ArchiTech's Future Perfect: Mid-Century Modern Design Drawings

above: Henry P. Glass, Wacker Plaza Lobby - View From Entrance
Pencil on tracing paper, 1955, 16 x 21 inche

ArchiTech is a historically comprehensive commercial gallery of architectural art, in Chicago's River North gallery district. Their recent show, Future Perfect: Mid-Century Modern Design Drawings opened January 9 and ends this weekend on May 30, 2009.

The majority of the works in the exhibition are those of late Chicagoan architect and designer, Henry P. Glass (for which the gallery also serves as the representative of the estate) but the show also includes a few works by Vincent Raney, Bertrand Goldberg and R.G. Martelet.

David Jameson, the gallery owner, describes the exhibit as follows:
Mid 20th Century Modernism's most flamboyant designers. Industrial and architectural drawings from post-war to post-moon landing.

Utopian visions were nothing new to America's architects and designers after World War II. However, triggered by an explosion of affordable real estate and hopeful consumerism, manufacturers of the post-war era followed an entirely different design approach. This new philosophy of sensuous shapes envisioned furniture, lamps and radios as almost living beings that could run out to the buyers' car.

Henry P. Glass was perfectly suited to this new visual language. Freed from his Nazi prison camp, he began his design career in America with drawings that practically walked off the paper and into production.

Television and tourism helped transform the new reality away from wartime into the future and that's where we wanted to live. Bertrand Goldberg created theaters, hospitals and apartment buildings that could have come from colonies on the Moon.

In the era when a man's vehicle could resemble his rocket ship to get there, Ron Martelet drew speedboats that could transform into their own transport trailers. His Jet-Skis of the 60s looked to be straight out of "Goldfinger."

What began as atomic nightmares transformed into space age dreams in "Techni"-colors that were no longer army drab but instead, pink, aqua and hues never before classified. Mid-Century Modernism was something completely different.

Here are some drawings from the gallery exhibit. Please click on the images to enlarge:

above: Henry P. Glass, Kling Studios Lobby
Pencil on tracing paper, 1946, 18 x 23 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Kling Studios Director's Office
Pencil on tracing paper, 1946, 18 x 23 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Hotel Flamboyant Typical Cottage,
Graphite on Paper, 1949, 21 x 42 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Hotel Flamboyant
dimensions unknown

above: Henry P. Glass, Design for Hairpin Chair
Pastel and ink on toned paper, Circa 1940s, 9 1/2 x 15 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, DH1 Laminated Plywood Chair
Prismacolor on paper collage, 1966, 10 1/4 x 12 inches

above: 1958 Chair, Graphite on tracing paper, 1958
11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Night Table Lamp
Graphite on tracing paper, Circa 1949, 16 x 13 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Desk Lamp
Graphite on tracing paper, Circa 1949, 16 x 13 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Swingline Desk and Armchair
Pastel and colored pencil on tracing paper, 1949, 16 x 13 inches

above: Henry P. Glass, Eastern Knitters Sales Room
Watercolor and collage on toned paper with shaped mat, 1946, 20 1/2 x 30 inches

above: Vincent Raney, Detail of Theatre for Los Banos
Pencil on drafting linen, 1947, 15 x 16 inches

above: R.G. Martelet, Detail of Design B (Boat/Trailer Combination)
Prismacolor and chalk on toned paper, 1961, 16 x 30 inches

above: Bertrand Goldberg, Architect; Henry Gould, Delineator, San Diego Theater, La Jolla Marker on artist's board, 1969, 12 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches

click here to see more of David's notes on the Exhibition:

above: ArchiTech Gallery Owner David Jameson, photo by Jay King

ArchiTech Gallery

730 North Franklin Street
suite 200
Chicago, IL, USA

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.

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