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Details & Cataloguing

Design: Living in a Material World

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Joris Laarman
PROTOTYPE SMALL 'BRIDGE' TABLE
with facsimile signature Joris Laarman and stamped Prototype
from an edition of 8 + 1 P + 4 AP
cast aluminium, coating of Tungsten Carbide-Cobalt (WoCaCrNi)
75 x 330 x 130 cm (29  1/2  x 129  7/8  x 51  1/8  in.)
2010
produced by Joris Laarman Studio, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Friedman Benda, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Literature

Anita Star, ed., Joris Laarman Lab, exh. cat., Groningen, 2015, pp. 122-127

Catalogue Note

The designs of Joris Laarman meet at the intersection of technology and craftsmanship. Each work is created from a process of relentless experimentation and refinement, seeking out new technologies and combining them with the artistry of the human hand. The Bridge tables are the largest works in the Bone series which includes Bone Chair, Bone Chaise, Armchair and Rocker (lot 131), as well as Branch (shelf). For this series, Laarman implemented early topology optimization algorithms to generate each work. This technology was based on the scientific research by Professor Claus Mattheck and Lothar Harzheim. The latterpreviously employed by Adam Opel GmbH, to produce lighter and stronger engine mounts for cars, the software relies on algorithms which echo the natural world in which bones are able to add and more importantly remove excess material whilst optimising their strength. Notes Laarman: ‘Where trees have the ability to add material where strength is needed, bones have the ability to also reduce material where it is not. ‘Using Mother Nature’s underlying codes’ these algorithms don’t merely result in more efficient form but also in highly sculptural manifestations of how industrial times evolve into the digital era. The Bridge table prototype was produced through a casting process in aluminium, a material admired for its lightness and strength. However, it is the finish of the table that proved the most exceptional and challenging. To resolve aluminium’s susceptibility to scratching, Laarman discovered a process known as High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) spray coating. This process permits extremely dense materials such as tungsten carbide, the material chosen to coat the surface top of the Bridge table, to be evenly applied. As tungsten carbide is one of the hardest materials in the world, achieving a mirror-like polish could only be achieved on such a large surface with high pressure and a material harder than itself, for example, diamond. In Laarman’s own words ‘The result was a dark polished curved surface that almost made the large surface disappear.’ The model is held within the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. Further examples from the Bone Furniture series are held within the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and many others.

Design: Living in a Material World

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London