Exhibition

BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection

Wed, 15.07.2020–Mon, 26.10.2020

MAK – Museum of Applied Arts

The MAK is devoting a special exhibition to a historical plastic and its role in design and cultural history for the first time. The occasion is the presentation of selected items from the Bakelite collection of the Viennese gallery owner Georg Kargl (1955‒2018), who was closely associated with the MAK. Kargl was not only an important protagonist of the Viennese and international art scene and an expert on Viennese modernism in the field of applied arts but also a great authority on and a passionate collector of Bakelite.
 
The first real plastic in history bears the name of its inventor: After having moved to the United States, Belgian chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863‒1944) had conducted research to develop a low-cost insulation material for the electrical industry as a replacement for natural materials such as shellac and celluloid that had been used until then. Baekeland began work in 1899, and in 1907 he was able to take out a patent on his replacement product based on the hydrocarbon product phenol, naming his fully synthetic plastic “Bakelite.” From its market launch in 1920, Bakelite, due to its degree of hardness and resistance to heat and acids, became the material of the hour for the technology and electrical industries in the age of the consumer society and industrial mass production, the “Machine Age.” Its aesthetic qualities came to be appreciated only later. Major designers used the product technology in their concepts for mass products in the new “streamline design.”
Around 300 objects made of compression-molded Bakelite composite offer a survey of the material’s possible applications. The strict aesthetics of these objects results from the intrinsic relationship between expected function, technological properties and possibilities of the material, and the available processes. In a display designed especially for the exhibition by the artist Mladen Bizumic, the objects are presented in fourteen subject groups. Accompanying texts, prepared by the curatorial team, air the history of a material that was the first plastic to revolutionize production in the early 20th century and unfold decisive social import.
 
As documents of the aesthetics of the first phase of modern society’s full mechanization, Bakelite objects hold an undisputed place in the history of design. The further development of plastics was determined by changing economic considerations and increasingly influenced by ecological issues. Today, Bakelite, as a fully synthetic material that is neither degradable nor recyclable, only fulfils a niche function. Just like then, we now find ourselves on the threshold of a new production era. Georg Kargl’s Bakelite collection encourages a fundamental reflection on new materials and their significance for social development in a time of radical change.
 
Curatorial Team: Rainald Franz, Gerson Lessa
Artistic Exhibition Display: Mladen Bizumic
Technical Coordination: Itai Margula
 
Thanks to Inés Lombardi

Program (5 Events)

Tue, 08.09.2020 6.00 pm
Sat, 12.09.2020 2.00 pm 4.00 pm
MAK4FAMILY
Workshop for the whole family

Der (Kunst-)Stoff, aus dem die Träume sind

Der (Kunst-)Stoff, aus dem die Träume sind
Vom Telefon über das Bügeleisen bis hin zum Eiskasten – durch die Erfindung des Kunststoffs haben unsere Alltagsgegenstände neue Formen angenommen. Bakelit, das erste günstige und für alle Zwecke einsetzbare Industriematerial, hat unsere Welt grundlegend beeinflusst. Doch aus welchen Stoffen könnten unsere Gegenstände der Zukunft sein? Lerne mit MINI MAK verschiedene Materialien kennen – und hör nicht auf zu träumen! 

Im Rahmen der Ausstellung BAKELIT. Die Sammlung Georg Kargl. 

THE FORMAT MAK4FAMILY

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month (except July, August, and December) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the MAK hosts a workshop and guided tour for the whole family (aged 4+). 

PRACTICAL INFO

Workshop and guided tour for the whole family (ages 4 and older)
Fee for materials: € 4.50 per child (with free admission)
Reduced admission for accompanying adults

Meeting place: MAK Columned Main Hall

 

 
1459977554986
Sat, 19.09.2020 2.00 pm 3.00 pm
MINI MAK Tour
Guided Tour for the whole family

Das Material, das die Welt verändert hat – Bakelit und seine Folgen

Das Material, das die Welt verändert hat – Bakelit und seine Folgen
Guided Tour for the whole family (aged 4+) in context of the exhibition BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection

REGISTRATION
Limited number of participants: registration is absolutely necessary
 
PROTECTIVE MEASURES
The general protective measures for the museum visit also apply during the tour.
Further information here
 
HEADPHONES
If possible, please bring your own headphones for the tour.
 
FEE FOR GUIDED TOUR 
€ 3,50  per child (with free admission)
Reduced admission for accompanying adults
 
MEETING PLACE
MAK Columned Main Hall
REGISTRATION
Limited number of participants (9 persons): registration is absolutely necessary
 
PROTECTIVE MEASURES
The general protective measures for the museum visit also apply during the tour.
Further information here 
 
HEADPHONES
If possible, please bring your own headphones for the tour.
 
FEE FOR GUIDED TOUR 
€ 3,50
 
MEETING PLACE
MAK Columned Main Hall
1459977554986
Tue, 29.09.2020–Thu, 01.10.2020
MAK Design Nite | Guided Tours

VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020 at the MAK

Thu, 01.10.2020 4.30 pm

Dialogue Tour BAKELITE in context of the Vienna Design Week 2020

Dialogue Tour BAKELITE in context of the Vienna Design Week 2020
Dialogue Tour with Rainald Franz (Curator of the exhibition and the MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection), Mladen Bizumic (artistic exhibition display), and Maroš Schmidt (Slovak Design Center, Bratislava) through the exhibition BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection. 

REGISTRATION
Limited number of participants (25 persons): registration is absolutely necessary
 
PROTECTIVE MEASURES
The general protective measures for the museum visit also apply during the tour.
Further information here
 
HEADPHONES
If possible, please bring your own headphones for the tour.
 
MEETING PLACE
MAK Columned Main Hall

1459977553881
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Media

© The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society [ARS]
Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

© Walter Dorwin Teague
Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

Photo: © MAK/Georg Mayer

MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK 
MAK Exhibition View, 2020
BAKELITE: The Georg Kargl Collection 
MAK DESIGN LAB
© Aslan Kudrnofsky/MAK