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.
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.
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.