As Europe begins to ardently shake of the last remnants of winter and the first green and blue and yellow and white specks appear in parks and gardens, as the chance that summer might just arrive becomes tangible…. October can seem a mighty long way away. Unimaginable. But it is approaching.
As is the 2024 Grassimesse.
The path thereto has been laid and until Wednesday May 15th are all called upon to apply…….
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be smow if it followed the rules and did that which you’d expected it to.
Thus it should have come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that the inaugural Grassimesse smow-Designpreis produced not the expected one, but two, joint, co-winners: Budapest based designer Annabella Hevesi and her studio Line and Round I O and Nürnberg based glassmaker Cornelius Réer…….
While in many regards being selected to participate at the Grassimesse can be considered an accolade in itself, the event also awards a number of prizes: some specific, others general, all well worth winning.
Ahead of the opening of the 2023 edition the winners of the seven Grassi Prizes were announced on Thursday evening in the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig.
Selected by the 2023 Grassmesse jury from the 80+ exhibitors, the victorious seven are…….
Arising from the discussions and discourses of the earliest years of the 20th century on the production of, materials of, forms of, and relationships with our objects of daily use in context of the increasing industrialisation of the, then, Germany, and in context of the increasing globalisation of the, then, Europe, the Leipziger Grassimesse1 quickly established itself amongst both avant-gardists and those of a more traditional persuasion, and in doing so became, arguably, one of the more important platforms for a continuation and development of those early 20th century discourses and discussions throughout the 1920s and 30s.
Then, as so oft in the (hi)story of Leipzig, came the NSDAP, then the War and then the DDR, and while events were staged that employed the name ‘Grassi’, the political context, and political interference, of both dictatorships, made and makes them difficult to class as Grassimessen in the sense of the pre-1940s events. And thus the Grassimesse was for a great many years a closed chapter in the (hi)story of creativity, industry and Leipzig before in 1997, the post-DDR Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst awoke the Grassimesse from its enforced, and involuntary, slumber.
Since 2000 the Grassimesse has been staged under the direction of Sabine Epple, Curator of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst’s Modern Collection, with whom we met up to discuss the Museum, the Messe, developments since 1997 and also the approaching 2023 edition of the Grassimesse…….
For all that the annual Leipzig Grassimesse is and always has been as a sales fair, a place to peruse, discourse with and purchase, contemporary craft, applied art and design, and thereby an opportunity to support contemporary craft, applied art and design practitioners, or perhaps more accurately an opportunity to support those practitioners whose practice you most enjoy, it has also always been a platform for creative schools and their students to present their works and approaches and positions; the inaugural Grassimesse in 1920 featuring students from the Staatliche Kunstschule für Textilindustrie Plauen, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Kunstgewerbeschule Magdeburg, the Kunstgewerbeschule Nürnberg and the Handwerker- und Kunstgewerbeschule Halle, the latter an institution who in their various guises since 1920 have been more or less ever presents at the Grassimesse.
And will be present at the 2023 Grassimesse where, as Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule, Halle, they will present current projects alongside students from the Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin, the Universität der Künste Berlin, HAWK Hildesheim, the Hochschule Wismar, the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and the Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School, Florence.
Yet for all that schools have always been a pillar on which the Grassimesse stands, they are one that can be all too easily overlooked amidst the perusing, discoursing and purchasing. Thus ahead of the 2023 edition by way of helping reinforce that the Grassimesse is more than the selected exhibitors and their works, we thought we’d take a brief moment to reflect on some of those schools who’ve graced the halls of the Grassi Museum, and thereby allow for reflections on both the (hi)story of creative education and also on the Grassimesse as a platform for schools and a coming generation of creatives as much as one for those creatives currently practising…….
Unlike a great many international craft, applied art and design fairs, entry to the annual Grassimesse Leipzig is strictly by jury selection. And has been since the first edition in 1920. ’twas, in many regards, one of the pillars on which the event established its reputation. And one which helps it maintain that reputation.
The 2023 Grassimesse jury recently convened to review the abundance of applications for this year’s edition, up some 33% on 2022, and, and perhaps more satisfyingly, featuring applications from creatives in 13 countries, an indication of the event’s ongoing international appeal and relevance, from whom they selected 82 exhibitors representing a wide spectrum of craft, applied art and design genres, from jewellery to furniture, from glass to toys, from millinery to ceramics and beyond; including 18 international exhibitors from Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Austria and the Netherlands.
All 82 of whom will assemble in the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig, in late October.
And all 82 of whom are in with an equal chance of picking up the €2,500 Grassimesse smow-Designpreis.
Who that is, who will go down in history as the inaugural winner of the Grassimesse smow-Designpreis, will be decided by the international jury on Thursday October 19th.
Watch this space!!!
Until then you can peruse the exhibitors/candidates at www.grassimesse.de and select your favourite, and/or find your new favourite creative. Or perchance find several convincing arguments to enjoy a late October weekend in Leipzig yourself…….
Although the Grassimesse has been staged, with readily understandable pauses, since 1920, the Grassimesse smow-Designpreis is being staged for the first time in 2023.
Which means a highly impressive roster of innovative, intelligent, imaginative, informative, designers from back in the day can’t win it. Have, if one so will, missed out
But you can win it and the associated €2,500.
Or can if your reading this before
Friday May 12th Sunday May 21st, the new extended, deadline for entries.
Otherwise you’ve also missed out.
You’ve now missed out.
Putting you in an illustrious, if very unfortunate, group along with the likes of…….
The 2023 edition of the Grassimesse Leipzig will see the inaugural awarding of the €2,500 smow-Designpreis. The first dedicated design prize in the institution’s long (hi)story. Entries
are were open until Friday May 12th.
But what if that first Grassimesse smow-Designpreis had been awarded not in 2023, but 1923?
Who might have won?
Who would the 1923 Grassimesse jury have selected from the many possible candidates?
A smow Blog fantasy final four…….
For the first time in its long and illustrious history Leipzig’s Grassimesse will award a dedicated design prize at its 2023 edition.
More specifically, will award the €2,500 smow-Designpreis.
The call for entries is now
open, and you are all cordially invited closed…….
Upholstered furniture is called upholstered furniture for a reason, yet how often do we consider the upholstery rather than the furniture; or more accurately, how often do we consider the upholstery that makes furniture upholstered furniture? How often do we consider the upholstery that makes upholstered furniture such a singular genre of furniture? How often do we consider the upholstery that bequeaths upholstered furniture such a singular status?
With the exhibition Deep-seated. The Secret Art of Upholstery the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig, invite you to do just that…….
We published our first monthly list of exhibition recommendations on November 1st 2013, one of those short, superficial, posts we used to compose, having as we did back then endless time on our hands; and an intervening nine years that means that with this list for November 2022 we are entering our tenth year of helping you advance your cultural education.
While being very much aware that the vast majority of you have never visited a single one of the circa 450 new exhibitions we’ve carefully and conscientiously selected for your delectation, nor indeed have the vast majority of you visited any architecture or design exhibition in the past nine years: that the vast majority of you have chosen to neglect your cultural education. However, one of the joys of the museum exhibition as a format for elucidation, exploration, energising and entertainment, the reason we don’t give up on you all, is that, the next opportunity is always approaching.
Thus, while that which you have missed is gone for ever, and you’ll just have to try to catch up as best you can; that which is still to come is an opportunity waiting to be grasped. And in November 2022 there is an unusually large and varied amount of opportunities to grasp; the global architecture and design museum community unleashing a plethora of diverse new showcases.
And a plethora of new exhibitions opening in November 2022 that we were simply unable to narrow down to five. It would also have felt unjust given how many new showcases there are.
five six new opportunities to advance your cultural education in November 2022 can be found in Leipzig, Edinburgh, Winterthur, Berlin, New York and Vienna…….
What is a chair?
With the exhibition Chairs. For children only! the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig, explore the (hi)story of and developments in children’s seating, and in doing so not only allow for insights into an all too often undervalued, underappreciated, ignored, genre of furniture, but also forces you to reconsider your response to what you thought was a very, very straightforward question…
Although cultures very often arose in splendid isolation, only very few remained splendidly isolated for very long.
For much like a young child who having learned to walk intuitively understands what a powerful tool mobility is/can be and seeks to exploit it to the fullness of their abilities, so too did our youthful human civilisations very quickly understand that there was, in all probability, a world beyond their own, and began wandering, at first in their immediate vicinity but increasingly further afield. Increasingly beginning to settle in those further afields.
With the exhibition Cultural Affairs. Art without Borders the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig reflect on the thereby arising cultural exchange in context of art, craft and design…….
“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it is always June”, ponders Anne Shirley in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1915 novel Anne of the Island.
“You’d get tired of it”, sighs her adoptive mother Marilla Cuthbert by way of reply.
“I daresay”, responds Anne, “but just now I feel that it would take me a long time to get tired of it…”
Thoughts we very much concur with as we survey and contemplate the varied profusion of new architecture and design exhibitions sprouting forth in June 2021. Who could ever tire of such a joyous abundance? Who?
Our five recommendations from that early summer crop can be found in Leipzig, Hornu, Berlin, Bloomfield Hills and Chemnitz…….
On March 6th 1927 the exhibition Europäisches Kunstgewerbe opened at the Grassimuseum Leipzig, not only a presentation of contemporary European applied arts but the inaugural exhibition in the museum’s (almost finished) new home on the city’s Johannisplatz.
With the exhibition Spitzen des Art déco the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig stage not only a presentation of European Art déco porcelain, but a reminder of both the Johannisplatz complex’s Art déco heritage and the vibrancy, colour and roar of the 1920s.