Gijs Bakker (Amersfoort, 1942) was trained as a jewellery and industrial-designer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Konstfack Skolen in Stockholm, Sweden.
Bakker's designs cover jewellery, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. He worked and works for numerous companies: Polaroid, Artifort, HEMA, Van Kempen & Begeer, and recently for ENO Studio in France.
In 1993, Gijs Bakker founded together with design critic and historian Renny Ramakers Droog Design, a Dutch collection of designers, products and information. Together with Ramakers, Bakker is the selector and art director of all products within Droog Design.
Bakker also teaches for more than 40 years at different schools, among others the Delft University of Technology. After teaching at the Design Academy Eindhoven for more than 15 years, Bakker is now head of the Masters department, IM.
Together with Italian gallery owner Marijke Vallanzasca Bakker founded the Chi ha paura...? (Italian for who is afraid for) foundation in 1996. With Chi ha paura...? (CHP...?) Bakker wants to show the international design world that a piece of jewellery is more than a decorative fashion accessory. CHP...? challenges the fear for the contemporary jewellery.
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. Currently his retrospective exhibition “Gijs Bakker and Jewelry” and the regarding catalogue are on display in various museums around the world.
Gijs Bakker’s work is represented in collections, both in museums and private worldwide.
1967 ‘Sculpture to wear by Emmy van Leersum and Gijs Bakker’. Ewan Philips Gallery, London, UK
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
1989 ‘Solo voor een solist’ (‘Solo for a soloist’). Retrospective exhibition, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands and Helen Drutt Gallery, New York, USA
1993 ‘Gatenproject’ (‘Holes project’). Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1995 ‘Shot-project’ (for the occasion of the Prins Bernhard Fonds Prijs). Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1998 ‘Holysport / Shot’. Galerie Ra, Amsterdam and KunstRai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2001 ‘I don’t wear jewels, I drive them’. Galerie Ra, Amsterdam and KunstRai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Gallery Helen Drutt, Philadelphia, USA
2003 ‘Holysport’ and ‘I don’t wear jewels. I drive them’. Galeria Hipotesi, Barcelona, Spain
‘Shot’ and ‘Holysport’ Gallery Deux Poissons, Tokyo, Japan
2005 Retrospective exhibition ‘Gijs Bakker and Jewelry’, SM’s, Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch, ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
2007 Project “Rituals”, jewellery collection by Chi ha paura…?, together with SM’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch, presented in Milan, during International Furniture Fair.
2008 Real? exhibition at Gallerie Ra, Amsterdam & Gallery Deux Poissons, Tokyo
2009 Designers on Jewellery: Twelve years of jewellery production by Chi ha paura...? publication & travelling exhibition
2e Van den Rijn-price for sculptures
Gold en Silver Medal Jablonec
Françoise van den Bosch Price
Nomination Rotterdam Design Price
Nomination Rotterdam Design Price
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prijs voor Toegepaste Kunsten
Ra Award 1996
Benno Premsela Award (for his work with Droog)