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Art Break: The Power and Influence of Design From Cooper Hewitt to the Met

Design From Cooper Hewitt

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, May 7, 2018

Art Break turns this week’s spotlight on design and how it can be used in a variety of ways. Normally, when we think of design (if we think of it at all), it’s as something modern and possibly technology based. But if you consider that the first definition of design is to mark out a form and structure, the possibilities expand tremendously. It can be used to discuss culture,explore abstract concepts, create new forms from old imagery, tell the history of a war, sway emotions, and even change how we see a time and place. Check out our picks this week to see design’s power and influence – you’ll never look at the world the same way again.

Design From Cooper Hewitt

Tanya Aguiñiga, CRAFTA, Craft in the Post NAFTA Era (2012); mixed media; 40 ft wide x 12 feet deep;
courtesy of the artist / MAD.

Museum of Arts and Design is showing the work of Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care (May 8 – October 2). This artist uses fiber art/design to explore the concepts of culture, gender, and identity linking them to the community at large. On Saturday, May 12, there will be a conversation between Shannon R. Stratton (MAD’s William and Mildred Ladson Chief Curator) and Tanya Aguiñiga about community art and her own work with AMBOS, a bi-national artists’ collective. A link to purchase tickets is here.

Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
Hours: Tues – Wed: 10-6, Thurs: 10-9, Fri – Sun: 10-6
Admission: Adults: $16, Seniors: $14, Students with current id: $12, Children 18 years and younger: Free, Members: Free on Thursdays between 6-9pm, admission is pay what you wish

Design From Cooper Hewitt

Julian Tobias: Untitled, circa 1960; oil on canvas, 96 x 84 inches; courtesy of artist / Hollis Taggart Galleries.

Hollis Taggart Galleries Julius Tobias: Capturing Space, Paintings from the ‘50s & ‘60s (May 10 – June 2). This early work by Julius Tobias is heavily influenced by the Abstract Expressionism movement as well as his teacher and mentor, the artist Fernand Léger. In the best pieces, Tobias creates the sense of a whirlwind pinned to the canvas with thickly applied paint and vigorous brushwork.

Hollis Taggart Galleries
521 West 26th Street, 7th Floor
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-5, Sat: 11-5
Admission: Free

Design From Cooper Hewitt

Evening Ensemble, John Galliano for House of Dior, autumn/winter 2000-2001 haute couture; Courtesy of Dior Heritage Collection, Paris; image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital Composite Scan by Katerina Jebb.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (May 10 – October 8). Another spectacular exhibit from The Met’s Costume Institute, exploring the influence of early religious imagery and design on modern fashion. Several galleries at the main building as well as The Cloisters uptown will display clothing and accessories next to objects that inspired them. As a special feature of the show, there will be vestments and other items on loan from the Vatican, a unique opportunity to examine some exquisite sewing and craft techniques.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
Hours: Sun – Thurs: 10-5:30, Fri – Sat: 10-9


Out of state visitors: Adults: $25, Seniors: $17, Students not from NY, NJ, or CT: $12, Children under 12 years: Free, Members: Free. These admission tickets are good for three consecutive days and permit entry to The Met Breuer, The Met, and The Met Cloisters.

NYS residents (must show proof, see website for details): Pay what you wish, Students from NY, NJ, CT (must show current student id): Pay what you wish. These admission tickets are good for same day only and permit entry to The Met Breuer, The Met, and The Met Cloisters.

Design From Cooper Hewitt

Larry Burrows: Marines Recover the Body of a Comrade while under Fire, Operation Prairie (1966); courtesy of artist / Laurence Miller Gallery.

Laurence Miller Gallery Larry Burrows: Revisited (May 10 – June 29). Larry Burrows was a noted photojournalist covering the Vietnam War from 1962 until his death in 1971. His deeply moving images of the war, composed with an artist’s eye for maximum visual impact, still resonate today.

Laurence Miller Gallery
521 West 26th Street, 5th Floor
Hours: Tues – Fri: 10-6, Sat: 11-6
Admission: Free

Design From Cooper Hewitt

Signature Collection: Picnic Flatware Place Setting (New York, New York, USA), 1986; Designed by David Tisdale (American, b. 1956); Anodized aluminum; Knife: 20.5 x 2.4 x 0.5 cm (8 1/16 x 15/16 x 3/16 in.); Museum purchase from Eleanor G. Hewitt Fund, 1986-94-1/3,10; Photo: © Smithsonian Institution

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color  (May 11, 2018 – January 13, 2019). Ever wonder how designers chose the color palette for an object? Find out how in this fascinating new exhibit from the Cooper Hewitt. Seven different galleries will show how colors are defined, created, and applied to everything from spoons to maps.

Cooper Hewitt
Hours: Sun – Fri: 10-6, Sat: 10-9
Admission: Adults: $18, Seniors: $12, Students with current id: $9, Children 18 years and under: Free, Members: Free

Finally, a newly opened show at Daniel Cooney Fine Art that caught our eye: Vivian Cherry: Helluva Town: New York City in the 1940s & 50s (May 4 – June 23). The images from this noted photographer capture the informal moments of life so well, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself they’re from over 60 years ago.

Daniel Cooney Fine Art
508-526 West 26th Street, 9C
Hours: Wed – Sat: 11-6
Admission: Free

Click here for ZEALnyc’s complete list of New York City art and museum exhibitions and shows.

Click here for the latest news in New York City art, museums and galleries.

Cover: J.B. Schmetterling: (Butterfly) Hanging Lamp, 2011; designed by Ingo Maurer and Axel Schmid; Germany; mouth-blown glass, 3d-printed (flexible free-formed) plastic, machined brass, halogen light source; H x diam.: 46 x 32 cm (18 1/8 x 12 9/16 in.); Gift of Ingo Maurer GmbH and Graham Owen; 2014-7-1-a/c; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution.


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