ALEXANDER GIRARD AT THE PALM SPRINGS MUSEUM

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

Through March 1, the Palm Springs Museum is featuring “A Designer’s Universe,” an exhibit based on the multi-talented twentieth-century artist Alexander Girard (1907-1993).

As the Museum points out: “Alexander Girard (1907–1993 in Santa Fe) was one of the most important and prolific designers of the 20th century. He created stunning interiors for restaurants, private homes, corporate offices, and even airplanes! He created textiles, typography, and tableware. He designed exhibitions, toys, and a whole city street in Columbus, Indiana. Inspired by folk art and pop art, Girard created a bold, colorful, charismatic universe. He warmed up modernism with his whimsical, optimistic patterns and designs.”

That optimism and whimsy are on full display. The exhibition, organized by Germany’s Vitra Design Museum and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, includes more than 400 objects: from board games and flags Girard created as a child for the imaginary Republic of Fife, to textiles, drawings, carpets, radios, restaurant ware, and folk art, much of which he collected and some of which he made himself. Girard worked closely with the iconic mid-century design firm Herman Miller. One of his most well-known interiors, the 1957 Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, appears here in the form of a full-scale replica of its famous “conversation pit,” featuring a tomato red wrap-around-the-room sofa strewn with vividly patterned pillows.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

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