From 27 May 2017 Arnhem Museum presents the first major retrospective of the artist duo RAVAGE. A selection of more than 40 years of uninhibited life's work shows how RAVAGE has developed a unique signature and method. After graduating from the renowned fashion department of ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, the duo has carved its own niche in the world of international fashion, design and fine art. Now they return to the city where their careers began.
RAVAGE consists of Clemens Rameckers (1949) and Arnold van Geuns (1949). After graduating in 1972 from the fashion department of the Academy of Arts in Arnhem, RAVAGE (a combination of their surnames) ran the first Dutch Fashion Gallery in Arnhem for several years before leaving for Paris. The dynamism in Paris inspired the fledgling RAVAGE and allowed them to develop their own signature and method. Over the course of their career they have carved a unique niche in the world of international fashion, design and fine art. For more than 30 years they have prepared trend books for menswear for forecasting agency Trend Union, which Lidewij Edelkoort founded with RAVAGE. In the Netherlands, RAVAGE became famous for the uniforms they designed in collaboration with Liesbeth in 't Hout for, among others, the National Railways, the Royal Postal Service (PTT), and the Dutch automobile association, the ANWB. In addition they have also produced numerous drawings, paintings and interior design products and concepts. In 1992 RAVAGE received the Grand Seigneur, the most important fashion award in the Netherlands.
Drawing and an unstoppable urge to create a sketchy overall concept are central to the work of RAVAGE. Sometimes it is fashion, sometimes a table, ceramics, wallpaper, shawls, comics, or hotels, rendered either as drawings or paintings. ‘For us, it's not about the outcome, but the process. Once you know, there's nothing more to it!’ says RAVAGE. Besides the childlike virtue of keeping the creativity flowing for as long as possible, there is also a serious undertone of discovery in their work and their artistic identity is also determined by (art) history. RAVAGE has its own vision of iconic roles in history, combined with an unerring sense of timing and an inexhaustible drive to shape the surroundings.
After a quirky and successful international career RAVAGE have created their own universe using a unique methodology. The style, visual language and process are entirely their own and has few comparisons within the (international) design world. At the same time their multidisciplinary approach is typical of the approach of many contemporary designers who do not allow themselves to be categorised and for whom experimentation in any field is an important means to develop their work and keep it dynamic.
EIGHT ROOMS FULL OF ‘PASSION’
The connection to Museum Arnhem is obvious. After a career of more than 40 years Museum Arnhem believes that there is more than enough reason to present RAVAGE’s multifaceted oeuvre. The exhibition is a collaboration with institute for fashion heritage, Stichting Modekern. Eight inspiring rooms offer insights into their process, and their multidisciplinary approach and their boundless ‘passion’ to create is made tangible. Each room provides a different perspective – from a room full of drawings or an overview of collaborations to a fashion study hall and another room configured as a chapel where all the senses are stimulated. RAVAGE: ‘We hope that visitors feel the same passion we do when we are making something, and hope to encourage everyone to discover their own passion and get started themselves!’
PUBLICATION AND DOCUMENTARY
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, RAVAGE:Illustre Inconnu, produced in collaboration with publisher Lecturis, which recounts the story of RAVAGE from the beginning. With archival images, photographs, drawings, sketches and contributions in the form of columns, essays and the duo’s recollections of their network and stylistic community. The Markell Brothers from Iceland are making a documentary about the life and work of RAVAGE, the first part of which will premiere during the exhibition.