Konstantin Grcic | Jorge Pardo. A chair, lamps and a museum
Face to Face and Side by Side #2
The “Face to Face and Side by Side” series juxtaposes works of art from different eras, formats, styles and content under a thematic heading. In spring 2021, the selection will be made for two works that are
The question of the defining power of their context is raised: a chair and a lamp presented in an art museum?
The design classic “Chair_ONE” by Konstantin Grcic (*1965, lives in Berlin) has been part of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld collection since 2016 in the version with a concrete base and in a special color. It is shown in a frame construction designed for this purpose. Jorge Pardo (*1963, lives in Merida, Mexico) also works with the figure of framing in his artistic work. His works, which generally suggest a utilitarian function in the form of lamps, chairs or other objects, aggressively penetrate the field of architecture and design. Pardo’s installation “Untitled” (2000) consists of a series of sculpturally shaped Plexiglas lamps that fill the room with colored light. Konstantin Grcic, as an industrial designer, and Jorge Pardo, as a visual artist, use the specific approach practiced in the art space and museum in different ways for their works, which conversely sharpen our view of the Kunsthalle and its architecture from both inside and outside.
Konstantin Grcic is one of the most renowned industrial designers today. Grcic’s designs combine industrial aesthetics, an intensive reflection of materiality and surface with experimental new forms and techniques; they are functional, yet sometimes irritating. Some of his designs, such as the “chair_ONE” (2004) or the “Mayday” lamp (1999), are already considered classics and have found their way into important design collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Neue Sammlung in Munich.
Jorge Pardo is an artist who has been creating works since the 1990s in the tradition of conceptual art and institutional critique, most of which take on forms that are generally attributed to the fields of architecture and design. Thus the invitation to an exhibition at MOCA Los Angeles led to the artist designing, building and moving into his own private house, which was connected to the museum by a shuttle bus for the duration of the exhibition and thus asserted itself as the actual exhibition and work (“4166 Sea View Lane”, 1998). By short-circuiting the public museum space with the private living space, Pardo makes different paradigms – our expectations and our handling of art or everyday objects – visible. The artist uses the lived world and its objects as a canvas; classical questions of form and color and composition in space play central roles.
His work has been honored in solo exhibitions including: Pinacoteca de Estado São Paulo, São Paulo (2019), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2009), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008), Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2007). Numerous works can also be experienced in functional use: since the Skulptur Projekte Münster 1997, his work “Pier” can be entered on the Aasee in Münster, for the restaurant in the Paul-Löbe-Haus in Berlin he created a room installation made of spherical lamps in 2002, in the “Arlatan” hotel in Arles, which opened in 2018, every detail, from the entrance gate to the furniture, light such as floor design or fitness room, was designed by the artist.
What can a chair and lamps be in a museum? Frames and bases are elements that guide our perception of the world. How does this observation play a role in the development of works or designs in art and design?