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‘Dressed for the occasion’ is part of the exhibition ‘Pinned Up’ by Marcel Wanders in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, currently till 15 June [1]. Wanders is a Dutch designer who graduated in 1988 from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (now ArtEZ) in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In 1996, he made his international breakthrough with the Knotted Chair, a miracle of transparency in which a high tech material is combined with a low-tech macramé technique. At first, Wanders was primarily associated with the avant-garde, conceptual direction of Dutch Design, which created an international furor largely through the activities of the Droog Design platform. However, Wanders soon found his way into the wider design industry, with particular success abroad. Since then, his designs have been sold worldwide.  

The exhibition presents designs from Wanders’ entire oeuvre, ranging from the late 1980s to the present. More than 400 objects will be on display in the monumental lower-level gallery space in the Stedelijk’s new wing, and will encompass furniture, lamps, utensils, cutlery, wallpaper, packaging, and jewelry. The show also includes images of interiors, design sketches, prototypes, experimental work in small editions, sculptural objects developed for special projects, and “virtual interiors”: new experimental digital creations.

‘Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up’ at the Stedelijk is conceived in three parts: a white zone, which offers an analysis of Wanders’ work based on 10 themes (such as craftsmanship, narratives and dialogues, surface, innovation, archetypes, variation, and playing with scale); a black zone presenting work of a more personal and often experimental nature in a theatrical setting; and a lounge where Wanders’ role as Art Director for design brands, including Moooi, is explored.

All of Wander’s iconic works are featured, such as the Set Up Shades lamp (1989), the Knotted Chair (1995-1996), Lace Table (1997), Egg Vase (1997), Airborne Snotty Vases (2001), the New Antiques furniture (2005), and the Skygarden lamp (2007). Also on view are lesser-known pieces such as the Hare Vase (1995) and packaging designs for the Japanese cosmetics brand Cosme Decorte (since 2010). Wanders’ most recent furniture design, the Carbon Balloon Chair (2013), will also make its European debut. Many other designs, some of which were created especially for this exhibition, are on view for the first time, such as a special edition of the famed Egg Vase. [2]

In the white zone of the exhibition, this ‘Dressed for the occasion’ caught my eye with a large snail cladded with four neck-laces.

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This is a specimen of Cornu aspersum (L., 1758); the shell is dextral, with the animal  in an artistic representation, likely made with photo manipulation of a live specimen.

[1] http://vimeo.com/88428154
[2] See more at: http://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitions/marcel-wanders-pinned-up-at-the-stedelijk#sthash.vcrtgzyQ.dpuf (4.v.2014).