“Shameless” At The Wolfsonian

3-D sculpture made by Dutch artist Bas van Beek. Photo via miamiandbeaches.com

By Jessica Reem Abilmouna // Staff Writer

The Wolfsonian-FIU strives to focus on innovation as well as contemporary production. “Shameless,” a new exhibit which opened in November 2021, highlights what the Wolfsonian aims to display and share.

The exhibit was created by Dutch Artist Bas Van Beek, and by doing so further strengthens the Wolfsonian’s close relationship with the Netherlands. The exhibition is described by many who have attended as colorful and innovative with recent work done by Van Beek on display.

Van Beek is widely known for his take on pushing traditional boundaries by repurposing historical design and incorporating it into his artwork. He’s expressed various times how existing material fascinates him in inspiring his work and upcycling it.

“I try to unravel the intentions and principles of the original designer and unlock them… Exactly fitting my interests… It was exciting to find so many works (at the Wolfsonian) in their holdings that feel as contemporary as they are modern, like in the design drawings of Wilhelm Poetter that became fodder for my new, Wolfsonian-specific tapestry work, which evokes the effect of a computer glitch,” said van Beek in an Interview with FIU News.

The exhibit itself is an immersive experience for the consumer, with six graphic components. The components include a tapestry woven by Obadashian based in Miami, a 3-D printed teakettle inspired from a 1907 drawing by Mathieu Lauweriks, a giant tile wall inspired by Verner Panton and Frank Lloyd Wright, Christmas ornaments, and lastly an installation that alternates Amsterdam School Lambertus Zwiers-esque wallcoverings with a geometric grid animated by digital screens.

In addition to having this exhibit, Van Beek also partnered with FIU professor of architecture, Nick Gelpi, in co-teaching a course Spring 2021 semester. Being as Van Beek is also a professor at the Industrial Design Department of the Royal Academy in The Hague, students at both institutions got together in guidance within investigating the aesthetics and form of already existing historical objects. In doing so, students created their own 3-D printed objects and all works will be displayed within the exhibition alongside Van Beek’s.

“Shameless” is available now at the Wolfsonian until April 24, 2022. Be sure to visit this exhibit to immerse yourself into the art community here at FIU.

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