Twisted classics

There is nothing new under the sun, unless ’new’ counts as the unexpected fusing of two or three familiar ideas.

German design heavyweight Volker Albus hopes to lead the world on a journey along the fuzzy line between antique and contemporary by curating an exhibition of objects made in the Postmodern tradition.

So, here is a plastic garden chair interrupted and completed in bentwood, by Martino Gamper, while over there is an Oriental-style rug with a close-up pixelated pattern, by Albus himself.

Albus finds the Persian rug a particularly apt exemplar of the journey that objects can make over time from innovative through classic to bourgeois, before landing at ironic. ’The carpetis as present as it ever was… not as the continuation of its old self… but rather as a model, a generator of ideas,’ says Albus in the New Olds exhibition catalogue.

Gamper and Albus are joined in the show by Maarten Baas, Ineke Hans and Frank Willems, as well as 55 other design teams from Europe, Israel and the US. Among the new pieces debuting at the show are the Golden Age collapsing, sagging ceramic vases by Israel-based product designer Meirav Peled Barzilay.

Besides packing a visual punch, New Olds will feature a series of talks tailored to each location on the show’s coming world tour. The show will also fold in new pieces by local designers at every stop although unfortunately there is no UK date currently arranged for this ambitious and intriguing exhibition as it circumnavigates the globe.

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