Transformation is the unifying theme of this tightly edited collection of contemporary pieces.
DUTCH CURATOR NADINE Snijders has just launched a new online art platform, Metamorphoses, dedicated to makers and designers. Co-founder of Looiersgracht 60, an exhibition centre for art, design and architecture in Amsterdam, where over the last eight years she has curated multiple solo exhibitions of artists and designers, Snijders describes the project as a homage to the act of creation. “The idea is as much to focus on process as on the finished result,” she says. Imagery of the carefully curated objects of collectible design available for purchase – some newly commissioned, some already existing – is accompanied by interviews with the artists, films and essays, leading visitors, Snijders hopes, on “a journey of discovery.”
The idea came to Snijders, an alumna of the Courtauld Institute, during the pandemic. Rather than offering objects photographed against a white background, the style of many online shops, the website offers photography of the objects in a warm domestic interior: “I wanted to bring the gallery context into the home,” Snijders says.
The title ‘Metamorphoses’ highlights the way designers transform materials, as one object or idea evolves into another. The launch features fifty objects, created in partnership with twenty well-known makers and designers from the Netherlands and beyond, each of whom pushes the boundaries of their chosen medium. In addition to ‘finished’ objects, the gallery will also offer a range of prototypes, artist proofs, works in progress and experimental one-off pieces, offering visitors access to ideas still in the process of becoming.
The inaugural collection includes limited edition pieces by Aldo Bakker and unique prototypes and custom-made works by Buro Belén, for instance, both of whom have previously exhibited at Looiersgracht 60. From further afield, the site features work by Sophie Rowley (UK), Catarina Riccabona (UK), destroyers / builders (BE), Milan Pekar (CZ) and Bloc studios (IT), among others. “The choices are intuitive,” Snijders explains, “But I am drawn to artists who are inspired by the past while focused on the present, or who combine old techniques with new.”
The launch also features three exclusive collaborations. Willem van Hooff offers special editions of his flat vessels; Barcelona-based Sergio Roger has created two of his playful textile sculptures, reinterpreting antiquity; and the Dutch experimental studio Handmade Industrials has created two exclusive ‘Impose’ ceramic vessels inspired by Ovid’s tales of lust, jealousy and vengeance: one with blue accents, representing Argos Panoptes, a many-eyed giant; and one in pearly grey, representing Lo, one of Zeus’s mortal lovers. Snijders hopes “the serene environment of our online platform will enable visitors to contemplate both the objects and the makers.” As curfews are re-imposed in Amsterdam, as elsewhere, the internet continues to offer a sanctuary.
Prices range from €35