Barbican Art Gallery, London (until 14 February 2016)
As the exhibition’s official furniture partner, as well as the sole authorised manufacturer of Charles and Ray Eames’ designs for Europe and the Middle East, Vitra has supplied a handpicked selection of the Eames’ most iconic, 20th Century furniture and home accessories for the exhibition (Art Gallery Level 3) and Martini Bar (Level 1). These range from the Eames Plastic Side Chairs in a variety of colour options (1950), to the Organic Chair (1940), Elliptical Tables (1951) and the Eames Tandem Seating (1962). The Vitra furniture will be on display and experienced by visitors to the exhibition until 14 February 2016.
Vitra / Charles and Ray Eames
Charles and Ray Eames’ work spans the fields of furniture design, filmmaking, photography and exhibition design. The designers have had a profound and lasting influence on Vitra, and the latter’s activity as a furniture manufacturer began in 1957 with the production of their designs including the famous Lounge Chair (1956) and Aluminium Chair (1958). Yet it is not just the products of Charles and Ray Eames that have left their mark on Vitra; even today, their design philosophy continues to profoundly shape the company’s values, orientation and goals.
The furniture items that have long since been considered classics show in exemplary fashion the symbiosis of aesthetics, quality and economic which the Eames aspired to achieve in everything they designed. In total, over 40 of their highly flexible and diverse furniture systems for offices, private residences and public institutions went into production.
The World of Charles and Ray Eames
‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames’ is a major new exhibition surveying the careers of Charles (1907 – 1978) and Ray (1912 – 1988) Eames and the extraordinary work of the Eames Office: a ‘laboratory’, active for over four decades, where the Eames and their collaborators and staff produced an array of pioneering and influential work – from architecture, furniture, graphic and product design, to painting, drawing, film, sculpture, photography, multi-media installation and exhibitions, as well as new models for education.
Bringing together over 380 works, the exhibition presents the world of Charles and Ray Eames through objects and projects produced during their lifetime, offering an opportunity to re-examine their work and legacy, and the legacy of post-war modernism. It also features a wealth of documentation and contextual material from the professional archive of the Eames Office as well as artefacts from their personal collections. Alongside a rich array of the Eames designs, the exhibition includes material which highlights the importance of these relationships to the Eames’ life, philosophy and working processes.
Structured thematically, the exhibition presents a complex portrait of these internationally celebrated designers in the context of the inner world of their Office and network, alongside the political, cultural and social conditions which enabled and influenced their work.
The World of Charles and Ray Eames is at Barbican Art Gallery, London (UK) until 14 February 2016.
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Notes to Editors
Barbican Art Gallery, London, 0845 120 7550, www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery
Opening hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10am – 6pm, Thursday & Fridays, 10am – 9pm, Bank Holiday Mondays: 12noon – 6pm, Bank Holiday Fridays: 12noon – 9pm
Standard: £14.50 (on and offline) / Concessions (OAPs and unemployed): £12 (on and offline)
Students: £10 (on and offline) / 14-17: £8 (on and offline)
Young Barbican: £5 (on and offline) / Under 14s: FREE (just offline)
Barbican Members & Members Plus: FREE / Yellow Members: £10.15 (30% off)
Art Fund Members: £10 (on and offline) / Access members: £8 (offline only)
School groups of 10 or more: £8 (offline only)
The World of Charles and Ray Eames is organised by Barbican Art Gallery and produced in collaboration with the Eames Office.
The exhibition is curated by Catherine Ince and designed by 6a architects, working in collaboration with graphic designer John Morgan. The exhibition is accompanied by a diverse programme of talks and events. The World of Charles and Ray Eames is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. Media Partner: Elle Decoration. Furniture Partner: Vitra. Exhibition supported by: Knauf.
Vitra is a Swiss furniture company dedicated to developing healthy, intelligent, inspiring and durable solutions for the office, the home and for public spaces. Vitra’s products and concepts are developed in Switzerland by applying a diligent design process that brings together thecompany’s engineering excellence with the creative genius of leading international designers. Vitra’s goal is to create products with a high functional and aesthetic life expectancy.
A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.5 million people pass through the Barbican’s doors annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.
The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Barbican Art Gallery and The Curve
One of the leading art spaces in the UK, Barbican Art Gallery presents the best of international visual art with a dynamic mix of art, architecture, design, fashion and photography. From acclaimed architects to Turner prize-winning artists, the Gallery exhibits innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries: key players who have shaped developments and stimulated change. The Curve is dedicated to a vibrant programme of new commissions, created by leading international artists in direct response to this distinctive gallery space.