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Vitra Design Museum – Exhibition Overview 2021

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Published by Sugar & Cream, Thursday 04 February 2021

Text and images courtesy of Vitra Design Museum & Alexander Rusinek

The Previews of the Vitra Design Museum Exhibitions

For this year, yet another year of great uncertainty for the entire world of design, fashion, culture and art. Despite Covid-19, Vitra has revealed the previews of the Vitra Design Museum exhibitions. A great way to enjoy virtually or non-virtually depends on the situation.

We all love museum and time to explore what Vitra with the exhibitions (subject to change).

VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM GALLERY
Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance
6 February 2021 – 23 January 2022


George Sowden, Drawing for Interior 2, 1983 © Vitra Design Museum

The Memphis group of Italian designers and architects was one of the most unusual phenomena in the design of the past decades. Despite its short-lived existence from 1981 to 1987, its history and impact are legendary. With their bright colours and fantastic patterns, Memphis designs seemed to have walked off the pages of a comic book and gave rise to a completely new look in which popular culture, an advertising aesthetic, and post-modernism merged in a crazy medley. Forty years after the group was founded, the exhibition »Memphis: 40 Years of Kitsch and Elegance« at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery presents objects, drawings, and material from the archives giving insight into the Memphis world. The group’s main protagonists will also be introduced, from its mentor Ettore Sottsass to Michele de Lucchi, Martine Bedin, Michael Graves, Barbara Radice, Peter Shire, and Shiro Kuramata.

Michele de Lucchi, Kristall, 1980/81 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS

CURRENT EXHBITIONS
Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors
Until 28 February 2021,
Vitra Design Museum

Lina Bo Bardi, Casa de Vidro, São Paulo, Brasilien, 1951, photo: © Nelson Kon, 2002

Our homes are an expression of the way we live, they shape our everyday routines and fundamentally affect our well-being. With the major exhibition »Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors« the Vitra Design Museum aims to reopen the conversation about the contemporary private interior and its evolution. In a captivating narrative leading visitors backwards in time, the exhibition will highlight important societal, political, urban, and technical shifts that have shaped the design and the use of the Western interior over the last 100 years. From current issues facing the domestic domain — such as the efficient use of dwindling urban space to the blurring of work-life boundaries — the journey includes our fascination with loft-living in the 1970s, the shift from formal to informal dwelling in the 1960s, the rise of household appliances in the 1950s, and the introduction of open-space planning in the 1920s. The exhibition is organized around 20 iconic interiors by architects such as Adolf Loos, Finn Juhl, Lina Bo Bardi, and Assemble; artists like Andy Warhol or Cecil Beaton, as well as interior designer Elsie de Wolfe.

Installation view »Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 visionary Interiorss« © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Ludger Paffrath

Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe
Until 18 April 2021,
Vitra Schaudepot

Gae Aulenti, 1989, Courtesy of Archivio Gae Aulenti, Photo: © Hans Visser

Gae Aulenti (1927–2012) was one of the few Italian women in architecture and design to rise to prominence in the postwar years. If Italy came to be the dominant force in international product design in the 1960s, Aulenti’s iconic »Locus Solus« series (1964) or the »Pipistrello« lamp (1965) for the interior of the Paris Olivetti showroom played an important part. As an architect, Aulenti gained worldwide recognition for the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which she famously converted from a former train station from 1980 to 1986. An exhibition at the Vitra Schaudepot in spring 2020 will present her multifaceted work, which also included projects in the fields of set, exhibition, and interior design.

Installation view »Gae Aulenti. A Creative Universe« © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Bettina Matthiessen


Presented by Coulisse | INK

VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM
German Design 1949 – 1989: Two Countries, One History
20 March 2021 – 5 September 2021

Interior view of Palace of the Republic in Berlin – Mitte district, 1977 © ddrbildarchiv.de/Manfred Uhlenhut

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Wüstenrot Foundation.

Driven by the Bauhaus and Werkbund movements, German Design gained wide recognition in the early twentieth century. After 1949, its development followed a unique path as designers in the divided nation continued working under opposed political systems in East and West Germany. More than thirty years after the German reunification, the Vitra Design Museum presents the exhibition »German Design 1949 – 1989: Two Countries, One History« from 20 March until 5 September 2021. It is the first overview that explores German design on both sides of the Iron Curtain. While giving insights into the different design philosophies in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, it also reveals the many parallels and interrelations linking design in East and West during the nation’s divide. The exhibition is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

Peter Ghyczy, Gartenei / Senftenberger Ei, 1968 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen HANS

The exhibition »German Design« will be presented at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden from 15 October 2021 to 20 February 2022.

VITRA SCHAUDEPOT
New presentation concept celebrates Vitra Schaudepot’s fifth anniversary: Annual focus topics, starting with female designers of the collection
17 June 2021 – 8 May 2022

Exterior view Vitra Schaudepot © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Mark Niedermann

The Vitra Schaudepot designed by Herzog & de Meuron presents approximately 430 key works from the collection of the Vitra Design Museum. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of its opening in 2016, a new presentation concept based on annual focus topics will allow more room for current debates and changing subjects. The first focus topic concentrating on female designers of the collection will be launched in June 2021, highlighting the female protagonists of modern furniture design while presenting new acquisitions from female designers and historical documents from the archives. A selection of objects by female designers will further enrich the presentation of key works in the Vitra Schaudepot.

Interior view Vitra Schaudepot © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Mark Niedermann

The Bigger Picture: Women in Design 1920 – Today
25 September 2021 – 6 March 2022

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Kiss), Stool 60, 2019, Design Alvar Aalto © ICA, Photo: Todd White Photography

Design as a discipline emerged in the wake of the industrial revolution. Until today, the history of design is mostly defined through iconic objects created by male heroic figures. While many previous exhibitions about women in design have focused on individual figures or on the situation of women at institutions like the Bauhaus, »The Bigger Picture« will look at women in design through a wider lens. The exhibition will deliver a critical survey of the achievements, the working conditions, and the social context in which female designers have practiced over the past century. The exhibition highlights the contribution of female protagonists in modern and contemporary design, as well as investigating structural questions such as the writing of design history or the role and value of collaborative practice. »The Bigger Picture« will include pieces by Charlotte Perriand, Lilly Reich, or Eileen Gray. The exhibition will also shed light on the important contribution of lesser-known practitioners, such as Nanda Vigo or Nanna Ditzel, and will present the work of contemporary designers like Marjan van Aubel, Bless or Julia Lohmann.

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