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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 24 February 2017 > Baas Note Dutch designer Maarten Baas plays a different tune

Baas Note Dutch designer Maarten Baas plays a different tune


SETTING YOUR degree show on fire is not, perhaps, a smart move. But that’s exactly what the Dutch designer Maarten Baas did in 2002, at the end of his last year at the Netherlands’ renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. For his degree-show collection, Smoke, Baas took a blowtorch to pieces of secondhand furniture—which included some serious Baroque antiques alongside lea market junk—and then painted the charred results with epoxy resin. Half usable pieces of furniture, half art, Smoke was an instant success with the industry: In 2003, the Dutch furniture manufacturer Moooi began producing versions of three chairs and a candelabra, which it still sells today. Before long Baas was torching grand pianos, high-back chairs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the classic “zigzag” chair by Gerrit Rietveld, and high-end dealers were keen to sell his limited editions. Baas has been breaking rules ever since—as his first major retrospective, which opens in February at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, will attest.

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