Wish you could take some of those posters on view in Complaints! An Inalienable Right home with you? You absolutely can—in fact, you can take all of them, thanks to the boxed set of large-format, 6-by-9-inch postcards ($35) that reproduces the seventy-two posters. Whether you hang them on your walls, display them on your refrigerator, mail them, or just keep them in the box, reviewing the ways in which scores of renowned artists and designers interpreted the theme of complaints and solutions in graphic format can’t fail to spur your own thinking. Right?
Perhaps fortunately for readers of this newsletter, the Futurist call to “destroy syntax and scatter one’s nouns at random, just as they are born” and to “Abolish all punctuation,” never quite caught on. Those ideas, expressed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the movement’s founder, in his 1912 “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” (“Manifesto tecnico della letteratura futurista”) convey a sense of the insurgent, disruptive, enthusiastic spirit and perhaps the complexity of Italian Futurism.
“I wanted to provide visitors with a new way of engaging with our collection, to have them really slow down and take a closer look at things,” says Erin L. Wolfe, development associate at The Wolfsonian, who proposed the public program Sketching in the Galleries, which begins Friday, March 28, 7–9pm. The free program, on one Friday evening each month from March through June, pairs participants with an instructor who offers guidance and insight on drawing techniques. Drawing materials and stools are provided as part of the program.
Upon my first encounter with Miami and its environs, I could not help but feel the seduction of this place as entirely due to the tug-of-war between manmade city and irrepressible nature. The papaya plants in every yard, the exuberant vegetation of the hammocks, the tree canopy over Old Cutler Road, the sublime horizontal expanse of sky and sea contrasting with the vertical thrust of modern towers.
Andy Borowitz is a comedian and satirist best known for the popular fake news blog “The Borowitz Report.” He is the author of numerous books, such as Who Moved My Soap?—The CEO’s Guide to Surviving in Prison, and editor of the top-selling humor anthology The 50 Funniest American Writers. He also performs as a stand-up comedian. Borowitz will deliver a talk titled “Making it Funny” at the Power of Design festival on March 22, during which he’ll discuss how humor can help get your complaints heard.
The dumbing down of language. AIDS. People who stop at the top of escalators. Congress. Global warming. Suspiciously happy individuals. War. Certainty. Smokers. Work. These are a few of the many topics griped about in the seventy or so posters by contemporary artists and designers in the exhibition Complaints! An Inalienable Right, curated by noted design critic and ridiculously prolific author Steven Heller (160 books and counting).
What happens when you pair The Wolfsonian’s historic ocean liner materials with a crew of celebrity chefs, and Martha Stewart drops by for a taste of the action? Some lucky passengers (a.k.a. dinner guests) found out on February 21, when Anthony Bourdain co-hosted a Wolfsonian dinner along with Johannes Tysse, captain of Azamara Club Cruises ship Azamara Journey.
Long-term Wolfsonian director Cathy Leff, as announced several months ago, is stepping down as of April 1, 2014. Leff, who has been director of the museum since 1996, notes the timing is appropriate for both the institution and for her. In particular, the recent award of a $5 million lead gift from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the adoption of a new five-year plan designed to usher in the next phase in The Wolfsonian’s growth makes now a logical transition point, she explains.