Demisch Danant is hosting the second micro-presentation: “German Avant-Garde Design In the 1980s: Pentagon Group with Beate Kuhn” at its New York venue, showcasing works by Pentagon Group and Beate Kuhn, who employ very different practices yet complement each other in the way they both address art and design in post-modern Germany.
The gallery writes, “The 1980’s were a reactionary period in which designers look out to liberate themselves from the constraints of functionality and inclined towards the visual arts that included narratives and emotional content to their work. German designers, influenced by the freed expression established by Italy’s Alchimia and Memphis movements, developed their own design vocabulary and aesthetic derivative of the divided German post-modern experience.”
“The New German design movement produced different ‘schools’ or groups within itself according to geographical location and its particular influences. A common thread amongst the different groups was a sense of “Self,” which was previously absent in classic German design. Using common materials that were low cost and readily available, the result was a raw, severe aesthetic with an unmistakable energy. With its brutal honesty, new German 80’s design remains uncontrived, refreshing, and truly reflective of the social conditions in which it originated,” says the gallery.
Pentagon Group, a collective artist group from Cologne, was founded in 1985. The group follows a constructivist approach with more strict, minimal forms. The five members of the group — Wolfgang Laubersheimer, Reinhard Muller, Meyer Voggenreiter, Ralph Sommer, and Gern Arens — were not designers intrinsically but all had artistic training and were masters in their craft. Their furniture was functional but experimental and raw, challenging the realm of post-modern design.
Beate Kuhn, one of the most important figures in post-war German ceramic arts working from the 1950s, also had a reactionary approach to post-war ceramic practices and traditional German modern design. Kuhn was one of first potters in Germany to shun the utilitarian work in favor of
purely artistic work. Kuhn’s works are deeply inspired by nature and she described them as abstract interpretations of naturally occurring forms. Even her less figurative works conjure up associations of the underwater world, of corals and marine plants, and the nature in our surroundings, the branches of shrubs, tree trunks, flowers or other plants. The additive groupings often reflect natural laws of the life process, of growth and rhythmic change.
The exhibition is on view through June 16, 2018 at Demisch Danant, 30 W, 12th St, New York, USA.
For details, visit: http://www.demischdanant.com/
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.