FRIBOURG.- The Kunsthalle Fri Art
announces the largest exhibition dedicated to designers and architects Trix and Robert Haussmann (*1933 , *1931) for over a decade.
Since 1967, the couple has built an idiosyncratic uvre that has continuously challenged architectural, design and aesthetic conventions. In the 1960s they began to elaborate a complex language that can be viewed as an early post-modern or Radical Design position. Throughout their fifty year long career they have explored many creative perspectives, such as poetry composed by chance, drawings, collages and texts.
The exhibition, entirely conceived in close collaboration with the architects over a long period of time, examines every aspect of their research. Nevertheless, far from being a classical retrospective, it weaves together different bodies of works. Trix and Robert have chosen 8 furniture objects belonging to the Röthlisberger Collection (Bern, Switzerland) that give an overview of their challenging design experiments from 1967 to 1988, as well as a series of unique mirrors made in the 1980s. In addition, they have conceptualized, designed and produced about 10 new mirror works (all produced in 2014) that have been installed in the space of the Kunsthalle to create different optical illusions. These mirrors produce slight or strong disruptions of both themselves and the space in which they have been installed.
Disrupting or « destroying » spaces and forms could be one of the Haussmans mottos. For instance, their drawer, shaped in the form of a Greek column, is literally « destroyed » by its function (the opened drawers). This work in particular is a direct, deadpan nod to Sullivans famous statement form follows function. Its not surprising that the Haussmans 1981 manifesto was published under the title of « Manierismo Critico ».
In contrast to other designers and architects, Trix and Robert Haussmann are acutely conscious that an object can be more a vector of meaning than a functional or aesthetic item (this is visible in the Lehrstücke series, among others). This relationship to the object opened them up to a broader vision of what it means to be an architect today.
Though their work remains underestimated, it has been shown in various cutting-edge art spaces, such as Studiolo in Zürich, Herald Street in London, Hard Hat in Geneva, as well as at the Weiss Gallery in Zürich earlier this year. In recognition for their career, spanning almost fifty years since the founding of their joint studio Allgemeine Entwurfsanstalt in 1967, they received the prestigious Swiss Federal Design Award in 2013.