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October 3rd, 2013
Marc Newson: At Home

November 23, 2013–April 20, 2014

Perelman Building, Collab Gallery

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present the first solo museum exhibition in the United States devoted to Marc Newson, one of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary designers. Marc Newson: At Home will include furniture, clothing, and appliances, along with works related to transportation including a concept car and a bicycle. It will be organized and installed as a six-room home, including adult and child bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a garage. The works are lent from collections in Europe, Japan, and the United States as well as from the designer himself. Videos of Newson’s drawings, prototypes, and other pieces will also be on view. The exhibition will be presented in the Collab Gallery, named for the group of collaborating design professionals that supports modern and contemporary design at the Museum.

Newson’s design sensibility, notable for its smooth and flowing linearity, has evolved to embrace a variety of striking styles over the past thirty years, drawing on biomorphic and industrial influences. The living room will showcase iconic pieces that demonstrate Newson’s innovative use of materials and processes. The limited edition Lockheed Lounge (1988), made of fiberglass and covered with aluminum sheets riveted together, is one of his most recognized works and was featured in Madonna’s 1993 music video for “Rain.” Also included in the living room will be his Pod of Drawers (1987), similarly faced with riveted aluminum; the Super Guppy Lamp (1987), inspired by a Japanese street lamp; a marble Voronoi Low Shelf (2007), cut into a pattern based on the diagrams of nineteenth-century Russian mathematician Georgy Voronoi; and a sofa made entirely of nickel.

Newson’s kitchen includes appliances, tableware, pots and pans, and even champagne coffrets made for Dom Pérignon, all centered around a mustard-yellow stovetop and oven, topped by a stainless steel hood that the designer created for Smeg. The bright orange and green Dish Doctor Dish Rack (1997) features Newson’s signature curves and vibrant colors. Newson’s Canteen Table (1997) will be outfitted with in-flight dinnerware designed for Qantas Airways, drinking glasses (1998) made by Iittala glassworks, and stainless steel Strelka Cutlery (2003) made by Alessi.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy the child bedroom, notably furnished with the Embryo Chair (1988). Produced by Cappellini, the three-legged seat of organic forms is made of chromed steel, padded in cushy molded polyurethane foam and covered with a stretchy, synthetic fabric. The modular Bunky Bunk Bed (2010) consists of four molded-plastic pieces that fit together and can be reconfigured as single beds. The bedroom also includes the Rocky Rocking Horse (2012), suggestive of medieval jousting, and a futuristic inflatable toy plane (2007).

Clothing designed by Newson for G-Star, a company with which he has collaborated since 2003, will be hung on his Hangman Clothes Rack (1993) on Hercules Hangers (1997) in the adult bedroom. The room will feature a Nimrod Chair (2003) resembling a vehicular bucket seat, and Newson’s pared-down variation on the Atmos clock, designed in 2008 to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the Swiss company Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Newson’s bathroom fixtures for Caroma include the Wall Hung Invisi II Toilet and Wall Basin (both 2012) with streamlined minimalist shapes and concealed mounting. The bathroom also contains hair appliances designed by Newson for Vidal Sassoon including an aluminum, oblong-shaped hair dryer (2001).

The garage will house his concept car, the O21C (1999) designed for Ford and presented at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1999. Conceived as a simple and affordably stylish urban, eco-friendly vehicle, the car features rear hinged doors, swivel seats, a slide-out trunk, and a push-button, four-speed automatic transmission.

Collab will honor Newson for his achievements with the 2013 Collab Design Excellence Award on November 22, 2013. In addition, the group’s annual Student Design Competition will challenge students at area colleges to design and make a table, drawing inspiration, as Newson does, from science, technology, the arts, and nature. Thirty of the student projects will be displayed from November 19 to 23 at the Museum, where visitors will be able to vote for their favorite.

“We chose to feature Marc Newson as this year’s Collab Award recipient not only for the range and breadth of his designs, but also for his incredible attention to detail and insistence that the same high level of craftsmanship should apply to all parts of whatever he designs, whether visible or not,” said Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator European Decorative Arts after 1700. “We felt that his work could be inspirational for a younger generation of talents, so many of whom study in and around Philadelphia.”

About the Artist
Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1963, Marc Newson developed an early fascination with aviation, rockets, and the futuristic vision of the popular cartoon The Jetsons. Newson graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts in 1984, and was awarded a grant in 1986 from the Craft Council of Australia, leading to his first exhibition featuring the Lockheed Lounge. In 2005, Newson was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Since 1997, he has been appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in Great Britain, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney, and held adjunct professorships at Sydney College of the Arts and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was honored as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011. The artist has been represented in major exhibitions at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (1995, 2004); Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2001); the Groninger Museum, Netherlands (2004); Design Museum London (2004–5); and the Gagosian Galleries in New York (2007, 2010) and London (2008). His clients have included Apple, Canon, Ford, Lanvin, Microsoft, Motorola, Nike, and Vidal Sassoon. He is currently creative director of Qantas Airways, where he redesigned the interiors and fittings of the Airbus fleet.

Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator European Decorative Arts after 1700

This exhibition is made possible by Lisa S. Roberts and David W. Seltzer. Additional support is provided by Collab—a group that supports the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection and programs. In-kind support is provided courtesy of Alessi, Dom Pérignon, Flos, Gagosian, GWA, Herman Miller, KDDI, Pentax Ricoh, Smeg, and Qantas Airways. The Philadelphia Museum of Art gratefully acknowledges Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation for support of the Collab Student Design Competition.

About Collab
Collab is a collaboration of design professionals supporting the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A volunteer committee founded in 1970, Collab is dedicated to enriching the Museum’s collection with outstanding examples of mass-produced and unique designs, and to making the collections accessible to the general public, students, and the design community. Now among the most important in the country, the design collection of more than two thousand objects ranges from appliances and furniture to ceramics, glass, posters, wallpapers, and lighting.

Collab supports a wide range of educational programming at the Museum, including exhibitions, publications, lectures, symposia, the Design Excellence Award honoring renowned designers and manufacturers who have enriched the world with their unique vision, and the Student Design Competition. Past honorees have included Florence Knoll Bassett, Frank Gehry, Milton Glaser, Michael Graves, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier, George Nakashima, Gaetano Pesce, Karim Rashid, Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Philippe Starck, and Marcel Wanders.

For more information about Collab and submission forms for the Design Competition, visit

Exhibition Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building.

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