about Gijs Bakker

Gijs Bakker (Amersfoort, 1942) was trained as a jewelry and industrial-designer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Konstfackskolan in Stockholm, Sweden.

Bakker's designs cover jewelry, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. He worked and works for numerous companies amongst wich: Polaroid, Artifort, HEMA, Royal VKB, and ENO Studio.
In 1993 he founded Droog Design, a Dutch collective of designers, products and information, together with design critic and historian Renny Ramakers. Together with Ramakers, Bakker was the selector and art director of all products within Droog Design until 2009.
Bakker has taught at different schools, amongst which the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, Delft University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven where he worked since 1987 until 2012, since 2000 as head of the Masters Programme.
Together with Italian gallery owner Marijke Vallanzasca Bakker founded the Chi ha paura...? (Italian for 'who is afraid of') foundation in 1996. With chp...? they wanted to show that a piece of jewelry is more than a decorative fashion accessory. With this, chp...? challenged the widespread fear for the contemporary jewelry.

In current design projects Bakker investigates the relation between craft and design. Since 2009, he is exploring this theme in his role as creative director for HAN Gallery, formerly known as Yii in Taiwan. Commissioned by the Taiwanese Craft and Design council Yii was founded to create a stronger and sustainable coherence between local Taiwanese craft traditions and contemporary design practice in Taiwan. It is also intended to establish a more prolific design identity for Taiwan.

Gijs Bakker travels around the world to give workshops, lectures about his own work, chp...? and Droog Design and is frequently a member in juries. His retrospective exhibition “Gijs Bakker and Jewelry” (with the accompanying monography) was on display in various museums around the world.
His work is represented in collections, both in museums and private collections worldwide.
Exhibitions (selected)
2014 'Gifts from America: 1948–2013. Modern and contemporary applied arts from the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA)', Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
'Le Labo des Héritiers', Grand Hornu Images, Hornu, Belgium
2014 Presentation of works together with chp...?, Designblok, Prague, CZ
2014 'De Show van Gijs+Emmy' ('The Gijs+Emmy Spectacle'). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
'Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography'. The Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
2014 'Triple Parade'. Ubi Gallery, Beijing and OCT Loft, Shenzhen, China
2013 Solo exhibition, Design Miami/ fair, with projects Go for Gold and Girl with the Pearl
2013 chp...? Global Identity, Salone del Mobile, Ventura Lambrate, LAP, Milan, Italy
2012 HAN Gallery and Chi ha paura..?, Salone del Mobile, Ventura Lambrate, Milan, Italy
2010 / 2011 Yii, Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy
2010 Roomservice Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
2009 Designers on Jewellery: Twelve years of jewellery production by Chi ha paura...? publication & travelling exhibition
2008 Real? exhibition at Gallerie Ra, Amsterdam & Gallery Deux Poissons, Tokyo
2007 Project “Rituals”, jewelry collection by Chi ha paura…?, together with SM’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch, presented in Milan, during International Furniture Fair.
2005 Retrospective exhibition ‘Gijs Bakker and Jewelry’, SM’s, Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch, ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
‘Shot’ and ‘Holysport’ Gallery Deux Poissons, Tokyo, Japan
2003 ‘Holysport’ and ‘I don’t wear jewels. I drive them’. Galeria Hipotesi, Barcelona, Spain
2001 ‘I don’t wear jewels, I drive them’. Galerie Ra, Amsterdam and KunstRai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Gallery Helen Drutt, Philadelphia, USA
1998 ‘Holysport / Shot’. Galerie Ra, Amsterdam and KunstRai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1995 ‘Shot-project’ (for the occasion of the Prins Bernhard Fonds Prijs). Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1993 ‘Gatenproject’ (‘Holes project’). Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1989 ‘Solo voor een solist’ (‘Solo for a soloist’). Retrospective exhibition, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands and Helen Drutt Gallery, New York, USA
1977 ‘Overzichtstentoonstelling Gijs Bakker, meubels en verlichting’ (‘Retrospective exhibition Gijs Bakker, furniture and lighting’) (together with Bob Bonies and Benno Premsela). Gemeentelijke Van Reekumgalerij, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
1967 ‘Sculpture to wear by Emmy van Leersum and Gijs Bakker’. Ewan Philips Gallery, London, UK
1967 'Edelsmeden 3', group exhibition, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2012 The Best International Jewellery Designer, Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards
2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, Sanoma Living Awards
2007 Benno Premsela Award (for his work with Droog)
1996 Ra Award 1996
1995 Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prijs voor Toegepaste Kunsten
en Bouwkunst
1995 Nomination Rotterdam Design Price
1994 Nomination Rotterdam Design Price
1988 Françoise van den Bosch Price
1968 Gold en Silver Medal Jablonec
1965 2e Van den Rijn-price for sculptures