Supported by: Mastercard, TSUM, Phillips Auction House
Curators: Anna Zaitseva, Alina Pinskaya Curators thank Kirill Ass for the invaluable help
Exhibits for the exhibition are kindly provided by the Stella Art Foundation, Palisander Gallery, Artwin Gallery, Marina Gisich Gallery, Regina Gallery, Pierre Brochet and other private collectors.
The Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents the exhibition "Mad House", uniting the classics of international design and Russian contemporary art and continuing the cycles of the museum "Design in MAMM" and "Private collections in MAMM".
In colloquial language, the phrase “madhouse” is synonymous with confusion. But here this expression should be taken literally. The imaginary inhabitant of this house is a collector, a fetishist and a bit of a sociopath. He expresses himself through the collection and feels comfortable in chaos. The owner of the house does everything in his own way and breaks the usual disposition of things. Works of art, selected according to his quirky taste, cover the walls with a thick carpet.
Design items rise to pedestals, losing all functionality. In part, this inversion testifies to the collector's sensitivity to the trends laid down by the designers themselves. He clearly prefers things from the 1950s and 1980s, created in two directions - mid-century and postmodern. Both styles changed the established canons and formed new trends. The functionality of such collectible furniture has long ago given way in importance to form, line, aesthetic appeal, recognition and other attributes of art.
If the mid-century - be it laconic Scandinavian design, expressive forms of Italian design, French "orphan" modernism or American "bent plywood" - still builds a balance between form and function, then the designers of the 1980s reject the consumer approach to their works and "pull out »Things from their usual, applied context. One of the main designers of the twentieth century, Ettore Sottsass and his colleagues, literally blew up the artistic environment, presenting in 1981 the Memphis collection, which consisted of objects that were ironic in shape, bright in color and created from unusual materials. It is such pieces of furniture that have pushed the applied aspect into the background that the inhabitant of this mad house is passionately collecting. At one time, the legendary Jean Paul Getty fought off accusations that his collection was inconsistent and based on his personal taste. It is known that Getty often never saw the works he bought alive, sending them straight to the museum he founded. Only a small part of the congregation settled in his private home. Our collector is not like that.
The art that he collects makes up his dense habitat. We do not know if our collector has read a book by the director of the London Design Museum, Dejan Sudzic, where collecting is seen as something that allows you to take control and organize even a tiny part of a chaotic universe, but this approach to collecting would most likely be close to him. This is a universe, the laws of which may not be obvious to an external observer, but each part of which has its own deeply personal meaning for its creator.