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.

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