Design show – “OBJECTS: USA 2020”, that gets together works from 100 makers is from R & Company, the founder of the New York Gallery. Known as experts in collectable design, Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers, the creators of the firm, are passionate by arts and crafts. The artists started their careers as makers themselves, since they were glass artists, creating their own sculptural works! R & Company’s art exhibition takes place on all three floors of the gallery’s White Street, and it’s on view until the end of July.
The primary starting point for this art exhibition was the belief in the power of skilled handwork, especially when joined with strong conceptual ideas and an awareness of history. This idea has also been a mission statement for R & Company, since they founded the gallery, back in 1997.
The show has been in the making for several years, and it was imagined as a continuation to the monument exhibition “Objects: USA”, which debuted in October 1969 at the Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fine Art, in Washington, D.C., and starred 250 artists from across the country working in different crafts. The show was organized by enterprising Lee Nordness and Paul J. Smith, director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts & Design). The goal with “Objects: USA 2020” is to highlight different artists, and techniques, from ceramists, woodworkers, glassmakers, metalworkers, jewellery designers, and textile artists.
The design show has visited more than 22 museums in the U.S and another 11 in Europe, and modern than half a million people had seen it! This gave American craft artists a twist in their careers. Now, the founders of the R & Company present a chance in the original concept, pairing roughly 50 artists from the 1969 exhibition — among them Anni Albers, J.B. Blunk, Sheila Hicks, Sam Maloof, Peter Voulko, and Wendell Castle, with the same number of rising practitioners working today.
The selection of contemporary artists and designers needed to be diverse in both gender and race, and capture a broad view of what is happening inside makers’ studios in America, to capture a broad view of what is happening inside makers’ studios in America.
Among the artists featured in this design show are also some of the 21at century stars, such as Fogan Gregory, Katie Stout, the Haas Brothers, and so on! Besides, R & Company has borrowed works from 17 other galleries as well as private collections and foundations, in order to represent more contemporary makers as possible.
Except for 10% of the works featured in the show, and with another 10% maintained for purchase by museums only, everything is available for sale. The contemporary pieces are from the past few years, while the most older works are mostly from the period of the original exhibition, dating to the early 1960s and mid-’70s.
In one setting, a cloud-like light fixture of azure-tinted glass disks made last year by Jeff Zimmerman hangs above a Tongue-Shaped Wendell Castle Table, and a walnut wine rack with sensual Surrealist curves by Art Carpenter, both from the late ’60s. Another mesmerizing setting features a textile hanging from Liz Collins, paired with an abstract expressionist painting, that serves as a background for a classic 1966 George Nakashima’s bench and Jiha Moon’s ceramic vessels.
Since 1969, the concept and passion for crafts and the will to express themselves with these techniques, has never changed for R & Company and that’s why they created this design show!