If you visited Frieze London this October, you would have seen dozens of collectors hovering around the Haas brothers’ solo booth at Marianne Boesky. Their playful, alien-like ceramic sculptures were a standout hit of the fair. The SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, continues to prove Simon and Nikolai Haas’ art-world success in a solo show that is open until January 17.
Entitled I Saw Design, and Art Opened Up My Eyes, I Saw Design, the exhibition includes their Accretions Fairy Berries and Mini Beasts series. These are weird, crazy, funny, beautiful little or large objects that it is hard not to see anthropomorphically. The works (from $6,500 to $85,000) are frilly, rippled and look like something between a sponge and a children’s toy made from brass, bronze, porcelain, fur, technical resins and polyurethane. “I think the title of this show really represents our career trajectory and how our body of work has transformed from design into art,” the brothers explain. “We wanted to showcase the full range of our work and introduce a new audience to the hallmarks of our studio and foundation in textiles and ceramics. The exhibition includes elements from both worlds with our furniture, but also in our completely non-functional artworks.”
SOCO gallery was established by Chandra Johnson in 2014 and has a surprising programme of emerging artists, including vibrant painters Austin Eddy, Shara Hughes and Clare Rojas. The area is best known as the home of the Bauhaus-inspired Black Mountain College, which was a formative influence on students including Cy Twombly, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Ruth Asawa, among many others. The fusion of art and design at the heart of the Haas brothers’ work is fitting. Simon and Nikolai Haas were excited to get out of the LA and NYC art bubble. “There is something really beautiful about a community and audience entering your space from a place of joy and enthusiasm and discovering your art,” they say.