Behind | 9.sep.2010

The New Café Republic at Statens Museum for Kunst

Kasper Salto’s designer chairs and Paul Gernes’ legendary dot pictures set the scene for the newly opened Café Republic at Statens Museum for Kunst. The collaboration between the Museum and Fritz Hansen A/S offers the Museum’s guests the opportunity of experiencing an exciting combination of design, comfort, and gastronomy under the wings of 700 years of art.

Living design
The collaboration between Fritz Hansen A/S and Statens Museum for Kunst derives from a shared vision of supporting the connection between pictorial art and modern furniture design, and at the same time demonstrating that interesting correspondences throughout the world of art are established between the various art forms. The Café Republic is a sort of living design exhibition, where the Museum’s guests are offered close contact with groundbreaking design under the aegis of the Museum.

“Apart from our guests being able to experience some of the best of new Danish furniture design, our collaboration with Fritz Hansen A/S gives us an excellent opportunity of letting selected works from our collections measure their strength against a different art form. That is always fruitful,” states Karsten Ohrt, director of Statens Museum for Kunst.

Jacob Holm, director of Fritz Hansen A/S, adds, “We are very happy to participate in this partnership with Statens Museum for Kunst, which with its quite unique architecture and atmosphere contributes to accentuating the best in our designs. The turn has now come to the Ice series, designed by Kasper Salto, one of the greatest Danish design talents of our time.”

Salto and Gernes
Despite his young age, groundbreaking Danish designer Kasper Salto (b. 1967) has already received several Danish and international prizes for his work. The Café Republic is furnished with Salto’s elegant, minimalist stacking chair Ice (2002).  In Ice, Salto has transposed the virtues of the Danish functionalist heritage to the present day’s choice of material, in this case plastic with inspiration from nature, and satin-mat aluminium. The result is a light, comfortable and flexible design, a potential classic, which both adapts to and imposes its own particular mark on the interior.

Flexibility is similarly the key-word in the so-called “dot pictures” (Untitled, 1968-69) by Paul Gernes (1925-96). The picture series marks a climax in Gernes’ efforts to create a new form of painting purged of a significant agenda heavy with meaning. Instead, the pictures with their square shapes and unpretentious coloured dots are intended to be combinable in infinite variations. This is a monumental and democratic work, which can be adjusted in a dialogue with the needs of the public and the dimensions and functions of the given architecture. Gernes’ works are represented in a number of art museums both at home and abroad; a selection of his works was recently exhibited at the prestigious Documenta in Kassel.

The Café Republic is situated in the white extension of the Museum, with a beautiful view of the park, Østre Anlæg. M/S Amerika is responsible for the daily running of the café, and has created a new and comprehensive menu in connection with the new opening. Read more here.

Updated: 19.apr.2018
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