New York powerhouse gallery R & Company is known for its ability to balance historical and contemporary focuses. Its expertise of the midcentury modern Brazilian period is matched by its mastery of postmodern design from the late 1960s through to the early ’80s. The multi-venue gallery is also recognized for its diverse roster of contemporary talents working in various mediums, applications, styles, and approaches. Playing to its own strengths, the gallery has mounted two distinct group shows at its sprawling White Street location this spring. On view till June 19, these two exhibitions reflect a clever curatorial vision: the decision to reframe, reassess, and recontextualize key works from the gallery’s boundless stores and to debut newly acquired pieces.
Building on the success of a similar exhibition mounted in 2017, a seminal anthology, and full-feature-length film—developed with independent curator Maria Cristina Didero—Radical Living presents important works from various collectives and talents of the once controversial but wildly influential Radical Italian Design movement. This period of firebrand fervor saw major designers question the fundamentals of how we live, interact, and occupy space. This design zeitgeist reflected the progressive and revolutionary tones of the time’s societal shifts.