Skip to content

Cluster index: Keith Johnson

Deganello’s ‘Torso’ sofa.

Keith Johnson: ‘Most interesting of all is the effortless way in which this series of avant-garde seating objects apostatizes the tyranny of the rectangle that most sofa designs of the period capitulated to. The Torsos work to sublimate those tendencies towards a higher, more expressionistic reality.’

Kuramata’s ‘Miss Blanche’ chair.

Keith Johnson: ‘Kuramata turned the viewers’ expectations inside-out and upside-down, conjuring up objects and physical spaces that were radical and yet extremely functional. His ability to transform industrial materials (perforated stainless steel, chains, terrazzo, Lucite, glass) into shimmering objects of desire still provokes endless dialogue amongst critics and supporters alike.’

A silver fruit bowl by Ettore Sottsass.

Keith Johnson: [MEMPHIS] ’embodied all of the themes which Sottsass had been experimenting since the 1960’s-1979’s: bright colours, an adoration of cultural kitsch, motifs lifted from suburban life and particularly, cheap mass-market products such as plastic laminates commingled with over-refined materials like marble, rare-wood laminates, silver, gold-leafing, goofy-looking light bulbs, etc.’

Pistoletto’s wall lamp.

Keith Johnson: ‘“Tutti Designers” (“Everyone is a Designer”) is a conceptual wall lamp/neon sculpture with a stenciled metallic suitcase, complete with the obligatory Arte Povera exposed wires and raw metal wall-fasteners. Is the suitcase merely a container for the necessary neon transformer, or a briefcase full of ideas?’

Memphis comes to Kensington.

Keith Johnson: Did the exhibition reach any new conclusions about postmodernism? Hundreds. Essentially, that it was truly the fin-de-siecle style of our twentieth century, encapsulating the ancient (historical) and new (vanguard), high style and kitsch, the electronic age, rock’n’roll, plastic vs age-old craftsmanship – the true visual cacophony of our world today.