Volumes is a minimalist exhibition designed by Konstantin Grcic for Galerie kreo. There is a small but significant detail on Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s Arco lamp which Konstantin Grcic admires. A hole runs through the solid rectangular marble base, wide enough for a broomstick to fit through such that two people can then use it to lift the stone. It’s a humorous contradiction – the suave and luxurious marble making room for such a humble device to add something to the lamp’s functionality. This detail is one that Grcic has applied to the six objects in the new VOLUMES collection for Galerie kreo. Executed in solid Bleu de Savoie stone, the pieces all have the same circular void cut through their bases. But while Arco is a lamp, VOLUMES has no such straightforward domestic function. The floor-standing pieces instead remain open-ended propositions for speculative uses. While Grcic is well-known for engineering his industrial designs down to the smallest detail, he saw this project as an exercise in simplicity, both in expression and construction.
Grcic’s monoliths have similarly ambivalent characters. They have six distinct forms, approximately of the same volume as a stool or chair, hinting at their suggested purpose, but not enough to reveal their exact functions. There is a novelty and daring in this non-prescribed use. In that sense, VOLUMES is an experiment in abstraction and one that is quite different to other collections that Grcic has created for Galerie kreo. His first solo show Champions appropriated the branding of sports equipment, applying handpainted graphics to the metal legs of tables. The second, Man Machine, pushed the function and use of sheet glass, while Hieronymus experimented with the creation of furniture as rooms within rooms. The abstraction of VOLUMES is, therefore, an intriguing turn away from the cerebral and towards the instinctive – towards making objects of uncertain use.