ICA x Artek
Artek Stool 60. Design Alvar Aalto.
Untitled (Kiss) (2019) marries Alvar Aalto’s classic piece of modern furniture design, Stool 60, with a newly commissioned work by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger.
With a career spanning the past fifty years, Kruger is internationally known for her pictures and words. Her photographic works, expansive installations and multichannel videos engage issues of power, gender, identity and value.
Finished in Kruger’s signature black, white and red, this bespoke stool was produced in an initial multiple of 300 with a final continuation of a further 300. Each stool is hand-numbered and finished on the underside with the artist’s stamp of authenticity.
Kruger’s Untitled (Kiss) forms the starting point of a new collaboration between the ICA and Finnish furniture company Artek, which will result in a series of artists’ customisations of Stool 60. The next commission in the series, with Fischli/Weiss, will be launched in Winter 2020.
Barbara Kruger says:
‘This project has been a wonderful opportunity to work with Aalto’s classic piece of modernist furniture, while at the same time supporting the ICA, the first institution that offered me a one-person show of my work in 1983. I was honoured, a bit intimidated, but hugely thrilled by both the ICA and the complex and vital city that was, is, and will always be London. The memory of that exhibition, the wonderful space, the excitement and buzz of the ICA’s programme of visuality and intellectually rigorous public programming, its bookstore and crazily cool cafe, will never fade in my mind.’
Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means.” In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture, and art. The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting, and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. It stands for clarity, functionality, and poetic simplicity.
Barbara Kruger (b. 1945, Newark). Recent solo exhibitions include Mönchehaus Museum Goslar (2019), APMA, Seoul (2019), LAXART, Los Angeles (2018), Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2017). She has major forthcoming solo exhibitions at the Chicago Art Institute, MoMA PS1, New York and Hayward Gallery, London. In 2005, she was awarded The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, 51st Venice Biennale. In 2019 she was awarded the prestigious Kaiserring Goslar art prize.
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