'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery

Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents Maarten Baas’ ‘Play Time’

 

From 14 February to 13 May 2023, Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Los Angeles will host ‘Play Time’, Maarten Baas’ first solo exhibition. Unfolding as a retrospective of the dutch designer’s early oeuvres, the show celebrates his childlike signature style with acclaimed collections, including Real Time, Clay, and Close Parity, as well as introduces his recently finished work dubbed ‘Children’s Clocks’.

 

Through his work, which is considered rebellious, playful, and intellectual, he seeks to find ways to deal with the phenomenon of time, and ‘rekindle the wonder of childhood within an adult environment.’ Somewhere between art and design, dream and reality, his creations exude a deliberate naivety and playful experimentation often worked in collaboration with children. For ‘Children’s Clocks,’ Baas worked with 720 children in the Netherlands and asked them to create 720 drawings illustrating the hands of these clocks. ‘As an adult you develop a lot of qualities. But hardly anyone can make a nice drawing. Yet, every child makes the best drawings time and time again. Their purity and originality is often better than any respected artist, ‘ shared the designer.

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery
all images © Maarten Baas

 

 

playfulness, childlike expression & purposely naïve forms

 

In his practice, the Dutch designer employs different means and techniques and experiments with various materials, such as metal and ceramic. Baas’ work carries a childlike innocence and honesty but this doesn’t conceal his elaborate masterfulness. ‘My work is often a self-portrait of my inner journey, finding a balance between the wisdom you gain and the open-mindedness you lose along the way.’

 

‘In Play Time the artist becomes Peter Pan signifying his life-long balancing act between growing up and remaining a child.’, reveals the press release. ”Grandfather Clock – The Son’ is a rudimentary take on the classic grandfather clock design, constructed from planks of wood in the manner of a treehouse. The digital clock face shows Baas as a child inside the clock, updating the hands minute by minute in bright paints to maintain the artwork as a functional timepiece.’

 

‘In contrast, in ‘Real Time – The Artist’, we see Baas as an adult, his full body visible behind a much larger, modern, and mature clock face. With a bare upper body and some paint, he seems to play a role as a typical artist in his atelier. The question remains as to whether he is in control of time itself, or if Time is controlling him.’

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery
Through his work, Baas has consistently sought to reverse the natural flow of time

 

 

720 Minutes Clock: 720 children, 720 drawings, 720 minutes

 

For ‘Children’s Clock’, the designer worked together with 720 children, asking each to depict the time on one of these clocks. Using 720 unique drawings, Baas demonstrates the time across 720 minutes, the synopsis of months of preparation, filming, and editing. 

 

In his ‘Real Time’ series, Baas plays with the natural flow of time in a theatrical performance. Within a giant clock, Baas keeps moving time forward, minute by minute, while for his character time moves in the opposite direction. For ‘Close Parity artworks’, drawing the impossible, defying the gravity rules, and being spontaneous were some of his driving forces. Assymetry and fluidity are the keywords that translated some illogical sketches into functional furniture. 

maarten-baas-play-time-deliberate-naivety-playful-experimentation-designboom-31800
 

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery
Real Time – The Artist

maarten-baas-play-time-deliberate-naivety-playful-experimentation-designboom-21800

Real Time XL The Artist

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery
Grandfather Clock – The Son

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery

'play time' celebrates maarten baas' childlike signature style at carpenters workshop gallery
Close Parity – Cabinet with Light

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