The new year opens at the Silvermine Arts Center with the annual New Guild Members Show, plus the work of lifetime guild artist member Jens Risom and the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection.
An opening reception takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. The exhibits will run through Feb. 16.
"The Answer is Risom"
Risom, who was born in 1916, is an icon of Danish-American furniture design and a Silvermine Guild member since the 1950s. The exhibit will feature several of his signature furniture designs, along with original drawings and other historical items from an influential career that has spanned more than 70 years.
Although he learned the trade in Denmark -- he trained at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design, he is often counted among the American designers who were shaping post-war design. His most important contributions to the modern style were made after his emigration here in 1939.
Risom's commitment to design also extended to his advertising. One of the more notable examples, a series of ads he did in the 1960s with famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon, will be included in the exhibition.
Risom first made his mark on the design world with his signature chairs, whose simple and elegant design incorporated surplus parachute straps into a birch frame. The chairs were some of the first designs to be manufactured by Knoll Inc., a collaboration that began in 1941, and led to the development of the "Jens Risom Collection," which was featured in the company's first catalog.
After his service in World War II, Risom formed his own company, Jens Risom Design, which he ran until the early 1970s.
Examples of his work can be found in many major institutions.
A longtime resident of New Canaan, Risom is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design and was knighted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1996.
Risom summed up his stylistic philosophy and his approach to interiors as, "Good design means that anything which is good by itself will go with other things."
New Members Exhibition
The exhibition will showcase the works of nine new guild artist members who were inducted in the spring and fall.
Representing a variety of media, the new members are Naya Bricher, painting; Nina Buxenbaum, painting; Amanda Duchen, ceramics; Charles Geiger, painting; Jana Ireijo, painting; Cynthia MacCollum, of New Canaan, printmaking; Joe Madrigal, mixed-media sculpture; Mitchell Visoky, mixed-media/encaustic; and Karen Vogel, printmaking. Read Full Article
International Print Collection
In 2012, Silvermine officially named its print collection the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection, in honor of the founder, Gabor Peterdi.
Having started the printmaking department at Yale University, Peterdi established the National Print Biennial competition at Silvermine in 1956. The arts center established the foundation of a permanent print collection through the acquisition of juror purchase awards. In subsequent years, additional prints were added to the collection via donations and bequests. The recent efforts have enabled the galleries to conserve the collection, while actively growing its holdings.
The past year, the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection received several significant donations to the collection, including works by such renowned artists as Josef Albers, purchased with funds honoring the late guild member Tina Rohrer; a Robert Cottingham screened print and a Gabor Peterdi print donated by the Gabor Peterdi Estate.
This year's exhibition will feature recent acquisitions of prints by Fritz Brosius, Alexander Calder, James Flora, Charles Hinman, Liliana Porter and a print attributed
to Salvador Dali, as well as other highlights from the collection.
The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-966-9700, ext. 20, or visit www.silvermineart.org.