Fall 2009 —

Modern’s debut issue stakes out the territory clearly: the strange dichotomy in which the design culture and decorative arts of the last one hundred years has managed to be both neglected and highly desirable. This new title joins its older sibling ‘Antiques’ as an authoritative and rather passionate voice aimed at collectors and fans of its particular areas of focus. Offering its credentials admirably in the first issue, Modern has much that makes it a welcome addition to the offer of niche – but accessible- titles surveying the field. And, in the American context in which it is published, it is the first title devoted specifically to the topic outside of the realms of academia.

Of particular note is Gregory Cerio’s article on the California tradition of beautiful and unusual studio furniture. Cerio provides an enlightening insight into the special furniture that flourished in the Golden State, particularly in the inter-bellum period, noted for its sweeping lines, experimental and playful character.  Also of particular note is Martin Filler’s feature on Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair, some eight decades on. Though Filler does not say anything with which there is likely to be any immediate disagreement, there might be some (European) scholars of Modernism who might grunt at errors of omission. Nonetheless, this only underscores the articles central tenet that the work remains iconic.

    Fall 2009 –
    September 2009 126 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Mod Max Swonderful swonderful, smarvelous Smith Black Rock At the Beginning A Brief Shining Moment The Young and the Restless Tin Tin and the Riddle of the Golden Ratio For Eyes Fire and Ice
    Editor –
    Gregory Cerio
    Editorial Director –
    Elizabeth Pochoda
    Art Director –
    Maria Kerdel-DeMarco
    Modern - Fall 2009  Modern - Fall 2009  Modern - Fall 2009  Modern - Fall 2009  Modern - Fall 2009  Fall 2009  Modern - Fall 2009

Our Take —

It had to happen sooner or later and there must be a lot of publishers kicking themselves for not having got there first. Modern is a perfectly simple and simply perfect concept. The world is full of people who love old things that haven’t quite reached the official definition of an antique. Rather conveniently, that alleged 100 years that defines an antique also currently roughly corresponds to the period that design culture considers the Modern period.

Focusing on furniture, objets d’art, applied arts and architecture, Modern is a magazine that is an obvious resource for the collector of ‘the modern’; from the perfect chair to the ultimate modernist ceramics. But the great thing about this title is that it’s a good read and eye candy for even those who, though vehemently interested in the styles of yesteryear, might unfortunately be outside of the shopping bracket of much of the work covered. On the whole, Modern focuses on the high-achievers of the past; those whose designs were always within the luxury end of the market, even in their own time. With a new generation of collectors for whom frou-frou styles of the nineteenth century strike less of a chord than sleek lines, it’s easy to see why the title has got off to a booming start.

Categories –
Design Art Architecture
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