Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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The Modernist
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 18:28

The Great Defector wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
The Great Defector wrote:Is having moive posters on your sitting wall still considered somewhat stylish? :?


Only if they're Polish!

And I'm not joking here..vintage Polish poster design goes for a lot of money.


Why polish do you know?


They have a very distinctive graphic art style. And they often look nothing like the American posters for the film.
Some examples..

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Thang-y » 25 Oct 2017, 18:29


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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Thang-y » 25 Oct 2017, 18:33

Ach, posted at the same time.

My point was nothing to do with movie posters, everything to do with Jacques Tati's take on aesthetics, Le Corbusier and modern life.


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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 18:35

Toby wrote:
The Modernist wrote:In the UK, old or even antique furniture can be picked up very cheaply at auction or in junk shops, often very attractive and well made things. It is much harder to get good quality G-Plan and similar(which was the British answer to mid century Scandinavian design, in fact their early designers were Scandinavian) because of the mania for all things mid century (which I share!).


I think that's gone to be honest. Most people have to go to France and the flea markets over there for real bargains.


Partly because the 'rustic French' thing is so in I think. Honestly I go to auctions quite a lot and I'm often really surprised by how little some really good quality furniture goes for. I think people sometimes forget what they have on their own doorstep.

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 18:51

Toby wrote:I think it's important to remember that stylish, individual furniture and home furnishings are very expensive and alway have been. To romanticise the past one has to remember that this sort of thing has always been the domain of arguably the upper-middle class and above. Lots of people didn't even have anything remotely stylish apart from functional hand-me-downs until the 50s at the earliest.


I don't agree.
What you say is true about the 19th century, but the 20th century was all about democratisation of design and bringing, through new techniques of mass production, it into the living rooms of ordinary people at affordable prices. It was a big theme of the Festival of Britain and a driving force for designers like Robin Day.
Furniture by the likes of G-Plan, Nathan and Ercol etc. were sold in high street stores to ordinary people, not just the rich. And it's sought after today because it was so well made and the style has lasted.
Toby wrote:
It remains the same now - people in the main have cheap furniture that doesn't last particularly long. In that, I think there is some sense. We bought a chest of drawers a while back that cost about £800 or so and now it's a bit of a millstone because it doesn't really belong anywhere in our house and is too big. We don't want to sell it but because we don't really have the room for it, we have to. I doubt we'll get more than £250 for it or so. People don't want to invest in furniture too much because there is the risk that it just goes out of date too quickly. Otherwise you just buy things like solid oak tables because they're classics and will do their job for 20 or so years.


What you've said about the prices of second hand furniture, just supports what I say about you don't have to go to France to pick up cheap quality furniture. There's a lot of it about!

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Samoan » 25 Oct 2017, 18:52

The Modernist wrote:. .
Honestly I go to auctions quite a lot and I'm often really surprised by how little some really good quality furniture goes for. I think people sometimes forget what they have on their own doorstep.

It's a buyers' market though, everyone's broke just now.
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 25 Oct 2017, 19:05

True!

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Great Defector » 25 Oct 2017, 19:05

The Modernist wrote:
They have a very distinctive graphic art style. And they often look nothing like the American posters for the film.
Some examples..

Image

Image

Image


Um, interesting.
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Robert » 25 Oct 2017, 19:39

The Great Defector wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
They have a very distinctive graphic art style. And they often look nothing like the American posters for the film.
Some examples..

Image

Image

Image


Um, interesting.


Yes, especially the swastika Minelli

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Jimbo » 25 Oct 2017, 19:50

Robert wrote: Yes, especially the swastika Minelli


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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby *fun and open field* » 25 Oct 2017, 20:14

CZECH or Polish posters
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Copehead » 26 Oct 2017, 02:07

The Modernist wrote:
Harvey K-Tel wrote:I want to know more about this Scandinavian glass that you're into, G. It's not something that has seemingly even made a dent in the marketplace over here.


Ah that was my drunken facebook post! It was a bit of a drunken boast, and like most drunken boasts not particularly true. I do have a few bits of Riihimäki glass that I'll be selling soon. But I don't have much Scandi glass because the best stuff is so sought after and expensive. I did sell one piece a few months ago to the guy who runs this site: http://www.20thcenturyglass.com for forty quid and he promptly sold it on for 100! (..which I didn't begrudge, it's the way of the world).
I'm trying to hoover up any post-war Czech glass at the moment because it's affordable (other than a few designers where prices are sky high), stunning and will be the big thing over the next ten years. I need to do a European buying trip! :)


I do the same but tend to stick with English art glass of the 60s and 70s, although I would like some Orrefors, Alstaforrs, Lindehammer or Holmgard as well.
I have a couple of bits of Whitefriars and would like some more, but only in green or smoke ( called cinnamon? ) not keen on tangerine or amethyst or any of the other colours tbh, I have some rather nice Stennett-Wilson Wedgewood ( may be from King's Lynn period ) candlesticks 3 sizes with different numbers of discs on the stem in a deep orange never seen orange before and would like some green ones too. Want some Dartington/Thrower stuff as well perhaps.
Image

All very "mid-century" like you, I suppose it was the accessible art of our youth, every body used to have a bit of Whitefriars, everyone had chunky glass ash trays.

I also like Ruskin pottery and Japanese pottery

Got a vase very like this but more elongated in form

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On the walls it is historic geological maps and sections and Ravilious pictures of down land.

Image


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As for second hand furniture, Edwardian and earlier brown furniture is cheap as chips, stuff like Ercol etc is very expensive even second hand because it is what people want. Old dark wood antique furniture is difficult to place in modern house, one piece, like a side board, may be OK any more and it is a disaster.
Last edited by Copehead on 26 Oct 2017, 04:29, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 26 Oct 2017, 03:41

* nothing to see here, move right along *
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Belle Lettre » 26 Oct 2017, 07:11

R. Swipe wrote:CZECH or Polish posters

Moive Czechs?
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 26 Oct 2017, 07:39

Copehead wrote:
I do the same but tend to stick with English art glass of the 60s and 70s, although I would like some Orrefors, Alstaforrs, Lindehammer or Holmgard as well.
I have a couple of bits of Whitefriars and would like some more, but only in green or smoke ( called cinnamon? ) not keen on tangerine or amethyst or any of the other colours tbh, I have some rather nice Stennett-Wilson Wedgewood ( may be from King's Lynn period ) candlesticks 3 sizes with different numbers of discs on the stem in a deep orange never seen orange before and would like some green ones too. Want some Dartington/Thrower stuff as well perhaps.

All very "mid-century" like you, I suppose it was the accessible art of our youth, every body used to have a bit of Whitefriars, everyone had chunky glass ash trays.
I also like Ruskin pottery and Japanese pottery

Got a vase very like this but more elongated in form

On the walls it is historic geological maps and sections and Ravilious pictures of down land.

As for second hand furniture, Edwardian and earlier brown furniture is cheap as chips, stuff like Ercol etc is very expensive even second hand because it is what people want. Old dark wood antique furniture is difficult to place in modern house, one piece, like a side board, may be OK any more and it is a disaster.


Great post - it sounds like you're developing a really cool collection.
I'm mainly interested in glass, but I do buy ceramics as well ( I particularly like Poole). Much harder to pick up bargains in ceramics though because it's so much easier to identify a maker than glass.
I really like those Stennet-Wilson vases, they can go up to about 12 discs apparently, though i think I've only seen ones up to five. I do have quite a few pieces of W/Friars, my favourite being a large streaky, knobbly lamp base vase. Nothing in your colours though! The other thing apart from Czech I find myself picking up a lot of is Mdina. Most of the stuff I've got is pretty humdrum, but a few of the pieces are really nice.
I do have a Frank Thrower nipple vase in blue. It's nothing special and is pretty small. But if you're interested I'd be happy to pass it on for what I paid for it ( which wasn't much..it was a charity shop find).

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Robert » 26 Oct 2017, 08:08

The Modernist wrote:I was looking through a book of photographs I have today. Photographs of all sorts of things collected from 1900-1990.
(the book is here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Londoners-thro ... E0PCNHS9BC and very much recommended). It struck me that the early eighties was the last definable time when things looked different to today and very much had its own style and identity.

It's strange when you think about it. After all, we have seen more radical changes (almost all related to technology) in the way we live during the last 20 years than at any other time in living memory. I reckon you'd have to go back to the introduction of electricity in daily life to find anything comparable. Yet none of this is reflected in the way things look. You could look at a picture of teenagers on the street from 1997 and it could have been taken last week.

Domestic interiors are always a good index of this sort of thing. For the past thirty years we have had a bland, functional minimalism.

Image

The person living in this place isn't going to look back at a photo of it in thirty years time and think "Oh my God, what was I thinking!".In fact they won't likely think of anything at all because this is design robbed of personality and individuality. Objects are where they are to fill a space and because that's where they're meant to be. The idea is convenience and to look like everyone else so you don't have to worry about any kind of self-expression. There's no sense of someone lovingly curating something. Compare it to the pride your granny had in her hand painted Staffordshire china set.

Love of the past isn't just nostalgia, it's a love of times when the visual language said something evocative about those times, and said it with flair and abandon. When you see Art Deco, it tell you so much about the period: its decadance and elegance, its daring belief in the future.
I get this with all sorts of decorative design of the 20th century. Take pottery for instance..
When I look at Troika, I think of Fairport Convention and The Wicker Man: All witchety and pagan.

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Or when I look at West German pottery from the early 70s, I think of Can and the German New Wave: Reinventing the present with a brash recklessness.

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It's rich and evocative.

Don't quite know what I'm expecting as a response, but I wanted to get it off my chest! Be interested in any thoughts anyway..



That interior picture looks pretty bloodless indeed. That said, isn't that the case with most of those, no matter the decade? They always portrait a home where in fact there are no signs of human life.

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Thang-y » 26 Oct 2017, 08:17

I was under the impression that Swedish glass has always been a thing - you go to Stockholm and see 'famous' glass shops.

Growing up in the seventies in Kent when any of my aunts visited from Australia, my mind boggles to think of what they picked up for a song back then, silver, glass, ceramics. I remember quite a lot of Troika and Whitefriars glass which I thought was ugly as hell but was picked up for nothing then from backstreet junk shops along with countless other "treasures".

These days even most charity shops know what they've got (often over-price because they don't know the faults). Auction houses know what they have and, with online bidding it's rare to cop a real bargain. I have picked up a few lovely pieces from vide greniers in France.

As for glass, you can get quite arresting pieces from China for not that much.

I'm not interested in glass or china from the UK - too breakable.

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby *fun and open field* » 26 Oct 2017, 08:26

Belle Lettre wrote:
R. Swipe wrote:CZECH or Polish posters

Moive Czechs?


Yeah. But nothing compared to Frank Thrower nipple vases.
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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby The Modernist » 26 Oct 2017, 08:57

Thang-y wrote:I was under the impression that Swedish glass has always been a thing - you go to Stockholm and see 'famous' glass shops..


Oh yeah, their glassmaking tradition goes back many centuries. It's something they've always been world leaders at.
Thang-y wrote:Growing up in the seventies in Kent when any of my aunts visited from Australia, my mind boggles to think of what they picked up for a song back then, silver, glass, ceramics. I remember quite a lot of Troika and Whitefriars glass which I thought was ugly as hell but was picked up for nothing then from backstreet junk shops along with countless other "treasures".


I remember I shared a flat with someone who had great taste in interior design, she was an ex-art teacher so she had a very good visual eye. I remember she had some amazing rugs and large pieces of Troika. At the time, I didn't have any appreciation for that stuff, so it passed me by.

Thang-y wrote:These days even most charity shops know what they've got (often over-price because they don't know the faults). Auction houses know what they have and, with online bidding it's rare to cop a real bargain. I have picked up a few lovely pieces from vide greniers in France.


Whilst it's true that most auction houses know their stuff, they still fail to identify stuff quite often. Partly, I think, because general auctioneers are often dealing with large house clearances and so have a large turnover of goods. They probably don't have time to research everything in depth.
The Whitefriars piece I mentioned earlier, I bought at auction on a maiden bid of a fiver. They were just selling it as 'art glass', they hadn't identified it. A few weeks later I spotted a very rare piece of Swedish glass from the 50s that was extremely valuable. Unfortunately on that occasion there were other specialist glass dealers there who had also spotted it. I dropped out of the bidding at 60 quid and it went, I think, for about 150, but the point is the auctioneers had put it on with an estimate of £10.00-£20.00. On an other day I could have got it.
You only have to watch Bargain Hunt to know that their experts often don't know much, they tend to have deep knowledge in some areas, but not know much in others. Most of them don't know much about glass for instance (apart from Paul Laidlaw -who knows about everything!).

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Re: Modern life and visual aesthetics - a rant!!

Postby Goat Boy » 26 Oct 2017, 09:40

Swedish glass? Bargain Hunt?

What the hell is going on, G?

It’ll be fucking caravans next
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