Joris Laarman Lab: Gradients presents new and recent works spanning four years of cutting-edge experimentation in the Amsterdam-based Lab. Gradients is Laarman’s second solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery, following his celebrated debut in 2011.
The installation allows audiences to encounter a broad range of his work, framing both his skills in design and engineering as well as his visionary aesthetic. Works are presented alongside related videos, sketches, and renderings that illustrate Joris Laarman Lab’s commitment to experimentation and innovative creative processes. This is Laarman’s first gallery exhibition since his inclusion in the acclaimed inaugural Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia and since the start of the traveling retrospective, Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age. Laarman’s comprehensive retrospective will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in late June 2018 and was previously on view at the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.
Gradients is comprised of works from Joris Laarman Lab’s recent series, including Microstructures, Dragon, Maker, and Gradient Screen. The Microstructures series is conceptually based on 3D gradient patterning and explores the use of pioneering 3D printing technology at the scale of furniture. Each work is made up of cells that vary in form, size, or function. For the Dragon Bench and Gradient Screen, the Lab developed a revolutionary large scale metal printing tool, the MX3D metal printer, enabling them to create unprecedented sculptural works by drawing complex curved lines and surfaces in mid-air that were previously not feasible. The Dragon Bench sculptures are now in museum collections around the world, but also serve as a conceptual framework for much larger architecture and infrastructure projects like the Lab’s first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge— to be completed later this year. Laarman’s Maker series are built from parametric parts that are engineered to build furniture in complex organic forms and patterns from materials like solid wood. The Maker series has been included in over a dozen institutional collections and exhibitions to date.
On view for the first time is a new installation of Turing Tables, named after the seminal mathematician Alan Turing. Near the end of his life, Turing wrote his first and last paper on biology and chemistry, detailing how a type of chemical reaction ought to produce many patterns seen in nature. In the following decades, scientists have been able to prove many of his postulates, discovering many of the stripes, spirals, and whorls—so-called Turing Patterns—throughout the natural world. This has led many to think that Turing Patterns may actually extend to ecosystems, even to galaxies. The installation will center around a group of unique tables made of bronze and stainless steel and produced using the MX3D printing robots. The Turing Tables’ computationally-generated aesthetics are pushing the boundaries of known applicable technology.
Joris Laarman was born in the Netherlands in 1979, and graduated cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2003. Founded in 2004, the Lab is a multidisciplinary hub of scientists, engineers, programmers, and craftspeople who explore the possibilities of design through research, experimentation, and groundbreaking technology. They are pioneers in a field where design, technology, science, and art meet. Laarman’s work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in major collections worldwide including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. He has also received numerous awards including Wallpaper’s “Young Designer of the Year” in 2004 and “Innovator of the Year” by the Wall Street Journal in 2011. Laarman currently lives and works in the Netherlands.