THE NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM’S NEW BEACH

Rendering of The BEACH at the National Building Museum. Courtesy of Snarkitecture.

If you’re in the nation’s capital this summer, and it’s hot and steamy and nothing sounds better than a trip to the seashore, consider a visit to the National Building Museum instead. There, the Brooklyn-based collaborative Snarkitecture is creating The BEACH, an installation open between July 4 and Labor Day that epitomizes Snarkitecture’s philosophy of operating in “territories between art and architecture” and investigating “indefinable moments created by manipulating and reinterpreting existing materials, structures and programs to spectacular effect.” Continue reading→

Summer of Design: A Semi-Centennial and a Special Sale

LOOKING AT LE CORBUSIER IN PARIS
—by Claudia Barbieri

Images courtesy of Centre Pompidou/©FLC, ADAGP, 2015

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, aka Le Corbusier, changed the face of twentieth-century architecture and urban planning. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death in 1965 the Centre Pompidou in Paris has mounted a retrospective of his work, on view through August 3. In parallel, two Left Bank Parisian art galleries, Eric Mouchet and Zlotowski, are putting on commemorative shows of their own, running through, respectively, June 13 and July 25. Continue reading→

DESIGN MIAMI/BASEL 2015 Report

ANIMALS AND GEOMETRIES

This year’s edition of Design Miami/Basel, the second year under the auspices of new director Rodman Primack, appeared more defined and mature than previous fairs. Elegant, as always, but with a clearer focus. The show ran from June 17 through 22 in a two-year-old exhibition hall just across the Messeplatz from Art Basel.

Metal Low Chair, 2014, by Aranda/Lasch at Gallery ALL (Design Miami Basel)


Continue reading→

JØRN UTZON AT BRUUN RASMUSSEN

—by Jenny Florence

Jørn Utzon’s relative obscurity is an enigma. Here was a Pritzker Prize-winning architect who designed one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognizable even to children (and those not in the business of caring about architecture). Here was also a roving creative who traveled the world to meet and occasionally collaborate with some of the twentieth century’s most celebrated architects and designers, including Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, and Le Corbusier. Finally, here was a prolific collector who not only acquired artworks by Fernand Léger, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso, among others, but purchased many directly from the artists. And yet, mention of Utzon’s name might elicit only a polite “gesundheit.” Continue reading→

The Master of Metals

AN EXHIBITION AT CRANBROOK EXPLORES HARRY BERTOIA’S JEWELRY
AND THE FORGING OF HIS CAREER

By Elizabeth Hamilton

Ornamental centipede in brass, c. 1942.

A WRITHING CENTIPEDE WROUGHT in hammer­ed brass and a gold necklace evoking the decayed, wilted sepals of a plant are among the jewelry de­signs on view in the Cranbrook Art Museum’s ex­hibition Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia. To celebrate the centennial of the artist’s birth, the institution has organized the first museum exhibition devoted exclusively to his jewelry.
Continue reading→

Pathmakers

Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today
By Jennifer Scanlan

Vivian Beer in her studio at work on Anchored Candy, 2014.

AN ICONIC PHOTO OF FIVE OF THE MOST FAMOUS DESIGNERS of the post-World War II era appeared in Playboy in July 1962; it featured George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, and Jens Risom near furniture of their own creation. The image speaks volumes about the ways in which modern design has been portrayed in popular culture and often even in museum exhibitions and history books: designers are all men, and design means furniture.

For Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today, an exhibition for the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City, my co-curator Ezra Shales and I decided to investigate and celebrate the areas in which women played important, if unsung, roles during this period. Given MAD’s historic focus on craft, we looked particularly at the ways in which the resurgence of interest in craft after World War II opened doors for women to become professional artists, designers, and teachers.
Continue reading→

From the Editor

Out of the Ordinary | Summer 2015
— Beth Dunlop

LIFE IS FULL OF LESSONS. One of my closest friends over the years was an art critic who could find something to admire almost everywhere she went. Her world was populated, of course, by beautiful paintings, but she could elevate so many other objects and things—a soup can, a wrapped present, thrift-shop tea towels, a pair of shoes—into works of art because she saw them for their design and for their possibilities. Others of us would have left the grocery store without that particular can of tomatoes because we hadn’t stopped long enough to admire its label. We would not have looked closely enough to see that what appeared to be plain brown wrapping paper actually had a faint microscopic pattern that came out once you added a ribbon. In my bathroom are three small hand towels she gave me that are, most likely, mid-century English (not sure because she pulled them out of a bin at a flea market). Continue reading→

History Lesson: The Importance of Anzolo Fuga

By EVAN LOBEL

Anzolo Fuga (1914–1998) on the occasion of an award from the Venetian Chamber of Commerce in 1987.

ANZOLO FUGA, BORN IN 1914, came from one of Murano’s oldest and most distinguished glassblowing lineages, dating back to the Middle Ages. His father, Emilio Fuga, was director of the Cristalleria di Venezia e Murano, which made French-style crystals that were ground or decorated with acid. His mother, Adelaide Barovier, was the daughter of Giuseppe Barovier, an important and talented glass master who worked on Murano in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anzolo, his name the Muranese version of Angelo, was named after his paternal grandfather, who had revived the art of copper-wheel engraving and the making of decorated mirrors in the second half of the nineteenth century. Continue reading→