Tobias Rehberger (born 1966 in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany; lives and works in Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany)

Above: Untitled (Breuer)Untitled (Aalto)Untitled (Judd), Untitled (Rietveld), and Untitled (Breuer), all 1994.

“German artist Tobias Rehberger spent two weeks in Yaoundé, Cameroon, at the invitation of the Goethe Institut. He took with him perspective drawings of chairs by Marcel Breuer, Alvar Aalto, and Gerrit Rietveld, amongst others. With the help of Cameroonian artist Pascal Martine Tayou, he found craftsmen who each made a chair from the drawings (which were neither drawn to scale, nor exact in detail). These chairs (Untitled, 1994) were then exhibited in Yaoundé, while the drawings were shown in Cologne… Rehberger works at the interface of art and design; these early works seem to take subversive pleasure in de-skilling the classics of design history. But they also function as a code to those in the know: the point of having Rietveld chairs made by Camerounian craftsmen is precisely to generate a frisson between a sought-after (i.e. expensive) example of European modernism and a (presumably inexpensive) knock-off using local traditions.”
—Claire Bishop, “1. How Did We Get So Nostalgic for Modernism?,” Fotomuseum Winterthur, last modified September 14, 2013.

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