On View> Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940-1978

Architecture Design East On View
(Courtesy Americas Society)

(Courtesy Americas Society)

When Miguel Arroyo arrived in New York City in 1939 as the assistant of the Venezuelan painter Luis Alfredo López Méndez, he met the architect of the Venezuelan Pavilion at New York’s World’s Fair: a young Gordon Bunshaft at SOM. The two formed a lifelong friendship.

Jorge Zalszupin, Wall mounted organizer, ca. 1970. (Courtesy R & Company)

Jorge Zalszupin, Wall mounted organizer, ca. 1970. (Courtesy R & Company)

Later when Arroyo became director of the Museo de Bellas Artes, he and his wife, Lourdes Blanco, lived in the Altomar, a beautiful building by W.J. Alcock carefully propped on the hill heading west from the Plaza de Las Mercedes.

Arroyo designed furniture all his life and the installation of the Museo del Arzobispo in Coro (Venezuela’s first capital city) was inaugurated in 1984.

Design for Living concentrates on his earlier work, notably the interior he designed for Don Alfredo Boulton inside his colonial house in Pampatar, Margarita. The works in Colombia are also unknown for most architects and designers while the Brazilian works have gotten more exposure.

I look forward to seeing this extraordinary show, which opens on February 11, 2015. It is on view at Americas Society from February 11 through May 16, 2015.

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