Winter 2010 —

A strand running through this particular issue is the multi-talented minority who have conquered more than one realm in twentieth century design. The two main talents to be profiled in this context are André Bloc and Charles James. The former was a sculptor, engineer, architect and magazine editor. Ian Philips’ article gets to grips with this French polymath and, in particular, his unusual habiticales, structures that sit somewhere between sculptor and functionless architecture produced in the post-war period in cahoots with key players in the French post-war avant-garde. Being reminded of the use of one of these structures for the surreal fashion show scene in William Klein’s searingly hip 1966 film ‘Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?’ is reason enough on its own for making sure you read this article.

Fashion is also a link in the issue’s designer spotlight feature devoted to Charles James. The narrative here is the turning point for James – at the time an established couturier popular with America’s elite women- when the de Menil’s lured him into designing the interior and furniture for their spanking new Philip Johnson modernist home in Houston. Needless to say, Mr Johnson was not amused. On the other hand, the story is fascinating and contextualises James’ structural approach to creating elegant and flattering curves in sensuous furniture that were already the basis of his popularity with ladies who wanted to look elegant and curvaceous.

Just two of the juicy reads in an issue filled with all the usual well-researched and distinctive content for which Modern has rapidly become a respected title.

    Winter 2010 –
    January 2010 140 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Behind The Numbers New Sensations Voices Designer Spotlight Works on Paper Curators Eye Current Thinking A View with a Room See Saw The Igenious Gemwork of Andrew Grima Mojito Modern Architectural Encoure Serious Fun Straw into Gold
    Editor –
    Gregory Cerio
    Editorial Director –
    Elizabeth Pochoda
    Art Director –
    Kay Douglas & Tom Voss
    Modern - Winter 2010  Modern - Winter 2010  Modern - Winter 2010  Modern - Winter 2010  Modern - Winter 2010  Winter 2010  Modern - Winter 2010

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.

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Design Art Architecture
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