Gradual. Solo exhibition by Germans Ermičs
From 13 April to 28 May 2023, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10) presents Gradual, the first solo exhibition of the internationally renowned designer Germans Ermičs in Latvia.
The comprehensive exhibition features the most important achievements of Germans Ermičs since the foundation of his studio in 2014, shedding light on artist’s creative process and philosophy. By combining design and art, Germans Ermičs creates outstanding work, acknowledged and highly acclaimed across the world. The designer’s approach is characterized by gradual, determined movement to the final result, striving to give form to intangible phenomena, looking for new technological solutions and experimenting with colours and materials.
The distinguishing feature of the author’s style is the employment of painterly approach to colour in works made of glass – the transparency of surfaces of his furniture is accompanied by gradual tonal transitions. However, colour in Germans Ermičs’ works does not serve as merely an aesthetic application – the artist uses it to explore materiality and create form.
In the realm of production of objects, the phase of colour application is normally seen as the final act of the process. Instead of finishing a product by just painting it, I started designing from colour, wondering about what it would look like if I stretch, turn or fold the colour as if it were a three-dimensional shape,
tells Germans Ermičs.
Although Germans Ermičs’ conceptual ideas have mostly been executed in glass, the designer also works with metal, textile, stone and other materials. They are used both in his experimentations with colour and form, and innovative technologies, for example, coming up with an original surface finishing that highlights stone’s natural veining instead of submitting it to the laws of geometry.
The exhibition is curated by architect, urbanist and publicist Evelīna Ozola, its graphic designer is Alexey Murashko. Photographer Filips Šmits and musician Artūrs Liepiņš also took part in the creation of the exposition.
The exhibition is organized by the Latvian National Museum of Art, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Latvian Design Center and FOLD, financially supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL, State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and Nākotnes Atbalsta fonds.
Photo: Jussi Puikkonen
Photo: Yvet van der Naalt
About the artist
Germans Ermičs was born in Riga in 1985. He learned the basics of design and art in Denmark, later studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
In 2007, together with friends in Riga, he founded the culture, music and fashion magazine Veto. Germans Ermičs created the design concept of the printed publication and continued as its artistic director until 2018.
Having started his career as a graphic designer, during his studies in Eindhoven Germans Ermičs gradually turned to making three-dimensional objects. This is the beginning of Germans’ fascination with colour and its ability to influence the objects’ form, surrounding environment and viewers’ perception. Germans Ermičs graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2011 with the diploma work Isometric Mirrors, in which he makes use of interest in optical illusions. His project was picked up by Frame, the leading global interior design and architecture magazine, and at the graduation exhibition Germans Ermičs was approached by the influential Milan gallerist Rossana Orlandi, with whom the designer continues to collaborate to this day.
Having accumulated experience in a number of design offices, in 2014, Germans Ermičs established his own studio in Amsterdam. A year later, at the world’s largest design fair, Salone del Mobile in Milan, artist presented his first collection, Shaping Colour, which he continued to develop over the following years. In 2016, The New York Times Style Magazine ranked Germans Ermičs among the 15 most promising new designers, he reached the final of the Design Parade Hyères and earned his first award from the Wallpaper* magazine.
The 2017 Salone del Mobile in Milan saw the debut of Germans Ermičs’ Ombré Glass Chair – a contemporary interpretation of the Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata’s iconic Glass Chair. This work became an important turning point in Germans Ermičs’ career – the visually appealing chair toured the world’s most respected design publications and exhibitions. The well-known designers Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have selected Ombré chair among the world’s most beautiful objects. Ombré Glass Chair is also part of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design collection and is showcased in the permanent exhibition Design Process.
Germans Ermičs has also executed works in interior design and architecture, among them, the interior design of a metro station in Seoul, South Korea, installations for the London and Amsterdam stores of fashion brands Raf Simons and Wandler, and, in collaboration with the social media company Instagram, he created the pavilion Where The Rainbow Ends in Cannes, France.