Design in Uniform at CCA
The degree to which modernist design came to the fore of Western life—both aesthetically, in its reliance on mechanized production—at mid-century had everything to do with World War II. As much a military battle as a race to outproduce the enemy, the actual manufacture of objects would never be the same. After five years in the works, Design in Uniform at the Canadian Centre for Architecture gives us a glimpse of the design that went into the war effort and what effect it had on the rest of the century. The show opens next week at the CCA in Montreal and will travel after that. Be sure to check it out if you're north of the border: It runs April 13 through September 18th. Or if you can't make it, check out this slideshow of images.
Showing image @current of @total
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal, A Bittersweet Decade: The New Deal in America, 1933-43 considers the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs on American culture. The exhibition explores how the government’s patronage of art, design, and architecture were integral parts of the larger project of the New Deal, which aimed to spur recovery from the Great Depression and change American society. Drawing largely on the resources of The Wolfsonian–FIU, and complemented by the collections of local and national supporters, including Martin Z. Margulies, Jason Schoen, and Wolfsonian founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr., this exhibition showcases the range of art and design generated by New Deal programs. Paintings, sculpture, prints, posters, mural studies, photographs, books, models, furniture and a variety of other objects will be on view.
- I first met Cathy Leff, director of the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, three years ago when she gave me a splendid bicycle tour of Miami, Florida.
Architect and self-proclaimed “general practitioner” of design Michael Graves shares his thoughts on the effect of good design in a talk at The Wolfsonian–Florida International University.
“Michael Graves stands in the forefront of architecture and design,” notes Cathy Leff, director of The Wolfsonian. “We expect his talk to electrify the South Florida Community of designers, architects, and others who appreciate his innovative design solutions.”
- Living locally is a trend that has captured not only foodies but designers, too.
The exhibition, featuring roughly one hundred lithographs, etchings, woodcuts and color linocuts by fourteen artists, examines the impact of Futurism and Cubism on British modernist printmaking from the beginning of World War I to the beginning of World War II. The principal artists represented in the exhibition are C. R. W. Nevinson, Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth, David Bomberg—the early followers of Futurism and Vorticism—and Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and Lill Tschudi—the later color linocut artists of London’s Grosvenor School of Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue organized thematically, with sections on World War I, Vorticism and Abstraction, Urban Life/Urban Dynamism, Sport, Labor and Industry, Entertainment and Leisure, Natural Forces,and a Technique section devoted to the color linocut (manuals, tools, blocks).
To see a selection of artworks from the show, please visit the slideshow.
This exhibition seeks to illustrate how designers in Europe and America responded to new ideas and attitudes about health, hygiene, and efficiency in the home in the early twentieth century. Several world events also contributed to a demand for cleaner and more efficient environments and products: the 1918 influenza epidemic, which killed over 20 million people; the commitment to reconstruct major areas of Europe following the destruction wrought by the First World War; and later, the economic depression of the 1930s. Likewise, the modern corporation’s drive for economic efficiency was translated into a desire for labor-saving devices for the household, made increasingly possible by the growth of electrical power networks.
Designers were called upon to create interiors, furniture, and appliances that would save time and money, and that could be easily cleaned. Advertisers promoted these new products with images and slogans that held out the promise of a healthier home and pledged to make the drudgery of household chores a thing of the past. Many of these same ideas continue to interest us today.
- Cathy Leff takes to the road (and sidewalk) to lead us on an intrepid bicycle tour of Miami’s architectural and cultural wonders.
- Dwell's intrepid editor and man about town, Aaron Britt, reports on the sights and scene this week at Design Miami in Miami Beach, Florida.