Alexander Girard (1907–1993) was one of the most influential textile artists and interior designers of the twentieth century. He created worlds of colourful opulence in which everything was precisely and artfully coordinated, from the smallest details to the big picture. Examples include the Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (1953; architect Eero Saarinen) and the legendary restaurant La Fonda del Sol (1960) in New York. Girard designed furniture, small objects and fabrics, worked for companies like Herman Miller and Braniff International Airways and collaborated with such designers as Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson. This major retrospective of Girard’s oeuvre draws on the Vitra Design Museum’s holdings from his private estate and presents furniture, textiles and sculptures as well as numerous sketches, drawings and collages never shown before. In addition to his own designs, it presents the creative universe from which Girard took his inspiration: folk art from all over the world, which the designer collected throughout his life.
A selection of 300 objects from his collection is also featured in the exhibition.
In 1996, the Vitra Design Museum took possession of Girard’s personal estate. The holdings encompass 5,000 drawings and photographs respectively, many never before shown personal sketches, several hundred textile samples, accessories, furniture items and folk art objects. This archive serves as the basis for the exhibition »Alexander Girard. A Designer’s Universe«. Further exhibition objects are on loan from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe as well as Alexander Girard’s family.The exhibition design is being created by the London-based studio Raw Edges, headed by Shay Alkalay and Yael Mer. Like Girard, the duo’s work is characterized by a keen interest colours and patterns. Over the past years, Raw Edges has achieved international acclaim with its installations for such companies as Kvadrat, Moroso and Louis Vuitton.The exhibition is accompanied by an over 500-page catalogue. The publication provides the first scholarly examination of Girard’s oeuvre in the form of multiple essays, an extensive list of works and a comprehensive biography.