliet Burrows developed this exhibition just as the pandemic took hold of the work. Both curators were able to implement video conferencing technology to move their endeavours forward. Given the fact that all of the pieces on view and the practices they represent centre on tactility and physical interaction, their undertakings were not small feats.

Matter at Hand: Ten Artists in Denmark at Hostler Burrows, New York.

Open & Closed at Casa Perfect, New York.

 

Article By

Adrian Madlener
Adrian Madlener is a Brussels-born, New York-based writer covering a wide range of design-related topics.