Counter Space at the MoMA
In post-World War I Germany, architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky's "Frankfurt Kitchen" was manufactured and installed in thousands of public-housing unit across Frankfurt am Main. Schütte-Lihotzky's design took the kitchen out of hiding and into public light, showcasing smart, small, and ergonomic strategies for storage, appliances, and work areas. The Frankfurt Kitchen is at the center of the New York Museum of Modern Art's new show Counter Space, which opened last week. The exhibition also features iconic kitchen products and innovation of the 20th century, including Philippe Starck's lemon squeezer and Snaidero's Spazio Vivo mobile kitchen unit. The show runs through March 14, 2011.
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Counter Space explores the twentieth-century transformation of the kitchen and highlights MoMA’s recent acquisition of an unusually complete example of the iconic “Frankfurt Kitchen,” designed in 1926–27 by the architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky. In the aftermath of World War I, thousands of these kitchens were manufactured for public-housing estates being built around the city of Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany. Schütte-Lihotzky’s compact and ergonomic design, with its integrated approach to storage, appliances, and work surfaces, reflected a commitment to transforming the lives of ordinary people on an ambitious scale.
Featured alongside the Frankfurt Kitchen is a 1968 mobile fold-out unit manufactured by the Italian company Snaidero. These two complete kitchens are complemented by a wide variety of design objects, architectural plans, posters, archival photographs, and selected artworks, all drawn from MoMA’s collection. Prominence is given to the contribution of women throughout the exhibition, not only as the primary consumers and users of the domestic kitchen, but also as reformers, architects, designers, and as artists who have critically addressed kitchen culture and myths.
This exhibition is organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Aidan O’Connor, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.
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Soon to open at MoMA is Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, an exhibition chronicling the transformation of 20th century kitchen design. On September 14th, MoMA's Department of Communications will host a media preview of the event from 10:00-12:00 PM, with remarks at 11:00 AM to field questions about the exhibition and shed some light into the curators' vision.
RSVP to the Department of Communications by phone at 212-708-9401 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.