Beyond Gorgeous: The Work of Alexander Girard
Alexander Girard’s work is gorgeous; from the crimson conversation pit at the J. Irwin and Xenia Miller House to the birds, flowers and stripes on his fabrics for Herman Miller, “the end of the plain plane” for Braniff, to the mesmerizing Mexican décor at La Fonda del Sol. Girard proved that modernism could co-exist with more—more stuff, more color, more pattern—in a way that still looks fresh to contemporary eyes.
Trained as an architect, Girard’s focus was on texture, shape, color and narrative, as told through layered, gridded orthogonal space. This lecture will highlight Girard’s inventiveness, focusing on key projects including the Miller House, the Textiles & Objects shop and the Deere & Co. historical mural, discussing their common ground in architecture, folk art, and graphic design.
Beyond Gorgeous: The Work of Alexander Girard is presented by Alexandra Lange, an architecture and design critic, journalist, and historian. Her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Design Observer, Metropolis, New York Magazine and The New York Times. She teaches architecture criticism at New York University and the School of Visual Arts.
Lange is a contributor to Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (Yale University Press, 2006); co-author, with Jane Thompson, of Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle, 2010); and author of Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).
Presented with support from the Myrtie Shumacker Lecture Fund.