The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has entirely revamped its modern design section. The section now houses a 300-piece, five-section exhibit called “Shaping Modernity: Design 1880–1980.” Featured in the exhibit is a selection of visionary objects, graphics, architectural fragments, and textiles that five periods in design history and how each interpreted modernity.
Key highlights from the show include a number of print graphics from the 1920s and 30s. The pieces represent a period characterized by "New Typography" - when graphic art began to take hold. Modernist in this time defied the standard symmetrical columns of type by arranging asymmetrical layouts, using blocks of type with photos and illustrations.
The portion of the exhibit covering 1925 to 1940 features items that are sometimes ignored for their design qualities. This period of history saw industrial design that, though often not attributed to any one person or company, left a significant mark on the course of society and technology. The museum approached the theme by presenting utilitarian items such as a meat slicer and a trashcan.
The section entitled "Continuity and Critique" features pieces of classic modernism from 1960 to 1980. A key piece is the "Blow" chair from 1967. Designed by a trio including Paolo Lomazzi, the chair is inflatable and constructed from bright red PVC. The piece is especially remarkable because it doesn't even look retro, despite its creation date being more than 40 years ago. The design catapulted Lomazzi and his team to international stardom in the 1960s.
“Shaping Modernity: Design 1880–1980” open December 23, 2009 and runs through July 2010.