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FreelingWaters’ Collection III Gives Life to the Forgotten

05.31.22 | By
FreelingWaters’ Collection III Gives Life to the Forgotten

Now through June 17th, you can visit the first American solo exhibition by Dutch design duo FreelingWaters at The Future Perfect’s West Village townhouse gallery. Collection III consists of six 18th- and 19th-century cabinets have been stripped and given a second change at life, each featuring expressive, vibrant geometric patterns and organic decorations. Alongside the furniture pieces there’s also a site-specific mural painted by the artists on one of the gallery’s walls, displaying a pair of twin cabinets.

“FreelingWaters’s wildly unique aesthetic blends their impassioned appreciation for figurative and decorative folk art traditions with the gestural brush strokes of abstract expressionism, the geometric abstraction of Op Art and De Stijl, and the surrealist graphic sensibility of the Chicago Imagists. Their work is saturated with so many references and ideas that they become instantly timeless,” said The Future Perfect’s Founder, David Alhadeff.

exhibit space filled with brightly painted cabinets

exhibit description next to tall, thin cabinet in a bright pattern

Octavia

The FreelingWaters duo is Gijs Frieling and Job Wouters – their moniker a misspelled, slight mispronunciation of their combined last names. Frieling is known for his large-scale murals that bring together painting, folk art traditions, and religious iconography. Wouters is known for his art and penmanship. Since 2020, the two have been upcycling antique furniture as FreelingWaters, making their debut at London Design Week and Design Miami/ Shanghai in the Autumn of 2021.

blue and white patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Anderson

Their work looks to several painted furniture traditions: antique cupboards and cabinets are stripped and covered inside and out with no surface left exposed. FreelingWaters even make their own paint using pigments and casein glue, a fast-drying medium that uses milk protein. It results in extreme color intensity and durability, and because it’s fast-drying there’s no time for mistakes or retouching. Each of FreelingWater’s pieces depicts a vessel, the backsides include the brand’s name, the work’s title, materials used, and the date and place of production in hand-printed lettering.

two brightly patterned cabinets panted on a white wall

blue and white patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Anderson

blue and white patterned cabinet with right door open in exhibit space

Anderson

blue, green, grey, and black patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Frances

blue, green, grey, and black patterned cabinet with door open in exhibit space

Frances

brightly patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Hadassah

brightly patterned cabinet with door open in exhibit space

Hadassah

brightly patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Hadassah

brightly patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Lucian

brightly patterned cabinet with door open in exhibit space

Lucian

brightly patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Sigmund

two brightly patterned cabinets in exhibit space

Lucian & Sigmund

brightly patterned cabinet in exhibit space

Octavia

brightly patterned cabinet with door open in exhibit space

Octavia

group collection of various sized cabinets in brightly painted patterns

two light-skinned men wearing dark clothing posing in an exhibit space with brightly painted cabinets

Gijs Frieling + Job Wouters

To learn more about the FreelingWaters’ Collection III, or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibit, visit thefutureperfect.com.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.