For its booth at Design Miami/ Basel 2017, Galleri Feldt presents an installation continuous with its goal of shedding new light on the history of Danish Modern design through unconventional means. Bringing historical design pieces into dialogue with contemporary art, the installation consists of two architectural drawing cabinets designed by Poul Kjærholm in 1955 for the School of Architecture at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, displayed with an intervention by contemporary artist Danh Vo.
Made in a crucial moment for Kjærholm’s career, the cabinets testify to the development of his character as a designer. Repeatedly scratched, painted, pasted and scrawled on through decades of use, they also bear witness to the work of generations of Academy students. Vo, himself a former student at the Academy, inserts sheets of paper with text drawn in calligraphic script by his father, Phung Vo, into each of their drawers. Drawing inspiration from both his experiences as a student and from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, The Shining, Vo’s intervention interacts with the history of the cabinets’ design and use in uncanny ways, and brings about reflection on the processes of art and design production.
Danh Vo (b. 1975 in Bà Rja, Vietnam) currently lives and works in Mexico City and Berlin. His work plays with artistic appropriation and subverts Western art’s opportunistic approach to other cultures. With his installations, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper he establishes new connections between objects and ideas, suggesting alternative meanings that upset the predominant historical discourse. He has represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and participated in the International Exhibition of the Biennale in 2013. Solo exhibitions include the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2016); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2015); Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2013); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); Art Institute of Chicago (2012); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2012) and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2009). In 2015, Danh Vo co-curated ‘Slip of the Tongue’ with Caroline Bourgeois at the Punta della Dogana, Francois Pinault Collection, Venice. He was the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize (2012).
Poul Kjærholm (1929-1980), known for the simplicity of his furniture designs and his subtle approach to structures and materials, ranks among the pioneers of Danish Modern design. He was born in 1929 in Østervrå, and in 1948 he enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, where he studied cabinetmaking under Hans Wegner. In 1956 he established a partnership with Ejvind Kold Christensen that lasted until 1981, through which he made groundbreaking use of industrial production methods and materials—most notably steel—as exemplified in the PK 22 lounge chair and the PK 9 dining chairs. In the 1970’s he returned to construction in wood, which lead to masterpieces such as the “Louisiana” chair, and produced several interiors with Nils Fagerholt. In 1976 he succeeded Ole Wanscher as a professor at the Royal Academy. He died of cancer in 1980 at the age of 51. Over his lifetime he won numerous awards, among them the Lunning Award (1958), the Milan Triennale Grande Prix (1957 and 1960), and the ID Award (1973).