Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just for fun : midcentury car design - Ralph Lauren's Collection

Seventeen sport cars selected from the fabulous and refined Ralph Lauren's collection will be featured in the exhibition "The Art of Automobile" at Les Arts Décoratifs (Paris, Louvre, opening April 28).

Car design is art, isn't it ?

Ralph Lauren coll.
Photo : M. Furman

This Jaguar, with its fighter plane design, means victorious speed - it awarded 3 times the "24 heures du Mans" race. Driving it, a woman became the fastest woman in the world in 1964.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Man Ray in Chateau du Gourdon (Christies, Paris, Palais de Tokyo, 29-31th of march)

Man Ray (1890-1976) 

Sans titre (composition aux cercles), 1930
Cachet 'EPREUVE ORIGINALE Atelier Man Ray PARIS' (au verso)
Tirage argentique postérieur
15.5 x 11.7 cm. (6 1/8 x 4½ in.)
Tiré vers 1960. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pierre Bergé & Associés, Auction Sale, Brussels, "Design scandinave"

On the next 3rd of April... amazing !

Bodil Kjaer, 1959

Poul Henningsen, 1964

Bruno Mathsson, circa 1950

Poul Kjaerholm, "PK20"

Piet Hein & Bruno Mathsson, 1965

Finn Juhl, 1955

and so on !

Monday, March 7, 2011

Donald A. Wexler : the American Modernism in California

Donald A. Wexler, AIA, Wexler Family House, (interior) 1955, Palm Springs, CA
photograph ©Juergen Nogai, 2010

Wexler and Harrison, Wexler Family House (night view), 1955, Palm Springs, CA
 photograph © Juergen Nogai, 2010

Wexler and Harrison, Steel House, 1962
photograph © Juergen Nogai 2010

"Donald Wexler practiced architecture during what he calls the “golden age” of California architecture from the immediate postwar years through the 1970s. This was a time when architects enjoyed considerable freedom to employ new materials and technologies in their search for functionally beautiful architecture. The extremes of the desert climate forced Wexler to develop a sustainable architecture, which was not only successful functionally, but achieved a timeless aesthetic appeal. During a career that spanned almost six decades, he designed numerous houses, condominium complexes, as well as banks, office parks and schools."

"Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler"exhibition, Palm Springs Art Museum

 (from 01.29.11 to 05.29.11)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Danish 1950s wooden toys : Kay Bojesen's teak and limbawood zoo

These wooden animals seem to be alive : their designer's premise, Kay Bojesen (1886-1858),  in his work was a conviction  that his objects should have life, blood and a heart. People should want to pick them up, and they should radiate humanity, warmth and vibrancy. The monkey was produced in accordance with Bojesen’s motto that lines should smile. In the early 1950s, it was so popular that it was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. 
These lovely animals, for kids and adults, are among the most popular Danish toys : on Danish television they had permanent place as mascots in wildlife programs and as prices in quiz shows. 

They are still in production : in 1990, Rosendahl (http://www.rosendahl.com) bought the rights to the production, marketing and sale of Kay Bojesen’s products, including his guardsmen, wooden animals and award-winning Grand Prix cutlery.

Which one would you prefer among this choice ?

the walnut dog?

the elephant ?

or the stars, designed in 1951 : the two so beautifully smiling apes ?

Kay Bojesen (1886–1958), a silversmith, became known as one of the Danish applied art's great pioneers thanks to his wooden toys he began to think about in the 1920s. At the beginning he was an apprentice of Georg Jensen, training as a silversmith in 1910. After a few years in Germany and France, he began working as a silversmith in Copenhagen.  In the 1930s he developed a more simple, functionalistic style. His silver cutlery set from 1938 won in a stainless version first prize at the Milano Triennial in 1951 and was named "Grand Prix"’. Bojesen is especially known for his design of toys in wood, for instance his guardsman from 1942 and he created a line of craftily devised animals of which several had movable arms and legs. In fact, in the 1930s he realised there was something particularly lively about wood : too curious to restrict himself to the work of refining metals, he began experimenting with other materials. In the course of his exploration, he discovered wood as a material with very special possibilities for industrial treatment and styling. This discovery led to the classic guardsmen and a whole zoological garden taking shape between his hands.  The best known is the Monkey from 1951, but also the elephant and the parrot from the 1950s are known by several generations.  Kay Bojesen also designed furniture for children, jewellery and objects for the home.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Views from Stockholm Furniture Fair 2011

Easy Chair Spectra' by Matti Klenell for Källemo

Lights designed by Greta Magnusson Grossman in the 1950s, reissued by Gubi

Österlen by Inga Sempé for Gärsnäs

"At 60 years age old, the Stockholm Furniture Fair is the largest fair event in the Nordic countries. From the minute you step out of the plane, design surrounds you. The city itself is a showpiece for good, solid product design, so it makes sense that it should have a trade show that reflects this."

("Stockholm Furniture Fair", by Alex Bagner, Wallpaper, 11 Feb., 2011)