revoliutsiia! demonstratisiia! soviet art put to the test | the art institute of chicago | 29 october 2017 > 15 january 2018
the october revolution of 1917 changed the course of world history; it also turned russia into a showcase filled with models. every object and sphere of activity had to demonstrate how society could be remade according to revolutionary principles. it would take intensive experimentation and discussion to determine the shape of this unprecedented society. to be realized in any concrete way, communism had to be modeled and put on display.
revoliutsiia! demonstratisiia! soviet art put to the test accordingly fills regenstein hall with ten model displays from the early soviet era. each of these sections holds rare works of art and features expert, life-size reconstructions of early soviet display objects or spaces, commissioned especially for this exhibition.
it’s well documented that the russian art scene, beginning c 1895 and leading up to a 1917 communist revolution, was an avante garde, graphically primed, and prolific force. movements included neo-primitivism, rayonism, cubofuturism, italian futurism, and the first abstract constructivist and suprematist paintings. artists included mikhail larionov, natalia goncharova, aristarkh lentulov, lyubov popova, olga rozanova, el lissitzky, vladmir tatlin, kazimir malevich, alexander rodchenko, wassily kandinsky. kandinsky would later join the bauhaus design faculty, as well as hungarian artist lászló moholy-nagy who was inspired by the constructivists.
artists were asked to remake society according to revolutionary principles – to find new answers to old questions.
the revolution not only incited a political / social movement, but also inspired two monumental design genres – russian contructivism and in 1919, weimar, germany, the founding of the bauhaus. constructivism would dominate the graphic messaging for the revolution. constructivism would also evolve into an iconic bauhaus style.
the art institute of chicago presents ten displays containing nearly 550 works, the largest exhibition of soviet art to take place in the united states in 25 years. visitors have the opportunity to explore the trajectory of early soviet art in all its forms and consider what it tells us about socially minded art now.
[ west village ] Herman Miller and maharam conceive a tribute to Alexander Girard, Herman Miller’s director of design from 1952 to 73. The tribute is in the form of an exhibit loaded with archival artifacts of the prolific Girard. You’ll also see new interpretations of iconic furniture with the help of maharam’s textiles. The space also is conceived to be an oasis, as visitor’s are encouraged to come in and chill and have a refreshment. Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision will be open to the public thru 28 May. 446 West 14th Street.
[ times square ]
Vitra introduces us to the new (two weeks old) Dutch boutique hotel citizenM. Probably because citizenM continues their collaborations with architecture firm concrete, book store MENDO and… Swiss design label Vitra. The lobby is topped by their rooftop bar and sky gym. [ citizenM ] 218 west 50th.
[ soho ]
There’s a faith of (Italian) flagship showrooms offsite in SoHo. The Poltrona Frau Group three showrooms are right next to each other. Cappellini / 152 wooster | Cassina / 151 wooster | Poltrona Frau / 145 wooster. Also Alessi / 130 greene street | Flos / 152 greene
string lights | michael anastassiades | flos
[ javits center ]
We only found one booth of emerging designers in Javits: Christopher Gentner and Felicia Ferrone. We know both very well. This is their first ‘booth’, first collection(s). Christopher earned his reputation by building high quality furniture for designers and architects. He’s now applying this knowledge to his own designs. Felicia is an architect by training and apprenticed under Antonio Citterio. [ gentner ] [ fferone ]
artek usa / booth 1804
brazilian furniture / 1472 & 1572
emeco / 1732
flavor paper / 1032
fritz hansen / 2022
jasper morrison ‘the good life’ / 1644
lasvit / 826
nanimarquina / 1104
samuel heath / 1548
tom dixon / 1318
vitra / 1704
wilsonart / 2248 & 2353
wolf gordon / 1332