• Shiro Kuramata, 1934-1991

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    August 8–December 2, 1997

    For Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata, functionalism was an ideology to be overturned, gravity a force to be overcome (or at least outsmarted), and light an element to be captured. What emerges from his idiosyncratic design philosophy is a perversely pleasurable, if not particularly tactile purism—doors rarely hindered by handles, glass and steel-mesh chairs that only begrudgingly acknowledge the ground, and colored acrylic blocks that seem to glow from within. Organized by Tokyo’s Hara Museum around designer Ettore Sottsass’ thematic schema, this first major retrospective features some forty works by Kuramata, from experiments with distorted drawers to roses trapped in clear acrylic, inspired by a corsage worn by Vivian Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire. Aug. 8-Dec. 2