with Matthew Day Jackson, Formica Group and Hauser & Wirth
Kolho is a series of tables and chairs formed of right angles and serpentine forms. It is inspired by Apollo landing and a small town called Kolho in Finland. The serpent represents temptation and chaos which supports the flat plane of reason. The space between Reason and Chaos is that of PLAY. This is the space where our human animal truly shows its greatest self.
MATTHEW DAY JACKSON
Matthew Day Jackson is an American artist whose multifaceted practice encompasses sculpture, painting, collage, photography, drawing, video, performance and installation. He has been represented by Hauser & Wirth since 2010. The first iterations of Jackson's floral paintings were shown at Hauser & Wirth London in Still Life and the Reclining Nude (2018), an exhibition contemplating artistic traditions and the history of colonization. The series of still life ‘paintings’ are direct representations of Jan Brueghel the Elder’s and Younger’s genre-defining series of flower paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, made during a time of Dutch colonial expansion and exploitation. The significance of these works for the artist is their simultaneously beguiling and prosaic qualities; they are both an exuberant expression of nature’s bounty and a visual manifestation of power and wealth. While the era was one of burgeoning scientific knowledge, Jackson signals the pitfalls of the ceaseless misuse and abuse of the natural world. This concern ties into the American environmental movement and issues of sustainability that have been explored in Jackson’s previous works. The works are made out of meticulously cut and assembled elements that include Formica, oil paint, and poured lead.
Hauser & Wirth was founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser, who were joined in 2000 by Partner and Vice President Marc Payot. A family business with a global outlook, Hauser & Wirth has expanded over the past 27 years to include outposts in Hong Kong, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad and St. Moritz. The gallery represents over 75 artists and estates who have been instrumental in shaping its identity over the past quarter century, and who are the inspiration for Hauser & Wirth’s diverse range of activities that engage with art, education, conservation and sustainability.
Formica Group supported Matthew Day Jackson in bringing his idea to life. Matthew created the designs using NASA imaging, we then worked in collaboration to translate the designs into the moon surface texture which he named – MDJ Kuu. Kuu being Finnish for Moon. We etched the metal plate and pressed the surface texture onto four colours of Formica® laminate selected by Matthew, resulting in a truly unique material that is the surface of the beautiful furniture from Made by Choice.
Formica® laminate is the ‘original’, with over 100 years of design and product innovation and manufacturing experience. Durable, easy to clean and resistant to impact, heat and scratches, Formica® laminate requires minimal maintenance and provides countless design opportunities.
Matthew Day Jackson on Kolho
"Kolho, a small town in Finland, and a word that eludes definition in English but can be described as meaning vacant, hollow or even creepy. I happened upon Kolho while visiting the Serlachius Museum where a show of my paintings and sculptures, Maa, opens in May 2019. A conversation with curator Timo Valjakka lead to a tour of the nearby Formica factory, which led to meeting Niclas, Sebastian and Lasse of Made By Choice; which led to meeting Phil, Eva and Virginie of Formica… All of these serendipitous meetings developed into an obsession with creating a dining setting.
The story of Apollo, as both a NASA mission and the Greek the god of reason, is the genesis of this project. Apollo’s brother, Dionysus, reigns over ritual madness, theatre, pleasure, fertility, and of course, wine. The two contradictory temperaments meet at this table: the flat, rational plane of the table sits upon legs that curve and wind like a serpent or grapevine.
The tables and chairs are sculptures that evince dining as theatre. They create a space to share and create stories, with a Formica surface that promises to always wipe clean. In designing this furniture, I was seeking the space between Reason and Chaos: the state of PLAY. This is the space where our human animal shows its greatest self.
"I don’t see this falling outside of art at all. I think objects tell stories…I don’t see a difference between sculpture and furniture."