Studio Job's MAD House retrospective opens in New York
The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has opened an exhibition that shows how Belgian artists Studio Job "lost naivety and gained professionalism" (+ slideshow).
The fourth and fifth floors of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), located on the south-west corner of Central Park, have been transformed into the Studio Job MAD House.
Studio founders Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel curated the retrospective of their own work, which spans 16 years, and includes an array of sculptural furniture and homeware pieces in a variety of materials.
"What we've tried to do from the very beginning and onwards is to stretch the field of design," said Smeets. "Design can be so expressive; it doesn't need to be called art."
Rather than laid out in chronological order, the studio's designs are arranged as they might be found in a home.
"This is the first time that you can see a 2015 piece next to a 2003 piece," Smeets said. "You can see how we lost our naivety and gained professionalism."
Items are grouped into loose themes. For example, a set of pieces positioned together on the lower floor – a sculpture of King Kong scaling the Burj Khalifa, a heart-shaped stained glass window and a collection of banana-shaped lamps – are all based around love and lust.
Along with the Burj design, other sculptures from the ongoing Landmark series on show include a lamp shaped like the Eiffel Tower with its top bent over and an upside-down Taj Mahal model turned into a table.
"We work a lot with icons – things that are fairly common to us – combined with things that crawl into our heads," said Smeets.
The studio's cast-bronze Robber Baron collection and green-tinged Oxidised range are also on show, along with a table shaped like a head-on collision between two steam trains to symbolise Smeets and Tynkels' romantic break-up.
The walls are lined with Studio Job's wallpaper designed to look like typical blockwork, called Wall, while a grey cartoonish version of herringbone parquet covers the MAD's existing wooden floor.
Mounted onto the vertical surfaces are some of Smeets' original concept sketches, beside framed scale drawings of the designs.
"The process of how we produce our stuff usually starts with a tiny little drawing, normally by me," said Smeets. "Then it's drawn at 1:1 scale for our workshops before being made in bronze or any possible material."
Studio Job MAD House runs from 22 March to 21 August 2016. It follows a capsule exhibition shown by New York gallery Chamber at the city's Armory Show art fair earlier this month.
Installation shots by Butcher Walsh, courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.