8 Great Design Shows for Fall 2015

Our favorite picks, from Ettore Sottsass to Ebony G. Patterson.

Superonda Sofa, Archizoom Associati (1966). Archive Centro Studi Poltronova.
Image: Courtesy Dario Bartolini (Archizoom Associati).

There’s plenty for design fans to look forward to in the waning days of summer. To help you navigate the overwhelming amount of upcoming fall openings, we offer up a calendar of some of the design exhibitions we’re most anticipating at museums and galleries (mostly) in New York.

Whether your taste skews modern, postmodern, or contemporary, our guide has recommendations for all predilections.

Thaddeus Wolfe, Grouping of Unique Assemblage vessels (2015). Image: Joe Kramm/R & Company.

Thaddeus Wolfe’s glass vessels (2015).
Photo: Joe Kramm/R & Company.

1. Thaddeus Wolfe: New Work at R & Company
Wolfe’s jagged multicolored glass objects bear the marks of his unique process: the textures are taken from Styrofoam assemblages used to make the blown glass casts. Over 20 pendants, vessels, and sculptures will be on view for the first time. While there, see “Difficult,” a roundup of “less-than-laudatory initial responses…to works that have since become icons of 20th century design” curated by interior designer and author of I Knew Jim KnewJim Walrod. (Lauren Palmer)
Thaddeus Wolfe: New Work” and “Difficult” will be on view at R & Company at 82 Franklin Street, New York, September 8-October 29, 2015.

 

Ettore Sottsass, Library with Vases. Image: Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Ettore Sottsass Studio. Photography: Adam Reich.

Ettore Sottsass, Library (1965).
Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Friedman Benda and Ettore Sottsass Studio.

2. Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969 at Friedman Benda
Before his time heading up the influential design collective Memphis, Sottsass’s aesthetics were less idiosyncratic. Rare furniture, ceramics, lighting, and photographs—some never before seen in the US—will be on view as part of the fourth installment of a series devoted to the innovative Italian polymath, who worked as an architect, photographer, writer/editor, and industrial designer perhaps best known for Olivetti’s Valentine typewriter. (Lauren Palmer)
Ettore Sottsass: 1955-1969” will be on view at Friedman Benda, 515 W. 26th Street, New York, from September 10–October 17, 2015.

Franz West, Artist's Chairs.  Photo: Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Artwork © Franz West Privatstiftung

Franz West, Artist’s Chairs.
Photo courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Artwork © Franz West Privatstiftung.

3. Franz West at Gagosian
Franz West’s designs are more than furniture—they’re art. Get ready for chairs, benches, and divans that look way too good to consider casually placing your posterior upon. (Cait Munro)
Franz West, “Möbelskulpturen/Furniture Works,” will be on view at Gagosian Gallery, 976 Madison Avenue, New York, from September 11-November 7, 2015.

Street view of P! gallery. Image: Courtesy of Design Miami Design Log. Photo by Naho Kubota.

Street view of P! gallery.
Image: Courtesy of Design Miami Design Log. Photo by Naho Kubota.

4. PANGRAMMAR at P!
The hanging of the exhibition PANGRAMMAR will change multiple times during its stint at P!, Prem Krishnamurthy’s gallery in Chinatown. Each of the 26 works in this group show at the experimental space depicts a single letter of the alphabet. Expect word plays and run-on sentences formed by photographs, paintings, objects, and graphics by Mel Bochner, Man Ray, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Ed Ruscha and others. (Clara Zevi)
PANGRAMMAR” will be on view at P!, 334 Broome Street, New York, from September 18-November 1, 2015.

 

Adjaye Associates and AB Studios, 'Moscow School of Management' in Skolkovo, Russia, 2010.  Image: Ed Reeve. Courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associates and AB Studios, Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, Russia, 2010.
Photo: Ed Reeve courtesy Adjaye Associates.

5. David Adjaye at the Art Institute of Chicago
While hard at work building the new Slavery Museum in south Ghana, a treatment center in Rwanda for children with cancer, and a weaving facility in India, as well as redesigning the skyline of downtown Doha, acclaimed architect David Adjaye is opening an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. See an invasion of models, plans, sketches, and interviews. (Clara Zevi)
Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye” will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., from Sept. 19, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016.

SI_PDLEN_ShawnMaximo_CumfortStation

Shawn Maximo, rendering of Cumfort Station (2015).
Image: Courtesy of the artist/Swiss Institute.

6. PAVILLON DE L’ESPRIT NOUVEAU: A 21st Century Show Home at Swiss Institute
Le Corbusier’s “machine for living” is made contemporary in this interactive exhibition. The furnishings are all made with new technologies such as 3D printing and laser-cutting, which echo the progressive ideas of Modernism. Organized by Felix Burrichter, editor and creative director of architecture and design magazine PIN–UP, the show features a global roster of designers and firms such as Le Corbusier, Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, Ifeanyi Oganwu, and Christian Wassmann, among others. (Lauren Palmer)
PAVILLON DE L’ESPRIT NOUVEAU: A 21st Century Show Home” will be on view at the Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster Street, New York, from September 24-November 8, 2015.

 

Ken Isaacs, Superchair (1967). Image: Courtesy of the artist/Walker Art Center.

Ken Isaacs, Superchair (1967).
Photo courtesy of the artist/Walker Art Center.

7. Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia at the Walker Art Center
Combining art, architecture, and design of the ’60s and early ’70s, the exhibition highlights a desire among creative dreamers to envision environments that challenged existing social, political, and economic structures. Whether through speculation, critiques, or utopian visions, the work reflects on the search for alternatives. (Lauren Palmer)
Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” will be on view at the Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, from October 24, 2015-February 28, 2016.

Ebony G. Patterson. Swag Swag Krew (from the Out and Bad series). Installation view, John Michael Kohler Arts Center (2011–14). Image: Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, IL Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Ebony G. Patterson. Swag Swag Krew (from the Out and Bad series). Installation view, John Michael Kohler Arts Center (2011–14).
Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center, courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

8. Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez at the Museum of Arts and Design
After making a debut in Chicago earlier this fall, Ebony G. Patterson’s work will travel to MAD in New York. The artist weaves in a strong social message with her embellished textiles, while her tapestries and dapper mannequins address issues of sexuality and gender in contemporary Jamaican culture. (Lauren Palmer)
Ebony G. Patterson: Dead Treez” will be on view at the Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, New York, from November 10, 2015-April 3, 2016.


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