What? Nottingham Contemporary presents The Log-O-Rithmic Slide Rule, the first UK survey of the work of Swiss architects and designers Trix & Robert Haussmann, an architect and designer duo based in Zurich. This retrospective explores the duo’s playful innovations and speculations, bringing together works from the last 50 years. Since founding their General Design Institute in 1967, they have had numerous exhibitions, including shows at Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria. They have realized some 650 projects, including Zurich’s main railway station, as well as interiors for boutiques and bars.
Trix & Robert Haussmann are among the most significant and intriguing Swiss architects of the twentieth century. Blending popular culture with 16th-century Mannerism, their work concerns illusion and ambiguity, and spans architecture, product design, installation, furniture and textiles. Through their critical commentary and subversive design, they have provided a key contribution to contemporary conversations on art and architecture.
The retrospective at Nottingham Contemporary brings together early pieces, such as adapted chairs from the 1960s, with maquettes, fragmented neoclassical pillars and recent mirrored works. The Haussmanns recently described mirrors as a kind of ‘virtual reality’ and that ‘with a mirror, you can destroy the real, enlarge it, change it’. The exhibition design has been conceived by Caruso St John Architects (architects of Nottingham Contemporary’s RIBA Award-winning building), and comprises patterned walls and carpet-topped plinths, as well as interventions by artists Liam Gillick and Karl Holmqvist, and designer Petra Blaisse.
Trix & Robert Haussmann’s exhibition is curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen. Nottingham Contemporary brings international art to an iconic building, one of the largest and most ambitious contemporary art spaces in the UK. It opened in 2009 and has had 1.5 million visitors to date.
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