This is an exhibition tracing a dream, a Promethean dream…
In 2010, the Danish artist and designer Mathias Bengtsson pushes the limits of artistic creation by inventing a software system, making it possible to grow forms from a digital seed, analogous to living organisms. In 2016, six years later, the Centre Pompidou purchases his masterpiece, the Growth Table Titanium, a 3D printed masterpiece and the fruit of this new algorithmic technology. What happened between these two decisive dates, between an invention based on artificial intelligence, revolutionizing artistic creation, and an acquisition by one of the most significant museums in the world?
Galerie Maria Wettergren will tend to answer this question by reuniting for the first time a selection of drawings and design sculptures from this period of six years named Growth by the artist. This will be the first solo exhibition in France dedicated to the work of this innovator of Scandinavian contemporary design, who was attributed the Finn Juhl Architecture Prize in 2011, and whose works are part of the most important museum collections in the worlds, such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York.
Bengtsson’s works are conceptual and hybrid and do not belong to the realm of decorative arts. Like reminiscences of chairs and tables (echoed in their titles Growth Table, Cellular Chair, etc.), they instead operate in the twilight zone between fine art and design, conveying a delicious feeling of otherness and estrangement. You can sit, but you prefer not to, simply because that is not the issue. Contemplative rather than functional, they are like creatures of Bengtsson’s imaginative power, born from the technological possibilities and desires of our era.
Among the highlights, the Growth Table Titanium (2016) in 3D printed titanium, exceptionally lent from the Pompidou Museum, a technical and esthetic prowess; the Growth Lounge (2016) in solid bronze; the Cellular Chair (2011) in 3D printed resin covered with silver, made from a software system, simulating natural bone cellular growth; as well as a series of unique drawings revealing Bengtsson’s deep phenomenological interest in the organic life of forms.
The exhibition will equally be the occasion of launching the sculptural catalogue Growth, made by the artist, whose form is inspired by a topographical landscape and made from laser-cut paper. Notorious text contributors include chief conservator of the Pompidou Museum, Marie-Ange Brayer as well as the authors Charlotte & Peter Fiell.
MATHIAS BENGTSSON SELECTED PRESS
- Mathias Bengtsson / Growth
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This is an exhibition tracing a dream, a Promethean dream… In 2010, the Danish artist and designer Mathias Bengtsson pushes the limits of artistic creation by inventing a software system, making it possible to grow forms from a digital seed, analogous to living organisms. In 2016, six years later, the Centre Pompidou purchases his masterpiece, […]