The New York’s Museum of Arts and Design is hosting an exhibition called “Pathmakers”. Subtitled “Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today”, the exhibition “considers the important contributions of women to modernism in postwar visual culture.” For anyone interested in design and aesthetics, it’s important to look at contributions from people often overlooked or forgotten – but whose work we unintentionally either utilise ourselves or which goes into the designs we all love.
As the Huffington Post puts it: “[The exhibition] reminds us that while Josef Albers was puttering around with paint and color studies, his wife Anni Albers was breaking ground in textiles and graphic design — Josef just happened to garner a bit more attention.”
It’s wonderful to see artists use all sorts of tools and materials to fashion their work. Whether it was textiles or using wood, like hardboard, documenting and celebrating their design achievements helps illustrate a history we might often overlook.
The reason this benefits us is to obtain ideas or reminders of the kinds of things we can do for ourselves, in terms of design and decorating. After all, creativity is always inspired by other creatives – and being able to see what drove various kinds of art forward is an opportunity to experience a great variety of views that can shape our own tastes, our own projects and our own design decisions.
As DesignLike notes: “At the start of any interior design project, we wonder in what style should create our interior home in order to feel good in that environment.”
So that means having a sense of the history of a certain design process or style or perhaps artist. The problem is how often so many of these are left out or negated due to certain prejudices that existed years back. By showing these kinds of artists, it can help bring a link to modern times and history.
As the Museum itself notes:
“The legacy of these women is conveyed through a section of the exhibition that presents works by contemporary female artists and designers that reflect and expand upon the work of the earlier generation.”
By celebrating often forgotten voices, we add to the chorus of views that exist today; we can be further inspired and take from those who were making giant strides in direction of design and art we might not think.