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Monday, December 14, 2009

Smash the Bourgeoisie! Victory to the Decorating Business!

 Green Engineering Object (2001)

Big Red Propeller (2001)

Transitional Monument (2004)

Artist David Mabb is described as having a posthumous collaboration with William Morris.  Mabb isn't just inspired by Morris, he incorporates Morris's work into his own.  From the on-line archives of the Victorian and Albert Museum:  "Mabb’s interest in Morris focuses not only on the design of his patterns but also the inherent contradictions between Morris’s political beliefs – he was a campaigning Socialist - and his practice as a designer and business-man – he made his living creating luxury goods that were affordable only by the upper middle-classes."

 Morris/Fruit, Rodchenko/Triple Peaks (2006)

Morris/Honeysuckle, Rodchenko/Hard Currency

  Here Mabb combines the "political philosophies and design practices" of two artists, Morris and Rodchenko, who each produced designs intended to enhance the lives of the working class.  The irony of course is that the machine-made designs of Rodchenko were far more accessible to the working class than the painstakingly hand-printed wallpapers of Morris.

More information on Mabb, and many more examples of his work, can be found on the Leo Kamen Gallery website and on the Contemporary Art Society website (a nice slideshow).  The title of this post is taken from one of Mabb's exhibitions.

12/14:  More photos of Mabb's amazing work can be found here.