The Haas Brothers, Bratwursten Dunst Mini Beast and Bratwursten Moore Mini Beast, 2017
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present a survey of recent works by The Haas Brothers, their first solo exhibition in the Midwest. Nikolai and Simon Haas create playful, often-erotic works, which explore empathy, humor, nature, sexuality, and science fiction. Philosophically curious and scientifically precise, they use fabrication processes that mimic natural growth patterns to create their Accretions ceramics; examine human interactions with zoomorphic sculptures in their Mini Beasts and Furry sculptures; and explore the efficiency of shapes as structural building blocks in their Hex Stools.
The Accretion ceramics are defined by their gradual, seemingly natural growth. Beginning with a hand built vase, slip is repetitively brushed onto the base of each ceramic, producing tiny protruding structures reminiscent of petals, tentacles, or stalactites. The Mini Beast and Furry sculptures combine real animal fur with bronze hands, feet, and sex organs. Engaging and animated, these works are carefully crafted to function within the robotics theory of “The Uncanny Valley,” a representational space between the generic and the hyperreal that compels genuine interest and empathy from the viewer. The Hex Stools, inspired by the capabilities of the hexagon as a natural framework, are covered with brass and aluminum hexagonal tiles. Each tile is individually crafted to cover the bodily shape of the stool, which creates a gridded and mirrored surface. Although diverse in aesthetic and subject matter, The Haas Brothers practice is united by a fierce curiosity in materials, form, and function, creating a unique body of work that bridges the gap between art and design.
The Haas Brothers (b. 1984) live and work in Los Angeles, California. They have exhibited at galleries and institutions internationally including R & Company, New York; Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Salone del Mobile, Milan; Kashar Potamkin, New York; and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York. Other notable projects include fashion and furniture collaborations with designers such as Versace, The Elder Statesman, and Lady Gaga. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Rhode Island School of Design.