Vivian Beer: Streamlining Desire
May 2, 2014 through June 28, 2014
PHILADEPHIA- Wexler Gallery is pleased to present Vivian Beer: Streamlining
Desire, a solo exhibition by designer Vivian Beer. The show will run from May 2nd
through June 28th. *An Opening Reception will take place on First Friday, May
2nd from 5-8pm.
Streamlining Desire is a premiere look at the designer’s new Streamliner series,
highlighting her passionate return to working exclusively with steel. The exhibition
will also feature select benches from the hot-rod inspired Anchored Candy series.
Working with materials such as stainless steel, automotive paint and concrete,
Vivian’s work is a blend of custom contemporary design, craft and sculpture.
The evolution of her work is intimately tied with research and exploration of the
techniques, industrial processes and cultural associations of metal. Interested in
contemporary car culture and fascinated by cultural signifiers of women’s
fashion, Vivian Beer manipulates steel into an ergonomic experience for the
body, inviting the viewer to physically engage with her furniture. Vivian’s
sophisticated seating can assume the appearance of a woman’s high heeled
shoe or an 18th century conversation chair seducing the curves of the human
body. In the artist’s words, “…through the familiar function of seating, I am
scripting an experience that is both formative and sensual.”
As a departure from her Infrastructure series, where the symbolism of the material
and pattern was directly related to transport and passageways, the units in
Streamliner are made exclusively of metal and are rooted in the concept of
speed and motion. Drawing inspiration from the 1930’s Art Moderne movement,
Beer replaces sharp edges with simple dynamic curves to create a streamlined
and aerodynamic effect, hinting at ideas of action and acceleration. To push
the curves and lines of her work, Vivian Beer has rebuilt the tools in her workshop
to allow for smoother compound forms.
Complimentary to the fast aesthetic of Streamliner, Beer’s exhibition includes a
small selection of colorful Anchored Candy benches. The counterbalance of the
two bodies of work is intentional and represents the young designer’s masterful
and seemingly natural ability to render playful variety through functional seating.
In 2012, Vivian was included in the 40 Under 40: Craft Future exhibition at the
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington,
DC. Her teaching positions have included Haystack Mountain School of Crafts,
Penland School of Crafts, Peters Valley School of Craft, Anderson Ranch Arts
Center and SUNY Purchase, Center for Metal Arts. Public Art and Collections
include Winslow Park in Portland, Maine, The Fuller Craft Museum, The National
Ornamental Metals Museum, The Renwick Gallery of The Smithsonian American
Art Museum, and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Vivian Beer received her B.F.A. in Sculpture from the Maine College of Art in
Portland, Maine and holds her M.F.A in Metalsmithing from The Cranbrook
Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.