Strang, Inc. created recycled touches based on artists Lane Hall and Lisa Moline's work <i>Four Corners</i>.
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is making use of an innovative exhibit to help raise money and bring in a wider cross-section of visitors. With Design MMoCA, artwork that usually finds itself with only the white wall for company now mingles with specially designed entire rooms.
After a successful first display for three days in 2008, Design MMoCA has been brought back for an expanded 10-day run, from April 23 through May 2. The idea is simple but clever: Bring in a handful of the best interior designers and architects from the area, let them root through the museum's full collection of art, and then have them design an entire room based on their chosen piece.
The results this year are 16 spaces -- living rooms, bedrooms, libraries, dining rooms -- in a variety of styles and color palettes. The art that served as genesis for the designs is mounted prominently in each, the form to the rooms' function. The various rooms will be on display throughout the museum's main galleries, but on Thursday night all 16 were on view in one room for the official opening gala. The event featured live music, plentiful drinks, and finely dressed patrons all taking in the fruits of the efforts of this year's designers.
In one, Mel Butor's geometric Cubic Measure serves as inspiration for Inner View's folksy, industrial bedroom complete with gas can accessory and a corrugated tin roof over the head of the bed.
JG Development's earthy, rustic office found direction in the similarly hued Peter Presnail work Flood Plain. An antique typewriter, piles of dust colored books and simple, modernist furniture combine to create a calming, natural feeling.
Taking the idea of functional art to another level entirely, Strang, Inc. created elegant, trendy chairs out of corrugated cardboard, a cascading wall of cardboard tubes, and other recycled touches based on artists Lane Hall and Lisa Moline's work Four Corners.
Some spaces include whimsical touches, like a mobile or beaded curtain, paper cut-outs or sequined covered shoes. Others inject little pieces of local flavor, like photos of chairs at the Memorial Union Terrace. A broad range of color schemes -- from stark, modern primary shades to more subdued earth-tones, as well as some garish, playful hues -- are used throughout. The designers give their work a unique stamp, balancing what's been borrowed from the artwork with their own, original creations.
It's a fun exercise, and a great example of what's possible when artistic mediums are crossed and put to common purpose.
The Design MMoCA program is open to the public seven days a week until May 2, and, in addition to the exhibits includes lectures, workshops, and gallery talks. All of that is included in the ten-day admission pass, which can be purchased for $12. Proceeds go entirely to benefit the museum's free admission policy.