January – February 2008
DesignArt: From the Rabih Hage Collection is an exhibition celebrating the current interest and controversy surrounding the term DesignArt.
When Rabih Hage set up his eponymous gallery in 2001, one of his aims was to bring Art closer into the Design world. A collection of pieces will be exhibited alongside each other for the first time at the Rabih Hage Gallery, including works by Aki Kuroda, Paul Cocksedge, Johnny Swing, Karen Ryan and Gaetano Pesce. Also exhibited will be pieces by Moritz Waldemeyer to coincide with his Pong Table appearing in ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’, MoMA(USA) courtesy of Rabih Hage Gallery.
The expression has rapidly entered the language of gallerists and curators since it fits a number of interpretations of a growing trend. Hage offers that DesignArt might be the work of designers who ‘design pieces that are in fact art’, or ‘objects with a function, but which are primarily sculpture,’ or even, quite simply, ‘the new Pop Art’.
When Rabih Hage hosts his exhibition and forum on DesignArt in January-February 2008, it will offer an opportunity to not only take stock of an important aspect of his work over the last six years, but also of a moment in contemporary culture which has all the indications of representing a new movement in art and design.
Hage works with designers and artists where the value comes from the brilliance of the idea and the fact that the items are one-offs or limited edition; in many cases even created in the artist’s studio, returning to old-fashion notions of craftsmanship but with a contemporary aesthetic.
The results of Hage’s collaborations can be astonishingly varied, from Moritz Waldemeyer’s playful fusion of electronic engineering and product design to create a table inspired by a 1970s Atari game, to Karen Ryan’s Custom Made collection of one-off chairs, assembled from mismatched parts of abandoned furniture, to Japanese artist Aki Kuroda’s functional sculptures.