Girard retrospective at Vitra Design Museum (12.03.2016 – 29.01.2017)
He was one of the most prolific interior and textile designers of the 20thh century, however Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) is rarely mentioned in the same breath as his contemporaries and collaborators Charles and Ray Eames or George Nelson. In March 2016, Vitra Design museum opened the first major retrospective on this influential design personality. “Alexander Girard. A Designer’s Universe” (12.03.2016 – 29.01.2017) presents his oeuvre with a never before shown multitude of textiles, furnishings, models, small objects, interiors, personal documents, and drawings. The exhibition also features Girard’s private estate, which has been held by the Vitra Design Museum since it came into the museum’s possession in 1996, not long after Girard had passed away.
Girards often underestimated significance lies in the fact that he restored what classical modernism had rejected in design – color, decoration, opulent interiors. With an easy ingenuity, he combined ostensible antagonists: craftsmanship and industry, pop culture and high culture, playful décor with masterful reduction. From today’s perspective, Girard anticipated many developments of the following decades: from the colorful language of postmodernism to the current debates on post-industrial design and the globalization of our everyday aesthetic.