Glenn Adamson

  • Ant Farm and LST

    One way to think of Ant Farm, the subject of a recent exhibition at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, is as the art-world equivalent of an underground music act. They were founded in San Francisco in 1968, against the backdrop of psychedelic counterculture. Despite their impressive back catalogue, they are remembered mainly for two smash hits—Cadillac Ranch, 1974, and Media Burn, 1975. And like so many bands, they have recently reunited, with a slightly different lineup. Back in the day, the group had three core members—Chip Lord, Doug Michels, and Curtis Schreier. In 2003, Michels, who had

  • passages September 15, 2016

    Vladimir Kagan (1927–2016)

    PUCK IS DEAD. That was my reaction when I heard of the passing of Vladimir Kagan at the age of eighty-eight. I only met him late in his life, by which time he had an unmistakable sparkle of celebrity. But even when he was young, I imagine that he resembled Shakespeare’s “shrewd and knavish sprite” pretty well. Like the elfin upstager of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kagan stood somewhat outside the mainstream of his profession (that is, furniture design), a good place to be if you want to provide a little light relief. Though he was initially influenced by the Bauhaus, he never adopted its rigorous

  • passages April 29, 2015

    Michael Graves (1934–2015)

    MICHAEL GRAVES had a very particular terracotta that he liked to use in his renderings. He preferred a shade of pencil manufactured by Derwent which he then muted slightly with a 10 Percent Cool Gray from Prismacolor. One day he heard that the gray was being discontinued. He promptly rang up the company and bought as many as he could—boxes and boxes full.

    As this anecdote about the tools of his trade suggests, Graves was determined to get things just right. No matter what the typology—drawings and models, buildings and interiors, tea kettles and toasters, furniture and fabrics—his works are