From the impossibility of’s Terrible Chair
(1990) to the obvious social critique within’s Solar Electric Chair
(1979), there was never a sense of cohesiveness to the work shown at Art et Industrie, as there was with the Memphis Group for example. “One of the precepts of the gallery was to bring together a diverse group of people, so that the work wasn’t done in
a style but rather with
style,” noted Kaufmann. The sheer breadth of work echoes the energy that permeated the space, which almost from the beginning was functioning as a collaborative atmosphere where any conversations could take place. This fluid mindset started with Kaufmann himself. When advising his artists, Kaufmann wasn’t primarily concerned with their marketability, but rather with making sure that they had the tools to express their most important ideas. “If they had two or three things on the drawing board, where I could tell some of them would be easier to sell once they were realized whereas others seemed more difficult, I would move them in the direction of where they would naturally go if they weren’t even having concerns about selling the final piece,” he explained.