. . . when shape surpasses our imaginative boundaries . . .
Industrial technologies – is it about to deny art, or to provoke art? Does it mean to copy some external shape, or – to recreate the nature? Growth series by Mathias Bengtsson unlocks a new form of artistic expression. Extraordinary and recognizable sculptures appear from experimentation with the nature of material, from an exceptional combination of art, advanced technologies and artisan values. A unique synthesis of the algorithm language and abstraction – declares a new measurement in perception of imaginative furniture archetypes and the range of new metaphors, based on a special shape which surpasses our imaginative boundaries. Biomorphic sculptures, or – biomorphic furniture? Design of each composition is similar to surreal vision which illustrates the stylized constantly changing vegetal forms revealed in a new visual rhythm. We can see an external aesthetics which is very similar to the stylized Art Nouveau motifs, but at the same time – a limited artistic value was revealed in a new expressive form which blurs the frontiers between art and its decorative impact, between the sculpture and industrial design, between technical opportunities and some philosophic context of modern aesthetics meaning, between the images of the past and three-dimensional abstraction.
Unique compositions of Growth sculptures by Mathias Bengtsson seem to be amorphous, intricate and hypnotic – they have neither beginning nor end, reveal a unique nature of material in a new context, and – don’t declare the Avant-garde spirit of Futuristic vision. Biomorphic silhouettes of Growth collection are more close to the algorithm of the architects who create their structures using parametric calculations. So, recreation of organic growth simulation, a unique movement and dynamics of vegetal forms – becomes possible due to the use of a special software based on a parametric grid which includes approximately 1000 parameters to set mass, energy, gravity, pressure etc. So, we can see an artistic interpretation or stylized composition of organic growth model of plants. It is about over-design which visualizes some artificial universe where we can grow things as nature world . In addition to modern opportunities of the digital technologies, “computational design” and generating of unique and complex forms which disturbs the boundaries between design, art, artisan work and scientific experiment – such compositional concept would be impossible without the designer’s approach to the materials.
The design of Growth series by Mathias Bengtsson is first of all based on his attention to the possibilities of materials and technological process which can best visualize various materials and turn them into a unique substance. Finally, we can see a unique organic shape which is derived “from a love to materials and their possibilities rather than from an attempt to evoke an image of the future”. It is not about “image-based” design: “I prefer the shapes of my works to derive from materials and process, rather than solely from a pre-existing concept or image unrelated to them”. Interestingly, that Growth Table Titanium by Mathias Bengtsson was produced with the use of an additive metal manufacturing process known as EBM (Electron Beam Melting), which is usually used to produce titanium parts in the aeronautics and defense industries. Biomorphic furniture made of American walnut wood reveals a unique texture of this material in conditions of non-statical image based on the composition of spontaneous movement. Growth objects made of casting bronze differ by seductive metal surfaces and extraordinary images of the fluid shapes.
Growth by Mathias Bengtsson: design, art, the promise of technology
Growth collection by Mathias Bengtsson reveals a “quest to redefine the boundaries of design”, because his works push the limits between art and design, industrial instruments and artistic methods of reflection of reality. So, just a table or chair – becomes a delicate sculpture, and violates the limits in perception of the archetypic furniture forms. “My furniture is about challenging your senses: that is its function” . They say, design by Mathias Bengtsson is closer to fine art than to traditional industrial design. But the use of the innovative opportunities of industrial design – doesn’t limit the meaning of a unique artisan value. So, Growth series, as other works by Mathias Bengtsson, reveals an amazing synthesis of art, design, advanced technologies, artisan values and science. The promise of technology – it is about an exceptional metaphor of the present time which symbolizes the desire to remove any limits for imaginative things. Furniture design for Mathias Bengtsson – is like “just a platform or medium to present my ideas and a framework to ‘build’ from. What is a crucial is that furniture has a set of known rules and conventions, and a set of minimum requirements” . Growth biomorphic furniture reveals a new concept: “not that form follows function, nor of function following form, but of form surpassing our imaginative boundaries” .
The Sources of photos:
- first photo – Growth chair by Mathias Bengtsson (Bronze casting), 2012. Limited edition Photographer: Martin Scott-Jupp // Mathias Bengtsson
- Growth series by Mathias Bengtsson. Growth Table Wood (2014). American walnut. Limited edition. Photographer: Martin Scott-Jupp. // Mathias Bengtsson
- Growth series by Mathias Bengtsson. Growth Table Titanium. Acquisition of Mathias Bengtsson’s Growth Table Titanium by the Centre Pompidou. Galerie Maria Wettergren. // Galerie Maria Wettergren
- […] Bengtsson’s determining logic is then, not that form follows function, nor of function following form, but of form surpassing our imaginative boundaries […] – Mathias Bengtsson. About // Text by Alistair Robinson.
- “I’m trying to create an artificial universe where we can grow things as nature world”. – AD Innovator: Mathias Bengtsson. Text by David Colman. – August 31, 2012. – AD Magazine.
- Mathias Bengtsson. About // Text by Alistair Robinson.