Maarten Van Severen: Work
Essay by Anna Luyten, Rolf Fehlbaum and Lieven Daenens.
Maarten Van Severen is among Belgium's most famous furniture designers and interior decorators working today. His quest for perfection in form, detail and fabrication is evident in his simple, pure lines and mastery of color. With a keen and critical eye, this son of an abstract painter (Dan Van Severen) has created innumerable chairs, sofas, cabinets and tables (.03, .04, Blue Bench, MVS Chaise, Schraag, to name just a few). In contrast to the austerity and limited range of his forms, Van Severen uses an almost flamboyant range of materials: aluminium, bakelite, carbon fibre, concrete, stone, glass, laminated bamboo, leather, plexiglass, plywood, polycarbonate, polyester, polyurethane, reinforced glass fibre, stone and timber. There is a respect for the particularities of materials, not only their structural qualities, but as surfaces, with visual and tactile qualities. His paired-down, sleek designs--either handmade in his home atelier in Ghent, or produced by important manufacturers such as Vitra, Edra, Bulo--continue to be very successful around the world, particularly in the United States and Japan. In addition to his furniture practice, Van Severen plays an important role as an interior designer in Van Abbemuseum (the Netherlands) and the Villa d'Ava (France) among others. And, in the near future, he will design a cutlery line for production with world-renowned Italian design firm, Alessi. This book, the most comprehensive publication about Van Severen to date, features large-plate images of his works, including dozens of new images of his designs. In addition to 170 color illustrations, Maarten Van Severen: Work also presents 70 written contributions from experts, manufacturers and the designer's colleagues. Van Severen's classic, Modernist pieces are underscored by the simple yet sophisticated design of this extensive volume.