Friday, November 9, 2012

Little escap(ad)e: Pop Art Design in the Vitra Museum in Weil

About two and a half weeks ago I saw the announcement and review of the opening of a new exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum in Weilclose to Basel in Switzerland, though still on the German side of the border:  Pop Art Design.

Verner Panton's Swimmingpool (1969) for the
Hamburg publishing house of Spiegel magazine
illustrated the report in the paper that caught my
Despite the fact that I have been to Weil pretty regularly as one of my best friends lives there and I try to visit her frequently, I had never actually found my way into that museum. Usually I had been more tempted by the exhibitions in the Fondation Beyeler, which is just across the Swiss border, about a 10 minutes’ walk from my friends’ house. Last week, however, I took the chance and went to the Vitra.
The building already is an impressive sight:

Outside, Vitra elephants are asking not to be fed:

And you could already get a first good look at Andy Warhol’s Floating Clouds:

Andy Warhol, Floating Clouds
The mural of "Leonardo Studio 65" from 1963 leads you into the exhibit, which does not attempt to give the overall view – historic, sociological and aesthetic aspects of the times of Pop Art. 

Instead, it concentrates on the fact that many of the Pop Art Artists first worked as designers before they became recognized as artists. That lowered the psychological barriers. Consequently, no other art movement was influenced by “design” as much as Pop Art was. The artists wanted to get art out of those high and mighty spheres, make it an element of every-day life. So they turned to advertising – ad-slogans, packaging and objects of everyday life were turned into and suddenly qualified as art.

Photography was not allowed inside the museum, so I took these photos of my favorite items on display from the internet.

Andy Warhol, Brillo Box (1964)

Andy Warhol, Close Cover before striking (1962)

Oyvind Fahlström, Esso LSD (1967)

George Nelson, Marshmallow (1956)

Gaetano Pesce, Moloch (1970) -
not sure that I would want to receive my
reading light from this one...

An exhibition well worth seeing. Unfortunately, the catalogue is rather expensive - € 69,90 for a paperback is in my opinion an outrageously high price.

Next door to the museum is the Vitra House, where you can spend hours looking at wonderful furniture and dreaming about how you want to decorate your house if you had lots of room and money.

Lots of nice stuff in the shop, too, but I resisted completely, went into total comsumer-boycot, just looking.

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