he thematic heart of this latest exhibition is the concept of Postmodernism, which emerged in the early 1970s in European architecture and went on to influence every sector of culture, and the visual arts in particular, together with the music and film industries, graphic design and fashion. It marks a crucial point in the cultural development of Italy too, which Mart explores and presents in the Italian edition of the catalogue, with a text by architect Paolo Portoghesi.
The exhibition takes as its starting point the analysis of a series of radical ideas developed in strong opposition to the orthodox ideas of Modernism: an overturning of the concepts of purity and simplicity, to be replaced by new forms and colours, historic quotations, parodies and, above all, by a new sense of freedom associated with architecture and design. Among the modernists, it is not rare for personal style to be considered a secondary aspect with respect to the effort of realising a utopian programme. For the Postmodernists, on the other hand, style is everything.
Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970 - 1990 brings together over 200 objects across all genres of art, architecture and design.
First of all is the “subversive design” of Ettore Sottsass for the Studio Memphis followed by the graphic design of Peter Saville and Neville Brody; architectural models and rendering, together with preparatory drawings by Philip Johnson for the AT&T skyscraper (1978); works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman and Ai Weiwei; the 1986 stainless steel bust of Louis XIV by Jeff Koons; the reconstruction of the monumental work by Jenny Holzer “Protect Me From What I Want” (1983-85); performances and costumes, including the “Big Suit” worn by David Byrne for the documentary “Stop Making Sense” of 1984; extracts from films such as ”The Last of England” by Derek Jarman (1987); music videos of Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones and the New Order; and also surprising objects such as the dinner services designed by architects like Zaha Hadid, Frank O. Gehry and Arata Isozaki.
Curated by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt