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All the objects Tom von Kaenel makes are unique, handcrafted. The stones all come from the surrounding marble quarries of the island. The Naxian marble is of white, grey, or yellow-brown colour, its structure is crystalline. No measuring instruments other than compasses and scales are used in the production of an object. The eye decides on the final shape. This small deviation in symmetry gives the form its individual tension.
The objects are kept raw, the surfaces are deliberately not polished so that the traces of the craft are visible. The crystalline surfaces are shimmering, giving the object a unique liveliness.
100% natural stone not sealed, not protected against acid. Beautiful imperfect!
Tom von Kaenel, sculptor and painter, was born in Switzerland in 1961. Already in his early childhood he was deeply devoted to art. His desire to bring beauty to the world is Tom von Kaenel\'s inspiration, drive and source for the creation of his works.
Already during his training as a technical draughtsman and later as a teacher of pictorial design, he devoted himself to painting and three-dimensional work. Tom von Kaenel has exhibited his work in various solo and group exhibitions. For seven years he was represented by Galerie Ute Barth in Zurich.
Today Tom von Kaenel lives and works on the island of Naxos. Everything in his environment inspires and shapes his work. He creates objects and sculptures out of Naxian marble in craftsmanship liveliness and timeless beauty.
The body of work in this collection consists of pieces by Greek designers of the mainland and the diaspora, or international professionals who live and work in Greece. As a common theme we tackle the elusive notion of “Greekness” and how this transpires through the work of seemingly diverse and distinct individuals. In our attempt to define “Greekness”, we aim to raise questions about how this plays out in the work presented.
How do Greek designers view their identity? Is it through their effort to decipher their heavy heritage? Is form important in order to achieve a predisposed classic elegance, or is a philosophical disposition towards shape more poignant? Could it be simply a resourcefulness and DIY ethic to make up for the absence of design infrastructure?
How do Greek designers based abroad deal with their background? Could it be that they simply ignore it in order to finally free themselves? Is there a certain amount of innovation necessary in order to channel it into the new environment?
Finally, how do foreign designers see their work influenced by their Greek surroundings? Is it the reference through the use of noble materials such as marble or the abundance of natural light that makes their work unquestionably Greek? Or could it be something else they were seeking when they decided to move here, something abstract like humour or drama? Could their arrival finally mean a departure from Greek heritage’s self-reference?
The pieces that we present might seem ill-matched, but they share an important core element. They are confident in their narrative of a personal story of identity, that is either at peace or against the Greek archetype. Through this communication, they all describe a culturally mature and vibrant scene that is finally extroverted and coming of age.
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