Surrealism may be best known as a movement within literature and the fine arts, but the influence of this 20th-century artistic movement in other fields should not be underestimated. Even the world of design and contemporary design does not escape a healthy dose of surreal humour.
In 2008, Design Flanders is organising the Triennial of Design for the fifth time, a prestigious exhibition in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, which puts Flemish design in the limelight on the basis of a chosen theme.
Danny Venlet (°1958, Victoria, Australia) is one of the world’s best and most promising designers; yet his work is a well-kept secret in the design world. This is partly due to the fact that Venlet has worked and lived in two different worlds (Australia and Belgium), but is also explained by the essence of his personality and work – modest, prone to understatement, and relaxed.
Throughout the centuries, silverware has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Religious silverware raised the profession to unprecedented heights, but in the course of the 20th century commissions became scarce. More and more studios had to close their doors and monumental silverwork soon disappeared into the background. Gradually, training also left something to be desired. Father Rob and son Jaap Thalen’s dream is to make the very best again: objects, utensils and works of art in silver such as have been hard to find for a long time. Monumental creations for which both the old craftsmanship and the most advanced techniques are required. Their designs take shape in Francorchamps, Belgium, and are appreciated worldwide.
For Michael Young, experimentation and research into different materials and techniques is his greatest passion.
Born in Sunderland (UK), he works from his studios in Brussels and Hong Kong. His designs for furniture and utensils are technically sophisticated and advanced, but thanks to a touch of humour, never sterile. He has spent more than ten years in Asia testing the most sophisticated technological processes and exploring the possibilities of different types of materials. His aluminium projects in particular stand out for their uniqueness and daring approach. This first monograph offers a nice cross-section of Michael Young’s oeuvre and compiles not only his work in aluminium, but also his most iconic creations in other materials.
This book appears on the occasion of the exhibition al(l) in Grand-Hornu (31 January – 29 May 2016).