Tag Archives: 1951

Modern Art Monday Presents: Sonja Sekula, The Town of The Poor

the town of the poor photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

The ghostly scaffolding, swooping calligraphic lines, and blue and yellow washes of The Town Of The Poor (1951) most likely depict the view from Sonya Sekula’s downtown New York studio, which she shared with composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. “Looking outside my window,” wrote this Swiss painter in poet, an immigrant to the United States, “I think of all the contemporary American poets and artists who represent their outlook on this strange country and I find myself beginning to realize that I saw in one of them. I should begin to speak of … a future that we begin to feel underneath the current of war and strife and uncertainty.”

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Eye On Design: Royal Festival Hall Chair By Robin Day

Royal Festival Hall Chair
All Photos By Gail

Robin Day’s prizewinning design for the Royal Festival Hall chair, created for entry into MoMA’s 1948 International Low-Cost Furniture Competition, helped to launch his career as an industrial designer. Day enjoyed a long-term consultancy with Hille, the chair’s manufacturer, as well as the establishment of a studio with his future wife, Lucienne.

Royal Festival Hall Chair

Epitomizing  the contemporary style and technological innovation of the 1951 Festival of Britain, the chair was featured in the couple’s Home and Gardens pavilion as well as in the lounge of the new Royal Festival. The chair also appeared in that year’s Milan Triennale and was soon put into production for an international market. Robin Day’s radical molded plywood seating design appears on the point of taking flight, as if lifted off its slender steel legs by the surge of energy and hope also expressed in the Festival of Britain that year. The lemon-yellow upholstery and copper-plated legs add to the extraordinary visual vitality of this sculptural piece.

Royal Festival Hall Chair

The fabric hung in the background (left) is by Austrian-born textile designer Marian Mahler, a contemporary of Robin and Lucienne Day. The yellow textile on the right is a length of Lucienne’s 1958 design Mezzanine, which was presented to the Museum by Denver-based Lucienne Day collectors Jill A. Wiltse and Kirk H. Brown III.

Robin Day Chair

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

Robin Day Chair

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall

Colors for a Large Wall
Photo By Gail

I love this large painting by colorfield expert, Ellsworth Kelly. Colors for a Large Wall (1951) is made up of 64 panels and is one of the largest paintings Kelly made during the years that he lived in France. The organization of the work, aside from the decision to arrange its sixty-four square panels in a grid, is totally arbitrary; the sequence of colors was governed only by taste, and the colors themselves were derived from commercial colored papers purchased at art stores.

The work began, as was Kelly’s custom at the time, with the creation of a collage. Using squares of colored papers left over from a previous series of collages, Kelly made a study for Colors for a Large Wall. He then precisely matched the hues of the papers in oil paints, and arranged the final, full-size panels in strict adherence to the paper model.

Ellsworth Kelly’s Colors for a Large Wall is part of the Permanent Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

moma gallery photo by gail worley
Installation View, Photo Added on September 4th, 2020

Happy Birthday, Dee Dee Ramone!

Dee Dee Ramone
Image By Dorian Cope

Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin), Bassist and primary Songwriter for The Ramones was born on this day, September 18th, in 1951. Dee Dee died of a drug overdose June 5th, 2002. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, not far from his former Ramones’ bandmate, Johnny Ramone.

Happy Birthday, Nick Gilder!

Nick Gilder, one of the great unsung bubblegum glam rockers of the seventies, turns 59 today, having been born on December 21st, 1951. Here’s a clip of my favorite song by Nick, “You Really Rock Me,” accompanied by a collage of those cheesy Comment Cherry glitter graphics that anyone who was on MySpace back when it was hot shit will be sadly familiar with. Happy Birthday Nick! I hope you are still rocking!