Founder Valerie Traan
Following a first presentation in 2015 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Belgian design gallery Valerie Traan organised an exhibition in Antwerp in the spring of 2016 called The Cutlery Show, with a new selection of pieces by international designers and artists.
“There is nothing more common than the cutlery we use every day”, comments Veerle Wenes, curator and founder of the gallery. “Here, a number of designers and artists have given new life, new beauty, and even new meaning to these simple extensions of our limbs.” Maarten Baas (NL) and Koichi Futatsumata (JP) are the first designers whose work has been realised for the cutlery collection ‘To eat with’, edited by valerie_objects. For the grip of his cutlery, Futatsumata was inspired by his favourite technical pen, and Baas has created sketchy, almost childishly simple cutlery in his own typical style. On the other side, there is David Bernstein, an American living in Maastricht, who uses all sorts of spatulas as a starting point for his performances, allowing us to extend our body to reach further, but also, as he says “to extend our mind because we can think through the thing”. Octave Vandeweghe (BE) instead makes cutlery out of faceted gemstones.
“When I approached the designers”, says the curator, “I knew they would each use their expertise, background, and knowledge to come up with a completely divergent range of results. Some of them had already experimented with cutlery, others had been fascinated by it for years, while for others still, it was their first foray into designing a modest eating tool. But whatever stage they were at, they all succeeded in delivering a surprise.” The Cutlery Show also presented work by artists René Heyvaert, Jean-Pierre Temmerman, D.D. Trans, and Joris Van de Moortel & Unfold, whose artworks — each in a different way — have been inspired by the theme of cutlery. Next year during DDAYS in Paris (May 2017), a new cutlery show will be curated by Veerle Wenes at IBU Gallery, Jardins du Palais Royal.