Following a commitment to embrace an ever-expanding definition of ‘contemporary art’ that includes design, architecture, and fashion, The Bass presents the Haas Brothers first solo museum exhibition, Ferngully. The exhibition of new work by the LA-based designers, explores the precarity and regenerative possibilities of the natural environment. Ferngully, named after a 1992 animated film of the same title, invites visitors into a utopic setting that exemplifies the Haas Brothers’ return to nature through design.
Blurring the lines between art and design, the Haas Brothers’ body of work frequently subverts the materiality of its media, departing from the functional, and moving towards the exclusively sculptural. Ferngully takes form as an immersive installation comprising diverse elements such as beadwork, ceramics, velvet, and blown glass. Ceramic tree trunks with copper leaves and blown glass coconuts illuminate biomorphic, sculptural seating elements and velveteen cacti. A padded floor evoking a forest floor, along with ambient sounds and lighting further evince a sumptuous, yet fragile environment.
Born in Austin, Texas, Nikolai and Simon Haas (b. 1984), founded The Haas Brothers in Los Angeles in 2010. Early on, the brothers received accolades for their exceptional craftsmanship. The years since have seen them evolve from fabricators and collaborators to nimble cross-pollinators in creative disciplines including fashion, film, art and design. In their current works, The Haas Brothers explore aesthetic themes related to nature, science fiction, sexuality, and psychedelia. Their mastery and uniquely clever use of materials ranging from brass, porcelain and fur, to highly technical resins and polyurethane, sets them apart as designers. In 2015, The Haas Brothers embarked on an extraordinary collaboration with women artisans in Cape Town, South Africa. The resulting series of intricately beaded sculptural objects, Afreaks, was included in Beauty, at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY and at the San Jose Museum of Art, CA. Their work is in the permanent collections of the RISD Museum in Providence, RI, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, NY, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY. The Haas Brothers currently live and work in Los Angeles, CA.