previews

Grace Jones wearing a maternity dress designed for her by Jean-Paul Goude and Antonio Lopez, 1979. Photo: Jean-Paul Goude Studio.

London

“Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990”

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
August 24 - January 15

Curated by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavit

As exemplified by the Memphis group’s antic asymmetries or the high-low architectural fugues of Michael Graves, Hans Hollein, and even Philip Johnson (who killed his own master narrative with New York’s ersatz-Georgian AT&T building), postmodern style once enjoyed a reputation as the most bemusing interlude in recent design history. But a renewed appreciation of all things po-mo has been building lately, and this show—encompassing some 250 exhibits, from Ettore Sottsass’s iconic Casablanca sideboard to Grace Jones’s Constructivist maternity dress, with ample interdisciplinary input from Devo, Rei Kawakubo, Peter Saville, Haim Steinbach, and many, many more—will make it official: Postmodernism is the new modernism.