Galleri Feldt’s booth for Design Miami/Basel 2019 celebrates the intimacy of history as experienced through intense personal contact with art and design. Curated by Berlin-based artist Uwe Trierweiler, the gallery’s installation juxtaposes iconic works of Danish design with contemporary works by Trierweiler himself, cabinetmaker Fred Fisher, and Copenhagen-based artist Kasper Akhøj, in a spirit that highlights, on one hand, the textured poignancy embedded in the peculiar character and lived history of design objects, and on the other, the power of art to draw the strange and the fantastic from the obvious and the everyday.
Under Trierweiler’s curation, pieces such as Flemming Lassen’s Tired Man (1935), Nanna Ditzel’s prototype chaise (1951), Finn Juhl’s glove cabinet (1961), and Tove and Edvard Kindt- Larsen’s “Young Lady Wanted” wall cabinet (1941) are given new imaginary dimensions woven from Trierweiler’s personal reaction to their aesthetic presences. The tension embodied in the Tired Man’s cozy grandness, for instance, grows palpable when seen in relation to Trierweiler’s Voodoo TV—a found media composition made of a table, a wood-encased tv set wedged with an ax, a portrait, and a plush teddy bear—which stages the loneliness that may beset a single owner of the Tired Man in spite of, in Flemming Lassen’s words, feeling “as warm and safe [in it] as a polar bear cub in the arms of its mother in the middle of the ice cap.”
As unusual as such a take on a classic design might seem, Trierweiler’s overall approach to the installation is a romantic homage to the beauty, craftsmanship, and inventiveness of the pathbreaking designers whose pieces he has selected. The contributions by Fred Fisher and Kasper Akhøj further emphasize, in their own unique ways, the importance of detail-oriented craftsmanship and the capacity of a good design to reinvent itself in different contexts.
The energetic dialogue of ideas and forms that the installation’s arrangement will yield are part of an ongoing collaboration involving Trierweiler, Fisher, Galleri Feldt, and artist Danh Vo.