A Dialog with History
Works from the Smoke Series by Maarten Baas
The Smoke series is Maarten Baas’ most important and unique contribution to contemporary design. Baas transforms existing furniture through the alchemy of fire, simultaneously destroying and creating anew. Expertly burnt to a charred but structurally sound relic of their former selves, the works are then sealed, and thus preserved, with epoxy resin.
First developed while attending the Design Academy Eindhoven, Baas’ series received international attention in 2004 through Moss, New York’s exhibition entitled Where There’s Smoke. The show marked the beginning of Baas’ practice of burning icons of 20th century design. By altering these famous forms, Baas both identifies with and rejects their historical lessons, literally creating a dialog with history.