Maarten Van Severen & Co
A Wild Thing
A Wild Thing is the second edition of Maarten Van Severen & Co, the contemporary design presentation that illustrates Maarten Van Severen’s (1956-2005) interpretation of design. The presentation establishes links between the work of the most famous Belgian designer of his generation and the work of other designers and artists, highlighting design aspects that are still relevant for designers today.
In A Wild Thing, Maarten Van Severen’s work engages in a dialogue with the inspired objects of kindred spirits. This exhibition finally does away with the notion that Maarten Van Severen was a minimalist designer. Instead, the designer referred to himself as a maximalist, because stripping designs down to their essence requires a maximum effort. The power of his designs lies in the arc of tension between their archetypical shape and the intensity with which he produced them. Initially hand-produced, he later switched to semi-industrial and industrial processes.
Maarten Van Severen was wild. All his designs point to the soul of a wild animal that is unable to
escape the laws of nature. The last thing he wanted was to create tame objects that were adapted to
the rules of consumer logic. His was the attitude of a craftsman, whose only purpose was to be at the
service of his creation. He never started from style, choosing instead to focus on the essence and on
harmony. Maarten Van Severen was always motivated by love and proximity in everything he
Olivier Van Herpt
Sounds of making
Hannes Van Severen
Antoine Van Loocke
Thierry De Cordier
Berlinde De Bruykere
Benoit Van Innis
+ anonymous vernacular objects from Peru, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Brazil, etc.
Maarten Van Severen & Co is a contribution to the Maarten Van Severen Chair, which was
established in 2015 at the KASK / School of Arts Gent on the tenth anniversary of the designer’s
death. A Wild Thing was curated by Marij De Brabandere and Hilde Bouchez who intervened in the
scenography of Robbrecht en Daem architecten. The exhibition was inspired by the eponymous book
by Hilde Bouchez.
Hilde Bouchez A Wild Thing. Essays on things, nearness and love 12 x 18 cm, 296 p ISBN 9789490800604 € 20,00