设计大师 --- Axel Vervoordt | 侘寂美学艺术大家
Axel Vervoordt | 侘寂美学艺术大家
Our philosophy is a belief that a home should be a personal expression of your soul. It should represent the way you want to live, the ideas that define your tastes, perspectives, and connections to the world.
Axel Vervoordt, tall and elegant, with a serene smile, this 72-year-old may be one of the world’s foremost tastemakers. Yet he has little interest in “style,” at least as it is currently defined, because essentially, Vervoordt is a metaphysician. Inquiries into the nature of being and concepts of time and space are what most compel him; he conveys his views through his inspired arrangements of objects and interiors. To some, expressing the lofty in the material might seem contradictory, but Vervoordt believes that, as in a Zen koan, truth can be contained in paradox and ambiguity. Clients may go to him in search of a splendid antique armoire or for help renovating and furnishing an 18th-century villa, but the most valuable service they receive is instruction in his highly evolved yet quite fundamental philosophy of living.
Axel Vervoordt于1947年出生在安特卫普，他的父亲是个商人，母亲同样有教养，在艺术家和知识分子的陪伴下茁壮成长。上世纪60年代初，他的母亲率先保护了安特卫普历史悠久的老城区Vlaeykensgang，这里是画家Anthony Van Dyck和Jacob Jordaens的出生地。她会买下一栋建筑，恢复它的中世纪风格，然后把它租给艺术家们，让社区充满生气。在进行这些项目时，她得到了儿子的帮助，Axel Vervoordt于从小就表现出一种艺术爱好，比如把卧室的窗户刷成类似彩色玻璃的颜色。这些手工翻修在Vervoordt点燃了对古老和真实的热爱，以及对中世纪、文艺复兴和巴洛克的迷恋。
Vervoordt was born in Antwerp in 1947 to a worldly father who made his living trading horses and an equally cultivated mother who thrived on the company of artists and intellectuals. In the early 1960s, she pioneered the conservation of the Vlaeykensgang, Antwerp’s historic old quarter, birthplace of the painters Anthony Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. She would buy a building, restore its medieval character, then rent it to artists to enliven the neighborhood. In pursuing these projects, she enlisted the help of her son, who from an early age demonstrated an artistic bent, painting his bedroom windows, for example, to resemble stained glass. These hands-on renovations kindled in Vervoordt a love of the old and authentic and a fascination with the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque.
The young Vervoordt got swept up in all his parents’ activities, even their socializing. Their sophisticated friends became his. During this period he developed what would become his trademark practice of purchasing against the prevailing fashion. Vervoordt didn’t consider this avocation a potential profession and went off to university to study economics. He was soon bored, however, and left school to perform his national service in the army. While in the military, he continued buying art and antiques — now for clients as well as himself, sometimes arranging the items in their homes. But it was only when, at age 21, he managed to get $50,000 for a 1948 Magritte painting, La mémoire, for which he’d paid $2,400 that he decided “my passion and my hobby would become my life’s work.”
As important as friendships have been to Vervoordt, none have influenced him as much as those with artists. It was the Belgian painter Jef Verheyen who introduced him to the Zero movement — and to a fresh manner of seeing. “The way one looks at things is of the utmost importance,” Vervoordt recalls him explaining. “You must feel something with your eyes.” The artist also taught him to recognize emptiness as the place where “the essence reveals itself, where nothing means everything.” This aesthetic awakening led Vervoordt to explore Taoism and Zen Buddhism, as well as quantum physics. The philosophy of art and life that emerged from these studies, he calls volledig which translates as “the fullness of emptiness.”
During the early 1970s, Vervoordt began making buying trips to Thailand, Cambodia and Japan. The stillness of the Buddhist art and the serene architectural spaces of the temples resonated deeply with him. He had already been playing with aesthetic polarities in his design dialogues between rustic and Baroque furnishings and between ancient statuary and modern paintings. Now he recognized the potential for creating analogous conversations with Eastern objects. In fact, he found he had a strong affinity for wabi, the Zen notion that true beauty is imperfect, incomplete and impermanent — in other words, as evanescent as life.
The formative experiences in the 1970s embody key elements of the company’s vision that exist in everything we do:
Respect for architecture and the purity of proportions
Passion for discovery and the endless search for beauty and quality
On-going quest to uncover harmony between the past, present, and future
Spirit of openness to share experiences, knowledge, and inspiration
Timeless philosophy for living with art
The Axel Vervoordt Company is active in the fields of art and interiors & design. From the start, it's always been a family-led business — Axel, May, and their sons Boris and Dick are active in the daily operations with our team of about 100 collaborators. During the 50 years that followed the beginning in Antwerp, the company relocated twice. In 1986, the family and company moved to the Castle of ‘s-Gravenwezel. In 1999, the company moved to its current headquarters at Kanaal in Wijnegem, a converted industrial site that blends a cultural, commercial, and residential community to create a new home for art, design, and architecture.
Axel & May Vervoordt 基金会成立于2008年。基金会受其创立者的集体委托，以保管艺术藏品、实现长远观赏价值为己任，行使学术支持、艺术赞助和活动策划等职能。
The Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation was established in 2008. The foundation is the custodian for the collection of its founders and its mission is to preserve the art collection’s integrity for future generations, while engaging in academic, sponsorship, and curatorial activities.
Axel Vervoordt每年都在世界各地完成大量内部设计项目，规模有大有小。完整的服务团队配备了艺术史、建筑、设计、项目管理、修复、物流后勤和各个相关学科的专家。除提供专业翻修服务之外，Axel Vervoordt还在工作室里造出许多原创家具。家居系列包括沙发、桌椅、家具和物件。
Axel Vervoordt’s practice includes completing many interior design projects — both small and large scale — per year all over the world. The full-service team includes talented experts with knowledge in art history, architecture, design, project management, restoration, logistics, and many other disciplines. Axel Vervoordt create many original furniture pieces in our workshops, in addition to providing expert restoration services. Their Home Collection includes sofas, chairs, tables, furniture and objects.
The spaces where people share private experiences with family and friends should restore and give energy. Above all, home is an enlightening space that makes people happy. Often, creating a home means searching for this emotion in every decision that’s made.
Axel Vervoordt create homes that feel as if they’ve always existed. A trademark is the ability to approach every project with a spirit of evolution. Ideas evolve along with their clients. They challenge each other to understand the project and deliver the highest results. It’s this collaboration that creates a friendship and it’s a reason why many of clients are friends for life.
创造价值的艺术在于给物品一个更好的空间。Axel Vervoordt所从事的工作，是帮助艺术品、物件、家具、古董和他们的原创设计找到属于它们自己的家。这种探寻和发现是Axel Vervoordt最为看重的责任。
The art of creating value is giving a better place to things. Axel Vervoordt is engaged in a process to help art, objects, furniture, antiques, and their original designs find their true home. Discovery has always been the most important aspect for them.