For the latest installment of the new Book of the Week, I’ve chosen a selection that highlights the work of brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec- aptly titled Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec Lianes. The book displays the Bouroullecs’ work alongside some preliminary sketches and artists’ notes throughout its pages. Yes, it is a picture-book, and as such is light on text (only 6 pages of printed text including the “Biographical Note”) but heavy on immaculate photographs of the artists’ latest creative design endeavor.
Who are these Brothers Bouroullec, you may want to ask? Ronan and Erwan are brothers from Brittany, France, and have been working together as a design team based out of Paris for 10 years. Their work effortlessly blurs the lines between commercial interiors and installation fine art. This team has designed everything from tree-houses to coffee-tables, bathroom furnishings to corporate interiors, and even the occasional architectural project or museum exhibition. The self-defined mission of the collaboration is “to reach balance and fineness.” This fusion of design and art has been impressing patrons, winning several prestigious awards, and earning accolades the world over since 1997.
Some of the brothers more recent and popular designs are the “clouds”, “algues”, “bivouac”, and this latest series “lianes” – all of which draw on the structure and geometry of nature (plants in particular) with refined, contemporary design. The duo seamlessly integrates the shapes, elements and “ways” of nature in a primeval, yet very elegant fashion.
So, back to the point, why is the book here at the Kaneko Library and should you come downtown to check it out for yourself? First of all, you should because the library is awesome and because the book is way-cool. Put a in a more verbose way, the work (displayed in the book) expresses the flow of archaic time through phytomorphic beauty. The work does not attempt to imitate nature, but rather to “be” nature. “Lianes” (which, incidentally, is the plural form of the word. It means the free-hanging stem of a climbing, woody plant) explores line, shape, and space through installation artwork with poetic practicality. It really is a “must see” book. These “elegant entanglements,” as some have termed them, are clean, sophisticated, and complex, without being complicated, pompous, or sparse. Now isn’t that worth a look?
But more importantly, this book is an incredible opportunity for all of us to literally see how these two artistic brothers effortlessly merge and morph the world of commercial design with that of fine art. This dynamic fusion of esthetic design and aesthetic art transcends both genres. Through this project the Bouroullec brothers have made discussions of form-following-function vs. function-following-form theories and debates pretty much irrelevant- you can have BOTH!
Again, the book is titled is Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec Lianes. It truly is worth picking up and giving a look. Besides, the book is full of really cool pictures and you just might learn a little something about art and design.