Mint Museum Uptown visitors can now see the latest acquisition to join the Craft + Design galleries, “Shredded Side Table” by Jens Praet, a Belgian native now based near Siena, Italy.
Praet is internationally recognized for work that values traditional craftsmanship, innovative techniques, and conceptual sophistication in equal measure. “Shredded Side Table” comes from the “Shredded” series that Praet initiated as a research project in 2007-2008. The series was inspired by his observation of the amount of paper that is used and discarded in industrialized society. He embedded shredded paper in resin and formed it around a hidden aluminum frame to create furniture whose material origin is clearly visible. This particular “Side Table” was commissioned by Design Days Dubai and was produced on-site, part of a performance during the public programming of the fair, using copies of “Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Arabia”.
Jens Praet. Belgian, 1984 – Shredded Side Table (Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Edition) 2013, Paper, resin, aluminum. Donation of Design Days Dubai and the Artist through Industry Gallery, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA.
Praet said his goal is to give concrete form to the idea of waste. “What I always like is that people gradually find out what the material really is, as the surface might look like granite if you superficially observe the object,” he said. “Once people understand the material, their reaction is quite often an understanding of what else can be done with paper waste, or just waste in general… Waste can be turned into something useful and hopefully aesthetic.”
The acquisition was announced in March during the latest edition of Design Days Dubai 2014, an event featuring acclaimed international and regional galleries dedicated to collectible design which takes place every year at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. The commissioned piece was donated to The Mint Museum by the fair organizers, and the artist’s presence was possible thanks to Industry Gallery of Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA.
“The proliferation of paper is a global challenge and speak to the international nature of contemporary design,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion. “The Mint museum’s collection echoes the diversity of contemporary design today, and Jens Praet’s work resonates perfectly with our goals. Made by a Belgian designer active in Italy, during a performance at a design fair in the United Arab Emirates, and acquired through an American gallery, it truly allows us to bring the world to Charlotte. The ‘Shredded Side Table’ will engage viewers from the city, the region, and beyond in thinking about paper as a material and about the role of designers in society.”
“A big part of Design Days Dubai’s mission is to give its visitors and collectors the chance to discover regional and international design with a focus on contemporary creations,” said Cyril Zammit, Design Days Dubai Fair Director. “Each year, we commission pieces from emerging designers to support contemporary design and focus buyers’ and media attention on alternative or new techniques. We are delighted to see that the UAE’s thriving market is reaching out to great institutions such as The Mint Museum, reconfirming Dubai’s position as a platform for art and design attracting a dynamic and diverse audience.”
Last fall, the museum announced the launch of a three-year Collections Initiative with the help of Bank of America, which donated a monumental canvas by California artist Sam Francis to the museum. The painting, “Untitled (Seafirst)” 1979, at approximately 19 feet tall by 38 feet wide, is one of the largest by size in the Mint’s collection and is one of the first works seen by visitors to the atrium of Mint Museum Uptown. Many other significant acquisitions have arrived or are in the process of arriving at the museum as a result of the Initiative, and more announcements will follow soon.
The fourth edition of Design Days Dubai – the leading fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible design – will take place March 16-20, 2015. The fair features leading international designers and galleries alongside up-and-coming design from across the world. The fair also presents a strong non-commercial programm consisting of education, workshops, installations, and live performances. The fair’s 2014 edition welcomed 40 exhibitors and design galleries from 20 countries and showcasing more than 239 designers, confirming its position as the most diverse design fair in the world. Design Days Dubai 2014 received more than 12,000 visitors. Design Days Dubai has become a meeting point for design collectors and enthusiasts to acquire unique design and gain a glimpse of the contemporary trends of the regional and global design industry.
As the first art museum in North Carolina, with one of the largest collections in the Southeast, The Mint Museum offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through art and design from around the world via innovative collections, groundbreaking exhibitions, and riveting educational programs. The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.
Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, fashion, European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop.
For further information on the Mint’s Collections Initiative and how to get involved, contact Leigh Dyer by e-mail at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 704/337-2009.