StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118175385319887.jpg’, ‘Image provided’, ‘Opening reception for the Mid-Century Modern installation by Ryan Bennett is set for 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, June 15, at Kortman Gallery, 107 N. Main St. Pictured above is a credenza, part of the exhibit.‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118175387832673.jpg’, ‘Image provided’, ‘A Gaetano Pesce design.‘);
To Ryan Bennett, the furniture and interior elements created in the middle of the 20th century are not just about functional designthey are works of art. He has been collecting and admiring the works of such artists/designers as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia since he was a teen-ager. Friday, June 15, Bennett will install an exhibit of original, vintage mid-20th century classic furnishings in the Kortman Gallery in an exhibit titled Mid-Century Modern.
The unique sculptural lines and artistry of mid-century modern design has always been my interest as long as I can remember, says Bennett. I recall seeing it in my grandparents home as a child and loved the design. Some of my first pieces of furniture were hand-me-down modernist furnishings. In time, collecting and dealing in mid-20th century interiors became my passion.
Many of Bennetts pieces have made their way to Hollywood and have been used on TV and movie sets. He has worked closely with set and interior designers in New York and California.
This is truly an exciting exhibition converging art and design, said Doc Slafkosky, Kortman Gallery director. Ryan will create a total interior space that you can walk around in and actually sit on these classic, original pieces of furniture. This was design for the future, back in the 1950s.
In his gallery statement, Bennett writes: The 50s were a unique time in the history of the furniture industry. Designers with backgrounds in architecture created organically-shaped furniture using the new techniques and materials developed during the war. Sensuous, biomorphic designs proliferated. Appreciative consumers treasured the sleek, elegant and functional designs of Charles Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia and many others. This new furniture stacked, flexed and folded; it was rearrangeable and interchangeable; and it addressed the needs of modern life.
The Mid-Century Modern installation by Ryan Bennett opening reception is from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, June 15, in the Kortman Gallery upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St., downtown Rockford. For more information, call (815) 968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com.
from the June 13-19, 2007, issue