In the Mix
The Buzz! —2-8-2022
Design Miami's bi-weekly, can't miss roundup of design world news and inspiration
Welcome to The Buzz, a biweekly roundup of design world news and inspiration for Design Miami’s discerning community of creatives and collectors. Enjoy!
Radical Curiosity: In the Orbit of Buckminster Fuller
Singapore’s ArtScience Museum has just launched an exhibition celebrating the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most original thinkers. Radical Curiosity: In the Orbit of Buckminster Fuller explores the legacy of the experimental architect, inventor, and futurist. Fuller worked across disciplines as a self-declared “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” with the aim of solving the world’s most pressing issues—from energy, education, and the environment to housing and beyond. Three-dimensional works (including a full-scale geodesic dome), models, illustrations, original documentation, and more offer a window into his career—and his ongoing influence on today’s designers, architects, and artists. On view til July 10th.
“My ideas have undergone a process of emergence by emergency. When they are needed badly enough, they are accepted.” —Buckminster Fuller
A Trio of Heavy Hitters at R & Company
This month, New York gallery R & Company kicks off concurrent solo shows spotlighting three internationally renowned designers: Zanini de Zanine, Jeff Zimmerman, and Katie Stout. Brazilian designer Zanine’s presentation features sensuous, sculptural benches, chairs, stools, and other objects made from felled trees, repurposed wood, and reclaimed materials, which highlight a connection between the natural and the manmade. Jeff Zimmerman’s exhibition demonstrates the pioneering American glass artist's vast range, through recent works that include illuminated hanging sculptures, colorful vessels, and wall works that act like three-dimensional collages. And Katie Stout’s presentation features the young American designer’s first major body of bronze works, inlaid with colorful, finely crafted ceramic details—alongside a selection of her signature large-scale ceramic pieces. On view through April 22nd.
Chris Schanck at MAD Museum
This week, the Museum of Arts and Design opens Chris Schanck: Off World, a year-long exhibition showcasing the Cranbrook grad’s otherworldly objects, which draw on inspirations as varied as sci-fi, his local Detroit surroundings, Brutalist and Art Deco architecture, ancient Egyptian and Aztec iconography, and beyond, offering reflections on counterculture and alternate universes. The show highlights Schanck’s formal and material investigations, including his signature Alufoil process, a labor-intensive practice in which industrial and discarded materials are sculpted, covered in aluminum foil, and then sealed with resin. Every piece is handcrafted by a team of artists, designers, and Bangladeshi craftspeople from Schanck’s neighborhood.
In parallel with the show, which runs February 12, 2022–January 8, 2023, MAD will host a public programming series in which artists and designers explore the creative potential of industrially produced items discarded in NYC’s streets.
“My works exist on a spectrum, on the one end they are practical and functional, and on the other they are aspirational and speculative–a blend of reality and fantasy. Imagine a child’s bed that is shaped like a rocket or automobile. The practical function of that bed takes the form of a fantasy. We understand that you can’t start the bed and fly away, but in the child it inspires the idea of speed and exploration. My work functions a lot like that bed.” —Designer Chris Schanck
Margaret and Christine Wertheim: Value and Transformation of Corals
Australian-born, California-based sister-artists Margaret and Christine Wertheim use traditional handicraft techniques to respond to the devastating impacts of global warming. Since 2005, their ongoing Crochet Coral Reef series has reflected on the massive loss of coral in the Great Barrier Reef. The Wertheim’s project is now the subject of a museum-wide retrospective at The Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, Germany. A collaborative presentation to which over 20,000 people in 50 cities and countries have contributed, the show includes a grove of giant Coral Forests, A Bleached Reef, an all-plastic Toxic Reef, new sculptures, and Satellite Reefs. Cumulatively, these crafted works—at once intimate and monumental—serve both as commentary of our environmental crisis and as symbols of the interconnected nature of life on Earth. Through June 26th.
Hélène de Saint Lager’s US Debut
Now showing: New York’s Twenty First Gallery presents Aleatory Shapes, the first US solo show by French artist Hélène de Saint Lager. Created in her home studio at Ivry-sur-Seine on the edge of Paris, the new work—including poured aluminum and resin furniture, mirrors, jewelry, lighting, and hand-tufted wool rugs—pays homage to the simultaneous structure and fluidity found in the natural world, and, in particular, the processes of fossilization and mineralization. The results feel both familiar and delightfully curious. On view in til March 25th.
Women at the Heart of Domaine de Boisbuchet
Now showing: Landscapes of Design: Women at the Heart of Domaine de Boisbuchet, an exhibition produced by the Frac Centre-Val de Loire in collaboration with the highly regarded French design research center. Curated by Boisbuchet Director Mathias Schwartz-Clauss, the show focuses on work by female designers, presenting over 100 pieces drawn from Domaine de Boisbuchet’s exceptional collections. From furniture to fashion, the exhibition features pieces by both pioneering 20th century designers and contemporary standouts alike, including Gae Aulenti, Charlotte Perriand, Hella Jongerius, Julia Lohmann, and Sabine Marcelis, among many others. On view at the Frac Centre-Val de Loire through July 31st.