As part of the CFALive gallery visiting program in Milan, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam presents:
in dialogue with Bruno Munari
The opening is Thursday 28 November from 6.00 to 9.00pm.
Address: CFAlive, via Rossini 3 – 20122 Milan (IT)
Opening times from 29 November to 11 Januari, 2020; Thu-Sat 2-7pm. After 14 December and outside opening times only by appointment (+39-3343486411).
Collateral events Friday 6 December:
– Lecture and workshop by Karel Martens at IED-Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan from 10am-3pm
– a conference at Corraini in Piccolo with the artist and a presentation and booksigning Re-Printed Matter from 5.30pm on at Piccolo Teatro Grassi, via Rovello 2, 20121 Milan
Click here for a recent article on Karel Martens by Piero Bisello in Conceptual Fine Arts.
More by Piero Bisello:
“Loosely inspired by Nick Currie’s essay titled The Office and the Orgasm, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam presents a selection of artworks by Karel Martens that take hijacked office materials as their starting point. This exhibition is the first solo presentation of Martens’ artwork in Italy, and it is organised in the context of the gallery’s residency at CFAlive in MIlan.
The Modernist technique of the objet trouvé draws its last breath here, as Martens rather approaches art making as the skilled bricoleur, the one achieving lots with little, the one making do with what there is; banal office index cards and found newspapers are turned into support for outstanding abstract compositions.
Martens’ artwork is presented in dialogue with historical pieces by another bricoleur figure coming from the edges of Modernism, that is Bruno Munari. A hijacked office photocopy machine is made artistic tool for his Xerox works, and functional algorithms are turned into procedures for paintings.”
The artist, graphic designer and tutor Karel Martens (b. 1939, lives and works in Amsterdam) can be characterized as the godfather of contemporary Dutch graphic design.
Alongside his graphic design he has always made autonomous work. Karel Martens likes to experiment with numbers, abstract figures, vivid colors and time based media as well as clocks. For that reason Martens is sometimes compared with another playful inventor, the designer and artist Bruno Munari.
Martens monograph Printed Matter, designed with Jaap van Triest was awarded the Goldene Letter, the first prize in the selection for ‘die beste Bücher der Welt’ in Leipzig, 1998. A renowned teacher of graphic design, Martens co-initiated the master program Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, in 1997, and is a guest professor at Yale University.
Among his clients have been the publishers Van Loghum Slaterus (Arnhem) in the 1960s, and the SUN in the years 1975–81. As well as designing books and other printed items, he has designed stamps and telephone cards. He has also designed signs and typographic façades for a number of buildings.
His autonomous work has already gained much attention internationally, with recent solo shows at Platform L in Seoul, P! in New York, Kunstverein Munchen and Design museum in Gent (BE) and is held in public collections including the Design Museum, New York (US), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (US), SFMoMA, San Francisco (US), LACMA, Los Angeles (US) and Art Institute of Chicago (US). For his work he was awarded the 1996 Dr A. H. Heineken Prize for Art.
Generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund.