BASSAMFELLOWS: MODERN IN YOUR LIFE – DESIGN AND ART AT THE SCHLUMBERGER BUILDING

Opening July 9 through September 4

36 Old Quarry Rd Ridgefield, CT

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R & Company and BassamFellows are pleased to present two exhibitions that explore the work of designers Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows: Carve, Curve, Cane and Modern in Your Life. The programs examine BassamFellows’ ongoing dialogue with the history of Modernist furniture, art, and architecture, offering a rare opportunity to experience their work alongside iconic pieces by modernist designers.

The first part of the exhibition, Carve, Curve, Cane, opens at R & Company on June 22nd and surveys the rich materiality of BassamFellows’ work. The second installation, Modern in Your Life, opens on July 9th at the BassamFellows headquarters in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and is curated by Erica Barrish and R & Company’s Director of Museum Relations, James Zemaitis.

Shown within the landmark Philip Johnson building in Ridgefield, Connecticut – restored in 2018 by BassamFellows to become their HQ – Modern In Your Life creates a dialogue between the studio’s current work, seminal historical designs from R & Company’s collection, and art masterpieces curated by Erica Barrish.

The show is inspired, in part, by the Good Design exhibitions at MoMA, curated by Johnson in 1951 and 1955, which showcased works by the likes of Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, among others. The diversity of MoMA’s program is highlighted in this novel exhibition through a collection of rare textiles on loan from Cora Ginsberg LLC, designed by Joel Robinson, Olga Lee, and the Danish-born Connecticut resident, Jens Risom.

James Zemaitis explains: “The summer exhibition at the Schlumberger Administration Building presents a selection of design, which was included in MoMA’s Good Design exhibitions, within a Johnson-designed interior, juxtaposed to paintings and sculpture by Bauhaus-trained artists and the contemporary design of BassamFellows. Connecticut played a significant role in the promotion of Modernism and the International Style in the United States, from the Bauhaus interiors assembled by Wadsworth director Chick Austin in his Hartford residence in the early 1930s, to the postwar buildings of the ‘Harvard Five’ architects – which included Johnson, Breuer, and Noyes – in and around New Canaan.”

Erica Barrish adds: “This collaborative show includes the masterpiece by Josef Albers titled City from 1928-1936. This work was the basis of the mural commissioned in 1963 by Walter Gropius for the Pan Am Building in New York, best known as the MetLife building. Each artist [featured in the exhibition], like Albers, is from a disparate part of the globe and was working in a different period, but they are united by their shared commitment to flawless execution and groundbreaking invention.”

Within the context of one of the most significant Modernist buildings in North America, Modern in Your Life brings together works of art and design that broke new ground at the point of their creation and redefined what it meant to be ‘modern’.

Reservations are suggested for the 82 Franklin Street exhibition and required for the Schlumberger Administrative Building installation in Connecticut.