Essential Modernism


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Design between the World Wars

Dominic Bradbury; With essays by Tim Benton, Mel Buchanan, Anne Hoy, Margret Kentgens-Craig, Jolanthe Kugler, Rick Poynor, Patrick and Laurence Seguin, and Richard Wright

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $65.00
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A beautiful and expansive look at Modernist design, representing iconic works including architecture, interiors, graphic design, and product design

This wide-ranging survey showcases and analyzes the work of dozens of Modernist designers, from those who established the International Style in the 1920s and ‘30s through the groundbreaking practitioners of the mid-1940s. Modernism, with its powerful aesthetic and compelling philosophical framework, is the twentieth century’s most defining movement in design and the applied arts. International architects and designers such as Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized the built world and how we live in it. Their work rejected historical precedents, prioritizing function over tradition, and their experimentation with new forms, materials, and techniques transformed our living spaces and lifestyles and fundamentally changed the way we think about design.
This lively and accessible volume includes sections on furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass, industrial and product design, graphic design and posters, houses and interiors, as well as profiles of more than seventy influential creators. The encyclopedic scope facilitates unexpected connections and offers new insights into the movement. Complete with essays by accomplished scholars and subject specialists, over 600 illustrations, and an illustrated A to Z of designers, architects, and manufacturers, this book is unparalleled and unprecedented in scope. Essential Modernism is an indispensable resource for scholars and students as well as for the designer’s studio, the collector’s desk, and the enthusiast’s library.

Dominic Bradbury is a design and architecture writer who contributes regularly to House & Garden, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, and Wallpaper*. He is the author of Mid-Century Modern Complete.

“Bradbury has pulled together the diverse strains of modernism in a readable and visually attractive package covering the most influential designers and their iconic works. A useful addition to every design historian’s bookshelf.”—Judith Gura, author of Postmodern Design Complete

“Bradbury’s book is a concise yet detailed survey of classic 20th-century design under both Modern and Modernistic umbrellas. It provides both information and inspiration about the incredible work that was produced during this critical time.” —Steven Heller, co-author of The Moderns: Midcentury Modern Graphic Design

“[An] ambitious survey . . . which wraps up the varying strands of early modernism in a neat—and weighty (480 pages)—package that includes furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass, industrial and product design, graphics and posters, as well as a generous selection of attractively photographed houses and interiors.”—Judith Gura, Modern Magazine

“Chapters devoted to furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass, industrial and product design, and graphics and posters present sumptuous illustrations and brief introductions to the achievements of many. . . . This is eye candy for the design buff, ideal for browsing on a cold winter’s day.”—Ann Landi, Wall Street Journal

“The 1920s, ‘30s, and early ‘40s was that essential period where disparate Modern art, architecture, and design movements intermixed, producing countless canonical works and enduring legacies. This massive survey drinks from that fire-hose of early 20th century history, highlighting countless examples of Modern furniture, lighting, ceramics/glass, industrial design, and graphic design, with a healthy dose of architecture (primarily houses) thrown into the mix.”—Metropolis Magazine
ISBN: 9780300238341
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
480 pages, 9 1/2 x 12
524 color + 100 b/w illus.

Sales Restrictions: For sale in United States and Canada only