Paul Gorman is…

Preview of an exhibition: Postmodernism at the V&A

Grace Jones maternity dress 1979 © Jean-Paul Goude.

Here is a selection of images from the V&A’s forthcoming exhibition Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990. In pursuit of this slippery-to-define movement, curators Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt have settled on the defining principles of quotation and bricolage (assemblage from diverse elements).

As a result they have mixed and matched disciplines, categories and scale in their line-up of 250 exhibits, ranging from a reconstruction of Hans Hollein’s 1980 Venice Biennale facade The Presence Of The Past to graphics for record sleeves by Barney Bubbles, Neville Brody and Peter Saville.


Hans Hollein, façade from Strada Novissima, The Presence of the Past, Biennale of Architecture, Venice, 1980.

Peter Saville. Front cover,12in sleeve, Movement, New Order, Factory Records, 1981.

Karl Lagerfeld in his Memphis-furnished apartment in Monte Carlo, 1981. Photo: Jacques Schumacher.

In the performance and music section, the soundtrack is to be provided by the likes of Grace Jones and Talking Heads, and the area dedicated to photography investigates the relationship with styling, fashion and fine art, with exhibits by Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince and images by Helmut Newton and work associated with Ray Petri for The Face.

The show will also include work by the Italian design collective Memphis; the original presentation drawing for Philip Johnson’s AT&T building from 1978; paintings by Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol; Jeff Koons’ stainless steel bust of Louis XIV (1986); a recreation of Jenny Holzer’s illuminated billboard Protect Me From What I Want (1983-85); David Byrne’s huge suit from the 1984 film Stop Making Sense and music promos featuring Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones and New Order.

Ettore Sottsass for Memphis, Casablanca sideboard, plastic laminate over fibreboard, 1981. © V&A Images.

Cinzia Ruggeri, Homage to Lévi-Strauss dress, A/W collection 1983–4. © V&A Images.

Nicola Bateman in rehearsal for a dance piece by Matthew Hawkins, c.1987. Photo by Fred Whisker

Robert Longo, stills from video for Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, 1986.

Ron Arad, One Off Shop interior, London, 1984.

For an exclusive interview with Glenn Adamson about the importance of Barney Bubbles to the development of post-modern graphics and design generally, go here.
Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 runs from September 24 2011 to January 15 2012. Details here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author: / Published: Aug 30th, 2011 / Category: Barney Bubbles, Exhibitions / Comments: 2

2 Responses to “Preview of an exhibition: Postmodernism at the V&A”

  1. Daniele Scarpa Kos
    on Oct 15th, 2011
    @ 10:18 am

    A video homage to postmodern architecture…

  2. Ian Dury With Love: Barney Bubbles back at the V&A « Paul Gorman is…
    on Mar 13th, 2012
    @ 4:46 pm

    […] This follows the inclusion of Bubbles pieces also sourced by me for the museum’s recent Postmodernism retrospective. […]

Leave a Reply