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Piet Hein Eek & Veronese

February 25, 2018
By: Aaron Peasley

The Future Perfect New York’s first exhibition in 2018 celebrates new work from Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, whose furniture is accompanied by pieces from his lighting collaboration with iconic Murano glass manufacturer Veronese. Newly commissioned furniture from Eek is on view, as well as rare historical work that Piet created in collaboration with his wife, Jeanine Eek Keizer. Collectively, the show advances Eek’s fidelity to the materials at hand and demonstrates his dexterous approach to design.

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Waste Tile Cube cabinets and Past & Future chandelier.

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Franz West's Privat Lampe, Waste Tile Cabinet and Bean Bag chair by Piet Hein Eek. Photography by Joseph De Leo.

To mark the gallery presentation, The Future Perfect organized a talk with the Dutch sensation and TFP founder David Alhadeff, where the duo, who have collaborated for the best part of a decade, discussed Piet’s singular process as well as his current projects, including an affordable range with Swedish giant IKEA and an exuberant project with iconic French glass maker Veronese.

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Detail of Past & Future Chandelier by Piet Ein Eek for Veronese.

“For me collaboration is always about working with people I like,” says Eek, discussing his synergistic collaboration with Veronese, the famed Murano glass manufacturer. On paper the two entities may seem oddly suited: founded in 1931, Veronese is known for magnificent and highly polished chandeliers and design projects. By contrast, Eek is celebrated for his transformative handcrafted furniture, created primarily from discarded and leftover materials. Regardless, after meeting with the company’s creative director Ruben Jochimek, Eek found there was plenty of common ground to make something special.

“Reuben brought a box full of pieces of glass and explained that Veronese had a basement full of them. It was like finding treasure,” says Eek. “[for the lighting collection] I thought of a Meccano set, where you can put all the odd pieces together. You can put it on the wall, on the table. While it’s a design classic, it’s still quite random.”

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Reinaldo Sanguino ceramic stool, Pillar Cabinet and 40x40 Waste Chair by Piet Hein Eek.

“ My career has always been about taking from the past to reflect something new,”

With its convergence of classic materiality and innovation, the forward thinking collaboration involves moving parts that can be reconfigured to create custom chandeliers and lighting installations. Underlying this ingenuity is the fact that each piece consists of glass pieces handpicked by Eek from the Veronese house’s expansive archive. “Many of these pieces can never be recreated,” he adds.

In addition to lighting, Eek presents a series of new standout furniture pieces which represent an elevation of the Dutch designer’s archetypal process. According to Eek, the underlying creative process has remained steadfast. “ My career has always been about taking from the past to reflect something new,” the designer explained, “I always try to take advantage of what’s available: machines, craft, people and connections. It’s a simple thing, but in the end it explains everything about my work.”

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Old Windows Cabinet, PAN Table, and RAG Chairs by Piet Hein Eek.

The new wood tile series, which includes a desk and several pieces of cabinetry, utilizes the designer’s signature scrap wood, whilst elevating it with precise and rigorous craftsmanship.

The new pieces utilize a diverse material palette - including glass, wood and vintage hardware - that imbues each piece with a feeling of patinated eclecticism. Each one-of-a-kind and perfectly scaled, it’s a collection that perfectly encapsulates the artist’s unique point of view. According to the designer, the pieces are “a collaboration with my wife. In 1993, we made a series of tile cupboards and in 1996 we made more, including baroque styles because my wife likes ornamental things. This was at a moment that applied art was not appreciated so much, so I had to incorporate her way of thinking.”

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Waste Tile Cube Cabinets, Scrapwood Chair, Canteen Coffee Table.

Piet Hein Eek has worked with The Future Perfect for more than eight years. The successful collaboration, which has spawned shows and exclusive representation in the United States, has solidified over the years. “I am so proud and honored to represent Piet and his work here,” says Alhadeff, who spent years in pursuit of the Dutch talent. Discussing their successful partnership, the duo agree on one article of faith when it comes to design: follow your instincts. Eek, reiterating the Future Perfect’s approach, says: When I try to design something to sell, it never does. If you start thinking about sales, you start thinking about consumers and rational things, whereas if you do something you really like, you normally respond to what’s happening around you and people recognize it.”

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Photography by Joseph De Leo.