Objects of Enquiry


9 February 2017

“You have to question people every time. A piece should not give itself away immediately.”

So said Aldo Bakker in a 2014 interview with Disegno. To the beholder, the Dutch designer’s works can seem gnomic. Although objects of use – watering cans, chairs, vases and soy pourers – their precise, sinuous designs seldom foreground function. The discovery of these functions prompts further questioning – why this shape, colour or material? From what source did this peculiar form spring?

A new retrospective exhibition at Mudac, Aldo Bakker: Pause/Lausanne, provides ample space for such contemplation. The show, which has been curated and designed by Bakker himself, places his work together in a fixed landscape. Pause, which originally appeared at La Grand Hornu last year, has been adapted for the Mudac’s distinct layout. It contains around 50 of Bakker’s pieces, several created for brands including Georg Jensen, Karakter, Puiforcat, Sèvres and Swarovski. Though thus tethered to terrestrial forces, they retain an unearthly sense of self-sufficiency.

Below, Disegno publishes a selection of highlights from the exhibition.

Pitcher, 2014. Carafe in stainless steel. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Horn, 2014. Pot for Puiforcat in silver and gold plate. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Soy Pourer, 2010. Soy sauce pourer in copper. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Urushi Tonus, 2014. Stool in Urushi lacquer. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Swing, 2014. Maple wood treated with iron sulphate. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Pivot, 2014. Gold plated and fine silver. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
3dwn1up, 2010-2011. Elm wood. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.
Green Table and Pink Stool, 2015. Made using Urushi lacquering techniques. IMAGE © Erik & Petra Hesmerg.