February 21, 2014  |  Artists, MoMA Stores
The MoMA Stores Debut Designs by Contemporary Artists
The MoMA Design Store windows at West 53rd Street, featuring TK. Photo: Scott Rudd

The MoMA Design Store windows at West 53rd Street, featuring plates by contemporary artists. Photo: Scott Rudd

In the second installment of Inside/Out’s spotlight on our new series of artist-produced housewares, the MoMA Design Store is excited to debut a suite of candles and Limoges porcelain collectible trays and plates with Ligne Blanche Paris. The collaboration was spearheaded by The MoMA Design Store’s Director of Merchandising Emmanuel Plat and Ligne Blanche Paris Founder Pierre Pelegry, and launched last week at the MoMA Stores.

“Both the MoMa Design Store and Ligne Blanche Paris have a similar goal: to pique the public’s interest in the work of contemporary artists through design. Since expanding the work of artists to high-quality domestic products has become a focus for the MoMA Design Store, the collaboration was a natural fit,” says Plat.

As eclectic as the artists featured, the suite provides a unique survey of disparate artistic voices and methods of creation over the last four decades.

Robert Longo. American Flag tray

American Flag tray by Robert Longo

Robert Longo’s adroit use of chiaroscuro modeling with charcoal heightens the impact of his subject matter, and gives his pieces—from his blackened American flags to his figure and animal studies—gravitas and a timeless quality.

Alex Katz. Jessica dessert plate (left); Sarah Mearns dessert plate (right). 2013

Jessica (left) and Sara Mearns (right) plates by Alex Katz

Alex Katz is recognized as a hugely influential precursor to the Pop art movement and one of the most respected American artists working today. Katz’s portraits and figure studies are characterized by their flatness of form, restrained lines, and aloof subjects.

A bricoleur of everyday objects, Tom Sachs distills the spirit of the modern era and our relationship to consumerism in his flashy reproductions of commodities.

Tom Sachs. Top Mug (left); Jack Pierson. Golden Age. 2010 (right)

Top Mug plate (left) by Tom Sachs; Golden Years plate (right) by Jack Pierson

Drawn to celebrity, melodrama, and erotic narrative, Jack Pierson produces works that are infused with literal and visual references to unrequited love, desire, faded stardom, and sentimental musings. Pierson’s typographic Golden Years (2010) relies heavily on the visual poetics of typography and can be interpreted as wistful homage to the halcyon years of one’s life.

Gilbert & George. Light Headed. 1991 (left); Flight (right)

Light Headed plate (left) and Flight plate (right) by Gilbert & George

From across the pond comes a quartet of plates by British art renegades Gilbert & George, whose prolific career has spanned almost five decades. The dynamic duo juxtapose their look-alike, robotic visages with a hyper-saturated potpourri of images—from anonymous pastoral landscapes to shots of London’s gritty inner-city—to confront the viewer and completely immerse him or her in the visual experience.

The line also includes work by three renowned artists whose prolific and highly influential careers were tragically cut short: Robert Mapplethorpe, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring. Though contemporaries during the 1980s, their respective bodies of work encompass distinct experiences that are radically different in tone, character, and execution.

Robert Mapplethorpe. Calla Lily (left); Wrestler (right)

Calla Lily (left) and Wrestler (right) plates by Robert Mapplethorpe

Jean-Michel Basquiat. All Colored Cast 1 (right); Horn Players (left)

All Colored Cast 1 (left) and Horn Players (right) plates by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Keith Haring. Untitled 1 (left);  Untitled 2 (right)

Plates by Keith Haring featuring two untitled works

Ligne Blanche Paris worked closely with the estates of these artists to create products that capture the spirit of those they represent.

“Every product is devised in perfect knowledge of, and with a scrupulous respect for, the works of the artists with whom we work,” says Pelegry.

The MoMA Design Store will carry a limited number of these artist edition plates at two store locations: on West 53rd Street across from the Museum, and in SoHo at 81 Spring Street.