Quantcast
21 Questions is at once a fashion item, a piece of modernist functional design and – when combined – a sculpture. - FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art- News, Exhibitions, Interviews and cool art stuff reported on from London

21 Questions is at once a fashion item, a piece of modernist functional design and – when combined – a sculpture.

Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto. ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White.

Fischli/Weiss’s 21 Questions (2021) is the second in an ongoing series of artist customisations of the iconic Stool 60, designed in 1933 by Artek co-founder Alvar Aalto. This edition of 252 follows Barbara Kruger’s 2019 Untitled (Kiss), which sold out its edition of 600 within weeks of its launch.

‘Since our first solo show in London at the ICA, I always went back to this great place for seeing shows, watching a film programme, buying a book or two or having a good British version of a cappuccino. Of course, making an edition for supporting this outstanding institution was a great pleasure and honour. I hope people will like it.’ 

Peter Fischli
Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto. ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White

21 Questions pairs the timeless stool with a bespoke T-shirt whose labels features 21 selected excerpts from David and Peter’s Questions, which was awarded the  Golden Lion at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. 21 Questions maps a universe  of existential concerns, from seemingly playful enquiries – ‘Should I buy a big  hammer?’, ‘What’s in a dog that enjoys lying in the sun?’ – to more psychological  and philosophical conundrums – ‘Can I re-establish my innocence?’, ‘Is it dangerous to dream of another life all the time?’. 

Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto. ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White

‘I recalled Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s work Questions (2002–3) during,  I believe, the first lockdown, while trying to find an idiom for how we feel in  such moments of deep existential crisis: daydreams triggered by seemingly  banal questions that drift into the abyss of our own existence, like “What  does my soul do when I am at work?” or “Can everything be thought?”  Questions that on one hand seem to trace different schools of philosophical  thought, and on the other epitomise the fragile delineations between sense  and nonsense, life and afterlife. For me, this ICA×Artek edition by Peter  Fischli and David Weiss is personal: not only because it speaks to the rupture  of the past months, but also because a black T-shirt over an empty modernist  stool is also a nod to a lost friend, to the lost lives of the past year and what  we might learn from it.’ 

Stefan Kalmár, Executive Director of the ICA.
Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Why am I always right? Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto.
ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White

Riffing on Barbara Kruger’s iteration of Stool 60, Fischli/Weiss have appropriated  Kruger’s signature red for the legs, combining it with a plain white top and a  black T-shirt. The result is a humorous nod to Kruger’s edition as well as to  the iconoclastic colours of the Russian Suprematism art movement, with the  black T-shirt as a stand-in for an absent body – together speaking to existential  questions of loss and anxiety that many of us have asked ourselves over the past 12  months.  

A multifarious and playful object, 21 Questions is at once a fashion item, a piece of modernist functional design and – when combined – a sculpture. These elements and modalities balance and play off one another, embodying the wit and intellect of Fischli/Weiss by transforming the commonplace into the extraordinary, fostering an absurdist sense of wonderment, and urging viewers to rediscover and re-evaluate their surroundings from renewed perspectives. 

Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Is it dangerous to dream of another life all the time? Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto. ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White

Each of the 21 stools is bespoke to this collaboration and produced in a series of  12, finished on the underside with a sticker of the selected excerpt, hand-signed and numbered. Each stool is presented alongside a signed photographic certificate of the stool in its sculptural form and an ‘instruction manual’, written by Peter  Fischli, detailing how to create and best enjoy this work. 

Image: Am I suffering from good taste? Fischli Weiss, Question Projections 2000–03

On sale NOW  Price: £1,200 incl. VAT  ICA Artists’ Editions online shop: ica.art/editions   The stool is also available from the ICA Bookstore (The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH)

Fischli/Weiss, 21 Questions, Stool 60, 2021. Design Alvar Aalto. ICA × Artek. Photo: Todd White

Fischli/Weiss was founded by Peter Fischli (b.1952) and David Weiss (1946-2012),  who met in 1977 and began their artistic collaboration in 1979. Spanning a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, photography and the moving image, their artwork has been the subject of many prominent solo exhibitions around the world, including shows at Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, USA (2017); the  Art Institute of Chicago and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA),  USA (2017/18); Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland (2016); the Serpentine  Gallery in London (2014); the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in  Kanazawa, Japan (2010); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid,  Spain (2009); and the ICA, London (1988); and retrospectives at the Deichtorhallen  Hamburg (2008), the Kunsthaus Zürich (2007) and Tate Modern in London (2006).  Their major solo show How to Work Better was presented at the Guggenheim in  New York in 2016 and travelled to Museo Jumex in Mexico City in 2017. 

Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) was a Finnish architect and designer. His work includes  architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware as well as painting and sculpture,  though he never regarded himself as an artist, seeing painting and sculpture as  ‘branches of the tree whose trunk is architecture’. The style of his work ranged from  Nordic Classicism to International Style Modernism over the span of his career,  eventually evolving during the 1940s into a more organic modernist approach.  Aalto approached architecture as part of a Gesamtkunstwerk, a ‘total work of art’,  whereby he – together with Aino Aalto, his first wife – would design not just the  building but also the interior surfaces, including furniture, lamps and glassware.  His furniture designs are considered Scandinavian Modern owing to his concern  for materials, especially wood, and his approach, which combined simplification  with technical experimentation. Aalto received patents for various manufacturing  processes, including the bentwood technique seen in Stool 60.   

ICA Artists’ Editions are a unique collection of singular artworks created and fabricated especially for the ICA by some of today’s leading international artists.  Encompassing everything from prints and sculpture to furniture and fashion, new  Artists’ Editions are released at regular intervals. The ICA directly commissions each Artists’ Edition from each individual artist, who donate to us the finished works to support our radical and progressive programme. Recent ICA Artists’  Editions include Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Kiss) (2019), the first Stool 60  customisation created as part of ICA×Artek, the ICA’s ongoing collaboration with the Finnish furniture company. The current selection of ICA Artists’ Editions includes works by Cory Arcangel, Peter Blake, Andrea Büttner, Roger Hiorns,  Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Bob & Roberta Smith, Frances Stark, Martine Syms,  Juergen Teller, Jordan Wolfson and Cerith Wyn Evans. All ICA Artists’ Editions are exclusively available from the ICA website and from the ICA Bookstore on  The Mall.   www.ica.art/editions 

Categories

Tags

Related Posts

Trending Articles

Submit Your Work

Submit your work to be featured on FAD