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At Random: Matthias Kohn

Aug 20, 2018

As part of our series on the artists and designers behind Spazio Nobile’s The Random Collection, we asked Matthias Kohn about his thoughts on collecting the unique

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Photography courtesy of Matthias Kohn

How does the fact that these pieces are unique in a series impact your work?
It’s a familiar way to work for me. The pieces in the Random Collection are created by working on a theme and applying it to a series of works. In my studio, I work as a sculptor on different topics, techniques and materials. All my pieces are unique– whether furniture or objects, they are characterized by the act of manual processing.

How do you think design is evolving nowadays towards the field of contemporary art? How are both interacting?
What I find interesting about these categorizations is how they blur and stimulate each other. For example, the objects themselves may only unfold in a local context but what happens if they are arranged differently and then question the classification? 

Why do we have those two words, fine arts versus visual arts, that have been separated? Do you think they should be interacting more?
For me in general, as well as in my work, I differentiate between free and applied art. Things with or without obvious function. It is interesting how different functions can be interpreted, or what a change/specification of function can trigger personally. That‘s where the tension starts.

Is functionality an important consideration in your process?
The obvious functionality is a well-known guest in my work. Deliberately invited functionality sometimes comes punctually, late or not at all. Sometimes it leaves sooner than I hope, and at other times I can not get rid of her. I especially enjoy the time when I seem to get along without her.

How do you perceive your work both as part of The Random Collection and as part of your overall production?
Actually, all my works are unique in the series. In the Random Collection, a series of my works is given a deliberately focused frame through the presentation. In my furniture studies, I continue to create series of works. There are ongoing developments on various topics/materials/processes I work with. These arise because of a context I’m working in–location-related–and over longer periods of time.

Matthias Kohn
Detail of Untitled Swedish basalt 240 x 8 x 5cm
Matthias Kohn
Untitled Swedish basalt 240 x 8 x 5cm
Matthias Kohn
Untitled Swedish basalt 10 x 32 x 17cm
Matthias Kohn
Matthias Kohn working in the studio

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