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Hide & Seek: celebrating the Houdini of Dutch Design – MAARTEN BAAS

The Groninger Museum will be hosting the first major MAARTEN BAAS retrospect. Hide & Seek highlights the work of one of Holland’s most famous and well-respected artists. MAARTEN BAAS’ Hide & Seek shows the many faces of a man who has been keeping the design and art world on its toes for 15 years.

“The Groninger Museum has a long history with Maarten Baas. Through special commissions the museum has built an important collection of his work. The MendiniRestaurant interior that Maarten redesigned in 2010 is an absolute highlight in this sense. We are very proud to present the first major museum solo exhibition of this extraordinary designer.”

Hide & Seek: the exhibition

Hide & Seek displays the biggest statements MAARTEN BAAS has produced over the last decade. From the iconic pieces of SMOKE and CLAY, with which he took the world by storm, to the much-celebrated REAL TIME, a series of clocks that tell the time in real time through theatrical performances. The exhibition is a testament to the multitalented and multifaceted BAAS, someone who devotes himself to being both and neither an artist or designer.

Hide & Seek is a reference to BAAS’ reputation as the Houdini of Dutch Design. Impossibly difficult to pinpoint and escaping any attempt at stereotyping. According to BAAS, structure only creates limitation. He quite literally plays the children’s game of hide and seek in the gaps, in the voids.

A body of work between intellect and feeling, between what we know and don’t know, between nature and culture, between freedom and limitations, between the truth and a lie.

“If there were a trace-tracker of my career path you could look back to see that I sometimes zigzag and sometimes move straight ahead. Sometimes running, sometimes slow, sometimes on track and sometimes way off. I trust that my intuition is wiser than my head.” MAARTEN BAAS

In addition to his famous classics, BAAS is also putting new work on display. This includes a selection of critically acclaimed work that was launched in 2016: the Tree Trunk Chair, Carapace and Close Parity. There is also a preview of his latest project May I Have Your Attention Please?, a collaboration between the designer and Lensvelt for the Milan Design Week (April 2017).

BAAS’ theatrical approach to his exhibitions is visualised in 18 videos specially made for Hide & Seek. BAAS is known for the way he seeks new paths, constantly reinventing himself. For being thoughtful and intelligent but also playful and naïve. For designing functional furniture and producing absurdist videos in the same breath. For being both introvert and flamboyant. For playing a game of hide and seek, implicitly raising the question: Who Is MAARTEN BAAS?

Hide & Seek: the book

When given the option of making a book, MAARTEN BAAS initially put his back up. He felt like the entire notion of a book meant structure and that this was counterintuitive to his own work and process. But BAAS being BAAS, he decided to make a book according to his own rules, naming it Hide & Seek and imbuing it with the same magical mystification as his work as an artist and designer. Photography of BAAS’ work is alternated with poetry, describing and reflecting the works of art. With contributions from: Annemartine van Kesteren, Brendan Cormier, Fabio Novembre, Lidewij Edelkoort, Marcus Fairs, Wim Pijbes, Mark Wilson, Anton Corbijn, Erwin Olaf and Ingmar Heytze.

Hide & Seek
Groninger Museum
18 February 2017 – 24 September 2017
groningermuseum.nl / maartenbaas.com
Museumeiland 1, Groningen, The Netherlands

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