Side Gallery

Side Gallery

Follow

EXHIBITIONS

MODERNO: DESIGN FOR LIVING IN BRAZIL, MEXICO AND VENEZUELA, 1940-1978

MODERNO: DESIGN FOR LIVING IN BRAZIL, MEXICO AND VENEZUELA, 1940-1978

NEW YORK CITY
AMERICAS SOCIETY
FEB 11 1994 - MAY 16 2015

Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978 explored how design, one of the most ground-breaking chapters in the history of Latin American modernism, transformed the domestic landscape in a period marked by major stylistic developments and social political changes. Away from the mass destruction of World War II, many Latin American countries (specifically Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela) entered a period of economic growth in the late 1940s and through the 1950s, which resulted in the modernization of major cities.

Although each country had unique cultural and historic values, modern ideals were enthusiastically embraced as a vehicle for progress. The slogan “fifty years of progress in five,” used in the 1950s by President Juscelino Kubitschek, best described Brazil’s national agenda for fast economic growth and illustrated the urgency of change across the region. Modernism was officially embraced as the suitable style for these nations and design was endorsed as a vehicle for development. By encouraging “a modern way of living” as an ideology, the  governments promoted adoption of their modernization goals. 

"Moderno as an exhibition strove to reposition modern Latin American design within a larger global context to explore how an influx of European and North American architects, designers and entrepreneurs helped expand the field of design by fostering a cosmopolitan and creative environment"


The post-World War II era steered a period of artistic vivacity in Latin America. As national art scenes flourished, new design dialogues were invented, and architects and designers began to see themselves as active players in the creation of modern national identities. With private and public support, Latin American designers developed their particular styles that reflected both the changing cultural climate and local material traditions. The administrations promoted national industries, particularly those that supplied a growing demand for consumer goods for the home. This renewed utopian hope encouraged designers and studio-craft artists to produce modern pieces that were specifically adapted to local tastes, as well as environmental climates.

Moderno as an exhibition strove to reposition modern Latin American design within a larger global context to explore how an influx of European and North American architects, designers and entrepreneurs helped expand the field of design by fostering a cosmopolitan and creative environment. The Bauhaus and other European vanguard groups were also influential to designers who assimilated these ideologies into innovative designs they produced for their regional publics. In addition, the groundbreaking international design competition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” organized in 1940 by the Museum of Modern Art, featured a section devoted to Latin American design and played a significant role in the international dissemination of these designers’ works.

More info at https://www.as-coa.org/moderno-design-living-brazil-mexico-and-venezuela-1940-1978