Rijksmuseum Twenthe - Het kunstmuseum van Enschede

Maria Blaisse - The Emergence of Form

Designer and artist Maria Blaisse has for the past forty years played a prominent role in the Dutch design world. Rijksmuseum Twente therefore decided to hold the retrospective exhibition The Emergence of Form to show her most important artworks of the past forty years. This exhibition ran from 9 February until 17 August.


Designer and artist Maria Blaisse has for the past forty years played a prominent role in the Dutch design world. Rijksmuseum Twente therefore decided to hold the retrospective exhibition The Emergence of Form to show her most important artworks of the past forty years. This exhibition ran from 9 February until 17 August.

'Quiet achiever'

Maria Blaisse (Amsterdam, 1944) is seen in the design world as ‘the quiet achiever of Dutch design’. For more than forty years, she has worked independently of all trends and followed her own path, in which her search for matter and form has been crucial. Almost all of her work, which consists of costumes, hats, boots, bags, glass and architectonic structures, is based on the form of the rubber inner tyre of a car. The forces and forms that the rubber tyre generates when it is cut open have been for years a source of experiment and inspiration for Blaisse. Whatever the material she works in – rubber, foam, textile, silver or glass – she discovers in them the same formal principles.

Search for form

Blaisse pays little attention in her work to the dividing lines between design, visual arts, architecture, dance and fashion. For shoe brand Camper she developed a C-shaped boot (the C-Shoe) and for singer and dancer Paula Abdul she made costumes for her Vibeology world tour. However different the material or look and form, their expression stems from the basic shape of a round inner tyre.

Bamboo structures

In recent years Blaisse has also been experimenting with bamboo. She developed spatial structures of interwoven bamboo, which go back to different archetypes, and which include the round tyre. She has some of these structures move so that they seem to breathe. Others are used by dancers in performances, who have the structures transform from one form to the other. In both cases, the result is poetic and magical.

Exhibition

In the exhibition Maria Blaisse. The Emergence of Form, some of the large bamboo-structures will be on show, as well as videos of performances in which these structures are brought to life. Costumes which haven’t been on public view for years will also be exhibited, as well as smaller work in rubber, glass, textile and silver.