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Ron Arad: No Discipline

New York correspondent Jess Noble visits the Ron Arad Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art

Ron Arad: No Discipline


September 14th, 2009

My new life goal is to own a piece of furniture designed by Ron Arad. If you’re in New York and care at all about design, get to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) before 19 October.

Familiar with his high-profile design collaborations with Kenzo, Swarovski, and Kartell, I have admired the work of Ron Arad for a few years now. The Israeli born designer is celebrated for his adventurous approach to structure, technology, and material in designs that span all disciplines. But it wasn’t until I saw his life work in one room that I could declare Ron Arad the coolest contemporary designer of his generation.

The ‘No Discipline’ exhibition, currently on display at New York’s marvelous Museum of Modern Art, is the first major American retrospective exhibition of the influential designer. The showcase features industrial and studio pieces, furniture and architecture all displayed within, above and around a colossal stainless steel structure (named ‘Cage without Borders’) designed exclusively by the man himself.

Arad’s experimentation with materials from steel, aluminum, and bronze to fiberoptics, and LEDs, has put him at the forefront of contemporary design for several decades. Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator at MoMA, noted that Arad is documented for his iconoclastic disregard for disciplines, explaining the exhibition title. 

Featuring almost 150 works, including 60 videos, the showcase is never boring, with each single piece catching due attention. Most impressive to exhibit viewers is the endless elevated rows of celebrated historical pieces. The Rover Chair (1981), the Concrete Stereo (1983), and the Tom Vac Chair (1997) are all there. And the Pièce de résistance? The illustrious à la mode Bookworm bookshelves (1993), stocked by Kartell and adored by all who can see.

With legendary pieces galore, this exhibit is a modern masterpiece in itself. Think the Oscars for lovers of contemporary design. Thanks to Mr Arad, and MoMA, the world of design is a little more beautiful than it was yesterday.

Ron Arad
‘No Discipline’
August 2 – October 19, 2009
MoMA, New York City


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