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Konstantin Grcic
Jorge Pardo
A CHAIR, LAMPS AND A MUSEUM
miteinander gegenüber #2
19 06 21
05 09 21

The “juxtaposed” series juxtaposes works of art from different epochs, formats, styles and contents under a thematic question. In spring 2021, the selection will fall on two works that deal with the boundaries of art and design.
In spring 2021, the selection will be made for two works that deal with the boundaries between art and design and thus also raise the question of the defining power of their context: a chair and a lamp presented in an art museum?
The design classic “Chair_ONE” by Konstantin Grcic (*1965, lives in Berlin) has been in the collection of Kunsthalle Bielefeld since 2016 in the variant with a concrete base and in a special colour. It is shown in a frame construction designed for it. Jorge Pardo (*1963, lives in Merida, Mexico) also works with the figure of framing in his artistic work. His works, which commonly suggest a utilitarian function in the form of lamps, chairs or other objects, aggressively penetrate the realm of architecture and design. Pardo’s installation “Untitled”(2000) consists of a series of sculpturally formulated lamps made of Plexiglas that fill the room with coloured light. Konstantin Grcic as an industrial designer and Jorge Pardo as a visual artist use the specific way of looking at things practised in art space and museum in different ways for their works, which conversely sharpen our view of the Kunsthalle and its architecture from both inside and outside.
Konstantin Grcic is one of the most renowned industrial designers today. Grcic’s designs combine industrial aesthetics, an intense reflection of materiality and surface with experimental new forms and techniques; they are functional, yet sometimes irritating. Some of his designs, the “chair_ONE” (2004) or the “Mayday” lamp (1999), are already considered classics and have found their way into important design collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Neue Sammlung in Munich.
Jorge Pardo is an artist who, from the tradition of conceptual art and institutional critique, has been creating works since the 1990s that usually take on forms commonly attributed to the field of architecture and design. For example, an invitation to an exhibition at MOCA Los Angeles resulted in the artist designing, building and moving into his own private home, which was connected to the museum via a bus shuttle for the duration of the exhibition, thus asserting itself as both exhibition and work in itself (“4166 Sea View Lane”, 1998). By short-circuiting the public museum space with the private living space, Pardo makes visible different paradigms – our expectations and our treatment of art or objects of daily use. The artist uses the lived world and its things as a canvas; classical questions of form and colour and composition in space play central roles.
His work has been recognised in solo exhibitions including: Pinacoteca de Estado São Paulo, São Paulo (2019), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2009), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008), Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2007). Numerous works can be experienced in functional use at the same time: since the 1997 Skulptur Projekte Münster, his work “Pier” can be entered on the Aasee in Münster; for the restaurant in the Paul-Löbe-Haus in Berlin, he created a room installation of spherical lamps in 2002; in the “Arlatan” hotel in Arles, which opened in 2018, every detail, from the entrance gate to the furniture, light such as floor design or fitness room, is designed by the artist.
What can a chair and lamps be in a museum? Frames and bases are elements that guide our perception of the world. In what way does this observation play a role in the development of works or designs in art and design?
A video discussion between Jorge Pardo and Konstantin Grcic, moderated by Christina Végh, is being planned. The date will be announced.