The Washington Post writes today about an exhibition by Dutch designers Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen in the Industry Gallery in Washington DC.
This is the first American solo exhibition for Mr. Remy, 20 years after he launched the radical idea of recycling-as-fine-design. Since 2000, all of Remy's works have been done in collaboration with Mr. Veenhuizen.
The Washington Post:
People often use words like "whimsical," "comic" or "witty" to describe the works of Remy and Veenhuizen, but the laughter they provoke is usually nervous, more like a response to Lenny Bruce than to Mickey Mouse. "For us, it's dead serious," Veenhuizen says, smiling. "It's not humor for humor's sake," says Remy, more soberly. "Good humor is very intellectual."
Almost all of us still associate design with "comfort" -- if not physical, then at least intellectual or aesthetic. Even if a Bauhaus armchair in chrome and leather may not be easy on the bottom, it is easy on the eyes and has such a get-able gestalt that we can learn to be at ease with it. Even most avant-garde designers have come up with new models for comfort and ease -- turning away from Victorian velvet-on-oak, for instance, to embrace Bauhaus, then Danish modern. What few designers have done is work to abolish comfort itself as a design principle, in favor of objects that disconcert. That's the Remy and Veenhuizen model.
Exhibition Tejo Remy & Rene Veenhuizen
March 20 through May 8
Industry Gallery, Washington, DC
Image courtesy Industrial Gallery DC.