Jürgen Bey - Design Masters New York Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Droog, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Literature

    Droog & Dutch Design, From Product to Fashion, exh. cat., Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 2000, p. 40; Anneke Moors, ed., Simply Droog: 10 + 3 years of creating innovation and discussion, Amsterdam, 2006, pp. 40–41, 213 and 241; Renny Ramakers, ed., A Human Touch, Amsterdam, 2006, pp. 86–87; Gareth Williams, The Furniture Machine: Furniture since 1990, London, 2006, p. 36; Design Contre Design, exh. cat., Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 2007, illustrated p. 298; Gareth Williams, Telling Tales: Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2009, p. 44, fig. 22; Andrea Mehlhose and Martin Wellner, Modern Furniture: 150 Years of Design, Königswinter, 2009, p. 136

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Tree Trunk Bench” is in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Die Neue Sammlung, Munich; and the Centraal Museum, Utrecht.
    In his work for Droog, a conceptual design company founded in Amsterdam in 1993, Jurgen Bey demonstrates that recycling of materials and forms doesn’t preclude our impulse to contrive and build, and newness needn’t be at the expense of the past. Bey’s “Tree Trunk Bench” comprises a sourced log embellished with antique chair backs cast in bronze, an affable tribute to nature, tradition, and decay. Aside from actual use, users have so little agency over designs they buy—not so the owner of “Tree Trunk Bench.” The consignor of the present bench cut this Northern Red Oak in his Connecticut woods, under which leaves the chair backs have been weathering for the past five years.
    Bey cut his first “Tree Trunk” for “Couleur Locale: Droog Design for Oranienbaum,” presented at the 1999 Salone di Mobile in Milan. The installation later traveled to Oranienbaum itself, a German castle town under protection of the World Monuments Fund. Droog had been invited there to participate in the restoration and revival of Oranienbaum Wörlitz, a 17th-century royal estate built by Henriette Catharina von Nassau-Oranien, a Dutch princess who brought with her to the region new styles of art and architecture as well as Dutch artisans. “Tree Trunk Bench,” displayed in the estate gardens along with other works by fellow Droog designers Hella Jongerius, Marcel Wanders, and Martí Guixé, represented the local revival of a cultural exchange begun three centuries earlier.


“Tree Trunk Bench"

designed 1999, ca. 2005
Cast bronze, Northern Red Oak.
34 1/4 × 144 × 16 in. (87 × 365.8 × 40.6 cm.)

Produced for Droog, The Netherlands.

$15,000 - 20,000 

Design Masters

15 December 2010
New York