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Vitra | A Fantastic Universe

Geoff McFetridge | Artists | Toronto Art Gallery | COOPER COLE

s-h-e-e-r: Don’t look at this too long by Bill Ratcliffe on...

A designer's universe: Vitra opens first Alexander Girard retrospective

Until now, Alexander Girard's work has been relatively unknown – certainly when compared to the fame of his contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi and George Nelson, say – but that is soon to change as the American interior and fabri...

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A designer's universe: Vitra opens first Alexander Girard retrospective

Above all, Girard's work persued a humanist agenda, celebrating a universal language and common bond that still holds true today. Pictured left: design drawing for textile panel. Photography: Andreas Sütterlin. Right: 'Love Heart, Environmental Enrichment Panel #3017', for Herman Miller, 1971. Both courtesy of Alexander Girard Estate/Vitra Design Museum

Alexander Girard and his folk Universe | The retrospective includes: textiles, furniture, interior reconstructions, unreleased drawings, documents and objects, which belong to the Vitra Design Museum collection. And there’s also Alexander Girard’s private collection of folk art, built during his travels around South America, India and North Africa.

Alexander Girard’s Mirthful Modernism

Girard returned to the same motifs again and again throughout his career, including that of a coiled snake, which appears here in decades-spanning sketches and atop a 1960s steel table.

Alexander Girard, La Fonda del Sol

The Design Universe of Alexander Girard A menu card for L’Etoile, Girard’s second major restaurant, which opened in 1966 in Manhattan’s SherryNetherland Hotel, indicates his genre-defying approach to a French eatery: “There is nothing inherently wrong with [traditional French restaurant interiors],” editor Olga Gueft wrote at the time. “But there comes a point when one chokes.” Girard’s scheme, with mirrors and stylized floral motifs, came as a relief.