For NeoCon 2012, Maharam presents Directed Expansion System by artist Liam Gillick. Gillick, with minimalist finesse, has designed a series of floating display structures complemented by constructivist benches, all meticulously produced as art objects in white powder-coated aluminum. A loose but dynamic arrangement of 60 º, 90º, and 120º Vs activate the open gallery space. Each element of the work can be ratcheted into a precise angle, permitting many potential arrangements. Reminiscent of a production line or supply system, Directed Expansion System expresses Gillick’s interest in sites of production as opposed to consumption.
As both an artwork and a product presentation, Directed Expansion System moves textiles away from the wall, calling attention to characteristics that are often lost when textiles are perceived as flat surfaces. Suspended from eight ceiling-mounted structures, the textiles assume a monolithic presence, with staggered staging that provokes a dialogue between juxtaposed patterns, textures, colors, and opacities, while emphasizing the depth of the space. A series of white benches from Gillick’s earlier commission for Maharam, Striated Presentation Striated, topped by slim cushions upholstered in vibrant green Point by Paul Smith, provide a vantage for observation and contemplation at the rear of the showroom.
This year, Maharam introduces new collaborative textile projects by Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Paul Smith, and Studio Job. Notably, multiple products from each designer are on display, highlighting the richness of Maharam’s collaborative approach. Graphic patterns by Marian Bantjes and Alexander Girard are joined by an array of upcoming products from the Maharam Design Studio.
Framing Gillick’s installation, an assemblage of nine Maharam Digital Projects, shown at varied widths, form two flowing ribbons of imagery across the length of opposing showroom walls. These one-off compositions demonstrate Maharam Digital Projects’ range of content to great effect and unite the international work of emerging and established artists, illustrators, graphic and fashion designers. Work by Blexbolex, Matthew Brannon, Joost Grootens, Guyton\Walker, Charley Harper, Jacob Hashimoto, Udomsak Krisanamis, Tomokazu Matsuyama, and Paul Smith will be on view. Five of the nine projects are new and have never been shown before.
Liam Gillick (b. 1964) is a conceptual multimedia artist based in New York who examines the ways in which art and architecture affect social interaction. He was nominated for a Turner Prize in 2002 and the Stedelijk Museum’s Vincent Award in 2008. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the Kunsthalle Zürich. A retrospective was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2009. That same year, Gillick was selected to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale. His work is in the permanent collections of Tate (London), the Museum of Modern Art New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), and the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.), among others. He’s taught at Columbia University since 1997 and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College since 2008. This is the second installation Gillick has designed for Maharam following 2006/2010’s Striated Presentation Striated. His contribution to Maharam Digital Projects is Novce/Ecvon.