Norman Bel Geddes (1893 – 1958) was an influential American industrial designer known for his innovative and futuristic designs in the early to mid-20th century. One of his notable creations was the Patriot radio (1940): a sleek and modern tabletop radio that showcased Geddes’ forward-thinking design sensibilities. It was a departure from the traditional boxy and ornate designs of radios at the time. Instead, Geddes envisioned a streamlined and futuristic appearance for the Patriot, incorporating modern materials and a distinct visual aesthetic. Continue reading Eye On Design: Norman Bel Geddes, Patriot Radio→
In 1980, Jane Dickson (b. 1952)and her husband, artist Charlie Ahearn (b. 1951), moved into a loft near New York’s then seedy, but glittering Times Square where, two years earlier, she’d found work programming the first Spectacolorbillboard. Attracted to the neighborhood’s brilliant nighttime signage, she began working with oil stick against deep-black backgrounds to evoke the gleam of the nocturnal scenes she witnessed. Traveling to Florida in the mid-1980s, Dickson happened one night upon a carnival filled with amusement rides. She eventually created Big Oval (1985) from pictures and sketches, painting the roller coaster’s arc of blazing lights stretching up into the night.
Photographed in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City
Helen Lundeberg (1908 – 1999) organized a group of California artists, the only interwar Surrealist group in the United States. The “Post Surrealists,” as they were called, bypassed automatism and dream imagery in favor of provocative juxtapositions and careful compositions. Their manifesto (1934) , written by the artist and illustrated with this painting, Plant and Animal Analogies (1934 – 35) promoted an art that was “an ordered, pleasurable, introspective activity; an arrangement of emotions or ideas. The pictorial elements function only to create this subjective form; either emotional or mood-entity, or intellectual or idea-entity.”
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
In 1938, Egyptian-born Surrealist Laurent Marcel Salinas (1913 – 2010) signed the group manifesto Art et Liberté that denounced attempts to bind art to the political demands of the state. The signatories declared art a means to liberate society and the individual from the “artificial restrictions” of nationality, religion, and ethnicity. In Naissance (1944) Salinas’s choice of a disembodied and tentacled eye takes up a subject – the naked eyeball – frequently depicted by Surrealists in other locations as a surrogate for male castration anxieties. By the early 1950s, the Cairo group had begun to disband; following the coup in 1952 led by Mohamed Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser, Salinas fled to Paris.
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.