Of the myriad books on modernism—some more enlightening than others—The Century of Modern Design (Flammarion) will likely prove to be an important one. Culled from the Liliane and David M. Stewart collection (now part of the permanent collection at the Montreal Museum of Modern Art), the highlighted pieces are chronicled by decade, from 1930 through 2009. Designers range from the most revered to the little-known; some, where appropriate to the ongoing story and depending on their prolificness, appear more than once (the Eameses, Gaetano Pesce, Verner Panton). Edited by David A. Hanks, the book unfolds as a careful study of what we have come to call modern, exemplified here as a series of artful movements that are at times so innovative, they almost defy categorization.
April 13, 2011