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Silvermine opens new year with three exhibits

Published 10:23 am, Wednesday, December 25, 2013

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  • Jens Risom's "Lounge Chair" will be among the pieces on display at the Silvermine Arts Center in January when it presents an exhibition of the famed Danish-American furniture designer. Photo: Contributed Photo, Photograph By Jeremy Keats Salad / New Canaan News Contributed
    Jens Risom's "Lounge Chair" will be among the pieces on display at the Silvermine Arts Center in January when it presents an exhibition of the famed Danish-American furniture designer. Photo: Contributed Photo, Photograph By Jeremy Keats Salad

 

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The new year opens at the Silvermine Arts Center with the annual New Guild Members Show, plus the work of lifetime guild artist member Jens Risom and the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection.

An opening reception takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. The exhibits will run through Feb. 16.

"The Answer is Risom"

Risom, who was born in 1916, is an icon of Danish-American furniture design and a Silvermine Guild member since the 1950s. The exhibit will feature several of his signature furniture designs, along with original drawings and other historical items from an influential career that has spanned more than 70 years.

Although he learned the trade in Denmark -- he trained at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design, he is often counted among the American designers who were shaping post-war design. His most important contributions to the modern style were made after his emigration here in 1939.

Risom's commitment to design also extended to his advertising. One of the more notable examples, a series of ads he did in the 1960s with famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon, will be included in the exhibition.

Risom first made his mark on the design world with his signature chairs, whose simple and elegant design incorporated surplus parachute straps into a birch frame. The chairs were some of the first designs to be manufactured by Knoll Inc., a collaboration that began in 1941, and led to the development of the "Jens Risom Collection," which was featured in the company's first catalog.

After his service in World War II, Risom formed his own company, Jens Risom Design, which he ran until the early 1970s.

Examples of his work can be found in many major institutions.

A longtime resident of New Canaan, Risom is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design and was knighted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1996.

Risom summed up his stylistic philosophy and his approach to interiors as, "Good design means that anything which is good by itself will go with other things."

New Members Exhibition

The exhibition will showcase the works of nine new guild artist members who were inducted in the spring and fall.

Representing a variety of media, the new members are Naya Bricher, painting; Nina Buxenbaum, painting; Amanda Duchen, ceramics; Charles Geiger, painting; Jana Ireijo, painting; Cynthia MacCollum, of New Canaan, printmaking; Joe Madrigal, mixed-media sculpture; Mitchell Visoky, mixed-media/encaustic; and Karen Vogel, printmaking.

International Print Collection

In 2012, Silvermine officially named its print collection the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection, in honor of the founder, Gabor Peterdi.

Having started the printmaking department at Yale University, Peterdi established the National Print Biennial competition at Silvermine in 1956. The arts center established the foundation of a permanent print collection through the acquisition of juror purchase awards. In subsequent years, additional prints were added to the collection via donations and bequests. The recent efforts have enabled the galleries to conserve the collection, while actively growing its holdings.

The past year, the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection received several significant donations to the collection, including works by such renowned artists as Josef Albers, purchased with funds honoring the late guild member Tina Rohrer; a Robert Cottingham screened print and a Gabor Peterdi print donated by the Gabor Peterdi Estate.

This year's exhibition will feature recent acquisitions of prints by Fritz Brosius, Alexander Calder, James Flora, Charles Hinman, Liliana Porter and a print attributed

to Salvador Dali, as well as other highlights from the collection.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-966-9700, ext. 20, or visit www.silvermineart.org.