MONO - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition 2018

Piqué
designed by:
Hannes Stephensen
produced by: Snedkersind v/Kristian Frandsen

Sunrise
designed by:
Lise og Hans Isbrand
produced by: MoreWood Møbelsnedkeri ApS

 
 

The Cabinetmakers Autumn Exhibition for 2018 has just opened at Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen.

SE - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling - The Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition - is an association of 81 designers and manufacturers. Each year their board select a venue for their exhibition and set a theme along with any specific rules for a particular year - often to do with dimensions but this year also stipulating colour - so each work will be restricted to just one colour with the choice limited to either the natural colour of the material itself or to one of the strong and distinctive colours used in the original decorative schemes of rooms in Thorvaldsens Museum.

Each year, guest designers and guest manufacturers can apply to show their work. 

When setting the theme for this year, MONO was suggested to imply a range of associated ideas through monochrome, monolith, monopoly and monologue.

A subheading for the exhibition … furniture shaped by craftsmanship and insight … is crucial. The pieces highlight the skills and the experience of the cabinetmakers who, in some pieces, take their chosen materials to new extremes and, in all the works, take their workshop techniques to the highest level. So the exhibition is in part about the style and the form of each work but the cabinetmakers also represent a long and well-established craft tradition in Denmark so these pieces are about understanding the materials, to know what can be done and how, and to use incredible skills to shape, finish, join, refine or reduce the parts that make each work.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to experiment or to produce designs that might otherwise not be commissioned … the aim is to not only to challenge the skill of the maker but also to challenge the preconceptions of the visitor.

There are forty one works in the exhibition. Most were produced in a partnership between a designer and a cabinetmaker or furniture manufacturer - in many cases a  partnership that is now well-established over many years and over several projects shown at the Autumn Exhibition although several pieces were both designed and made by the same person.

 

the Autumn Exhibition continues at Thorvaldsens Museum until 9 December 2018

Thorvaldsens Museum
SE - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling

Cupola drejestol / Cupola swivel chair
designed by:
Niels Gammelgaard
produced by: Northern Layers

En stol / A chair
designed by:
Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen
produced by: Kvist Industries A/S

Introvert position
designed by:
Andreas Lund
produced by: Toke Overgaard

Rum / Encircle
designed by:
Troels Grum-Schwensen
produced by: Malte Gormsen

2Gether
designed and made by:
Steen Dueholm Sehested

Bloom
designed by:
Hannes Stephensen
produced by: Egeværk

Beside
designed by:
Line Depping
produced by: Skagerak Denmark A/S

Guldlok / Goldilocks
designed by:
Monique Engelund
produced by: Sune Witt Skovhus

 
 

MONO - exhibition catalogue

 

The catalogue for the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition in 2018 at Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen has a general introduction to the exhibition by the selection board and then for each work there is a double-page layout with a full page black and white photograph for each of the works.

These monochrome images are dramatic and chime with the theme of the exhibition but also give a strong emphasis to the form of each work.

Some pieces have a descriptive or evocative name - so Calm or Look don’t touch and a cabinet for the display of special possessions has the title Ego - while other titles are more straightforward, with works described as Chair or Table and Chair.

Of course the catalogue sets out the name of the designer and the name of the cabinetmaker or the company who realised the work and each entry includes the materials and the dimensions of the piece.

There is also a short paragraph on each work to set out any thoughts that inspired the design or to talk about technical details - many of the pieces use material in an innovative way or the construction is much more complicated than is immediately apparent - and there is a translation in English.

Graphic design is by Studio Claus Due and the black and white photographs were taken by Torben Petersen.

Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / The Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition 2018

Thorvaldsens Museum

 

Arne Jacobsen at Designmuseum Danmark

the newly repainted and rearranged display in the Jacobsen gallery at Designmuseum Danmark - the chair standing on the floor is The Ant designed in 1952 and in the case above, against a reproduction of the design Spirea from 1954, the Cylandline range from 1964-1967

The House of the Future designed by Arne Jacobsen with Flemming Lassen for an exhibition in 1929

 

Sometimes it can be as interesting to look at the display cases and the style of the information labels and the lighting in a museum as it is to look at objects on display … and, for obvious reasons, more so when you are in a design museum.

At Designmuseum Danmark they have a space dedicated to furniture designed by Arne Jacobsen. I'm not sure of the date of this display but I would guess that it is over twenty years old.

It is a substantial structure and is itself quite a design item so I can see exactly why it should be kept.

The space is actually square and is on a main through walk down the right-hand range of the museum but under a false ceiling, lit to throw light down into the space, there are three curved areas with raised platforms to make the space circular and that is where furniture by Jacobsen is displayed and there are two large shallow display cases recessed into the walls plus wall space for photographs and panels. These curved platforms pick up shapes in the House of the Future that was designed by Jacobsen in 1929 - in partnership with Flemming Lassen - and as the display includes a copy of a drawing for that house so the echo must be deliberate.

The advantage of this form of display is that the furniture is lifted clear of the floor, giving the pieces at least some protection, but the pieces can still be examined up close and raised up so anyone interested can see some of the details of the construction particularly on the underside.

 

earlier in the summer:
the chairs for St Catherine’s College Oxford; the chairs for the SAS Royal Hotel and a Grand Prix designed in 1957 and The Giraffe for the dining room of the SAS Royal Hotel

photographed this month:
desk and chair for Munkegård Elementary School; The Egg, a Swan Chair and The Drop for the SAS Royal Hotel designed in 1958; an Ant Chair from 1952 and the Skovsneglen / Paris Chair by R Wengler designed by Jacobsen in 1929

 

Display case with flatware AJ designed in 1957, a lamp for St Catherine’s College and the Vola range of taps from 1969

Cylinda line - ‘hollowware’ designed in 1967 and produced by Stelton

Jacobsen is without doubt one of the most important designers from the classic period of modern Danish design in the 20th century and is certainly the Danish designer who the most foreign visitors will know at least something about so I can see exactly why he is given this special treatment.

A recent remodelling of a space further along the same gallery pulls together in one place some of the works in the collection by Kaare Klint but presumably it is felt that to separate out other individual Danish architects or designers for the same treatment would be too greedy on space and make the museum displays rather too fixed in the works and the themes that they explore.

The Jacobsen gallery has just been redecorated and looks good for its fresh coat of paint and for the replacement of photographs that had begun to curl at the edges. What is more interesting is that some of the furniture has been moved around and new pieces brought in so chairs designed by Jacobsen for St Catherine's College in Oxford in the 1960s have been removed. These were less obvious key pieces in the history of Danish design although they show the most refined and most sophisticated use of plywood for furniture in any designs by Jacobsen. They have been replaced with a chair and a desk and a sample of the fabric designed by Jacobsen for Munkegaard Elementary School in the early 1950s.

The main chairs that Jacobsen designed for the SAS hotel in Copenhagen remain - the Egg, the Swan Chair and the Drop - all still in production sixty years later - but the Giraffe Chair that Jacobsen designed at the same time for the dining room of the hotel has gone back to store which is a pity because it shows a very different style and form of chair but just one that did not receive the same popular acclaim as the other designs.

My one criticism of the display is that it shows the ever-present Danish understatement and modesty about what Danish design did and does achieve.

The display cases show the cutlery and the glassware and lighting and so on that Jacobsen designed for the SAS Hotel and there is the absolutely remarkable thing. Arne Jacobsen designed the SAS Hotel, and the air terminal that was originally in the same building, in a style and with a method of concrete pouring that was barely known in Scandinavia and untried at the time in Copenhagen so just for the building design and construction a huge challenge. It is known that Jacobsen had a small drawing office - certainly very small by modern standards - and the core team was actually working in an office in his own home outside the city in Klampenborg in a way he had developed in both the first and the second house as well as this the third house he designed for himself and his family. Yet at the same time, and in a remarkably short period, he designed not just a complicated and challenging building, but also all the furniture including six chairs, at least two of which became truly iconic designs and four of which used innovative materials for an almost unique form of shell design (the first chairs were made with expanded polystyrene)  and he designed carpets, upholstery textiles and all the tableware needed for a large hotel and all equally innovative and all in a period of about five years.

This work by Jacobsen for the SAS Hotel is often described as a good example of gesamtkunstwerk - total design - but even in Denmark that should be taken to be a bit of understatement. Surely the hotel and its interior should be lauded as one of the most incredible personal achievements of any architect in the 20th century.

Designmuseum Danmark

 

a different form of egg

 

Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström is not just an amazing sculpture but is also a sauna and it has been set up in the courtyard of Kunsthal Charlottenborg … the Royal Academy of Fine Art in the centre of Copenhagen.

You can book the sauna on Wednesdays, when it is free, or on Saturdays and Sundays and you can rent a towel, slippers and a kimono though you have to bring your own huzzpah … this is a large and popular public square. 

the Solar Egg is at Kunsthal Charlottenborg through until 13 January 2019

MONO - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition

 

This year the venue for Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn exhibition is the Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen and the theme is Mono … each work will be restricted to just one colour with the choice of colour limited to either the natural colour of the material itself or to one of the strong and distinctive colours used in the original decorative schemes of rooms in the museum.

The works are also restricted in size to a maximum foot print 90cm by 90cm although the height is limited only by the height of spaces within the museum.

Below is publicity material published earlier in the year with the call for submissions to be considered by the exhibition selection committee. 

MONO - ’furniture with a maker’s touch’ opens on 2nd November 2018

 

MONO - a piece of furniture with a craftsman’s understanding
For Mono, this year's SE exhibition, furniture will be created that demonstrates an engagement and passion for shape, colour and material. Furniture that individually and together expresses quality but also a rhythmic, narrative and simple whole.

With MONO we want to create an exhibition consisting of single-coloured / MONOchrome furniture, furniture that emphasises the individual designer's personal message / MONOlog, and this in conjunction with Thorvaldsenś MONOlithic sculptures and Bindesbøll’s beautiful building

Background:
There are two strong personalities that emerge when you say Thorvaldsens Museum. Bertel Thorvaldsen, to whom the museum was built and whose works it contains and Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll who is the architect of the building. Both of them, through their work, represent great craft knowledge and a pursuit of the perfect. In addition, Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll were incredibly adept at using the past in a new and modern way, Thorvaldsen through his new interpretations of ancient history and Bindesbøll through his personal way of using inspiration from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

This year's theme invites:
That the craftsmanship is challenged, perhaps through a new interpretation of the Danish furniture tradition.

That the inner "furniture thread" comes into play, preferably by combining new and old technology. Like Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll, we strive for the perfect.

That through the materials, the form and the colour, the aesthetic and ethical presence of the furniture is reconsidered.

The goal is for newly thought-out furniture that expresses craftsmanship but also creates a narrative and simple exhibition in interaction with the two great masters.

Requirements for dimensions, materials and colours:
The furniture must have a maximum of 90x90 cm in the floor. The height is free but the furniture must be able to stand everywhere in the museum.

The furniture must be monochrome (one colour) and this can be either the wood's own colour or one of the colours from Thorvaldsen’s museum:

 
 

Flexibility

A small exhibition - described as a pop-up exhibition - has just opened at Designmuseum Danmark.

With the subtitle The Missing Link in Danish Typography History, it spotlights the new font called Flexibility that was introduced last year as part of an updating of the typography and graphics used for the museum and is to be used across all aspects of their graphic design from posters to signage and display graphics, as the font for the museum's website and for in-house leaflets for publicity. This work was undertaken by the Copenhagen studio Urgent. Agency.

As part of the commission they searched through the archives of the museum and found initial sketches for this font that dated from the beginning of the 1960s and were by Naur Klint - the architect and designer who was the son of Kaare Klint. The designs were digitized and this was the starting point to produce a font appropriate for the museum.

With the exhibition there is a handout newspaper that sets out a good brief history of the design museum and also sets out the iterations of the typeface with various weights and an italic and an outline version.

The exhibition continues from 5 October through to 6 January 2019

Designmuseum Danmark
Urgent.Agency

KULTUR NATTEN 2018

This year Kultur Natten or Night of Culture is on Friday 12 October.

It is the evening in Copenhagen when museums, many government departments, theatres and the opera house, city hall, the royal palaces and many many other organisations and institutions open their doors to show the people of the city what they do and how.

There are demonstrations, special exhibitions and people only too happy to explain what is done and why. And there is street food and music at many of the venues.

I say it every year but that does not make it less worth saying … spend some time looking at the programme before the evening and try to plan a route to cut down the time you are doubling back or dashing between places but just accept that it really is impossible to see everything. Enjoy the night.

Kultur Natten programme

Out of Ousia - Alicja Kwade

 

Through six large gallery spaces at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, this is the first solo exhibition in Denmark to show the work of Alicja Kwade. ‘Ousia’ is Greek and means being or essence.

One large-scale work in the first gallery, DrehMoment, with large stone spheres balanced on a frame was created in 2018 specifically for Charlottenborg.

the exhibition continues until 17 February 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Alicja Kwade at Louisiana

 

Louisiana has a new work in the Sculpture Park - pars pro toto by the Polish / German artist Alicja Kwade with eight spheres carved in rock from different parts of the world.

There is an interview with the artist on Louisiana Channel

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at 60

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The entrance to the museum is through a 19th-century house - a private villa built in 1855 for Alexander Brun (1814-1893) that was set back on the east side of the coast road from Copenhagen to Helsingør - just north of Humlebæk - with extensive gardens looking out over the sound. 

It is said that the new museum was called Louisiana - because all three of the wives of Alexander Brun were named Louise - and the name was kept when the villa was purchased in 1955 by Knud W Jensen - a businessman, writer and patron of the arts who founded the new museum.

New buildings were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo with covered and glazed corridors that link three large, well-lit gallery spaces to the house and together form an arc around the north side of the main lawn.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opened in 1958.

the original house from the gardens (top)

plan of the house with the villa cross hatched and showing the low ranges of service buildings forming a forecourt
the first new buildings were a series of corridors stepping down gradually to follow a ridge between a lake or inlet to the west and the beach and sea to the east and retaining both the large lawn and mature trees

Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo photographed in 1958 standing in front of a brick wall that formed the side of what was initially the library that faces away from the sea but is now the main area of the museum restaurant

the view out over the sound from the terrace of the museum restaurant (below) shows how important the landscape and the garden setting are for the museum

 

Din ting - vores historie / Your thing - our history 

 

Thirty objects have been chosen to show trends or mark events that have had an impact and that, in some ways, might represent life in Denmark over the 17 years since the beginning of this century. 

Fifteen objects are from the collection of the museum - important because it makes the point that this is a national museum that is not just about a distant or remote past but is relevant now and looks at the full social and political history of the country through the artefacts it collects because history can be as close as yesterday.

Fifteen objects were selected by a committee from objects suggested by the public. Again this is important because academic staff might feel that they are ‘across’ the major trends of contemporary life and culture but it always helps to get a broad viewpoint. After all, the idea of diversity or at least open discussion about diversity is itself an aspect of life in most modern democracies.

Very few of the objects are what would be defined as design pieces - if your definition of design follows what is seen in design museums or design magazines - but again this exhibition reinforces the most general principle that all man-made objects are designed. They have to be, even if the design is kept in the mind as work starts, and any commercial object that is industrially produced has to be designed - has to be contrived. A manufactured object might not be beautiful or it might not be good design but designed it is.

read more 

the exhibition continues at Nationalmuseet / National Museum of Denmark
Prinsens Palæ, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 Copenhagen K

confession:
the exhibition opened in November 2017 but I failed to spot it in an upper gallery until recently when I visited the museum with friends who were staying and they wanted to explore and see as much as possible in what was, for them, a new place … it just shows that familiarity breeds laziness

Bagsider / Flip Sides

 

For the Golden Days Festival this year the theme was The B-sides of History so, for this exhibition, the curators at Statens Museum for Kunst took that literally and present the backs of paintings and drawings in their collection.

And it is fascinating.

read more

the exhibition continues at Statens Museum for Kunst until 10 March 2019

 

CHART ART FAIR 2018

 

Education Chair no. 2 by Daniel Svarre 2018
SPECTA

 

The annual Autumn fair in Copenhagen for contemporary art opened on Friday 31 August and then continues through the 1 and 2 September. CHART celebrates “Copenhagen’s tradition of art, design and architecture, and its values of liveability and inclusion.”

The main venue - with 32 galleries from the Nordic region participating to show paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography - is in the rooms on the first floor at Kunsthal Charlottenborg … the home of The Royal Danish Academy of Art on Kongens Nytorv .

Over the weekend there are also many events including CHART FILMS, CHART TALKS and CHART PERFORMANCES and CHART MUSIC.

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

CHART

 

CHART DESIGN 2018

 

 

This is the sixth ‘edition’ of CHART but, for the first time, there is also a CHART Design Fair at the gallery of Den Frie on Oslo Plads in Østerport where twelve galleries from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are showing furniture and contemporary glass and ceramics.

In the basement gallery at Den Frie is an installation by benandsebastian entitled Department of Voids … a space in two halves divided by a glass wall with the two parts mirrored … one with empty museum storage cases and the answering part beyond the glass with the objects reimagined and in glass.

Den Frie
benandsebastian

Abstracta by Kasper Akhøj from Galleri Feldt

 

Galleri Feldt were at CHART DESIGN at Den Frie gallery in Copenhagen with a fascinating show of the display system designed by Poul Cadovius in 1960. 

It was a modular system with metal tubing connected by knuckled joints to form cubes of different sizes to create a flexible display system for exhibitions. The joints were the key to the system - each with up to six prongs in eight different shapes. Cadovius even used scaled up frames to construct geodesic-style domes that were used at the Copenhagen Furniture Fair in 1961. 

A module of the system is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art - donated by the business man Charles Mauro after he negotiated with Cadovius to manufacture and sell the tubing and the links or joins in the USA. 

In 2006, when travelling through the countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Danish artist Kasper Akhøj was intrigued by what seemed to be an almost ubiquitous display system surviving in shops and department stores but also used on the street for market stalls. 

Then, and on subsequent trips over the following twelve years, he pieced together the story of how the Danish system was produced first in China and sold to the Yugoslavian state and then was manufactured in various forms in Yugoslavia … the spread of the system reflecting the complex political situation and an uneasy relationship with the concept and then the reality of consumerism in a communist political system. Akhøj  acquired pieces and their packaging and part of the collection was on show at Den Frie.

Galleri Feldt have produced a pamphlet - a folded poster - with text by Ronah Sadan setting out the story. To quote the conclusion ……

… the history embedded in the structures Akhøj produces, imbues them with ontological instability and, by extension, turns them into symbols for the vulnerability of artistic agency: as Abstracta’s fate ultimately eluded Cadovius’ control, the fate of Akhøj’s work - and of works of art in general - is ultimately not in its originator’s hands.” 

Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary is an independent institution for modern art.

From June 2016 they ran a pilot project in the warehouses on Papirøen - Paper Island - in the centre of the harbour just south of the opera house - where CC took over four of the halls and were there until the end of 2017 when the buildings were returned to the developers for demolition and for work to start on new apartment buildings on the site.

Now, with funding from the city and from private organisations, Copenhagen Contemporary have reopened in a larger space - some 7,000 m2 - in what was the welding hall of the shipyard of Burmeister & Wain.

The ship yards were closed back in the 1990s and for the last two decades the area has been taken over by small workshops and boat repair yards. A yacht repair company, the restaurant Amass and La Banchina - a popular cafe and bar - established new businesses out here and this summer they have been joined by the new food market - many of the stalls also relocating from Papirøen - and there will be more artists' studios and craft workshops opening as more of the buildings are adapted.

Copenhagen Contemporary has a lease here for 10 years and they have ambitious plans to establish a new space for the display of modern art in the city and particularly for large-scale installation and performance art. 

The city is gaining a major new venue on the lines of the galleries in Gateshead and the Turbine Hall at the Tate in London or the galleries at MoMA in New York and the programme here should compliment exhibitions of modern art at the established galleries in Copenhagen with Den Frie, GLStrand, the space of the Kunsthal in the former church of Sankt Nicolaj and the galleries of the Royal Academy at Charlottenborg - all in the centre of the city or close to the centre - and the gallery down the coast at Arken and, of course, Louisiana - north of the city with its amazing location on the shore of the Sound.

Work on the building for the gallery on Refshaleøen has kept many of the features from its industrial use with huge sliding doors, high exposed roof structures and high-set windows that flood the space with light and give views out to nearby workshops.

In the next phase of development, space on the upper level will be opened for CC Studio for their proposed education programme.

 

previous posts on danish design review

Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary
Refshalevej 173a
1432 København K

 
 
 

CC online / graphics

Copenhagen Contemporary has an online site with exemplary graphics with a minimalist layout that uses open space in the best possible way.

The CC logo is dynamic so responds to the screen size and to scrolling.

Typography and the deep orange colour are taken through publications and signage at the gallery.

Copenhagen Contemporary online

 
 

One Two Three Swing! by SUPERFLEX

L1280080.jpg

 

The first major installation for the opening show in the large main gallery space of Copenhagen Contemporary is by SUPERFLEX - the Copenhagen collective established in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Reuter Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen.

This work was created in 2017 and was shown first in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London. The swings are each for three people and the metal tubular framework runs through the whole space at different angles and is even taken through to the outside to mark out and create spaces and routes through the hall. The repeated but separate movement of each swing is an expression of a common human experience from childhood but also shows the potential energy from the collective action of three people working together.

In the second hall the carpet there - reflected in a great silver pendulum - is woven with stripes in the colours of a Euro note.

at Copenhagen Contemporary, Refshalevej 173A until 30 December 2018

One Two Three Swing! /  SUPERFLEX at Tate Modern 

One Two Three Swing! / Copenhagen Contemporary