New York, NY (April 5, 2013)—R 20th Century is pleased to announce Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts, a retrospective exhibition of works by the influential Swedish-American architect and designer. The exhibition emphasizes her significant contribution to design history and long overlooked accomplishments during her lifetime, and features vintage works from her estate, architectural drawings, personal ephemera and never before seen objects and textiles. The exhibition will be on view May 2 to June 22, 2013. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, May 2 from 6 to 8pm.
Beginning with her education and early career as one of the few female designers defining Swedish Modernism in the 1930s, the exhibition chronicles Grossman’s meteoric rise upon settling in Los Angeles, where she designed for Barker Bros., then the largest home furnishings store in the country with a focus on modern design. Grossman opened her own showroom on storied Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and began her career as an architect and industrial designer exemplifying the California modernist style.
Grossman’s arrival in California in the 1940s, was captured by a journalist from the San Francisco Examiner who reported that she “arrived...with the number one objective of ‘buying a car and
some shorts’ as the first step toward self-Americanization.” This sense of humor and playfulness was reflected in her work which was set apart by its surprising proportions, asymmetrical lines, use of color and materials that were not common at the time.
The exhibition features Grossman’s most iconic products, the Grasshopper floor lamp and the Cobra floor and table lamps, as well as items from her personal estate such as lighting prototypes, ceramics and textiles. Also on view will be more than thirty framed drawings of her architectural projects and one to one scale drawings for her designs, as well as original books of press clippings, and photographs of Grossman and her designs by renowned photographer Julius Shulman.
The works in the exhibition, curated by Evan Snyderman of R 20th Century Gallery and Karin Åberg Waern, curator, Arkitekturmuseet, are returning to New York City after having been on view at the Swedish Museum of Architecture, the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
About Greta Magnusson Grossman
Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) is celebrated as one of the twentieth century’s most prolific female designers. Her career spanned four decades and two continents. She is credited as an influence on American modernism, having brought her unique Swedish design aesthetic to the United States when she immigrated to Los Angeles in 1940. Some of her earliest designs, including dining chairs and a groundbreaking line of lamps, were included in the “Good Design” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Grossman’s designs were included in numerous other international institutions and exhibitions.