Atelier Ecru gallery
21 May 2021
COLLECTIBLE: What are the challenges in presenting contemporary collectible design?
Christophe Urbain: As co-director of the contemporary art gallery Barbé Urbain in Gent and co-owner of Atelier Ecru gallery I can compare both businesses. I must admit indeed that running a contemporary design gallery is much more challenging in terms of sales, as this is a rather new market compared to the more classic, already established art market, with a worldwide spread base of buyers, collectors. “Collectible Design” is although a new market a very interesting business because rules are just being set and the rather young market is not saturated yet.
“Running a contemporary design gallery is much more challenging in terms of sales, as this is a rather new market compared to the more classic, already established art market, with a worldwide spread base of buyers, collectors.”
C: Can you talk about the designers you present for COLLECTIBLE SALON, what makes their practice/pieces unique.
Stéphanie Frederickx, Christophe Urbain: During Collectible Week we will host a gallery own (in-the-gallery) event, an exhibition which will go side on side with the works presented on the Collectible Salon digital platform. In that way, people can choose, to either track the uploaded works online or come over to the gallery and see a selection of these works in the gallery. We will present work by; Bram Vanderbeke (BE), Cobra Studios (BE), Jojo Corväiá (DE), Jumandie Seys (BE), Katrien Doms (BE), Middernacht & Alexander (BE), Nathalie Van der Massen (BE), Pierre De Valck (BE), Roxane Lahidji (BE), Sizar Alexis (SE) and Tim Vranken (BE).
With this diverse list of all rather young, some yet more established designers and artists we are putting the focus on the overall ‘BRUT’, sculptural, and radical aesthetic we breathe at Atelier Ecru gallery in either CollectibleDesign or furniture. All these works find balance in form versus material, functional versus collectible design. Most of the designers we work with find their practice in real craftsmanship, others experiment with new materials and techniques. Mostly timeless, sometimes futuristic, functional or decorative works, dark and light.
C: What have you been up to recently? What are the next projects/exhibitions you wish to highlight?
CU: As the pandemic made us stretch, postpone, stretch again… most of our exhibitions and planned events, we embraced this period to learn, and build more strongly our digital platform and online awareness. We have been busy with creating new tools, such as an ONLINE VIEWING ROOM, in reach for our customers, exclusive VIP releases and public access. We have just round-up a beautiful group show with works from Justin Morin, Middernacht & Alexander, Roxane Lahidji and Wendy Andreu, a show with a focus on minimal, sometimes functional work. Next, we have the first gallery SOLO show of ‘Brut Collective’ member Bram Vanderbeke coming up.
“In arranging his works for 'Pragmatic Sculptures' at Atelier Ecru, Bram Vanderbeke shares a vision of an anachronistic city landscape. A borderland between arts and design where the autonomy of the artistic expression does not shun but is neither limited by its usability.” (Jonas Lescrauwaet). ‘Pragmatic Sculptures’ is opening the weekend of 5 & 6 June.
About Atelier Ecru gallery
Founded by Stéphanie Frederickx and Christophe Urbain, Atelier Ecru gallery curates modern and brutalist collections of atypical contemporary furniture and objects from Belgian and international artists and designers.