For NeoCon 2015, Maharam revisits the commissioned installation Rail System (A) by New York-based conceptual artist Liam Gillick. First exhibited in 2013, Rail System (A) is both an artwork and product presentation intended to show textiles with timeless minimalist finesse.
Gillick’s presentation 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, and colors, while emphasizing the depth of the space. A series of powder-coated white benches dispersed throughout the showroom topped by slim cushions upholstered in Scholten & Baijings’ Bright Grid, Bright Angle, and Bright Cube provide vantage points for observation and contemplation.
Framing Gillick’s installation are two Maharam Digital Projects, each running the length of opposing showroom walls. Kees Goudzward’s Transition, composed of layers of transparent paper, is mirrored by Sarah Sze’s Frog and Crane, a geometric composition modeled on folded origami paper. The two pieces respectively capture the transitional, ephemeral qualities of a commonplace material. Frog and Crane will join Maharam Digital Projects—an initiative that unites the international work of emerging and established artists, illustrators, graphic, and fashion designers—in August.
This year, Maharam introduces an array of upcoming products from the Maharam Design Studio, re-editions of Alexander Girard’s midcentury designs, and new collaborative textile projects by Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, and Scholten & Baijings.
New rugs, created by Italian designer Paola Lenti exclusively for Maharam, will join those from Danskina, the Dutch rug company now under the joint leadership of Maharam and Kvadrat and the creative direction of Hella Jongerius. White powder-coated plinths—a new addition to Gillick’s presentation—elevate two side-by-side stacks of new and classic Danskina designs plus Paola Lenti’s deeply saturated, color-blocked felt wool rugs.
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. Gillick’s ongoing collaboration with Maharam—his first with a manufacturer—has produced two other installations, Directed Expansion System (2012) and Striated Presentation Striated (2014); Maharam Digital Projects’ Novce/Ecvon; and most recently, in collaboration with architect Neil Logan, Maharam’s new showroom in Los Angeles’s Pacific Design Center.