Oskar Zięta—architect, designer and artist—combines in his works a modernist interest in technology and a passion for creating new forms with a postmodern sense of humour. The starting point for Zięta’s work is the material and its specifications. The proprietary FiDU (Freie Innendruck Umformung) technology he developed enables the creation of surprising, three-dimensional objects, sculptures, and even architectural structures from thin metal sheets. The shapes cut out of them are welded and then, like balloons, inflated under pressure. The solution proposed by Zięta is a brilliant technological innovation that allows for production of incredibly light and strong objects, but is also a discovery unleashing extraordinary artistic potential. The seductive simplicity of this method makes it tempting to experiment with both utilitarian and artistic objects. It allows for serial production while maintaining the individual characteristics of the objects created, because identical forms never inflate exactly the same, and the characteristics of the metal generate almost infinite possibilities for surface and colour treatments. Zięta has created not just a globally hailed design brand and identity, but also his own form, recognizable at first glance, a kind of creative perpetuum mobile. Intriguingly, he brings together two distinct disciplines—design and art—reintroducing to art qualities that had been abandoned: technological innovation, a deep understanding of materials, and an unrestrained formal mannerism.
The point of departure for the series of steel sculptures realized in the Raster Sculpture Garden was a metal rug-beating frame (trzepak) that has stood there “forever” but hasn’t been used for a long time. Zięta’s exercises translate this mundane object, rooted in Polish courtyard culture, into a world of abstract forms—airy and unreal. Gleaming, inflated like balloons, they are a reflection of gymnastic figures, flips and spins, which trzepaki were probably used for more often than beating rugs. Zięta is more interested in the fantastical nature of the objects around us—their potential for playing on imagination and memory—than their utilitarian dimension. His objects with a mirror finish reflect the seductive exterior of design but also the uncompromising detachment of art. Iconic and reflective, they combine seemingly incorrigible but timely longings: for a more phenomenal life, and for art as a visual sensation, releasing a play of pure forms.