MAARTEN BAAS | Smoke Writing Desk

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Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Smoke Writing Desk, 2013
Charred furniture with clear epoxy resin
47.6 x 50.4 x 25.2 in.


Carpenters Workshop Gallery

The Smoke Series, a body of work initiated in 2002, is the end result of Baas’ research on beauty and perfection. “In nature, everything is in flux, which creates a certain beauty. Yet, it’s a very human tendency to keep things as they are supposed to be and keep them beautiful as they originally were. Smoke plays with both perceptions of beauty.” The artist reinvents and repurposes the object with his own hands. Smoke Writing Desk was torch-burned by Baas in his studio and then preserved in a clear resin, allowing the work of art to disintegrate to the point of near death, before being “revived” and made functional again.

Smoke pieces are part of the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Groninger Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Maarten Baas (1978) is a Dutch designer, who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2002. His studio is based in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL).

Baas is considered one of the most influential artist designers of the early twenty-first century. His works straddle boundaries between art and design. He occupies a unique position in the field, embodying conceptual art, craftsmanship, installation, public space and performance into his oeuvre. He’s known for his rebellious, intellectual, theatrical and artistic style. Baas’ most renowned works are Smoke, Clay and Real Time, that gave him instant worldwide recognition. In 2009, he was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Design Basel/ Miami. In 2012, the New York Times listed both Smoke and Clay in its ‘Top 25 Design Classics of the Future’. In 2016, Baas won the Artprize for his Real Time Sweeper’s clock.

His work is found in numerous private and major museum collections, such as MOMA New York, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Les Arts Décoratifs Paris, San Francisco MOMA and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Furthermore, he has worked for exclusive brands like Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Dior, Dom Ruinart and Berluti.

In 2017, his first major museum show was opened at the Groninger Museum (NL), coinciding with the publication of his monograph, both titled ‘Hide & Seek’.