Demisch Danant is pleased to announce the exhibition German Avant Garde Design of the 1980s with artwork selected by Josh Baer, November 06 – December 20, 2008. The 1980’s was a reactionary period in which designers sought to liberate themselves from the constraints of functionality and turn more towards the visual arts, to include narrative and emotional content. German designers, influenced by the freed expression established by Italy’s Alchimia and Memphis movements, developed their own design vocabulary and aesthetic derivitive of the divided German post-modern experience. Using common materials that were low cost and readily available, the result was a raw, severe aesthetic with an unmistakable energy.
The New German design movement produced different ‘schools’ or groups within itself according to geographical location and its particular influences. The young Berlin designers, close to the Neue Wilden painters of the time, designed many figurative pieces and appeared aggressive in their experiments, eager to shake off and replace the old avant garde. While Pentagon, the group from Cologne, remained more constructivist in their approach with more strict, minimal forms. Still always in common amongst the different groups, however, was a distinct sense of Self evident in the work, which had not been previously present in classic German design culture. With its brutal honesty, new German 80’s design remains uncontrived, refreshing, and truly reflective of the social conditions in which it originated.
Furthermore, by placing design objects alongside well-considered artworks from the period, Demisch Danant highlights the close relationship between German designers and artists and the common threads evident in their work.
The exhibition will include works from Pentagon, Wolfgang Laubersheimer, Herbert Jakob Weinand, Volker Albus, Cocktail and Moebel Perdu. Artists on view will include Helmut Federle, Gunther Forg, Georg Baselitz and Imi Knoebel.