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Shark and Olive is curated by a Portland-based creative, painter, and art enthusiast. Shark and Olive features finds that represent a never-ending celebration of art, architecture, design objects, and furniture.

Posts tagged mid-century modern
DOCOMOMO OREGON: KAEN HOUSE EVENT

Located in Oregon City, the 1958 International-style home was designed by Dimitri Alexis for Edward & Helen Kaen. Cocktails from Townshead's Distillery and generous hors d’oeuvres will be provided!

The program will begin with a short history of the house by Kristen Sandberg, followed by a presentation from Tina Buescher on board games of the 1950s and 1960s and their impact and response to society/culture. Afterward, guests can tour the house, play some board games, or enjoy cocktails while overlooking the breathtaking views of the Willamette Valley. Mt. Hood, and Oregon City the home offers. 

TICKETS

Modern Mondays: Corita Kent's POP

I love when I "discover" (more like finally learn about) artists from the POP ART movement. While visiting PAM for the Warhol print exhibition- which was absolutely refreshing to experience. Finally, a Warhol exhibit that shows the arc and development of the artist. For those that are not familiar with Warhol, this collection of prints showed how he developed and matured into the POP ART icon that we know. His Shadow prints were a favorite highlight among the exhibition due to how magnetic, yet subtle they are compared to the more commercial/popular prints.  

Additionally, I was blown away by another exhibition featuring an artist from the same POP movement: Corita Kent. The curation for this smaller exhibit was fantastic even though it was in what I like to call the "basement" of the museum. Thankfully, PAM is getting a new design, which will hopefully correct the maze of disjointed gallery spaces. Personally, Kent's 'Power Up, 1965' and 'Me must be turned upside down to become we, 1972' with text quoted from D.H. Lawerence were my favorites. Not only for what they communicate, but the COLOR. The color works to give additional depth to the weight of what Kent is communicating through text. This exhibition couldn't come at a better time in regards to our current political and social climates. Kent's innovative and beautifully depicted calls for social justice, peace, kindness and hope are just as needed today as they were 30+ years ago.

Comprehensive overview of Corita Kent found here: SISTER MARY CORITA

Modern Mondays: DoCoMoMo_Oregon's Inventory of Modern Resources

I serve on the board of the Oregon chapter of DoCoMoMo_US. Could not be more excited to share our ongoing efforts to document the modern resources (buildings only currently) of Oregon. Bit of background on DoCoMoMo_Oregon: A non-profit dedicated to promoting the interest, education, and advocacy of the architecture, art, landscape, and urban design of the Modern Movement. We offer interactive programs including, walking-tours of our states modern movement buildings, sites, and neighborhoods, as well as educational lectures led by nationally recognized architectural historians, architects, and preservationists. And here is our on-going inventory you can help us shape: Inventory of Modern Buildings. A few of my favorites are highlighted above.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Heaven: Reeves Antiques

In my recent travels, I was introduced to one of the best collections of refurbished mid-century modern furniture. Reeves Antiques in Houston, TX. While the shop has a robust inventory of mid-century furniture, naturally I was drawn to the chairs (obsessions!)  Additionally, the majority of the upholstered pieces had been refurbished in house, with fabrics as close to the originals as possible. From the wood, acrylic, or metal framed to purely upholstered pink velvet barrel back chairs, it was hard not to try and lounge in or purchase them all. 

Modern Mondays: Mid-Century Garden

Springtime has arrived, with a tease of summer weather.  All I want to do is lounge outside with a cold beverage-in-hand with books (or magazines) galore.  Mid-Century modern outdoor furniture has seen a surge in reproductions or like-minded designs from popular furniture design stores and pop-ups.  And there is reason for it- timeless design aesthetic with simple and effortless looking lines that complement lounging.  I am also partial to power-coated steel and wood outdoor furniture. These materials couple well with bold textile accents.  Also, the true vintage ones have beautiful aqua, pinks, and orange colors that offer the perfect pop of color to an outdoor backdrop. Now get outside.

Modern Mondays: Graphic Design + Architecture

Graphic design is a communication tool that plays an important role in architectural design. At its most fundamental level, graphic design visually communicates information with typography, color, and form. It also, and perhaps more importantly, influences our interaction with and the identity of place and space. From way-finding signage, supergraphics, branding, material and texture, to motion-graphics, graphic design helps integrate word and content with architecture.

Graphic design is used to visually communicate and reinforce the sense of identity for architectural projects – including both new design, renovation, and planning projects. From logo design, visitor orientation and infographics, graphic design is an integral part to the sense of place. It affects the overall experience with the visitor, public, or inhabitant. It is also dependent on the architectural design. Think of the range of materials and its finishes used through-out a building. Graphic design must be intentional, otherwise chaos results in color, type, and form within the design struggling against the architectural design, materials and texture.

Click the arrows above to view personal favorites of mid-century modern graphic design for architecture.

Modern Mondays: Cape Cod Modernism

One of my favorite aspects of Cape Cod Modernism is how these design leaders of architectural modernism began by building for themselves. Their homes were their creative laboratories, anchored by a sense of place on the Outer Cape. I personally love the sense of experimentation with both material and spatial organization that is reflective in these modern residences built from the 1930s to the 1970s.  The Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) has been preserving these homes and making them more available to the public since 2007. For more information on these homes, please visit CCMHT.

Modern Mondays: Pietro Belluschi and Residential Modernism

Pietro Belluschi designed elegant modern residential (and commercial) architecture in the International Style. His materials used for residential designs were especially suited for the Pacific Northwest climate. Portland has a large concentration of Belluschi residences. They are functional, design-driven, and to this day contemporary in their timelessness.

Modern Mondays: MCM Italian Design

Not only masters of celebrating food and wine, Italians are forerunners in the world of design. I will be jetting off to Italy in the coming week, and I thought it would be fitting to have a Modern Monday that focuses on Italian furniture design. Clearly, I am a sucker for chairs, and this post features an adorable RIMA burnt coral armchair with an all metal frame. Perfect as a dinning chair with the Mario Bellini for Cassina table. I enjoy the monumental stature of the table mixed with the curvy lines of the RIMA armchair. Always on the hunt for lighting, the vintage Murano Chandelier by Cenedese is an elegant tubular delight. Prefer more whimsy in your home? Brass scones, “Il Diavolo” by Gio Ponti are essential. And, a space can never go wrong with modern brass and glass accessories.  Finally, a vintage metal desk (but could be used as a side table) adds a bit of masculine mid-mod pop. The dark wood and metal legs are timeless in their modernity.  Ciao a tutti!

Modern Mondays: Ezra Stoller

Ezra Stoller is by far one of the most prolific photographers of mid-century modern architecture. His images capture the sheer magnitude of Modernism, while also celebrating the industry behind this influential era of our architectural legacy. These intoxicating black and white photographs have helped define the culture behind (or cultural memory) of such iconic structures as the Seagram Building, Marin County Civic Center, and the Salk Institute. The photos included for this Modern Monday post are some of my personal favorite Stoller photographs.  

Modern Mondays: Brutalism

Buildings are physical representations of the social, economic, political, technological, and cultural climates of their eras of origin. Ultimately buildings represent our cultural heritage and our architectural history. However, mid-century modern era buildings are increasingly interpreted as antiquated architecture that is functionally obsolete and lacking use in today’s society. Our recent-past modern buildings are being labeled as “failed” or “useless” architecture. As a result, mid-century modern architecture is rapidly being demolished and replaced with newer sustainable structures believed to better represent our most current social and cultural ideals. Current architecture is believed to be far more aesthetically pleasing than their modern predecessors.

BFramed in the context of history, it can only follow that Brutalist buildings were going to be executed as formal monumental concrete structures that directly juxtapose (even challenge) their environments. But more often than not, the perspective of historic context is outnumbered by present aesthetic preference. For example, Prentice Women’s Hospital (Bertrand Goldberg) in Chicago, the Berkeley Art Museum (Mario Ciampi) in California, and several of Paul Rudolph’s brut beauties were technological and architectural triumphs of their time. However, the Brutalist buildings like other modern era buildings that rate low on the aesthetic-scale have been equally disregarded in their maintenance. The argument for demolition based on deficiencies caused by a lack of maintenance becomes all too convenient. The wide-spread demise of Brutalist civic and urban buildings is a demise of the ideologies behind the intent of the architecture and those housed within.

Aesthetics cannot be the pretext for significance or the preservation of architecture. Letting aesthetics judge value will strip our architectural history of some of the most influential and innovated examples of modern era architecture. In effect, we are killing, and ultimately denying claim to, a portion of our architectural history. There is value in the perspective of context and value in re-using and re-imagining modern era architecture. If aesthetic preference continues to get in the way, what use is there for the architect or an architectural legacy?

Modern Mondays: New Furniture
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New Furniture. Edited by Gerd Hatje. 

"New Furniture was conceived as a series devoted to the survey of international furniture. The first volume contains 275 illustrations showing the best and most interesting designs of chairs, sofas, beds, tables, cabinets, shelves, office furniture, and nursery furniture by designers from fourteen countries. This wide scope makes it possible for the reader to compare different trends and to discern future developments." - Modernism 101 

Modern Mondays: The Lovell House

Richard Neutra (1892-1970) is one of the most influential mid-century modern architects. His architectural designs are marked by crisp geometric modernism. His residential feats were predominately built in California, including the Lovell House. The Lovelly House has a steel skeleton, which was a first for residential design in the United States, glass, and prefabricated elements. It is a premier example of residential modernism. The Lovell House is a Los Angele Historic-Cultural Monument. 

Chair Obsessions Part Four

Bring on the gold, lacquer, craftsmanship, and wood. These elements set the tone for these scene stealing chairs. The Eames side chair golden. Gold leaf, fiberglass, lacquered metal, design perfection. In the same vein, Hans Olsen chair in a lacquered teakwood with metallic cover. Both of these jewels of design, work well in multiples or as a single statement side chair. I want both of them. Rami Tareef created COD for Gaga & Design at imm Cologne 2013. The intricately woven synthetic sleeve is a beautiful juxtaposition to the rigid steel frame.  The colors are muted, but his design is successfully bold. STEEL chair by Reinier de jong is a simple chair that highlights its natural components. Color and texture results from the materials used to create what becomes STEEL chair. Similarly, the reclaimed teak rocker from sobusobu uses reclaimed and natural components to create a show stopping rocker. It is more subdued than gold and lacquered design, but just as attention worthy in any space. 

Modern Mondays: Swiss Graphic Design

Mid-century modern Swiss graphic design is one of my favorite aesthetics of visual communication. Born in the 1950s and reaching its height in the 1970s, this style became known as the International Typographical Style. It is marked by an orderly structure with sans-serif typefaces. I personally am drawn to how the type itself becomes the essence of the design. The examples above showcase this and how Swiss graphic design is rational, bold, and harmonious whether in vivid color or a simple monochromatic palate.