MoMA Bows First Major Ron Arad Retrospective
The exhibit centers on a 127-foot-long structure custom-designed by Arad that spans the entirety of the museum's International Council gallery.
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 7/30/2009 12:00:00 AM
You can't accuse of Ron Arad of taking himself too seriously. For the first major retrospective of his career, running at New York's Museum of Modern Art from August 2 through October 19, the Israeli-born British artist sanctions a cheekily self-deprecating title—"Ron Arad: No Discipline."
"Arad is well known for his iconoclastic disregard for disciplines—and, at least apparently, for discipline," says Paola Antonelli, the MoMA senior curator who organized the exhibition. "He has defined much of the current panorama of design, inspiring a generation of practitioners who disregard established modes of practice in favor of mutant design careers that are flexible enough to encompass the range of contemporary design applications, from interactions and interfaces to furniture and shoes."
The exhibition surveys approximately 140 of Arad's industrial designs, studio pieces and architecture—in mediums including steel, aluminum, bronze, thermoplastics, crystals, fiberoptics, and LEDs. Among these are some of the designer's most famous works, such as the undulating Bookworm bookshelves from 1993, and the self-explanatory Concrete Stereo from 1983. And it wouldn't be a true retrospective without his Rover chairs, the ones that helped launch Arad's career in 1981, which consist of repurposed Rover V8 L2 leather seats and tubular steel frames. As proof of the design's staying power, furniture producer Moroso is currently readying a production version, aptly named Moreover.
Much of the exhibit is housed within Cage sans Frontières (Cage without Borders), a 127-foot-long Corten and stainless steel structure designed by Arad that spans the entirety of the museum's sixth-floor International Council gallery. The show also features more than 60 videos that animate Arad's design and production process.
From top: images 1-3, rendering of the installation of "Ron Arad: No Discipline" at The Museum of Modern Art featuring Cage sans Frontières (Cage without Borders), courtesy of Ron Arad and Associates © 2009; sketch for Well Tempered Chair, 1986, courtesy of Ron Arad Associates; prototype of Well Tempered Chair, 1986, courtesy of Vitra Design Museum; sketch for FPE (Fantastic, Plastic, Elastic), 1997, courtesy of Ron Arad Associates; FPE (Fantastic, Plastic, Elastic), 1997, manufactured by Kartell, courtesy of Ron Arad Associates.