Brian Webb and Peyton Skipwith. Antique Collectors Club in Association with the Fry Art Gallery, 2005
This small but exquisite book brings together the designs of Bawden and Ravilious, who met at the Royal College of Art in the early 1920s, under the aegis of key tutors there such as Paul Nash, Edward Johnston and Harold Stabler. Here, Ravilious focused on mural painting, while Bawden pursued book illustration. Both artists soon began experimenting with print-making. In 1927, they shared an exhibition with a further friend, Douglas Percy Bliss, at the St Georges Gallery in London. They also had a joint mural commission jointly for a work at the now famous Morley College in South London. Ironically, from this work of fantasy, they became irresistibly drawn to the English landscape. Ravilious certainly excelled in this vein. Bawden was less successful, perhaps preferring the camaraderie of groups and social individuals whom he portrayed.
Even though Ravilious died in action in World War II, it is arguable, as the book claims, that the particular design ethos that followed 'reached its zenith' with the subsequent Festival of Britain, which gave Bawden the opportunity of useful commissions. It is also arguable that Bawden and Ravilious, with their crafts orientation, deliberately stood outside the modernist/traditionalist debate. In retrospect, it could be claimed convincingly that Ravilious quietly and sympathetically embraced the tenets of a modern English culture; he offered more forcefully glimpses of popular culture, later developed by such artists as Edward Burra. Bawden, too, was complicit in 'exploiting the disciplines' of the crafts that he pursued so conscientiously.
Bawden executed over 100 book jackets, including one for Iris Murdoch's The Flight from the Enchanter (Chatto & Windus, 1956) and, earlier, for The Outsider by Albert Camus (Hamish Hamilton, 1945).
Brad Pitt’s Initiative. Making It Right: New Houses at New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward
Brad Pitt’s Make it Right housing neighbourhood reconstruction initiative for New Orleans is not the first ever solution to follow a catastrophe, but it is the most ingenious.
John Pawson – Plain Space
The most celebrated of Mies van der Rohe’s aphorisms was Less is More and just how this principle can be taken to extremes is shown in the exhibition of work by John Pawson at the Design Museum in London
Arne Jacobsen Centenary
February sees the end of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Danish architect and designer, Arne Jacobsen.
Eileen Gray at the Design Museum, London 2005
Eileen Gray's furniture has become well known ever since the London-based architect, designer and retailer, Zeev Aram, put it back into production (beginning with the E.1027 table and the Bibendum chair) in 1972. It was this, together with an article in Domus by Joseph Rykwert in 1968, that began the re-establishment of her reputation - she had been forgotten since the beginning of the Second World War.
Braun AG Headquarters, Melsungen, Germany
Braun AG Headquarters, Melsungen, Germany – In 2002 this famous project stands complete as perhaps the final masterpiece of the Stirling/Wilford office, executed together with Walter Nageli in Germany