SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART TO HOST COOPER HEWITT, SMITHSONIAN DESIGN MUSEUM’S TRIENNIAL
SJMA is the only West Coast venue for
Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,
October 8, 2016 - February 19, 2017
SAN JOSE, California (September 9, 2016)— The San Jose Museum of Art will present Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, the fifth installment of the popular contemporary design exhibition series organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, from October 8, 2016, through February 19, 2017. With a focus on aesthetic innovation, Beauty celebrates design as a creative endeavor that engages the mind, body, and senses. Featuring projects that range from experimental prototypes and interactive games to fashion ensembles and architectural interventions, the exhibition comprises some 285 works by 60 designers from 27 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Iran, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the Unites States. SJMA is the only West Coast venue for Beauty.
The exhibition explores beauty through seven lenses: extravagant, intricate, ethereal, transgressive, emergent, elemental, and transformative.
Pat McGrath demonstrates the transformative power of makeup through her bold use of colors, embellishments, and dimension. Giambattista Valli’s feathery tulle ball-gown skirt paired with a piped pajama top is decadent and stimulates the senses. Hair artist Guido Palau creates fantastical hairstyles that are inspired by history, art, music, and street style and challenge the accepted norms of beauty.
Graphic design team Non-Format creates strange and visceral typography along with expressive imagery. Fashion designer Mary Katrantzou creates garments with hyper-real printed textiles that pulse with intricate detail up close. Design team Studio Job creates wallpaper patterns that appear traditional at first glance yet give way to a jarring iconography of the everyday—from gas masks and peace signs to syringes and kitchen tools.
In her series “Atmospheric Reentry,” milliner and jewelry designer Maiko Takeda creates hats that seem to blur into surrounding space. Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto finds inspiration in the tension between the built environment and nature. Fujimoto demonstrates his dexterity with his craft in his design for The Serpentine Pavillion (London, 2013), a temporary structure of interlocking grids with multi-purpose surfaces made of glass.
Designer Ana Rajcevic creates wearable sculptures and animalistic headpieces which question the boundary between humans and animals. Noa Zilberman’s jewelry series Wrinkles distributes lines of gold that follow the grooves that settle naturally around the eyes, mouth, brow, and cleavage. Designer Rad Hourani uses sharp lines and minimal embellishment to create unisex clothes meant to direct viewer focus on the wearer instead of his or her gender. The Haas Brothers, in collaboration with Monkeybiz, a nonprofit income generating bead project that works with craftswomen from the Khayelitsha township outside Cape Town, South Africa, created “Afreaks,” a collection of fantastical beaded creatures.
Daniel Brown uses mathematical formulas to digitally generate hyperreal flower blossoms. Designer and architect Neri Oxman created Wanderers, a series of 3D-printed, wearable, synthetic organ systems that could be seeded with microorganisms to enable future survival on distant planets. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s project Designing for the Sixth Extinction depicts genetically engineered creatures that could someday clean the air of toxins, neutralize acid in the soil, and collect and scatter seeds.
Design firm Industrial Facility reimagines the simple forms of the desktop in their series Formwork, desk organizer pieces that can be arranged in countless ways. Formafantasma and Emiliano Godoy give shape to lava and glass respectively, materials that shift from liquid to solid. Yeongkyu Yoo created World Clock, a cylindrical clock that rolls to display the time in all 24 time zones.
The Santa Monica based studio Elastic developed title sequences for television shows such as True Detective; the designers draw on sources ranging from photography to architecture. Jantje Fleischhut creates abstract jewelry, shaped from precious materials and found objects that suggest asteroids and interstellar debris. Laduma Ngxokolo created a line of knitted garments, designed for young men in South Africa’s Xhosa community who have passed through the rite of circumcision.
Beauty was organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum, under the curatorial direction of Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps. The Cooper Hewitt published a 276-page catalogue with 274 images, designed by Kimberly Varella of Content Object Design Studio. Beauty is presented at San Jose Museum of Art by Susan Sayre Batton, deputy director for curatorial affairs with Marja van der Loo, curatorial associate.
The presentation of Beauty at the San Jose Museum of Art is sponsored by the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, Applied Materials Foundation, and the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation. Additional sponsorship support is provided by Casey and Jack Carsten, Tad and Jackson Freese, Muni Fry, David and Pamela Hornik, Sho-Juong Kim-Wechsler, McManis Faulkner, Alyce and Michael Parsons/Universal Style International, and Theres and Denis Rohan.
A wide range of public programs is planned in connection with Beauty, beginning with the opening reception and dance party on Friday, October 7, 8 – 11 PM. Tickets are $15 (free to members).
On Thursday, October 20, from 7 – 8 PM, Niki Haas of The Haas Brothers and co-creator of “Afreaks,” a series of beaded creatures included in the exhibition, will be Creative Minds guest speaker. Tickets are $12 and include Museum admission.
Celebrating El Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Saturday, October 29, from 11 AM – 5 PM, Marja van der Loo, curatorial associate, will give a Spanish-language tour of Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Admission is free.
On Wednesday, November 2, from 12 – 1 PM Barry Katz, consulting professor, Design Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, and professor of industrial and interaction design, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, will give the Lunchtime Lecture “Beauty: The Eye (And Ear, And Nose, And Fingertips) of the Beholder.” The lecture is included with Museum admission.
On Saturday, November 19, from 1 – 4 PM, SJMA will offer a workshop on textile design as part of its Art 101 series. Registration is $30 ($15 for members). Art 101 is limited to 25 participants ages 13 and up. Space is limited and advance registration is strongly recommended.
Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs Susan Sayre Batton will give a gallery talk in the exhibition on Thursday, December 1, at 12:30 PM. The talk is included with Museum admission.
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART
The San Jose Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time.
The San Jose Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 PM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit www.SanJoseMuseumofArt.org.
Programs at the San Jose Museum of Art are made possible by generous operating support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, and the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation.