Upcoming Exhibition by Carpenters Workshop Gallery Examines the Female Voice in Modern Design
Carpenters Workshop Gallery New York gives credit where due to women who pushed forward the design narrative, often quietly, in an upcoming two-part exhibition. The first installment, “The Female Voice in Modern Design: 1950 – 2000,” curated by design historian Daniella Ohad and designed by AtelierTek Architects, contextualizes the work of innovative women designers in the second half of the 20th century, starting with the 1950s through the advent of Postmodernism and Minimalism and beyond.
“I’ve been extremely shocked when I’m trying to buy pieces all over the world to find out that you can go through options for an entire season… and if you have 10 [pieces] by women it’s a lot,” says Ohad, who notes that all pieces on display also will be for sale. With a focus on European designers, the first installment, which opens April 20 at the gallery’s New York locale, spotlights more than 30 women and the objects they brought to life, including Gabriella Crespi, Zaha Hadid, Charlotte Perriand, Simone Prouvé and Vera Szekely alongside Carpenters Workshop Gallery artists Ingrid Donat and Johanna Grawunder.
“To create a piece of furniture that is a zeitgeist, that really speaks to the period, is not that easy,” adds Ohad, especially since, in the 20th century, many women worked alongside their male counterparts and often went unacknowledged. “It’s really a shining moment and that’s what I was looking for.” Given the DNA of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the show begins with European designers and will close out with the wider reach, including those in the U.S., for the second installation.
Throughout the show, each decade will feature a selection of pieces that reflect key shifts in design traditions, as well as broader trends and events, from political movements to technological innovations. Curating the exhibition even led Ohad to uncover some new truths. “For me, the biggest surprise really is that some of these pieces were attributed to men and they were found to be really designed by women,” she shares. The show aims to correct such oversight, honoring women and their work.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Daniella Ohad to tell this important story on the history of modern design,” says Ashlee Harrison, director of the Americas for Carpenters Workshop Gallery. “Throughout the second half of the 20th century, female designers fought to have their voices heard and achievements recognized and to this day, many of their contributions are still attributed to their male peers. With this exhibition series, we proudly celebrate their work and honor their place in the design canon.”
In 2023, Carpenters Workshop Gallery will stage the second exhibition in the series, examining the influence of female design from 2000 to the present.
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