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EXHIBITIONS

“Sgrafo vs. Fat Lava” at Alex Zachary Peter Currie, New York

“Polar Series,” Dümler & Breiden, ca. 1960-1980. 6 vases. Photo: David Smith

Whether it is a question of Sgrafo vases, of Raymond Loewy’s “Form 2000” for Rosenthal (1954), or of the improbable “Fat Lava”glacis of the 1970s, postwar German ceramics attest to a surprising stylistic inventiveness and diversity.

Through these creations, both well-known and anonymous designers knew how to capture the impulses of a society in the middle of reconstruction and desirous of looking to the future. Mixing references to Op art, the geometry of a Verner Panton, or the vegetal style of the hippie wave, these objects follow a path of exaggerated shape unique in the history of forms.

In this sense they simultaneously incarnate the inevitable bombacity that menaces design, and its aspirations to autonomy as a quasi-artistic practice.*

“Zyklon Series,” Steuler (design by Cari Zalloni), ca. 1960-1980. 13 vases. Photo: David Smith

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“Korallen Series,” Sgrafo Modern (design by Peter Müller), ca. 1960-1980. 32 vases. Photo: David Smith

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“Objekt series,” Steuler (design by Heiner Balzar), 2 vases, 1983-1986. Photo: David Smith

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.“Fat Lava,” Kreutz Keramik, ca. 1970. Photo: David Smith

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“Rouges,” Bay, Karlsruher Majolika, Scheurich, Steuler, Strehla, ca. 1960-1980. 9 vases.  Photo: David Smith

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* from the introduction to the catalogue Sgrafo vs Fat Lava edited by Nicolas Trembley, who also curated the show at the gallery, published by JRP Ringier.

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All images courtesy Alex Zachary Peter Currie, New York

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The exhibition runs at Alex Zachary Peter Currie, New York

until July 21, 2012

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