Subscribe to our RSS feed:

RSS Feed Button

Feb. 8, 2010 

A sunshine yellow Tata Nano, designed to be the world’s most affordable car, goes on view in the great hall at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Feb. 18-Apr. 25, 2010. Designed by Tata Motors, India’s largest auto manufacturer, the Tata Nano, dubbed "the people’s car," has a base sticker price of $2,500 (in India). The 35-horsepower, four-door vehicle gets 50 miles per gallon, is about 10 feet long and has a rear two-cylinder engine. Tata Motors is currently developing versions of the Nano for European and American markets.

The artist Johnny Swing (b. 1961) came to wide attention in "Second Lives" at the Museum of Arts and Design, where he presented a sleek chaise made of hundreds of quarters carefully welded together. Now, a survey of Swing’s works, including an example of the chaise, are on view at the Knoedler Project Space at 19 East 70th Street and at Cynthia Reeves Gallery at 535 West 24th Street. The Knoedler’s show includes a Nickel Couch (2001) and Butterfly Chair (made of half dollars, in 2002) from the collection of Storm King Art Center.

Other works are made from recycled baby food jars and leather disks left over from Italian floor tiles. At Sotheby’s New York in December 2009, a Nickel Couch from 2003, edition of 25, sold for $104,500 (with premium), more than five times the presale high estimate of $20,000.

BravinLee Programs at 526 West 26th Street in New York’s Chelsea art district has gotten into the rug business. The gallery is producing hand-knotted rugs by artists James Siena, James Welling and Nina Bovasso in signed editions of 15. The project is part of the "Goodweave" program, which ensures the rugs were made without child labor, and which donates a portion of the purchase price to educate children in Kathmandu, where the rugs are woven. Prices are in the $8,000-$10,000 range, according to Meredith Rosenberg of BravinLee Programs.

This month the Museum of Arts and Design opens "Portable Treasuries: Silver Jewelry from the Nadler Collection," Feb. 16-Aug. 8, 2010, an exhibition of 150 works of jewelry -- a promised gift to the museum -- from Northern Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The Nadlers, whose collection numbers 800 items, are Daniel Nadler, an Egypt-born civil engineer who traveled throughout the world on construction projects, and his wife Serga Nadler, who was born in Iran and now volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Among the highlights in the exhibition: a pair of elegant anklets from Rajasthan, each weighing almost two pounds, part of a bride’s wedding dowry; a coiled Miao neck torque from Southeast Asia, weighing nearly three pounds and representing both clan identity and wealth; and a Moroccan necklace assembled from silver discs, amber, beads, shells and coral, a wedding marker of social status and tribal affiliations.  

Two hundred years of wallpaper design, via almost 40 examples, are featured in "Wallworks: Contemporary Pictorial Wallpapers," Mar. 11-Apr. 24, 2010, at the International Print Center New York at 526 West 26th Street in Manhattan. Organized by decorative arts specialist Sarah Richards, the survey includes papers celebrating George Washington’s Inauguration and Queen Victoria’s Jubilee as well as wallpaper illustrated with images from the American West, space travel and plants and animals.

The show is presented in conjunction with the New York Design Festival, which includes the Architectural Digest Home Design Show on Pier 94, Go Green Expo on Pier 92, and the re-christening of the Merchandise Mart showrooms across from the Empire State Building (home of the Volta art fair) as 7 West New York.

Add another stop to your gallery rounds in the District of Columbia. The Industry Gallery has opened its inaugural exhibition, "Round the Corner," Jan. 16-Mar. 6, 2010, the first solo show in the U.S. of Jerusalem-born artist Shlomo Harush. Directed by Craig Appelbaum, Industry Gallery is located in a 4,300-square-foot industrial space at 1358 Florida Ave., NE, near D.C.’s Conner Contemporary. "Round the Corner" features 20 eccentrically designed seating units hand-crafted of shiny stainless steel. 

Just in time for the 2010 Oscars, the Fashion Institute Design Museum & Galleries in Los Angeles is presenting "Hollywood 2010: The Art of Motion Picture Costume Design," Feb. 9-Apr. 17, 2010. The show allows a close-up look at costumes from Nine, for which designer Colleen Atwood used a million crystallized Swarovski elements; G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra, for which Ellen Mirojnick laced Sienna Miller into tight outfits of leather and crocodile skin; Julie & Julia, for which Ann Roth used elevator shoes and false waistlines to make Meryl Streep seem as tall as Julia Child; and many others. 

The School of Visual Arts is seeking students for its new two-year MFA program in Design Criticism for the fall of 2010. Among the more than 40 guest speakers: Julie Lasky of the new Design Observer website; MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli; Cooper-Hewitt curator Matilda McQuaid; and design writers Ralph Caplan, Akiko Busch and Andrea Codrington. Tuition is $25,000 per semester; apply online or contact department chair Alice Twemlow at

contact Send Email