Aldo Bakker takes over Amsterdam exhibition space with just five jugs

Amsterdam exhibition space Looiersgracht 60 is hosting a solo exhibition of work by Dutch designer Aldo Bakker that consists of just five jugs.

Looiersgracht 60 – which specialises in showing work that defies categorisation – organised and curated the Containing Content exhibition of pieces by Bakker, who takes an ambiguous, "function follows form" approach to designing products.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Pot jug on display at Looiersgracht 60, also main image

The five objects presented are named Pivot, Pipe, Soy Pourer, Pot and Square Pourer, three of which will be shown for the first time.

Made variously from porcelain, silver and copper, the vessels challenge the archetypical form of a jug and some are unrecognisable as pouring vessels at first sight.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Pipe

"Bakker rarely starts a design from the desire to solve a practical problem," said Dutch writer Hans den Hartog Jager in his biography of the designer. "In fact, though Bakker may unmistakably be a designer, his interest in functionality only comes in at the latest stage."

Among Bakker's new designs on show is the large black Pipe jug. Made from porcelain, the design includes two branches with a large opening at the top of one and a smaller hole in the other.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Pipe

Also in porcelain but coloured cream, the Pot design looks like a squished teapot. It features a spout, a handle and a lid as part of its circular shape.

Commissioned by Looiersgracht 60, a small container with a rectangular profile is called the Square Pourer and is made entirely from silver.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Square Pourer

Older pieces include the copper Soy Pourer, which slightly resembles a watering can and dispenses its contents from an elongated curved spout. The vessel was created as part of a collection for Dutch gallery Thomas Eyck and presented at Milan's Spazio Rosanna Orlandi in 2010.

The gold-plated Pivot vessel shaped like a snail shell was created for Bakker's new design brand Karakter, which launched in Milan during the city's design week earlier this year.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Soy Pourer

A disc covering the opening hinges open at the top when its contents are poured out.

Bakker usually starts by sketching a form he finds appealing, such as a guardrail of a motorway, the curve of a stairwell, or the facade of a canal house, only considering potential uses once the form is defined.

Bakker is the son of Dutch designers Gijs Bakker and Emmy van Leersum – renowned for their futuristic jewellery designs that were displayed at a retrospective exhibition at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum last year.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Pivot

Aldo Bakker started his career making jewellery and models for his parents in 1987. He has since created sculptural, furniture, homeware and tableware, notably for Danish metalware brand Georg Jensen.

"I love having the freedom to pay attention to every detail in my work, no matter how crazy," Bakker told Alice Rawsthorn in an interview for the New York Times about his expressive process and relentless attention to detail.

Aldo Bakker jugs on show at Looiersgracht 60
Pivot

For this exhibition Bakker designed individual pedestals that serve as an extension of each jug.

Containing Content runs until 26 July 2015 at Looiersgracht 60, located in a former cardboard and bottling plant on its namesake canal.