Figuration in Contemporary Design, the latest production from the Art Institute of Chicago's Curator of Architecture and Design Joseph Rosa, opens this Thursday, December 13th.
According to the museum, the exhibition, mounted in the usual Gallery 227, seeks to posit a trend away from modernist minimalism:
"Ever since the Austrian architect Adolf Loos declared that ornament was “crime” in 1909, modern architects and designers have heeded his argument. From the clean, industrial lines of the Bauhaus and International style to the wares for sale today in Design Within Reach, figuration—the use of representational elements—in modern design has been pushed to the margins. [Figuration in Contemporary Design] makes the argument, however, that figuration is returning to contemporary design, leading to an inventive and unique aesthetic."
Rosa promises "a dazzling display of the contemporary design arts, focused on the return of representation that engages with long dormant ideas such as romanticism, subjectivity, nature, and anti-intellectualism."
Among the 28 designers represented are Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, Petra Blaisse, UNStudio, and Joep Verhoeven of the Dutch design firm Demakersvan, whose computer-designed "Lace" industrial fencing. is pictured here. A catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be either 96 or 112 pages long, depending on whether you're reading the AIC's website or email.
The Art Institute is open on Thursdays until 8:00 P.M., and after 5:00 admission is free. Figuration in Contemporary Architecture will have an extremely long run, through June 8, 2008.