are a State
of Design Mind
Influential London-based Italian designer Martino Gamper guest-curates a new exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.. design is a state of mind will present a landscape of shelving systems, telling the story of design objects and their impact on our lives. This is the second major design exhibition staged by the Serpentine, following Design Real curated by Konstantin Grcic in 2009.
Martino Gamper said: “There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual. This exhibition will showcase a very personal way of collecting and gathering objects – these are pieces that tell a tale.”
An extensive display of shelving systems from the 1930s to the present day will form the backbone of the exhibition. Ranging from historic design classics and one-off pieces, to industrial, utilitarian, contemporary and newly commissioned work, the exhibition will include designs by Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, Ercol, Gio Ponti and IKEA.
Each display system will also be used to organise and exhibit collections of objects curated from the personal archives of Gamper’s friends and colleagues as well as an extensive library of contemporary furniture manufacturing catalogues from around the world. Among the designers whose collections will be displayed are: Oiva Toikka; Enzo Mari; Paul Neale; Max Lamb; Jane Dillon; Michael Marriott; Sebastian Bergne; Gemma Holt; Fabien Cappello; Adam Hills; Michael Anastassiades; Andrew McDonagh & Andreas Schmidt, Jerszy Seymour and Martino Gamper himself.
design is a state of mind runs concurrently with an expansive exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery by American artist Haim Steinbach, which will include key works from throughout his impressive forty year career. Furthering the Serpentine’s commitment to contemporary design, both exhibitions highlight objects that have made a significant impact on our lives and offer new perspectives on material culture.
Working across design and art venues, Martino Gamper engages in a variety of projects from exhibition design, interior design, specialist of one-off commissions and the design of mass-produced products for the cutting edge of the international furniture industry. Gamper has worked in the public realm, with designs for London’s Design Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum; Wellcome Trust; Yerba Buena Centre, San Francisco; Frieze Art Fair, London. Commissions include the design of public street furniture for Park-to-Park, London in collaboration with LTGDC, Genève and a chair called Vigna for Magis, Italy. He was received the Moroso Award for Contemporary Art, 2011.
Martino Gamper >
Michele De Lucchi, Montefeltro, 2008, Oak frame, walnut elements, linseed oil finishing, Image: Amendolagine e Barracchia, Courtesy of Nilufar.
Jorg Immendorff, Café Deutschland VII, 1980. detail.
Provocation on a Bifurcated Postwar Germany
Jorg Immendorff's work remains a thorn in society’s side, provoking debate about artistic freedom and responsibility. Addressing contemporary themes with a dense, dissonant array of figures, Immendorff’s images resist simple interpretation and prompt a nuanced dialogue with art history.
Jorg Immendorff >>
Lygia Clark (Brazilian, 1920–1988). Óculos. 1968. Industrial rubber, metal, glass. detail.
Lygia Clark, Wind from South America, Neo-Concretism
While Lygia Clark’s legacy in Brazil is profound, this exhibition draws international attention to her work. By bringing together all parts of her radical production, the exhibition seeks to reinscribe her into current discourses of abstraction, participation, and a therapeutic art practice.
Lygia Clark >>
Erwin Wurm (*1954), Instruction Drawing (1 Minute, 8 am), 1998. detail.
Erwin Wurm, One Minute Eternities, All is Possible
Doing press-ups on coffee cups, balancing on oranges, flying on a broom, everything is possible — for one minute. Erwin Wurm is placing works from his series One Minute Sculptures in the Städel Garden, the Metzler Hall, and the Old Masters and Modern Art exhibition galleries.
Erwin Wurm >>
Nancy James in Charles James Swan Gown, 1955. detail.
Couturier Charles James Honored by Fashion Institute
The exhibition examining the career of legendary 20th-century Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906-1978) is presented in two locations — the new Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery in the Anna Wintour Costume Center as well as special exhibition galleries on the Museum’s first floor.
Beyond Fashion >>
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Colorist as Expressionist as Colorist
With 19 works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) Pinakothek der Moderne houses the most extensive collection of paintings in Germany by the Expressionist painter considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Although Kirchner made a significant contribution to the revolutionary use of color as a pioneering Brücke artist, he has hardly been recognised as a color person to date.
The exhibition explores the systematic and experimental path to color that Ernst Ludwig Kirchner followed and his analysis of the color theory tradition so controversially discussed around 1900. Kirchner modified the latest industrially manufactured tube paints in a particular way to achieve a matte but simultaneously intensive brilliance in his painting that, in retrospect, he proudly emphasised was his »identification mark«.
The basis of this exhibition is a joint research project carried out in collaboration with the internationally renowned Doerner Institut at the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, among others, during which a thorough examination of Kirchner’s paintings and the techniques he used was undertaken from 2009 onwards. This was the first time the work of an Expressionist painter had been the subject of a systematic, art-technological research. It does justice to Kirchner’s varied, contradictory and continuously evolving oeuvre that remains fascinating to this day.
In addition to the aspect of color, the exhibition enables the underdrawings and paint layers hidden beneath the surface of the pictures to be seen using ultraviolet, infrared and x-ray photography, providing an insight into the way the artist worked and how his major paintings such as Circus, Dance School and Self-Portrait as a Sick Person were created. In contrast to the stereotypical notion of the immediacy of Expressionist painting, Kirchner’s work proves to be precisely planned and carefully developed — even if its appearance suggests a certain spontaneity. With great technical refinement the artist succeeded in transferring the speed and openness of his sketches into his oil paintings that continue to fascinate us more than a hundred years after they were created through the vitality and directness of their paint application.
A focus of the exhibition is Kirchner’s self-reflection and self-correction evident in his work. For the first time, the presentation of both the front and back of selected paintings at the Pinakothek der Moderne allows the painted reverse of canvases to be examined as well. Traces of reworkings and overpainting provide the opportunity of presenting yet another of Kirchner’s unusual practices — the correction of earlier work and adaptation to his current style. Loaned drawings, sketch books, prints and photographs testify to the artists' interest in pictorial motifs in different media.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner >
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Color Dance, detail, 1933, Color woodcut, 50 × 34.7 cm (print), 60 × 43.3 cm (sheet), © E. W. K., Bern/Davos.