(jiří macek) Enormous cupboards that seem to be taken from the world of hundred-year old trees, plastic recreation chairs in their wooden versions, or furniture pieces assembled into completely new structures – these are the projects which Maarten Baas installed in a car repair shop close to Via Tortona during Design Week in Milan.
The car repair shop was very reminiscent of his home studio in the Dutch town of Eidhoven. Visitors could find individual objects in the same way that Maarten Baas often finds discarded furniture in the streets. Something can be made from dozens of incongruous objects…
When looking for new forms and expressions, Marten Baas often burns and etches objects. Sometimes he fits two objects together and thus creates a completely new object - for example the “Hey chair, be a bookshelf!” project. He presented this project for the first time in 2005. This year he has presented its wooden version using traditional Chinese products from the Chinese Objects Object. However, this is just the beginning of the wooden pieces in his 2008 collection.
A wooden finish provides the nameless, ubiquitous plastic chair found everywhere during summertime with a certain gentility, name, and designer – Plastic Chair in Wood by Maarten Baas. Its shape became more apparent as well. Isn’t it beautiful? Like the Chinese Objects Object, the chair was made in China for the Shanghai gallery Contrasts.
Wood was used again for a third piece by Baas. Enormous cupboards, desks, and chairs from the Sculpt project were originally made as models for fairylike rustic furniture. They became real furniture pieces for his 2008 collection. No hobbit cabinets any more! The enlarged version looks very impressive. The dwelling of Chestnutboy and Chestnutgirl is turned into a rocky forest landscape. Nevertheless, do not be mistaken – although they look as if they were made from solid wood, they are actually made from polyurethane foam. Regardless, do you have the impression that the table and wardrobe will keep on growing?
Where can furniture by Maarten Baas be purchased? Most projects are made in limited editions for particular galleries, such as the Moss Gallery in New York and the Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Both the armchair and chandelier from the Smoke collection can be found in the Moooi catalogue, represented by Bulb in the Czech Republic.
www.maartenbaas.com, www.moooi.com, www.bulb.cz
Sculpt cupboard, design: Maarten Baas, photo: Maarten van Houten