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beautiful mathematics, 20th century architectural elevations

Designed for Living: The Modern Interior
June 17 - August 27, 2005

Design drawings and renderings for furniture, carpets, murals and lighting for Prairie, Art Deco, Streamline and Mid-Century modern interiors.

Click Here to Read the Show Review by Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune.

The concept of modernity used as a marketing device began in the early 20th Century. Known previously as only an eccentric's pursuit of the "Newfangled" in interior furnishings, it evolved into Modernism as the symbol of a new era and as a generator of sales.

Prairie interiors, art deco furniture, streamlined apartments and mid-century aesthetics all propelled the consumer into futuristic versions of the "Now."

Design drawings by Wright's associate, G.M. Niedecken, and by two modern masters, Alfonso Iannelli and Henry P. Glass span the century with the inventors' delicate renderings of chairs, carpets, lamps and radios.

These are the most personal forms of architecture. Their design drawings may be considered still lifes of creativity in a new age.

ArchiTech Gallery has assembled many original drawings from these great shapers of the last century for an exhibition that traces a design grammar from its earliest roots in America. All works are for sale. "Designed for Living: The Modern Interior" opens Friday, June 17th and runs through Saturday, August 27th.


Notes on the Exhibition:
Designed for Living: The Modern Interior:
June 17 - August 27 , 2005

Summer is a good time to have a show that's big on variety. With a simple theme...and already framed. Bill had let me know that he would spend most of his time on making drawings for an upcoming show. So I wanted to show material that would complement the "Lying on Paper" works I'd put into the second half of the gallery.

I get many more out of town visitors starting in late May. Last year, the bulk of sales was to visitors to Chicago. They're not motivated to come in by a specific exhibition. They come in whenever they come to town, so whatever theme I decided would just have to please me.

I thought about doing interiors from my collection of design drawings and from whatever was in my 18th and 19th century materials. The more I found while rooting around the drawers and storage racks, the narrower became my focus to only "modern" designs. To me, modernism in decoration was only apparent from the Prairie and Viennese on. At least as a marketing device.

So I could start with some Wright and other Prairie guys, but the more I searched it was obvious that I would show Iannelli from his earliest work here, through his Deco phase in the 20s and into his streamlined designs in the 30s and 40s. Henry Glass could be the 40s and 50s component. Since I could only use the front half of the gallery, that was all I could fit in.

Using these few artists, though, I could still tell a pretty complete story with the material I had. There were only three or four things I had to have framed and Bill was able to work those into his schedule. Quite a reduction from the forty things I'd asked him to mat and frame in some past shows.

I always discover new things about works and their creators the more I re-hang or re-position things over time. Iannelli still impresses me with his adaptability to the times throughout his long career. Glass as well could come up with a fresh spin even when he was re-working old ideas. Something about having a reason for clients to keep coming back, I guess. That and their experiences of truly hard periods, Glass's in a Nazi work camp, and Iannelli's as a commercial survivor of the Great Depression.

My life is a breeze compared to theirs.

Click on image
to enlarge

Alfonso Iannelli
Design for Cabinet
Tempera and metallic ink on tissue, circa 1925
10 x 8 inches

Alfonso Iannelli
Design for Shelves
Tempera and metallic ink on tissue, circa 1925
10 x 8 inches

Alfonso Iannelli
Design for a Modernist Apartment (detail)
Colored pencil on tissue, circa 1930
12 x 40 inches

Alfonso Iannelli
Conceptual design for a mural
Watercolor on artist board circa 1915
16 x 6 inches

Iannelli Desk
Alfonso Iannelli
Design of Desk for Office of Encyclopedia Britannica
Colored pencil on tissue, 1944
22 x 28 inches

Henry P. Glass Image of proposed interior architecture drawings of Kling Studios in Chicago
Henry Glass
Kling Lobby

Portfolio of 48 drawings
Graphite on tissue, 1946
18 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches

Henry Glass Chair
Henry P. Glass
Design for a Lounger
Graphite on tracing paper, 1958
11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Henry Glass Chair
Henry P. Glass
Children's Clothes Cabinet
Graphite and colored pencil on Paper, 1949
16 x 13 inches

Henry Glass Chair
Henry Fuermann and Sons vintage photograph
Living Room of Dr. J. F. Clarke, Fairfield, Iowa, 1915
Alfonso Iannelli, Designer; Barry Byrne, Architect

David Jameson
ArchiTech Gallery
730 North Franklin suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

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