Incorporating modern art into your home has never been easier thanks to the gorgeous (and functional!) pieces in IKEA’s sixth-annual Art Event.
Since 2015, IKEA has collaborated with artists from around the world to create collections to make art more affordable and accessible to the public, according to a press release. The 2021 collection features pieces created by artists from Japan, Sweden, the U.S., the Netherlands and Germany, and blurs the lines between art and functional home furnishings.
“We chose to work with different artists from around the world to reflect the diversity of art and design coming together,” Henrik Most, creative leader for the IKEA Art Event, said in a press release. “We want to show that being an artist or being a designer does not mean that you have to stay in one box, you can work within different fields and that this new movement has had a profound impact both on the design and art scenes today.”
The pieces from Art Event 2021 will be available online and in IKEA stores April 1, and because there are limited quantities you don’t want to wait to buy what you love.
“Each item in this collection has a practical function, and at the same time it is an art object,” Most said. “The traditional idea of art being high-end and design being part of mass culture simply is not relevant anymore. The two go fantastic together — that is where the magic happens.”
Here’s what you can expect from IKEA’s latest Art Event.
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Since his early work in stage design and as a painter, American artist Daniel Arsham has used art to explore time. He combined this fascination with his interest in movement and architecture to transform an everyday household item — in this case, a clock — into a conversation piece.
With the wavy, organic shapes enveloping a simple wall clock you commonly see in offices or schools, the piece looks like it’s in flight when mounted on your wall. With the monochrome details, it’s a subtle addition to your space. But once it catches someone’s eye, they won’t be able to look away.
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LED Table Lamp ($49.99)
Real talk: the most iconic IKEA item isn’t the Malm dresser or Ektorp sofa, but rather the allen key. So it’s no wonder that Tokyo-based artist collective Gelchop used this assembly tool as their Art Event inspiration and turned it into “absurdly large version of itself” — an LED lamp.
Along with the lamp, you can also purchase allen key-shaped flashlights in blue or silver for $29.99.
“We are always thinking of ways to use existing items and combining the concepts or phenomena of different things to change the meaning or application of the original item in a fun, playful way,” they said in a press release.
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LED Wall Lamp ($39.99 - $59.99)
Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis aims to create magical experiences through her experimental designs. And though these wall lamps have a minimalist feel in their design, they invoke a sense of awe and wonder. She was inspired by Italian painter Lucio Fontana’s slashed canvases, and her design is the result of experimenting with folding and cutting paper.
The lamps come in two different sizes and can light up in five different colors, so you can customize them to match your space. And, according to Marcelis, they can change the mood with a flip of a switch.
“Art in the home elevates it from being a place for shelter into a space where you have emotional triggers,” she said in a press release. “I think the daily mood-changing effect of being surrounded by objects that you have some kind of a connection to or that create an emotional trigger is a very important thing.”
But those on the West Coast, take note: these wall lamps won’t be available in IKEA stores or online in California.
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Vase and Throw ($24.99 each)
German artist and illustrator Stefan Marx’s work spans mediums, as demonstrated in his Art Event contributions: a black and white throw and matching glass vase. Marx wants to bring joy through art, and, like much of his work, his two pieces feature phrases front-and-center: “I wait here for you forever as long as it takes” on the blanket, and “I’m so so so sorrryyyy” around the vase.
“It’s great when art and functionality blur,” he said in a press release. “It’s a very positive aspect in your daily life because you live with these pieces.”Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Wall Decoration ($24.99 – $49.99)
Coming a little later to the collection — these pieces will be available online and in stores starting May 1 — creative duo Humans since 1982 wanted to approach technology in a more poetic way to make their wall decoration. Their idea: put drones in a display case to resemble a butterfly collection.
Despite the literal case, this piece is totally outside-the-box and the perfect conversation piece for a modern space. There are two options to choose from: a singular drone on display ($24.99) or an entire fleet ($49.99).