For NeoCon 2013, Maharam presents Rail System (A) by artist Liam Gillick. With minimalist finesse, Gillick has designed a series of floating display structures complemented by constructivist benches, all meticulously produced as art objects in white powder-coated aluminum. Interspersed in the space, the benches are topped by cushions constructed of multiple layers of Pressed Plaid and fastened in place by natural leather straps. The woolen cushions offer a pleasant contrast to the hard lines of the industrial benches and provide a vantage for observation and contemplation.
As both an artwork and a product presentation, Rail System (A) 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 in a loose but dynamic arrangement, 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. By showing less, absent textiles offer windows and doors for visitors to peer in and pass through in a meandering organic path.
This year, Maharam introduces new collaborative textile projects by designers Hella Jongerius, Konstantin Grcic, Paul Smith, and design duo Scholten & Baijings. Notably, multiple products from each designer are on display, highlighting the richness of Maharam's collaborative approach. Presented alongside an array of upcoming products from the Maharam Design Studio is a selection of products from Maharam's Danish partner, Kvadrat, including the classic and ubiquitous Hallingdal and soon to be released Canvas.
Framing Gillick's installation are two Maharam Digital Projects, each running the length of opposing showroom walls. The silver-gelatin ocean photograph, Wavelength by Joni Sternbach, is mirrored by Andrew Zuckerman's Creature, composed of hyper-realistic life-size animal portraits set against a stark white background. Creature is the latest addition to Maharam Digital Projects, an initiative that unites the international work of emerging and established artists, illustrators, graphic and fashion designers. The two works play off each other to create a visual interpretation of the natural world.
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 third installation Gillick has designed for Maharam following 2012's Directed Expansion System and 2006/2010's Striated Presentation Striated. His contribution to Maharam Digital Projects is Novce/Ecvon.