The Value of Good Design show at MoMA 2019

This recent show at the Museum of Modern Art captured the highlights from three of their exhibitions from the 1940s and 1950s. Some of my favorites were these pieces from several of the mid-century modern masters.

Reproduction of the ‘Good Design’ logo designed by Morton and Millie Goldsholl Associates in Chicago.

Reproduction of the ‘Good Design’ logo designed by Morton and Millie Goldsholl Associates in Chicago.

Arm chair by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. Hanging fabric by Virginia Nepodal. Lamp by Peter Pfisterer. All 1940.

Arm chair by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. Hanging fabric by Virginia Nepodal. Lamp by Peter Pfisterer. All 1940.

Bench and cabinet by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. Fabrics by Noémi Raymond. All 1940.

Bench and cabinet by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. Fabrics by Noémi Raymond. All 1940.

1948 prototypes by Charles and Ray Eames for a side chair and a chaise longue. The Eames chaise longue reminds me of Harry Bertoia’s 1952  Asymmetric Chaise  prototype. Bertoia’s chair was finally put into production by Knoll in 2005.

1948 prototypes by Charles and Ray Eames for a side chair and a chaise longue. The Eames chaise longue reminds me of Harry Bertoia’s 1952 Asymmetric Chaise prototype. Bertoia’s chair was finally put into production by Knoll in 2005.

Eero Saarinen’s iconic Womb Chair for Knoll. This one was in the 1951 Milan Triennale. Plus work by Gio Ponti, George Nelson and Joel Robinson.

Eero Saarinen’s iconic Womb Chair for Knoll. This one was in the 1951 Milan Triennale. Plus work by Gio Ponti, George Nelson and Joel Robinson.

Low chair by Charlotte Perriand with textiles by Noémi Raymond.

Low chair by Charlotte Perriand with textiles by Noémi Raymond.

Jean Prouvé Standard Chair no. 305 in front of a Maison de la Tunisie bench-bookshelf by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Sonia Delauney-Terk and Nicolas Schöffer.  Both from 1952.

Jean Prouvé Standard Chair no. 305 in front of a Maison de la Tunisie bench-bookshelf by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Sonia Delauney-Terk and Nicolas Schöffer. Both from 1952.

Yamasaki in Detroit

Detroit was home to famed architect Minoru Yamasaki for many years and can boast of some of his finest work. His elegant structures hint at the range of his prolific talent. I love the delicacy and grace that he marries to strength and purity of form.

Here are a few of my local favorites.

Architecture by Yamasaki, chairs by Bertoia, stools by Maya Lin at Michigan Consolidated Gas Company | Detroit 1963

Architecture by Yamasaki, chairs by Bertoia, stools by Maya Lin at Michigan Consolidated Gas Company | Detroit 1963

Education building at Wayne State University | Detroit 1960

Education building at Wayne State University | Detroit 1960

Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office | Southfield, Michigan 1959

Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office | Southfield, Michigan 1959

Temple Beth El | Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 1973

Temple Beth El | Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 1973

McGregor Memorial conference Center at Wayne State University | Detroit 1958

McGregor Memorial conference Center at Wayne State University | Detroit 1958

Wabi-Sabi

I have long been fascinated with the Japanese concept of ‘wabi-sabi’ which celebrates the beauty in objects that have become imperfect and time-worn.  Their patina from use and aging is more interesting to me than a sterile and pristine perfection.

Gardenias starting to fade.

Gardenias starting to fade.

Facade of abandoned building in Jeanerette, Louisiana.

Facade of abandoned building in Jeanerette, Louisiana.

Yayoi Kusama at the High Museum

Prolific Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s blockbuster Infinity Mirror show at the High Museum in Atlanta has just closed. In this stunning exhibition she fearlessly explores life and death, obliteration and preservation, singularity and multiplicity. Here are a few shots that capture a bit of the power of the show.

Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club

Since 1909 the Zulu Club has exuberantly turned Mardi Gras tradition upside down. Today their parade is a highlight of the carnival season. Their elaborate regalia are beautifully crafted and visually stunning. But the interpretation of their attire and use of blackface has become more fraught in 2019. Here are the official Zulu statement and two thoughtful articles that take a nuanced look at Zulu traditions:

Zulu press release February 13, 2019

Times-Picayune op ed February 16, 2019

New York Times article February 14, 2019

I shot most of these photos February 2, 2019 at the annual Flag Raising ceremony for the incoming Zulu King held this year in Algiers. The four dukes in the bottom row are from Mardi Gras day 2018. Their costumes show a strong linkage to the fabulous finery of the Mardi Gras Indians.

Two artists riff on an American architectural archetype

Mike Kelly envisioned ‘Mobile Homestead’ as an exact replica of his childhood home in Westland, Michigan. He described it as ‘every man’s home’ and a ‘typical house of the suburbs.’ Its final resting place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is hugely ironic - Midtown is nothing like the Detroit suburbs.

Mobile   Homestead  at MOCAD

Mobile Homestead at MOCAD

Doug Aitken created the ‘Mirage Detroit’ installation out of faceted mirror panels and placed it inside the historic State Savings Bank in downtown Detroit. Aitken deliberately replicated the simple form of the iconic American ranch house but with infinite reflections dissolving the boundaries of space and shape. Andi Watson collaborated with Aitken on the haunting lighting effects.

Mirage Detroit  in the historic State Savings Bank

Mirage Detroit in the historic State Savings Bank

Odili Donald Odita flags at Prospect.4 in New Orleans

African-born, Philadelphia-raised artist Odili Donald Odita created a series of flags for an installation that was part of Prospect.4 The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp.  Emblazoned with his signature geometric design and saturated colors these flags proudly flew over sites of significance for enslaved Africans and, later, civil rights struggles.

Presbytère

Presbytère

Dew Drop Inn | Mr Kenneth Jackson

Dew Drop Inn | Mr Kenneth Jackson

Roux Carré

Roux Carré

New Orleans Tribune | Esplanade Avenue

New Orleans Tribune | Esplanade Avenue

Homer Plessy Memorial

Homer Plessy Memorial

Ashé Cultural Center

Ashé Cultural Center

Algiers Ferry

Algiers Ferry

Cabildo

Cabildo

Dryades Market

Dryades Market

Congo Square | Armstrong Park

Congo Square | Armstrong Park

Frantz School

Frantz School

Algiers Point

Algiers Point

Dryades Street YMCA

Dryades Street YMCA

Le Musée de f.c.p.

Le Musée de f.c.p.

Prospect.4 Welcome Center

Prospect.4 Welcome Center

There were a couple of sites that did not have flags displayed when I tried to photograph them. Below are Dooky Chase and Sportsman's Corner.  The other site was Dillard University.

No flags.jpg