January 2022

Posts tagged as 'Modernsim'

Charlotte Perriand and ‘Nuage’ at the Expo Synthèse des Arts Tokyo, 1955; photo by Junzo Inamura

Tubular steel chairs, or perhaps aluminium and glass creations might indeed be the first designs that come to mind when thinking of Charlotte Perriand’s pioneering pieces. One of modernism’s most significant furniture designers, and one of the few women who broke the glass ceiling of this then firmly male-dominated profession, Perriand’s most famous designs include the iconic LC4 Chaise Longue or the LC7 Swivel Chair, both of which were developed in collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. On this recently-reissued oak wood-and-aluminium shelving collection however, the French designer worked on her own. Called ‘Nuage‘ the Bauhaus-coloured modular series was inspired by Japanese architecture (Perriand spent there two years working as a ministerial advisor on industrial design) and comprises five models of varying heights, all of which feature characteristic sliding panels which come in either anodised aluminium, or in red, blue, green, yellow, grey, black or white. (more…)

Luthold House, Allen Gelbin Architect, 1966, New Canaan, CT; photo © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward CellaArt+Architecture

This coming Thursday (5 April) sees an opening of exhibition dedicated to an extensive body of work the acclaimed, Arizona-born photographer Pedro E. Guerrero. Titled ‘Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life‘, the retrospective ‘will highlight the diversity of Guerrero’s subjects taken over seven decades, which included the architecture of Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Edward Durell Stone, and Eero Saarinen, and ranged from portraits of architects to commercial work for House & Garden, Vogue, the New York Times Magazine, and Architectural Record.’ (more…)

Google's doodle celebrating Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday

Today marks the anniversary of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 126th birthday and to celebrate the life and groundbreaking career of one of history’s most influential architects, Google has reconstructed their ubiquitous four-colour logo into Mies’ 1956 masterpiece, the S. R. Crown Hall. Considered to be one of the most iconic and significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist architecture, the two-storey hall is the home of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where Mies held the position of director of Department of Architecture. (more…)

Detail of a desk from the '62-series' by Greta Grossman, recently reissued by Gubi

Following last year’s relaunch of the iconic, modernist ‘Grasshopper’ lamp, in 2012 Danish furniture and lighting brand Gubi revived not one but further four elegant, Mid-Century modern classics created by the acclaimed designer and architect, Greta Grossman. Relaunched at this year’s edition of Stockholm Furniture Fair, the ’62-series’ wasn’t designed in 1962, as its name may suggest, but more than half a century ago, in 1952, with the number wittily indicating that the pieces were ten years ahead of their time. Characterised by the use of contrasting colours and materials such as; natural American walnut, glossy black laminate and powder-coated metal, the four-piece furniture collection comprises a desk and three chests of drawers in varying sizes, all of which will be available from autumn 2012.


Watch ‘Greta Grossman – A Pioneer Female Designer’ documentary at the end of this post.


Ireland's first apearance on the international exhibitionary stage at the 1939 New York World's Fair saw Michael Scott deliver the ultra-modern Irish Pavilion, complete with externally mounted sculpture of 'Mother Éire' and type by Eric Gill

Ireland is in a reflective mood these days. With the island nation on the edge of Europe facing up to the reality of a severely damaged economy and a decimated construction industry, nostalgia is doing what it’s wont to do. A recently published book on how the country, back in its fledgling days, used the language of modernism in its project of nation-building and an exhibition currently running at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on the development of modernity in Ireland both contribute to a re-engagement with an internationally under-appreciated strand of Irish architecture that sought to posit the state as a modern and democratic society. The grass is sometimes greener, even on the Emerald Isle.


Case Study House 21, Los Angeles, 2006, architect: Pierre Koenig, photo: Julius Shulman/Jürgen Nogai © J. Nogai

With his narrative, almost filmic and precisely arranged stagings the American architectural photographer Julius Shulman breathed life into the clean, modernist buildings he captured with his iconic images. It was his photography which especially defined the world’s perception of California and its modern architectural roots.

On the occasion of his 100th birthday on October 10th the ZEPHYR Raum für Fotografie in Mannheim / Germany, gives us the chance to look at 220 pieces of Julius Shulman’s artwork from the years 1938 to 1982 and his almost unknown late work, which he realised together with the German photographer Jürgen Nogai from 1999 until his death in 2009.


'Haus Rentsch' by Richard Neutra, 1964, © Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

He was one of the protagonists of modern architecture. In the 1920s Richard Neutra, born Austrian, moved to the US where he soon raised reputation with his light and airy structures. Museum MARTa Herford dedicated its recent exhibition to his less known European opus with an extensive selection of original designs, water colour sketches, building plans, models and photographs by Richard Neutra.

BEWO Quickborn, Quickborn, Germany, 1960-63, Eberhard Troeger © Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

“An international team of experts has been working on this project for over two years. While conducting research for the exhibition and the catalogue (to be published by DuMont in Cologne), they discovered unfinished projects by Neutra in his archive at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), which will now go on display at Herford…. The exhibition will shed light on the impact of this influential architect, who began his career in Europe, took the ideas of the Bauhaus with him to the USA, and then brought American modernism to Europe.”

The exhibition will be open until 1 August 2010.

'Haus Pescher', photo by Iwan Baan

Bewobau Walldorf Interieur, 1960 © Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

to the MARTa Herford website

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

The rise of the small town Zlín in the east of the Czech Republic to the centre of the biggest European shoe manufacturer Bat’a is a unique economic and social, but also an architectural phenomenon. Zlín is a “model town of Modernism“, since many architectural and social ideals that politicians, entrepreneurs and architects propagated as visionary after World War I, had been realized there. Thus the town, that Le Corbusier described as a „shining phenomenon“, became a kind of pilgrimage site for all kinds of proponents of progress in the 1930s. At the turn of the century, the small place in which Tomáš Bat’a had founded a shoe factory together with his brother and sister in 1894, had 3,000 inhabitants, steadily developing to 43,000 by 1938.

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

Thrilled by the ideas and production methods of the most successful car manufacturer of the time, Henry Ford, and the founder of the science of management, Frederick W. Taylor, the entrepreneurs Tomáš and Jan Antonin Bat’a had the small place systematically developed into a kind of huge laboratory for communal life and work, establishing a system in which the entire town and all its inhabitants were only serving one single purpose – the increase of shoe production. Not only the division of labour, timekeeping and conveyor belts, but also captive social facilities such as nurseries, schools and a hospital as well as a department store, a sports club and a large cinema, aimed at this target. Architecture should also contribute to forming new and better-working people.

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

The town is divided into zones assigned to the areas of working, living, spare time and traffic – a separation of functions corresponding to the key concepts of modern town building that were later propagated in the „Charta of Athens“. Decisively influenced by the architects František L. Gahura and Vladimír Karfík, almost all public buildings were developed on a planning grid of 6.15 by 6.15 metres, a uniform measurement which literally served as a standardization of work and life. Starting out from Zlín, Bat’a had factories and towns erected in other countries and continents as a smaller version of Zlín using modern architecture to convey a company-related identity and modernity.

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

Zlín – Model Town of Modernism

The exhibition has adapted parts of the Prague show „The Bat’a Phenomenon“ (National Gallery, spring 2009) but has been restructured for Munich. By means of models, plans, objects, photographs and films the architectural development, the linkage of cultural and social life in Zlín as well as the worldwide circulation of Bat’a’s ideas are presented and critically reflected. A separate area, specifically compiled for the Munich show, will be dealing extensively with Le Corbusier’s planning concepts for Bat’a – which have so far been hardly known, even in expert circles (expansion of Zlín, a standard plan for the French shoe shops, the French satellite town Hellocourt and the Bat’a pavilion for the World Fair in Paris in 1937). Some of the original drawings of the Fondation Le Corbusier will be shown for the first time. A big model of the World Fair pavilion – only known as a plan so far – can be experienced in its spatial form for the first time.

Opening: 18.11.2009, 19.00

Duration of exhibition: 19.11.-21.02.2010

to the Pinakothek der Moderne website

For technical support contact Alfred Giolai Zlín – Model Town of Modernism: Exhibition at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich