I first came across Lab3 when looking at the Moooi awards results, for which they were shortlisted for their ‘lockers’ project back in March 2012. Lab3 designed prints for 489 locker doors in a newly built school, the Baarnsch Lyceum in Baarn. In order to brighten up the dull hallway Lab3 came up with seven different prints which were scanned and printed seamlessly on to the 1mm varnished steel doors; showing what students may stash in their lockers, ranging from books to an artificial ear, from bananas to a bottle of glue and completely empty lockers. The school’s management heavily censored the displayed items. No condoms or energy drinks were allowed! This graphic approach really caught my eye, but after having spoken with principal designer Anne Blusse and being lead into her world it is the house of an art collector that really gets my mind clicking over.
“This is the house of a well known Dutch Art Collector, a very dandy, sophisticated Italian Duke. He came to Holland in the late 1960′s and was a popular man on the art scene. That explains for example the original Warhol art pieces.” says principal designer at Lab3, Anne Blusse.
Situated in the Museum Quarter right in the middle of the Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum Lab3 did the production and staging for the photography of this incredible late 1930′s home. It is here that we being the see the delicate eye for detail, so clearly expressed in the ‘lockers’ project, really put to the test in a very different setting. When faced with the combination of pop art, Italian antiques and both modern and precious furniture it would be easy to throw them all together and hope for the best. Blusse’s meticulous planning, consideration for proportion, space and light has meant these pieces are allowed to breathe and be appreciated in their own right, as well as part of a museum quality collection. For me, this is what is so exciting about seeing into the home of a serious collector – in a gallery you would never see work from Andy Warhol, Richard Hutten and Gerrit Rietveld displayed side by side.
Photography: René Gonkel