Passion in Form

September 14 thru October 21 2006

Hans Appenzeller, Amsterdam

Vases from Dutch architects and designers from the period 1918 - 1940

Hans Appenzeller´s hommage to Mart van Schijndel who 25 years ago designed the ´Delta Vase´

I have had for many years a passion for vases.
A vase is an ideal marriage of culture and nature because a vase without flowers or at least the possibility of flowers is not complete. Then it just falls under the category l’art pour l’art , in other words an object without a function.

The vase is often archetypical. From Ancient times to present, in eastern or western culture, the form is always recognizable. Therefore there are often very subtle variations on a theme. But sometimes, out of the blue the variations are not so subtle and become transcendent. They break the mould of what we have come to recognize as possible. I had the pleasure of seeing this happen in 1981.

Since 1969 I have had my own store, atelier and exhibition space where I create, present and sale my jewellery and design objects. To give structure to my own passion for vases, I created in 1981 my first exhibition for vases. I asked friends, and well-known colleagues working as designers and architects to design a vase. It was an international group, designers like Enzo Mari and Ambrogio Pozzi, (Italy) Richard Meitner (USA) Willem Heesen and Cees Dam. (Holland) And of course I asked my friend and respected architect from Utrecht, Mart van Schijndel.
He created an incredible vase made totally out of glass sheets. Given the fact that glass vases had traditionally, since First century B.C. been created using glass blowing techniques, this was the first time in history, that such a technique was implemented successfully. And so, the Delta Vase was born! In the 25 years since its inception, it has broken all records. It has become a true design classic in Holland being one of the best selling design vases. During his life Mart even found the time to add the personal touch of his signature to each vase. And as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the signature also guaranteed that the authentic Delta Vase had been purchased or received.

In honour of the 25th anniversary of the Delta Vase, and as homage to Mart van Schijndel I have once again organized an exhibition, ‘Passion in Form’, to be seen Sept 14 thru Oct 21, 2006. This time instead of just asking current working designers and architect, I have decided to go back a bit further in history.

For designers, the period between the two world wars (1918-1940) was very prolific. Architects like Berlage and de Bazel were actively involved in designing vases during this period. There were many other prominent influential architects and designers during this era, who together with Mart van Schijndel share this similar passion of bringing form to this most functional object. I have attempted to present a select overview of some of their works. The creations, some of them unique, are not only available for viewing, but are also possible to purchase for your own private collection.

Hans Appenzeller