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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist at "Clay Furniture," Superstudio Più, Salone del Mobile, Milan

  • Exhibited

    Salone del Mobile, Milan, 2006

  • Literature

    Laurie Manfra, “Maarten Baas: Furniture Iconoclast,” American Craft, October/November 2007, pp. 52-53; Tom Dixon, et al., eds., &Fork, New York, 2007, pp. 26-27

  • Catalogue Essay

    Three hundred fifty years ago, John Milton wrote of clay and color: ‘Which of us who beholds the bright surface of this ethereous mold whereon we stand…deep under ground, materials dark and crude…” Dutch designer Maarten Baas combines crude materials and bright surfaces to joyous effect. His clay and lacquer chairs, first exhibited at the 2006 Salone del Mobile in Milan, are a spirited departure from ‘Smoke’, his dark nativity. Those earlier works, appropriated furniture which Baas had scorched with an acetylene torch, celebrated wrack and ruin. Too glib by half, they fell short as implements of mischief; he had protected their charred surfaces with resin (why not leave them in the yard to dissipate?). Touched by hand, not fire, his ‘Clay’ series represents something different: Baas builds up what he was unable to tear down. The series comprises a wide range—chairs, tables, fans, étagères, stools, benches—hand-molded in close collaboration with partner Bas den Herder, the studio fabricator. “I also am formed out of the clay,” said Elihu to Job—an age-old metaphor. Baas fashions synthetic clay around a metal ‘skeleton’, enlivening skin and bones with one of eight standard colors. Beyond color and materials, nothing is standard; each chair dances in its own way.


Set of six prototype “Clay” chairs

Painted synthetic clay, metal.
Tallest: 29 in. (73.7 cm.) high
Hand-made by Baas & den Herder, The Netherlands.  Each chair back inset with metal lettering “BAAS” (6).

$18,000 - 24,000 

Sold for $20,000


3 June 2009, 11am
New York