i.materialise brings 3D printing to museum of contemporary art

For those of you who fancy a portion of grand culture and art with a side order of the lovely city of Antwerp, we’ve got great news for you. The Antwerp based museum M HKA and i.materialise have joined hands to bring you a glimpse of the 3D printing experience.  Not only will you be given an introduction to the world of 3D printing during this event, but you’ll also be able to enjoy exquisite exhibitions like the one of grand artist Jef Geys who believes that 3D printing is the next step in concepts surrounding art and production.

Douven Family in their painter's chain

We found Jef Geys’ question, “What makes an artwork real and what is it that gives it its uniqueness?” quite interesting in relation to 3D printing. Take Martin Douven for example, whose work is being showcased at the M HKA thanks to Jef Geys. Martin Douven was a self-taught artist who taught his children to create and replicate famous paintings applying the “painter’s chain” method. It was a method by which paintings were created in some kind of assembly line, with each child taking care of a part of the canvas and their father Martin finishing it off. This allowed the Douven family to create and recreate a large number of paintings in a short amount of time for financial gain.

Another example would be that of Peter Paul Rubens’ painting, which is surrounded by Jey Geys’ photographs of BMW Z4 car parts.

Peter Paul Rubens & Jef Geys Combined Artworks

The question is of course if this can then still be considered a work of art. When you manually recreate a famous painting over and over again, is the recreation, thanks to its manual uniqueness, a new and valid work of art or still a mere copy of the original?

In the same way, any individual can now create and recreate any object with 3D printing. Is that then still viewed as unique or in fact, as art?  I for one think that this is definitely some food for thought.

i.materialise 3D printer at M KHA

You can view Jef Geys’ exhibition at the M HKA until the 31st of December of this year and as an added bonus, you’ll be able to get a quick introduction to 3D printing.

Better yet, we’ve organized a design challenge for the occasion. We hereby challenge you to create a new design for an existing object just as the Douven family recreated their own unique copies of original works of art. This is a great way to explore the questions posed above and of course, for the winners of the challenge it’s also a great way to get some exposure as they’ll have their work 3D printed and on show at the M HKA until the end of the exhibition.

For further details about the challenge and information on how to participate, click here.