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Frans Van Praet

Following the publication of Frans L. Van Praet, De Jaarringen – Rings of Growth, Design Museum Gent is staging an homage to the multi-talented designer Frans Van Praet (1937). As a designer and artist, he mainly gained prominence with the interior design of the Belgian Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Seville (1992) and his iconic Seville seat. The book, which celebrates Frans Van Praet’s 80th birthday, highlights the wealth and diversity of his oeuvre.

Frans Van Praet is often mentioned in the same breath as Pieter De Bruyne and Emile Veranneman, designers who broke with the tradition of rigid functionalism and introduced colour into the Flemish furniture landscape in the 1980s. Similar to the Italian Memphis movement, their postmodern design language is being rediscovered by today’s younger generations.

Art and the philosophy of art are a constant theme throughout the work of Van Praet. His ‘object furniture’ or ‘homage furniture’ dedicated to leading artists such as Magritte and Rietveld, were extremely important throughout his career to counterbalance work in serial production on behalf of furniture manufacturers. To celebrate the occasion, a selection of these Homage items has been brought together in the salons of Hotel De Coninck. They highlight key concepts in Van Praet’s work: multi-functionality, multi-dimensionality and multi-disciplinarity.