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MetaModern

October 9th, 2016 – February 26th, 2017
Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center

 

Modernist design—that radical and iconoclastic break with the past—is now itself a thing of the past, so much so that contemporary artists have been treating modernist designs as icons themselves and incorporating them, sometimes literally and often conceptually, into their own work. 

Conrad Bakker, Untitled Project: Eames Armchair Rocker (+ Walden), 2012, oil on carved maple wood, courtesy of the artist © Conrad Bakker
James Welling, 6109, 2008, Inkjet print, edition 1/5, courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles © James Welling
Clarissa Tossin, White Marble Everyday, 2009, Two-channel HD video, 5 min. 42 sec., courtesy of the artist © Clarissa Tossin
Edgar Orlaineta, Máscaras, 2013, mixed media on bent plywood, courtesy Martina Santillan Collection and Proyectos Monclova
Fernanda Fragateiro, MR10 Double Chair after Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, 2009, Polished stainless steel, Güttermann silk thread, courtesy of the artist, photograph by  Miguel Angelo Guerreiro, image courtesy of the artist, Gonzalo Parodi Collection, Madrid, and Arratia Beer, Berlin
Terence Gower, Display Modern I (Hepworth), No. 7, 2014, paper, cardboard, plywood, glue, courtesy of the artist and LABOR, Mexico City, photograph by Lisa Kahane
Terence Gower, Display Modern I (Hepworth), No. 8, 2014, paper, cardboard, plywood, glue, courtesy of the artist and LABOR, Mexico City, photograph by Lisa Kahane
Edgar Orlaineta, Narcissus, 2002,  Two LCW chairs (Charles and Ray Eames, 1946, for Herman Miller, reproduction), steel cables, courtesy Sara Meltzer, New York © Edgar Orlaineta

Modernist design—that radical and iconoclastic break with the past—is now itself a thing of the past, so much so that contemporary artists have been treating modernist designs as icons themselves and incorporating them, sometimes literally and often conceptually, into their own work. These recombinations and modifications result in an entirely unique mix: a meta-modernism in which the original source is changed, self-referential, abstracted. Using classic elements in new configurations, artists are making unique works of art that comment on the claims of the past in light of the complexities of the present.

The artists in this exhibition, most of who were born in the 1960s, question the reverence accorded to classic modernism. Too young to have grown up eating breakfast cereal from a Russel Wright spoon while seated in an Eames chair, these artists—working in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, and in diverse mediums including video, photography, and sculpture—appropriate the language of the modernist movement critically, using it to interrogate the meaning of style and its relationship to history.

A 132-page soft cover, illustrated catalgue includes essays by exhibtion co-curators Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox and noted fiction author Simon Mawer and is available at Bradford W. Bates Vault: The Museum Design Store.

Organized by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Curators: Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2-curatorsquared

Sponsored in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Office of the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Francis P. Rohlen Visiting Artist Fund/College of Fine Arts, and Krannert Art Museum and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Palm Springs Art Museum presentation is sponsored by IKEA.

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Exhibition Season Sponsors: Carol & Jim Egan, David Kaplan & Glenn Ostergaard, Dorothy C. Meyerman, Marion & Bob Rosenthal, and the Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation.

Generous support is provided by John Boccardo & Derek Esplin, Elizabeth Edwards Harris, John P. Monahan, Roswitha Kima Smale, and THE FIVE HUNDRED.