Pieke Bergmans (1978, Sprang-Capelle) studied graphic design at the St. Joost in Breda, 3D-design at ArtEZ in Arnhem, industrial design at the Design Academy Eindhoven and did her Master of Art – design products at the Royal College of Art in London.
After her Postgraduate at the Royal College of Art, Bergmans opened a studio in Amsterdam and a studio in Milan at the via Tortona, were she held exhibitions on a yearly basis during the Salone del Mobile. She started working on a large variety of projects around the globe, stretching many different borders.
Her international breakthrough was in 2008 with the Light Blubs, a series of glass light-objects that refer to the archetypal incandescent lamp. By literally blowing up the bulb, she confirms the iconic status of this light source. She emphasizes this traditional way of working by fluidly allowing the glass to find its new form and strech it to the max. She places everyday implements in a different, surprising context.
Bergmans works have been exhibited at museums, including the Centre Pompidou, Victoria & Albert Museum, Vitra Design Museum, 21-21 Design Sight Tokyo, Design Museum Holon, Groninger Museum, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and are part of relevant museum and private collections.
Bergmans had solo exhibitions in Milan, Paris, Miami, Sao Paulo etc. In 2014 the Noordbrabants Museum in s’Hertogenbosch showed a retrospective of her works.
Although, by definition, her works are primarily been geared to collectors and museums, Bergmans has collaborated with various like-minded companies as Rosenthal, Comme des Garçons & Vitra.
In 2013 Bergmans became ‘Designer of the Year’ in Brazil.
WORK & PROCESS
Bergmans is fascinated by movement and the shapes that arise from it. She is amazed at how many materials are squeezed into straitjackets, with no room for the natural characteristics of the material to shine out. Characteristic of Bergmans’ work method is her close study of existing production processes that she then manipulates and reworks. Using this approach she gives the material room to choose its own way.
Bergmans collaborates with technical specialists. Various works are produced in series under her direction. Bergmans intervenes at a certain moment in the production process, so that the still freely moving shape is brought to a stop. Hence every object is unique.
Bergmans has not restricted herself to one sort of material in her repertoire, but works with glass, plastic and other synthetics. All are materials that become soft and malleable by heating during the production process. While cooling they become hard and the process of creeping, twisting and flowing is brought to a halt.
Process and end object are inextricably bound together for Bergmans. As soon as she intervenes there is no way back for the object. Each series evolves due to repetition of the production process. The results can be just as surprising for Bergmans as they are for the viewer.
POETRY & MACHINES
‘The objects that surround us have the precision and regularity of machine-made things. Our Western world became a world where everything has to fit in and function. We all benefit from this development in an enormous was, but a world like a machine leaves little room for wondering and poetry. I want to open up our evident world, as I am passionately curious and persistent to expose another, unknown world’.
Jeroen Junte – 2014 – Recensie: **** 4 sterren – Tentoonstelling Pieke Bergmans – FREEZE
DROOMKUNST IN STERIELE OPSTELLING
‘’Duidelijk dus, Pieke Bergmans (1978) maakt geen inwisselbare gebruiksvoorwerpen. Met ontwerpen die de tijd bevriezen, biedt Pieke Bergmans een alternatief voor de kille vluchtigheid van de huidige tijd. De Amsterdamse ontwerper maakt verstilde en toch levendige objecten die je even laten wegdromen. Veel te saai, vind ze die. Ze wil de harde werkelijkheid juist verzachten met een vleugje magie van de kussende lantaarnpalen en een lamp die als een ballon leeg loopt over een stoel. Maar altijd weer is die drang er om de wereld op zn kop te zetten. Pieke Bergmans durft los te laten om op het juiste moment halt te houden. Freeze , zoals ze dat in Amerikaanse politieseries zeggen. Met deze ontwerpen die de tijd bevriezen biedt ze een alternatief voor de kille vluchtigheid van de huidige tijd. Een tijd die inderdaad wel wat fantasie kan gebuiken.’’
NOMINATION ROTTERDAM DESIGN PRIZE
By Aziz Bekkauoi – 2012
”I find Bergmans’s frank curiosity admirable. She moves people with her concept of controlled imperfection. Without regard to trends, she begins with a material and a craft and then performs an intervention on them, almost abruptly, in a seemingly regressive way. Her evolving way of working, which is unfettered by time. Her clever works seem to have been created in passing, intuitively and on impulse. In reality, they are the result of keen observation and structured experimentation, synergies of creation and natural selection, brought down to a new essence. Another vital characteristic of her work is the way it sticks with you. It hangs around, creeps, meanders and flows, not just in space but also in your head. Her work gives the impression of being in motion – that if you look at it again, a split second later, it will have inched closer to you and started to multiply.”
A central theme in Pieke’s work is the virus. It binds the many disciplines and materials she works with.
‘I am a virus’
Pieke’s objects are called viruses, due to their natural forms and the way they come to life. But eventually, the biggest virus of them all is the designer in person. Manipulating standard production processes is by all means viral behavior. In general mass production, a single form is endlessly and perfectly multiplied like a healthy cell. As she allows room for change and serendipity, Pieke aims to create processes in which objects are never completely the same. Like a virus, her works change and adapt to various conditions, disrupting common ideas and the predictable evolution of form and design.
© 2017 Pieke Bergmans / Design Virus | Built by AllWell