Where is the boundary between art and design?

A new, omnicomprehensive awareness produces hybrid figurative expressions that go beyond the traditional distinction between design and art.

Design products coming in a very limited edition presented during last Salone del Mobile di Milano and a International Art Biennale in Venice displaying collections of objects and handicraft give us an opportunity to reflect upon the interaction between different fields of creativity.
Not just a few sporadic cases, but an ever-growing tendency. Spazio Rossana Orlandi displayed “furniture units” by Mauro Mori, featuring passion for manual skill and exploring the metal oxidation process for many years, and the work made Kiki van Eijk e Joost van Bleiswijk who have been operating on the boundary between design/art/handicraft for 12 years. At Galleria Jannone we saw tables in unrefined wood and hand-carved as one-off by Michele De Lucchi, And how would you call the joyful “furniture works” by the Lebanese artist Wyssem Nochi, that cover both experimentation and experience and reflect upon contemporary art, design archetypes and the use of materials? Rutger de Regt, too, works on the manipulation of the material and carries out one-off furniture with organic shapes in its “performances”.

Then, there is the “ambiguous” trend of furniture in a very limited edition, that denies mass-production and industrialization, so labelling in this case is rather embarrassing.
However, we found it encouraging to see this “awareness of contemporary hyper-connectivity” at the Encyclopedic Palace /Biennale (curated by Massimiliano Gioni, curator of 55th International Art Exhibition Biennale), where the artist is never contented with limited horizons, but “imagines global realities, spurred by an omnicomprehensive sensibility” (that applies to the design, too). In rather a dull scenery, just “hybrid figurative expressions”can escape from the fields and stylistic features of art or design and, most of all, they can arouse keen and new sensations in the observer-user.

Text by Renata Sias

1 One of the hand made artworks by Mauro Mori (wooden structure and cupper surface)
2 Co-evolution book by Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk, presented in a special setting with feminime and masculine metal designs.
3 Heavy Metal Collection by Joost van Bleiswijk.
4 Crystal Collection design byKiki van Eijk for Saint-Louis.
5 Wooden Mountain hand made by Michele De Lucchi.
6 Artworks of the collection 79Au byWyssem Nochi.
7 The happy Misfits Furniture, a series created by Rutger de Regt  by a process that is inspired on bodybuilding (the manipulation of mass).
8 Hand painted aluminium furniture with vintage balls dispenser by the Milanese pop artist Livia Vaccaro.

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