October 13, 2016 to January 8, 2017
Produced by the Gardiner Museum and curated by Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow
Exhibition design by Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc.
This landmark exhibition explores more than seven decades of Nordic aesthetic influence in Canadian design. Examining the ways that modern Scandinavian design was introduced to Canada and how its aesthetic principles and material forms were adopted and adapted by Canadian artisans and designers, True Nordic will present a comprehensive, critical survey of Canadian furniture, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and glassware.
Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and "comfortable and gracious living." Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.
Featured artisans include: Carl Poul Petersen, Ernst and Alma Lorenzen, Janis Kravis, John Stene, Karen Bulow, Kjeld and Erica Deichmann, Lotte Bostlund, Thor Hansen, Rudolph Renzius, Sigrun Bulow-Hube, Ruth Gowdy McKinley, Niels Bendtsen, Sean Place, Mjolk, Stephanie Forsythe, and Todd MacAllen.
For more info and related events: www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/exhibition/true-nordic#