Vital Forms: American Art and Design in the Atomic Age, 1940-1960
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American Art and Design in the Atomic Age, 1940-1960
By Brooke Kamin Rapaport and Kevin L. Stayton, et al.
From the Studebaker and the Slinky7 to the TWA terminal and paintings by Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko, 1940 to 1960 was a compelling era for the arts in America. Artists and designers responded to the atomic-age anxieties of the postwar period with "vital" forms - organic imagery and biomorphic shapes based on nature. These forms proliferated during the optimism of the late '40s and '50s prosperity, in Tupperware7 and the Hula Hoop as well as Eames chairs and Calder mobiles.
Examining visual arts from an interdisciplinary perspective, Vital Forms focuses on the development and ascendancy of organic imagery. Essays placing the works in historical context, hundreds of photos, and an engaging mix of fine art and commercial design make this a must-have for serious art and design enthusiasts and fans of American popular culture.
350 illustrations, 250 in full color, 400 pages,
10 x 12"
Brooke Kamin Rapaport is associate curator, Department of Contemporary Art, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Kevin L. Stayton is chair, Department of Decorative Arts, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Brooklyn Museum of Art Oct. 12, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Feb. 16-May 12, 2002
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville June 21-Sept. 15, 2002
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Nov. 17, 2002-Feb. 23, 2003
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