With The Mug, Rolf Sachs takes on the beer mug - the classic archetype of drinkware in German drinking culture. However, this mug differs in two respects from commercially available mugs: First, it is seven times as large as the well-known one-litre measure, constituting a palpable expression of the “maßvoll/maßlos”-dichotomy - roughly translated as modest/limitless (“maß” is a homonym in German, referring to both a beer mug as well as a unit of measurement). Second, Sachs uses quality bisque porcelain, instead of moulded glass or earthenware, from the master workshops of the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, a material not suitable for mass production, but for quality craftsmanship and artistic appreciation. With the scale and material transformation of the beer mug, Sachs has collaborated with Nymphenburg to create an entirely new tactile and visual, almost surreal perception, deliberately confusing viewers but putting a grin on their faces at the same time.
In his ‘typisch deutsch?’exhibition at the MAK, Cologne, 14th January till 21st April 2014, for which the jar out of Nymphenburg porcelain has been created, artist and designer Rolf Sachs condenses his personal reflections on those allegedly German attributes and stereotypes in an exciting selection of objects and installations. The exhibits are enveloped by a subtle network of associative connections, playing with concepts such as industriousness, cleanliness, homeliness and narrow-mindedness, as well as angst, yearning and wanderlust, each telling us about the multi-faceted aspects of German culture.
Conceptual artist and designer Rolf Sachs is recognized for his distinctive, multidisciplinary approach. His work moves freely between art and design and is renowned for surprising audiences – encouraging them to question preconceptions and view objects from a different perspective.
Sachs creates work that draws upon the subconscious and aims to gain access to the collective memory. The common thread that runs through his work is his passion for experimentation and invention, which drives him to challenge the applications of materials and our use of everyday objects. By removing them from their normal context, he redefines their substance and their function, injecting them with character and creating powerful, emotional connections. He thrives on the unconventional and the unexpected and encourages sensory interaction and emotional reactions.
Sachs applies his conceptual approach to a breadth of projects, ranging from furniture, lighting, sculpture, installations, through to architectural projects, photography and set design for opera and ballet. His work has been exhibited internationally in design and art galleries and his multidisciplinary approach forms the foundation for creative commissions from companies and institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum London, Les Ballets and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Nymphenburg Porzellan Manufaktur and Fortis Watches, where he emphasizes the close relationship between art and design.
Rolf Sachs was born in 1955 in Lausanne (Switzerland), the son of a German industrialist father and French mother. He has been creative since a young age, inspired by the art that surrounded him in his youth. After studying in the US and the UK, in the late 80’s, he began to focus on his creative work. In 1994, he moved to London with his wife and three children and set up his studio rolf sachs fun c’tion.
Official website: www.rolfsachs.com