The Werkbund’s cry for art, craft, and industry to join forces, in order to foster excellence and innovation in the field of applied arts, was at the core of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum’s exhibition and collection-building strategy at its inception in the early 1900s, and continues to resonate deeply today. For the first time in a century, Kunstmuseen Krefeld are relaunching an active exhibition and collection-building strategy in the field of the applied arts.
The first fruits of this renewed commitment for design in its relation to craft and industry will be at the core of the exhibition “From Idea to Form”. It will highlight for the first time a major design donation of around 60 objects by renowned international designers, which the museum received by French artisan-manufacturers Domeau & Pérès in 2017. Concurrently the Kunstmuseen Krefeld will show another donation of furniture and sketches by designer Peter Ghyczy.
The exhibition sheds light on the productive exchange between these outstanding craftsmen – Bruno Domeau is a trained saddler, Philippe Pérès is upholsterer and a laureate of the prestigious Compagnon du devoir crafts guild training program – and renowned designers. Illustrated by a selection of objects, spanning from sketches to the final product, the production process will be made visible to visitors. The exhibition will include dialogues with certain works from the collection, in order to further embed this ensemble in its new museum home. Thanks to another recent generous donation by the German-Hungarian designer Peter Ghyczy, a part of the exhibition will be devoted to Ghyczy’s work for the polyurthane company Elastrogran in Lemförde, Germany (1968 – 1972). This donation includes the Garden Egg Chair—a design icon—, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
In 1996, the upholsterer Philippe Pérès (b. 1970 in Cannes) and the saddler Bruno Domeau (b. 1962 in Suresnes) founded the company Domeau & Pérès to dedicate their artisinal know-how and expertise to contemporary design. Rather than trodding down the usual path and focussing on historical period furniture (such as the Bergère Louis XV), they decided to bring the compagnon tradition into the 21st century, to the intersection where tradition and innovation meet.
Designer in the exhibition: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, matali crasset, Éric Chevallier, Odile Decq, Jérôme Gauthier, Éric Jourdan, François Mangeol, Christophe Pillet, Elodie Descoubes and Laurent Nicolas, Martin Szekely, Michael Young, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Peter Ghyczy.
Exhibition architecture and graphic design realized in collaboration with the Design Department of the Hochschule Niederrhein (Anne-Lena Milde, Lucas Schnurre, Saskia Zillekens).
A catalogue (French/German) will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Curator: Katia Baudin, Director of Kunstmuseen Krefeld, assisted by Constanze Zawadzky
Exhibition supported by Jeunes Commissaires des Bureau des arts plastiques | Institut français Germany.