On display at New York's Friedman Benda art gallery, Inside the Walls: Architects Design is an intimate exhibition analyzing the relationship between architectural projects and their interior design elements. Featuring the work of renowned architects from around the world—including Oscar Niemeyer, Charlotte Perriand, Charles and Ray Eames, and Kenzō Tange—the show is part of the gallery's annual guest curator series and was put together by Mark McDonald, a collector and dealer of 20th century modernist art.
The exhibition uses archival photographs to both contextualize the objects by displaying them within their intended settings and explore how architects were able to experiment with form without the constraints of marketable aesthetic requirements. "Many of the works in the exhibition are unique custom designs for specific commissions, both residential and commercial," said McDonald in a press release from the gallery. "Unhampered by the constraints of designing for manufacturing and mass-market appeal (or even for comfort), architects are at liberty to imagine something unique, perfectly suited for the function and for the space." One such example is the outdoor lighting fixtures that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his Francis W. Little house in Wayzata, Minn., that mirror the lines and forms of the home's interior.
These project-specific furniture pieces will also be juxtaposed with objects that were not commissioned for a particular interior, but instead, experimented with innovative materials and manufacturing methods. For example, designed in the early 1950s, the Eames Storage Unit (ESU) 400 was an effort to utilize more economical, industrial production materials for a postwar design industry.
The show opened on Jan. 18 and will be on view through Feb. 17.